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PrimeJunta's BB v257 summary

feedback summary review

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#1
PrimeJunta

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I can't match Sensuki's dedication, but I thought it might be useful to summarize my thoughts on the BB so far. I think I'll leave this build alone for now, despite having skipped some classes, notably the Druid.

 

I'll follow the list of high-priority feedback requested in the announcement.

 

Classes
 
Fighter: With the rogue, probably the most restrictive and role-limited of the classes. I would very much like adjustments and talents to make ranged fighter builds viable. I don't think they'd displace the Ranger, because that class's gameplay revolves around the animal companion. Suggested talents (lifted from other threads): Swords to Crossbows (swaps melee and ranged base accuracy), Knockdown Shot, reuse of some Ranger ranged talents. It would also make possible a highly lore-appropriate "musketeer" build who opens up with a musket, then goes into melee when the mobs close up. Knockdown made it extremely useful to quickly put high-priority targets out of commission for the time it took to disable them with something stronger. Basis is good but needs fleshing out. Feels weak overall compared to most other classes.
 
Rogue: Underwhelming. Perhaps I'm missing something, but the only tactic I discovered was hobble+stab-stab-stab. Just a point damage machine, and not all that great at point damage. Sneak Attack needs to be beefed up to make using it worthwhile. Adding Talents that inflict a larger variety of status effects could help too. Feels weak.
 
Wizard: Predictable. I really liked the possibility to make an armored caster, and thought the increase in casting time balanced out the added protection nicely. I could finally use all those nice cone-shaped spells that were mostly doing nothing for me in the DnD games because it was usually just simpler to use something else. Spell selection is currently a bit lacking in variety though, like someone went through a checklist and put them in. In particular, I would like more spells/talents supporting gish tactics, for example something that gives a medium-duration Accuracy boost (rather than the ultra-short one from the L1 spell). It's solid enough but somewhat lacking in 'flair' as Sensuki puts it. Power level feels about right.
 
Priest: Supremely useful set of buffs, debuffs, and heals making it one of the most strategically useful classes to have around. I thought it suffered a bit from the same as the wizard--it's more "fundamentally useful" than "fun." I also couldn't figure out many alternative ways to play it--it's basically a support machine hanging back casting support spells, occasionally plinking with a ranged weapon. Feels a little overpowered; some of those buffs seem to confer near-invulnerability for fairly long durations. Unfortunately I can't think of any simple ways to remedy this. I like playing frontline support characters, but that's already covered by...
 
Paladin: Liked it a lot. The auras and per-encounter abilities plus decent melee skills strike a really nice balance between high-maintenance and low-maintenance. One of my favorite things in DnD based cRPG's was to build a melee-oriented cleric, throw Battletide, and wade into melee. The paladin feels very similar. Power level feels about right.
 
Barbarian: Liked it even more. Lots of tactical variety here; armor up and take Hold the Line and you've got an excellent, strategically durable tank with serious damage output, or Wild Sprint to take out backrow squishies, then Defiant Resolve when you're about to go down. Everything could use more talents, but all in all IMO the best melee class by far. Power level feels about right, maybe a little underpowered.
 
Cipher: One of my favorite classes although needs nerfing, especially durations and obviously Soul Ignition which lets you cheese through the whole thing. Cool take on the gish. I played this as a disabler/melee combatant: took spells like Puppet Master, that multi-target paralysis thing, and so on, and had a ball. Good job on this one; don't change anything (much) other than dial down the power a bit.
 
Chanter: Another of my favorite classes although the summons are obviously way OP at the moment. Feels genuinely different: a low-maintenance caster is something new and cool. Again, don't change everything other than fixing the obviously broken bits. Power level is over 9000.
 
Ranger: Not my thing, I think, but that's probably just personal preference. Gameplay is unique what with the shared health pool, but frankly it felt a little bit gimmicky, different for the sake of being different. Other than that, the implementation works well enough. Power level is too dependent on the animal companion; with the lion he felt too fragile, with the bear definitely overpowered. Needs tuning.
 
Edit: forgot about this one --
 
Monk: I liked this more than I'd have expected. Main obstacle to enjoyment was the lack of feedback; you have to watch that Wounds counter like a hawk or risk taking unnecessary damage. Needs very noticeable visual/auditory feedback when the monk gains a Wound. Consequently I didn't play with it all that much. I'll file this under "promising," once the combat is more sorted I'll be able to explore it more. Seemed to have rather few talents to choose from; similar issue as the rogue, only with the monk it was ow-ow-ow-Stunning Blow, ow-ow-ow-Stunning Blow. Power level was about right.
 
Druid: Did not play enough to be able to comment. Maybe in the next build.
 
Overall: There were two concepts I wanted to build, but couldn't: the archer/musketeer (with no animal meat shield), and the wizard-based gish who self-buffs, rushes into melee for great burst damage, and then buggers off magically when the buffs run out. (The rogue's Escape ability would be rad for that, as a spell or otherwise.)
 
Races
 
Due tot he limited impact of ability scores on anything, the racial bonuses felt fairly insignificant; if this isn't changed I'll probably pick a race for aesthetic and role-playing rather than mechanical reasons. The aumaua are cool, as are the fire, moon, and nature godlikes; the death godlike doesn't really appeal to me. Never cared for furries so pass on the orlan. Elves and dwarves are what you'd expect them to be. 
 
I do like the ability to pick your culture and your background, and that they're not bound to your race. Again, mechanically no big deal but I hope there's some roleplay mileage to be had from them.
 
Attributes
 
Yeesh, almost said "won't go here again" but hey, once more into the breach. I have a few quibbles with them, PER in particular is too easy to dump, but my main beef is that they don't matter all that much. I've kind of gotten used to this already, but yes, I would like it to bite if I dumped something to 3 and feel the punch if I pumped it to 18. I also think that it would be aesthetically better to represent below-average adjustments as penalties and above-average as bonuses, rather than just add everything to a base, even if the numbers ended up in the same place.
 
Equipment
 
Overall, I liked the gear selection, especially the armor. I'd say the design objective of not having one objectively 'best' choice is close to being met here, although I suspect that if I wanted to minmax I'd just go with robes or clothes for the back row, with more variety in the front row.
 
Edit: I have to add, I really like the way the armor looks, and the way they take on the color. Brigandine, padded, leather, and breastplate were especially nice. I even made BB Wizard wear padded armor just because I liked the looks. If you've managed to make armor look so neat I'll take a 20% casting time penalty for it, you've got to be doing something right.
 
Firearms and arbalests felt overpowered, hunting bows underpowered, and I couldn't get a good handle on damage type vs. enemy. I figured out that you're supposed to crush bugs, but that was more by trial and error than by something I could more or less easily understand by looking at the system. So that part could use more transparency.
 
Also if damage type/defense matters as much as it appears, I think it would be important to have more weapon slots from the start. The ability to switch between ranged and melee isn't enough if you also have to switch between crushing and slashing, for example. Some of the hidden powerful weapons felt appropriately punchy; I really dug the way it changed things when I found and started using them.
 
Crafting and Enchanting
 
Glanced at it, did not try due to all the inventory bugs. Maybe next build.
 
Conversations and Quests
 
Oh yes baby: The best part of the beta by far. Won't rhapsodize about the specifics here, just keep doing what you're doing. A+
 
Combat
 
Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play? Actually it's not bad. There is a good combat system underneath the bugs and overall lack of feedback, but it desperately needs digging out. Please, please, please take Sensuki's suggestion #008 to heart and add the combat feedback it deserves. As it is, it's desperately difficult to figure out what's going on, even apart from the bugs. Movement speed is too fast. Basic mechanics are, as far as I can tell, fun, varied, and interesting. Nothing wrong with miss/graze/hit/crit. Relationship between damage and DT was too murky; it really needs clarification e.g. in the weapon descriptions and combat feedback -- I need to be able to clearly see that my attacks aren't doing damage due to DT; as it is it's quite unclear why I'm doing little to n odamage.
 
Relationship between stamina and health is crystal, except for the petrifying spiders thing. I thought that was bugged. If there's an effect that makes damage go straight from health, that needs to be made extremely clear.
 
 
User Interface
 
Character creation was fine. The main game HUD was... not perfect; again Sensuki has that part covered, although I kind of liked it that the character abilities popped up above the portrait. The combat log is a mess and in the wrong place; it needs filtering and more info displayed directly to be useful at all. Inventory, character sheet, and journal were fine except for the bugs. One consistent issue I noticed was a general dearth of "Accept/Cancel" buttons in dialogs; it's counterintuitive to accept choices by closing the dialog from the [x] and then going through a dialog. I'll probably return to this when going through builds with the most egregious bugs removed.

Edited by PrimeJunta, 27 August 2014 - 12:52 AM.

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#2
Seari

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Good read. If most of the things you listed(esp. build diversity) is improved upon, this will be a glorious game, and a worthy successor to the IE games.


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#3
Uomoz

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The best feedback post I've read on this forum so far, with a good mix of positive and negative feedback.  I agree on all points. 10/10


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#4
Mayama

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I can't match Sensuki's dedication, but I thought it might be useful to summarize my thoughts on the BB so far. I think I'll leave this build alone for now, despite having skipped some classes, notably the Druid.

 

 

I agree and I also agree that from a game play perspective their isnt much more to do or test right now, only leaves bug hunting.


Edited by Mayama, 27 August 2014 - 02:24 AM.

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#5
Polanski

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Overall a very nice critique, were I can recognize almost everything.

But I don't share the experience of the Cipher working mechanically as it should. My experience was, that it was very clunky, and hard to play/understand. The Cipher also seems very clunky to play, very similar to a wizard, and you don't feel the element of always attacking a soul. The Focus building feel more like an enforcement than fun and sticks out a lot in this game as something that don't belong. 

The focus is saved between fights, which seems strange.

The ranged accauracy of the Cipher is higher than it's melee acc. which also doesn't fit the image I have of it.

In general I think a lot of the classes should have the same amount of ranged and melee accuracy, and only very specialized classes like Monk, Barbarian and ranger should have heterogen values.



#6
Sensuki

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Good post.

As I stated in my thread, the Fighter is the most boring of the classes mostly due to the inflexibility of the class design. I preferred the original vision of the Fighter listed in one of the earliest KS updates, where they were more versatile. It would be nice to see the Fighter with a higher Ranged Accuracy, a ranged knockdown (could be shorter duration for ranged) and less focus on melee.

I agree about the Rogue as I stated in my recent video. For some reason the Rogue just feels boring. The Priest is the same, the Priest is powerful but you are literally stacking the same buffs on the party and focusing on buffs and healing. There's no variation in the spell casting, no counter spells a la the IE games and whatnot really. Just BUFF BUFF BUFF HEAL. Max INT for sure on these guys, without a doubt.

I think part of the issue is the length of the adventuring day. You only do a few encounters before you rest, so there's no reason to go easy on the spells at all. There's no sense that you're using up resources - whereas in the IE games, you only use them when you have to.

Paladin I haven't played yet but what I've seen they're versatile and fun. Cipher and Chanter are fun, but OP. Ranger seems like with tuning it will be pretty cool. Haven't played the Barbarian or Druid yet.

I recently did a new thread about the Main HUD, but it's probably far too late to have anything done about it.

I also forgot to mention in my video about racial and cultural bonuses not mattering at all. It's largely cosmetic and for RP reasons. Something needs to be done about this to make selection for attributes a bigger deal. I think the point buy system might need an overhaul maybe.

UI screens all need a uniform look, need to be higher resolution (and fullscreen!) and have consistent navigation schemes. I would take a leaf from Windows here - OK, Apply cancel.

Heavy ranged (firearms, arbalest) are OP and Hunting Bows are utterly trash.

Petrify isn't a real petrify, should just change it to Paralyzed. Spiders paralyze you bro (like with Frodo in LOTR), not petrify.

Edited by Sensuki, 27 August 2014 - 03:52 AM.

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#7
Lasweetlife

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A few things:

@Primejunta: most of you're critiques are spot-on. The only points of disagreement off the top of my head is that I think the death godlikes are hella cool, even if their unique ability doesn't feel as useful as those of the fire and moon godlikes, and I really like the fact that the character abilities popped up over the portraits. Though, overall, I think the main UI needs to be more...move-around-able. That way people who want to put the log in the center or the portraits in a BG orientation can do so.

@Polanski: I have to disagree (and agree with @Primejunta) in regards to the cipher. I think the cipher works really well mechanically and feels unique and different from the other casters. Where I agree with you is that the cipher's melee accuracy should be raised to match his/her ranged accuracy.

#8
limaxophobiacq

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Spot on as far as I'm concerned. Chanter/Paladin/Cipher/Barbarian are definitely the classes I'm the most excited about.

 

Edit: On the armour front have to say that using anything heavy enough to be close to the full plate in armour penalty (the -45% to -40% armours) feels like a bit of a waste and you either want no armour if you're in the back, lighter armour (-20% to -35%) if you're in melee but still want faster actions, or full plate if you're going to tank, with the medium-heavy armours not really having a niche.


Edited by limaxophobiacq, 27 August 2014 - 05:07 AM.


#9
PrimeJunta

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@Polanski @Lasweetlife I think our 'disagreement' about the cipher and death godlike is largely a matter of taste. I couldn't even say why I don't like death godlikes; I just don't. Not very useful feedback, I know.

 

I also agree that ranged and melee accuracy should be if not exactly equal, at least close. Having divergent values shepherds towards a particular kind of combat role without IMO good reason. -- Of course classes like the ranger and barbarian can be special cases; the whole point of the ranger+Pooh Bear is that the ranger is ranged while Pooh takes care of melee, and I can't really visualize a barbarian getting into a blood rage while plinking away from a safe distance. But for fighters, rogues, ciphers, priests, wizards, and the rest, I don't see a compelling reason not to have the same base accuracy for both types of combat.



#10
KaineParker

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I agree with most of your suggestions. Except for Sword to Crossbow as a talent, IMO Fighters should have a better ranged accuracy as a base.

My problems with the Ranger and Fighter is that they are too focused on Ranged and Melee respectively. IMO, I think the abilities should try to be neutral in regards to Ranged or Melee with Talents being the deciding factor in determining if the character is a Ranged or Melee specialist. A dual-wielding Ranger and a sniper fighter sound like cool characters to play, but are currently unsupported. That should be changed.
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#11
PrimeJunta

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Not sure about the dual-wielding ranger. The point of the class is that it comes with a meat shield. Making both Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear melee combatants kind of defeats the purpose IMO.

 

I also think it would be simpler just to give fighters higher base ranged accuracy, but if the designers feel that needs an opportunity cost, then make it a talent.


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#12
KaineParker

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Not sure about the dual-wielding ranger. The point of the class is that it comes with a meat shield. Making both Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear melee combatants kind of defeats the purpose IMO.

I also think it would be simpler just to give fighters higher base ranged accuracy, but if the designers feel that needs an opportunity cost, then make it a talent.


Conceptually I think a Ranger who flanks an opponent with his animal companion would be kind or cool. Admittedly it isn't something I would want to do myself, but I could see someone wanting to do that instead of ranged combat.

#13
archangel979

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Not sure about the dual-wielding ranger. The point of the class is that it comes with a meat shield. Making both Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear melee combatants kind of defeats the purpose IMO.

I also think it would be simpler just to give fighters higher base ranged accuracy, but if the designers feel that needs an opportunity cost, then make it a talent.

So Jon Snow should not be a melee fighter because he has a Dire Wolf? !
I think melee with a companion is more cool than a ranged character. In p&p d&d rangers would use their pet to give them flanking bonuses in melee.
Or a wolf companion that trips a target and gives melee only bonuses to hit.

Edited by archangel979, 27 August 2014 - 06:33 AM.

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#14
PrimeJunta

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You're right, @KaineParker and @archangel979. Point conceded, a melee ranger would be rad.



#15
archangel979

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Not to mention the most famous ranger - Drizzt - has a pet panther and is melee.

#16
Clean&Clear

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The focus is saved between fights, which seems strange.

 

 

Agreed.



#17
Karkarov

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I agree with most of your suggestions. Except for Sword to Crossbow as a talent, IMO Fighters should have a better ranged accuracy as a base.

My problems with the Ranger and Fighter is that they are too focused on Ranged and Melee respectively. IMO, I think the abilities should try to be neutral in regards to Ranged or Melee with Talents being the deciding factor in determining if the character is a Ranged or Melee specialist. A dual-wielding Ranger and a sniper fighter sound like cool characters to play, but are currently unsupported. That should be changed.

While I like your post, there is a problem.

 

Classes in this game regardless of build stuff are broken into some main categories.  Support, Damage, and Tanking.  It is called "The Trinity" it is used in almost every MMO that exists.  Problem: You can't tank from ranged.  In Eternity speak, you can not "engage" an enemy from range.  The entire class concept of the Fighter is stamina regen, high deflection, can engage multiple enemies.  Every single one of these core class concepts is meaningless if you play them at range.

 

When Obsidian says "we want to support all builds" they don't mean "we want to support playing a character in a way that is blatantly against that characters role".  No one is asking to play a melee mage who never casts spells, or a priest who has no buffs or stamina heals.  So why does everyone want to play a fighter that doesn't tank?

 

The problem is again, this isn't D&D, and it it were D&D it would be 4th edition not second or third where you could become a ranged fighter if you wanted to.  Being a ranged fighter in eternity simply wont work unless they massively overhaul the fighter class and how engagement works.  Too much effort to support one very weird and very unpopular build of a single class.

 

I do agree that all the ranger needs is to have his abilities switched slightly so they aren't "range" specific and they will be fine.  But again, that's a very simple fix.


Edited by Karkarov, 27 August 2014 - 08:18 AM.


#18
Sensuki

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Because you can in the IE games, of course.

#19
Lasweetlife

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The focus is saved between fights, which seems strange.


Agreed.

No, it's not saved. There is a base level of focus (10 at first level and 35 at 5th level) that the focus reverts to after each encounter. So for example, if you build focus up to 70 in an encounter, it will revert to 35 after the encounter. Vice versa, if you deplete it to 0, it rises to 35 after the encounter. I definitely prefer this system to either alternative (i.e. Starting every encounter with 0 focus or transferring your full focus levels from encounter to encounter).
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#20
Karkarov

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Because you can in the IE games, of course.

And in IE games all the fighter amounted to was an auto attack bot until the final few iterations.  Which were all based on third edition.  Which is D&D, which is not present in this game.  Thanks for proving my point.







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