Okay. Hey there neocore. I am so glad You guys got the ARPG filet part of the 40K license rain, I thoroughly enjoyed past vampire hunting and am looking forward to what You'll create here. Hope I may contribute in a positive way, apart from spamming poor mantis...
On the positive side:
The idea of a "group" of Agents working from a common foundation (the ship) is great and having common utilities present voids a lot of nonsense ARPGs are doing about balancing individual character progression. Also gives a nice feeling to the whole thing having a command bridge. Whoo.
Traps as I have experienced them so far are already extremely well implemented and balanced. They can be avoided, but even searching for those emperor-forsaken skulls I often still run into them, and the traps can really hurt as a surprise attack. Nice.
I also find the comments via com during missions to be a nice element. Some of the comments are a bit generic, but I guess that'll be polished. It really does add to the flair and I enjoy hearing them. Also, there already seems to be a rather large variety around, which is also nice.
Obviously this is an alpha, so I'll ignore stuff like lag or bugs here, or some lack of polish issues, but will try to give feedback on how to improve basic mechanical things and balancing "intentions"
First off, the camera is a bit of an atrocity. The angle does not allow me to see much, it gets even steeper when my character is close to a wall, and I have to turn it a lot. I suggest a lower camera angle in general, and to use the same effect sometimes seen above doors when passing through to remove walls from sight instead of angling the camera so I can only see my characters haircut and feet.
Also, the minimap could be a bit bigger and the pop-up map could offer a second mode that is a little more clear (clearly coloured outlines for the rooms and doors, interesting stuff highlighted with a symbol maybe?) as right now it is hard to read at times. Finally, maybe a different symbol for major enemies on the map and minimap might be a nice feature.
Another issue is general lack of info. Many values still lack tooltip explanations (to be expected) but there is also no place I have found so far that explains the reward grading at the end of a mission (from "no reward" to "precious gift" is what I got so far, but... why?) And there is no explanation to be found on the stuff that happens during a mission, like killstreak, massacre, angel of death or unbreakable, apart from a mention in heroic deeds of collecting "massacre bonuses". This is obviously an alpha issue, but I would like to point out, always make info easily available where it is needed at a glance. Another example would be no mention of a characters power level while browsing the starmap. Why not put a little button under the avatar that displays this number?
On powerlevel - there is something I noticed that struck me as a bit strange: It does not "feel" right. Starting a mission at ~50% above my paygrade, I still don't seem to die all that easily and can one-shot most enemies with my sniper no problem. Should not be possible. Is, however. Maybe something is off there? The numbers are, by the way, quite large.... maybe tone that down a little in the future compared to 2% skill bonuses....
I am aware scaling/leveling is in the reworks, just a general remark that can safely be ignored if this is already being taken care of - no progression on specific character level (inquisitorial rank) outside of story and tarot is both harsh and discouraging. Powerlevel is tied to items, viable item level is tied to rank, rank can only be increased by story missions that scale faster than my power level (at least on the bottom rungs...) or by expending fate for tarot missions (far too expensive right now I'd say, if they are to remain the only alternative option....) - oh, and powerlevel makes the massive ~68% less damage dealt, ~81% more damage taken modifiers appear. If it actually worked as it should the game would be over at rank six or seven... especially with "hunt" missions included in the story placeholders that add another 45% damage bonus... when reworking, please make it possible to rank doing normal missions or using some other means, maybe drop just 5 or 10 points per mission, but let me do that. Also, as I'll want several characters, this means I'll have to go through the same story missions again and again and again to rank up, maybe that is not such a great idea - even if they are to be a highlight, the tenth time around they'll get boring.
On actual gameplay there are a few things as well:
Skill cooldowns seem a bit weird to me right now. My single barrel rifle can shoot a normal bullet, an explosive bullet and a sniper shot almost simultaneously, but needs to wait for the second normal bullet. I do not know if this is a smart idea, but should there not be a basic common cooldown for all abilities tied to one weapon? Just feels strange.
Also, I tried an assassin and a crusader now, and I am underwhelmed by the big guy. Hit and run is a very viable strategy and the assassin is pretty good at that. Mr. Crusader somewhat lacks the staying power to actually pull off his role as a more settled, slowly advancing character. Even using a shield he gets overwhelmed too quickly for my taste, and is too slow at retreating (apart from this breaking character, somewhat...) - either improve the whole shield/block thing drastically, or give him some kind of specialty more in line with the lore, like an automatic five second burst of invulnerability and damage bonus/knockback instead of death followed by a period of being slowed (and dying at zero hp, of course...).
On the assassin... the sniper rifle does not fill its role too well. Needs more range.
Enemies in general are interesting and I enjoy having a "theme" to them - nurgle's spawn with instant regeneration, rebel guardsmen with their wet-paper-grade indestructibility, while dishing out quite some damage at range, but just plain old chaos is a bit... meh. Not because they are badly designed, but because they seem a little too weak. An ogryn enforcer causes more trouble for me than a former astartes, and that kind of feels wrong. Maybe when the other ruinous powers start appearing, that'll be remedied, but here are some suggestions: Give the black legion guys an actual assault ability with their jetpacks. Right now they don't seem to be doing much. Also, maybe it's not in simple buffing, but in having them appear in small squads that coordinate well...
All of my balancing input, however, is based on two characters, a few days of playtime and nothing above rank 10. So...
And now for my personal wishlist/suggestions
There is already some hinting at a rep system in the heroic deeds, and I am hyped for that. Just wanted to say, this can be done really well, or really... inconsequentially. Of course, the obvious things come to mind, better rewards for good standing with some factions, maybe special hardware or bonuses when the adeptus mechanicus likes the player (fast reloading/better cooling/shield piercing for close combat stuff, etc...), special retinue options and missions, etc. - but what I recently found (blatantly stolen from grim dawn) is that a lot of fun can be generated by negative rep with enemy factions, meaning in this case, the inquisitor or band of inquisitors making a name for themselves. Tracking negative rep could lead to great opportunities to tie some variety into the game. Maybe at first the player is taken more seriously, seeing more champions around, or special "kill squads" maybe even designed to exploit the weaknesses of a build (approximated, obviously...), special elite enemies like lostech or relic stuff (possibly with special drops?), but it could go further. Maybe a surprise mob not native to a type of enemy in a mission(maybe some angry chaos marines or a sorcerer with retinue among rebel guards if You made them angry enough?), up to of course, special missions and super huge uber bosses... and corresponding loot/rewards/titles/heroic deeds/general bonuses.... (imagine just smashing some chaos marines and suddenly the warp gate explodes and a great unclean one steps out, first munching away what's handy then approaching the player...ooooohhh...)
Clicking into that, optional "they attacked our ship and a boarding party got aboard" / "someone screwed up with a corrupted relic" / etc missions would be cool...
What would also be nice to see well fleshed out is the situation of individual systems. A large part of 40K is just... futility and it would be nice to see this in game. I imagine a "screwed up-meter" showing how much of a threat each enemy faction currently is. Maybe it's just general subversion and heresy, so most enemies would be renegades, field executions abound, the heresy is being purged, but all the bloodshed increases the influence of other powers, smashing them, having ignored the issues of the billions of subjects, maybe ol' nurgle makes more of an appearance. Gives a feeling of having some influence on the current situation but only as a backdrop to just how screwed up everything is, and how the war can never end...
Would also give room to more fleshed out investigations. Right now it's not much of an investigation, it's more of a set of emergency responses, which is cool, but actually "just" a priority mission/issue. Real investigations would be really nice. Maybe collecting clues on missions in a specific location or of a specific type, having some puzzle-y sequences (interrogation etc.) where good standing with a friendly faction could help, or a mission is needed to "pay" for certain services, or even crafting something specific, leading up to another grand finale exposing something terrible and of course always being barely too late, so we can have some epic action. As I see it, the mechanics are already there, hope they will be used excessively to make actual "investigations" more of a long term goal running in the background over several missions while the usual world saving heretic bashing business keeps up...
My two(-thousandthreehundredandeleven) cents, again, awesome You guys are making this, I am sooooo excited, hope to contribute to general awesomeness by future (hopefully a little more useful) feedback.