My Experience Thus Far

8

TL;DR: Great Game, but the Dev Team needs to change up the way they're approaching things to make the players happier.

I'm not typically one to bother with forums for a game like this, but I thought I'd come here and sing some praises to the developers, as well as offer some of my criticisms. I'm well over 50 hours into the game now, and I'm starting to notice why some people complain about particular parts of it. I'm Rank 30 as of writing this, mind you, and I've gotten past the main campaign and done the story related assignment after that. Can't rightly recall it's name off-hand, but I'm trying to dodge spoilers for any readers.

I don't know how terrible the grind to 50 is, but I've heard it can be a bit grueling. Now, I personally have little sympathy for people who want to get there as soon as possible, especially considering how new the game is. I personally believe that's a good thing, as someone who enjoys playing a single character typically and strolling through a game casually. I clear most missions completely (unless I'm in a rush for an event, let's say) simply out of compulsion to purge the heretic. Also because I enjoy trying out a variety of strategies and ideas for fighting different enemies in different areas, and doing so allows me to practice quite heavily on my way up to 50. So I'm probably not the typical ARPG player who's going to look at this game, but this gives better context to what comes next.

So I see all sorts of complaints about different things related to the game, but I would like to instead praise a few things that have been done, and offer some constructive criticism based upon my own experience. From here on out I'll be trying to speak directly to the developers.


Praise:

So far in my 54 hours I've absolutely loved the game. It's already gone beyond my "$1/hr" benchmark for enjoyable content, and I'll never make a complaint about buying the game, nor the price I paid for it. That is absolutely certain. I've been playing it most every day, at least for an hour, since you released it on Steam and I've enjoyed most of it. Sometimes it can get a little repetitive, but even that's broken up by hidden rooms and the occasional Relic drop, or a bit of lore. Speaking of lore, you've all done a fantastic job with it, and while it certainly doesn't stick true to how strong an Inquisitor is typically shown to be, I think that's fine. Aside from that small point however, the lore's spot-on far as I can tell, and it certainly seems like you spent the time and effort to really get deep into it, and I appreciate that considerably. The cover system and range of gameplay options, of which I've only seen some of what the Crusader has to offer in full, seems to have all the bases covered with more than enough variety. I appreciate the fact that the skill system is a lot easier to play around with and experiment with on your way up to end-game. Far as I can tell, that's the only time I'll really need to lock in and pick a set of skills, instead of feeling forced to do so right from the beginning, and let me tell you it feels great.

Oh, and kudos to whoever the sound person is that went through the painstaking task of working out the sound effects for walking on infestation/nurgle filth. It disgusts me, and for that, I salute your resolve. It's spot on, even if it's the sound of Heresy underfoot. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl.


Criticisms:

For a start, stop rushing changes out the door. For the Emperor's sake the Turrets, categorized as Champions, still spawn enemies under certain tarot/event conditions, but drop no loot. I'll take loot, and I'll take loot + spawning enemies, but I won't take no loot + spawning enemies. I'm sure you guys agree too, so that's to the point of what I'm saying here - you really need to consider everything and take your time before pushing a change. If your whole schedule of work is about 1 week ahead of when it's actually getting done, I think we can survive that one week wait to put that into effect, and you'll reap the rewards of having a week to think things over every time from there on out. Bug and Hot fixes sort of excluded, naturally.

Second, I believe you guys need an in-house simulation of the networked game us players have if you don't already, but obviously with some tweaks/cheats. With this I think you guys should go ahead and take your updates and quickly test everything they could potentially break in a very short amount of time. No public play-testing needed to find out, say, relics are broken, or turrets still spawn enemies, or your character's head is now a golf ball, or anything that's relatively easy to notice. I'm certain it wouldn't take more than a week of development time and would cut down on the number of bugs and game-breaking issues by a wide margin, increasing productivity and player satisfaction in the long run. If you have such and aren't using it to it's fullest potential, I strongly encourage you to do so for said reasons.

Third, don't change the game balance drastically from here on out. Huge changes in %'s when the game is otherwise doing alright in terms of balance aren't going to help. So far, playing at and above my level, I've gotten exactly what I expected until the latest update. Gunners definitely needed a bit of a suppression buff, but you jumped the gun and now they're more threatening than Champions in a fight. I quite literally prioritize them above Champions/Elites now in terms of genuine danger, because being suppressed/overwhelmed is far more terrifying than getting a good chunk of my HP thwacked. Maybe walk it back down to a 10-20% increase, and see if that has the desired effect. All I know is that smaller changes may take longer to feel out, but you won't go off surprising your players with them either.

Fourth, focus on getting things fixed that should be working before you worry about adding anything or making anything else. I can imagine you're able to do both at once in some regards - and feel free to - but don't take time off of fixing up broken/buggy mechanics for something less important. I'd rather hear "Hey we're delaying adding a new *insert something here* but we're doing it so we can fix *insert buggy/broken mechanic here*." than "Hey we added a bunch of new content but the stuff broken on release is still broken." I'm sure you can imagine why, as well. I have faith you'll get to it, but I'd rather it be sooner rather than later.

Fifth, Transparency. Tell us more about the plans and when you hope to have things fixed, make it super clear that these are by no means when things will actually get done, and we'll probably be a lot more understanding and hopeful. Mainly this just for broken things, not actual development plans like new areas/races/missions, just mechanics and bugs you plan on fixing, and when you plan to have that done by. This could drastically change how people view things around here, and I think this could have the greatest positive impact for the least amount of effort on this list.


That's all for more generalized criticisms, but to get to some specifics which I've heard and definitely do agree with, these are easily your most glaring issues that really do need to be fixed up to make the game more appealing:

Camera Auto-Rotation, I think we can all agree that'd be really nice to have, even if it's not perfect, it'd be a lot better to have one that's decent rather than none at all. If I can offer a suggestion to this point: Give us options for how the camera does this, ranging from a general "look at enemies" to a specific "focus on Elite(s)" or "focus on movement direction". Options can come later, but I tell ya, they're important if you're using tilesets to build things instead of pre-made maps.

Broken Mechanics - Many are aware that there are perks and skills that are genuinely broken - or appear broken by not showing up anywhere or seemingly having no effect - and this is a serious issue. I don't need to say much else on it, you already hear enough about it I bet, but one mechanic that does need some fixing that I don't hear about is enemies shooting through things you never could. It really kills immersion and the feeling of being in tight/cluttered spaces as the enemies shoot through solid objects to hit you, but returning fire is just a no-go.

Cutscenes/Dialogue/Text - Some cutscenes seem to have issues with audio/video sync, and some in-game dialogues seem to have bugs of all kinds, like being able to dodge some of them by starting the fight prior to entering the area, or just having no audio mysteriously. Just as well, there's clearly still some typos and accidents in some of the text documents in-game, all of which ought to get worked out, but I don't think these are terribly important compared to the others, but they would certainly help to make the game feel far more polished and appealing, and I don't believe it'd involve a ton of work.

Information - Many things are unclear in the game, mechanics not properly explained, that sort of thing. I believe the Tutorials need to be overhauled a bit, and we need a clearer Informational Index that explains the game's mechanics more thoroughly, preferably a page per mechanic. For Command Deck stuff especially, I suggest not only an explanation but also images showing the player what they're looking for if it's not absolutely clear.


This is every criticism I can possibly think of presently, and I'm happy to offer detailed solutions to any and all of them, and more than one of such if desired. This is pretty much the culmination of everything I know about the game and game development, as well as community management and program analysis, so it's the best I can offer in broad enough strokes to be digestible.


I can give more detailed responses and explanations on any of my criticisms if anyone's interested in them, as well as more detailed solutions. I'm a Programmer by trade, but I've dabbled in modeling and mapping as well, so I can get decently technical, though I certainly don't know enough about the programming environment to get as specific as I'd like to. 

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My Experience Thus Far
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1 year 167 days ago
Posted by Pham Nuwen 1 year 169 days ago

Criticism section is five times as long as the praise but no, it's still a "great game".  You white knights are hilarious.

Well I'll be honest with you, I could write a much longer pros section, but praise isn't what people want to read about, and this forum is more for people who do play and already know about the good stuff.


I could go on and on about the features I love about this game. If you'd like, I'll do so, in case you're having trouble seeing the positive aspects. I'll do short points for now since you may not return to this thread.


- Extremely functional respec approach that allows for all kinds of playing around without doing the whole grind over.

- Interesting approach to skills, attaching them to weapons and having skill point buffs that apply to sets of weapon types, so even within a certain build you can have various playstyles to it.

- W40K, that's a reason on its own to me.

- High quality models and visuals at what seems to be relatively low cost on clientside for what you're getting and how early in development it is compared to competitors. Optimization could be improved, but it's not garbage either.

- Responsive Developers, even if they don't give you exactly what you ask for, they give you something in that direction.

- Varied enemies with unique skills and multiple forms of player engagement.

- Functional, though occasionally clunky, cover system

- Reasonably good storyline with good, consistent voice actors and a believable 40K plot. I wasn't deeply immersed, but I was immersed.

- Fun gameplay with interesting environments and a fair variety of tilesets.

- Free content updates guaranteed into the foreseeable future. As long as the devs have the money to do it, they'll give us more content.

- Visual customization options for equipment.

- Almost everything in the game has a 40K feel. They rarely break that 4th wall in the game. If ever, outside Tutorials and other obviously necessary things.

- Fair set of options for rebinds and even the ability to use a keyboard for directional movement - I use this to go full WASD controls and I love it.

- Plenty of other options, such as autoloot and a few other things that are quite nice to have as optional.

- Tactical View, a fantastic option that fits within 40K lore and provides the player with more or less information on the whim of a button press.

- Approachable world events that have drastically improved and are quite fun to partake in.

- Cabals are functional and don't seem overly complicated.

- Very high quality art with obvious attention to detail.


One more negative however that I'd like to throw out there, since I've gone on about positives, is the community abroad around this game. Most of what I see is heavy-handed dismissal and anger directed at the Developers because things aren't "like x game" while throwing out ridiculously over-the-top solutions in about a single sentence without explaining why or how that should be changed. That or the same attitude levied against the developers for not moving fast enough, when I'm pretty sure half of them are about 80% of the way to an Emperor forsaken heart attack. This isn't all that gets put out, and there are some people really trying to offer true constructive criticism, but they're far and few between compared to.. Well, how shall I put it... "INCREASE XP x3!!!!! THEN INCREASE FATE x5!!!!" or something of that nature without giving any rationale or argument for why that's a good idea other than "If I get upvotes and support on Reddit I must be correct." as the presumed intent of these posts, which really isn't going to convince anyone. This is a dictatorship, not a democracy, just like every other game, and screaming your desires may work on others, but formulated arguments and rationale always work better provided they get read.


(edit) Thaddeus:

I agree, upon further reading, the leveling doesn't actually seem to take all that long. Compared to dozens of MMOs, the progression rate is far higher. I used to play TERA back in the day, and that was truly a grind. Comparatively, this game is a cakewalk, and I really don't see the need to increase progression rate as fervently as people are insisting. Their most recent change is probably all it needed.

What I do see an opportunity for improvement in that regard however is the rewards for the progression. It's pretty stale after 30, and if you're not trying to hit 50 quickly by any means, as I do not powerlevel myself whatsoever, you may spend a long time getting there. It'd be nice if the rewards for each level felt as good to get as it felt hard to get there. I've made a post on Reddit for how I believe this may be improved, and it's mostly stuff that's really not that impactful on your playthrough, but would certainly make you feel more rewarded. One or two of them do include additional gameplay mechanics, but small ones to spice things up a bit instead of adding tons of new stuff. Well within a few weeks worth of dev time in scope. This is of course more focused on my perspective, as someone who's not rushing through the game whatsoever and is really just stopping and smelling the roses all the gosh darn time. Well, I suppose "Stopping to shoot the Heretics" would be more fitting.

But the point of those ideas is to add more content/reward to the ranks you attain to make them feel more important/valuable/desirable than they already are, which I think would alleviate that frustration at least somewhat.

This comment was edited 1 year 167 days ago by LtTaylor
1 year 169 days ago
+1
Inquisitor Thaddeus
I think Thaddeus that you're looking at it from a group based levelling perspective, there is a sizable descrepency between solo & group levelling speeds. For the record I'm fine with the pace but from watching groups go through the post campaign phase (30ish to 50) I noticed a massive difference in speed compared to my solo experience. I personally only hit 50 last night so subtracting days I was away it took me about 10 days. I'll point out that I don't use a 1 click delete aoe meta build too which would shave off even more time.
1 year 169 days ago
That was a well made criticism, a beneficial one and honest. I agree on everything except the part that you prefer to see things get fixed first before they implement anything new. Though it may sound correct have in mind many of the 50 level players waiting for the end game they were promised.  Devs are doing something very clever and i would say very player friendly move, they make an event every week so they keep us going before they implement the end game.  They didn't have to because we all knew that after the release it would be a small gap between reaching 50 lvl and the end game for it.  They didn't have to but they did it, that's a compassion from their side i give them that. 


I can wait because i love the game as what it is but no everyone.

Lastly i disagree on one more thing, about the leveling. It takes around 4-5 days max to reach the level cap if you do it correctly. What level grinding, i mean come on, did they all forget already the 1 month grinding to reach level cap in vanilla wow?
Think about it.
On everything else i totally agree and because devs are checking  what we write, i think they will benefit from your post Taylor.
Good job

1 year 169 days ago

Criticism section is five times as long as the praise but no, it's still a "great game".  You white knights are hilarious.

This comment was edited 1 year 169 days ago by Pham Nuwen
1 year 170 days ago
The Emperor be praised, a loyal Imperial with their head on straight.
1 year 173 days ago
Posted by Backend error 1342 1 year 174 days ago
I didn't trust you one bit by seeing your avatar (anime is trash) but you got it right in your criticism section.
The Emperor approves of anime, so you must not speak such Heresy!
1 year 173 days ago
+1

Happy I could offer some good stuff then. Anime is trash, I agree, but I enjoy it anyways.


Hopefully this actually helps out the Devs to some degree if they get the time to read these things.

1 year 174 days ago
I didn't trust you one bit by seeing your avatar (anime is trash) but you got it right in your criticism section.