Detailed Combat Ability Feedback plus Quick Feedback


#1

Like many here, I’ve put about 5h’s into the game, completed the first dungeon, and my Gully squad is level 7.

Since much of this feedback is echo’d by other I’m not going to cover these first points in much detail.

  1. Difficulty - A bit easy so fair. Adding more (much more) 2+ wave fights would help.
  2. Exploration Walk-speed - it’s slow. Worse, with `Bretto it feels ‘slide-y’ like the animations are off.
  3. Loot - Little variety. I suggest adding some of the lower level loot at a higher quality to the loot tables. At least then there’s some choice between a a green level 3 vest or a blue level 2 vest.

Feedback that I have not yet seen mentioned by others.

  1. Crafting Tutorial - The few words the Blacksmith gave me were definately not enough to explain that I needed to A. Use the Book he gave me,B. Buy a different book from him to be able to make the required materials, C. Go to the second room in the dungeon before I could D. actually craft something. Hard to judge from where we are in the game but 80 simple parts for level 3 green vest seems high.

  2. Dungeon Skills - I think you trapped yourself with `Bretto’s skill in that it needed some limit, and then Gully and Garrison’s skill just inherited it. Like others, I have yet to find something that could be broken by Gully, and I’m discouraged from playing with it given the charge count. It you feel that the charge count has to stay, then at minimum you shouldn’t be charged a charge when nothing happens.

  3. The Artifact Vendor - After completing the Iron Fortress I have 14 artifact shards. I can buy a fishing rod that’s hugely better than my current one, or a weapon that’s much better. I don’t know if there’s some reason to save Artifact objects at this point, but being able to purchase potentially ‘end game’ gear so early screams problem to me. At minimum, consider leaving that vendor closed until later in the story when there’s a better explanation for the artifact shards/whatever.

  4. Perk Book: I had a Perk Book (from Lore completion) before I was level 6 and had perks. That type of object should have a minimum level of 6.

Finally, the purpose of my topic here is to offer specific feedback on the combat abilities.
The gist of which can be summed up as "The Basic Attacks are too good"
Statement: The Basic Attacks are too good.

Evidence A: Excluding the Burst abilities, only the Basic attacks are instant attacks. This means that every other ability has an opportunity cost associated with it that cannot be regained. Consider a common case, a bat. I could kill that bat with a mana costing ability, but the ability delay would result in the bat getting an action. Alternately, I might be able to kill a bat with a basic attack. The result is the basic attack is better every time. A chance of no damage is always better than damage, and the mana attack costs mana and the basic does not.

Evidence B: At least at the level range we are currently in, the difference in damage between basic attacks and most mana attacks is pretty small. Taking the above opportunity cost into account, a mana ability would have to do at least triple the basic attack damage to be worth considering. Assume a basic attack does 1/3 of an enemies life, then the squad kills an enemy a turn. if there’s 3 enemies, that’s 1 enemy dead (instantly) two enemies that deal the squad damage. Other the combat, using basic attacks against the 3 enemies, that’s 3-4 attacks worth of damage to the squad. Unless the mana ability changes those numbers it’s just not worthwhile. Garrison’s group attack would be an exception with 3 enemies.

Evidence C: Even if mana attacks where purely better, the ease of mashing the button to chain attacks would still make it the common choice. There’s no reason for the easiest path to also be such a good option.

Hypothesis: The reason Basic Attacks are so good is the instant nature.

If the Basic attacks had a cast delay like all other abilities it would change the combat dynamic greatly.
Instead of the very useless “Fast, Very Fast” designation on abilities that could change to ‘Normal, Fast’ Without a baseline ability, Fast means nothing, since all these abilities are currently slower than Instant. Further, I would propose making some abilities that currently have a cast delay instant. For example, Gully’s Absorb Shield, or Garrison’s Stab and Haste Buff.
Currently, Healing and Defensive abilities can’t save your squad from knockout. A since it isn’t a guaranteed heal, you are better off just using a basic attack and killing the enemy now rather than waiting through a cast delay as it may not save the target anyway. But if some of these abilities were instant that changes thing significantly.
Also, adding a delay to the Basic Attacks would help address the low difficulty. You’d be more likely to take damage in a fight, and the trade off of spending mana on an instant attack would have value.
Consider, the previous scenario of the squad versus 3 enemies. Suddenly with Basic Attacks having a cast delay, the expected number of attacks received from the enemies is more likely 6 to 7. Now there’s some room for a mana attacks to reduce the amount of damage that is taken (by killing faster).

Other thoughts:

  1. Defend (et al) should remain Instant.
  2. I think this proposal would narrow the gap between the basic attacks and mana attacks but some mana attacks may still be too weak. Gully’s and Bretto’s level starting mana attacks come to mind.
  3. I assume that haste reduces both turn cycle time and the cast delay so this change would increase the value of haste. I view that as a good thing. I won’t say Haste is useless right now, but certainly I would choose Bonus Damage or Stamina over it.
  4. Monsters would continue as is, I have no problem with instant attacks from that side of the board. That said, having monster burst effects have a cast delay would be great. Then the player would have a chance to ‘be smart’ the defend, heal, whatever.

I hope you have time in your schedule to consider this, and the other feedback that users have provided. Ultimately, the game play is centered on the turn based combat and that needs to be as engaging and diverse as possible.

best regards,
michael


#2

Why does only Garrinson have abilites that improve with overcharge? all characters basic actions generate overcharge, but only garrinson can actualy spend it with only 1 ability.

I think you should increase the number of abilites that can use overcharge.


#3

I agree that some abilities should be instant. Right now abilities sometimes can be instant but it is so unclear.

I don’t think the game is too easy, but I’m only lvl 6 yet, so I can change my mind later. Right now the game is pretty challenging for me but not too much.

I also think that there should be abilities that can delay enemy’s turn. I can use it in combination with heal to make sure a character 100% will be healed, or I can use it to make sure my other character’s strike will kill the enemy before his turn.