General thoughts where the game(and possible expansion/sequel) should improve


#1

Game version was v.22997 from GoG PC
These are my thoughts how to improve the game so if you have any other suggestions and/or criticism about the ideas so comment about it but i hope you also give a either answer why something wouldn’t really work and/or give a better idea. Before getting started i played the dungeons by skipping the normal difficulty so i would only play dungeons twice except the last dungeons only once. so Let’s get started. Also there’s going to be some “spoilers” you have been warned.

Only time i died in the game was when i run to against certain Gentleman too early in the game by accident.

Characters
There really wasn’t enough “events” where characters would just…talk with each other. Only time the characters would interact with each other beside talking what to do next or what just happened in story/dungeon event was when you rest at the inn. Events at the inn are fine if there purpose was to be small extra/optional events that give little bit more insight how the characters interact with each other(when they’re NOT basically saving the world and more these moments make characters believable that they could actually have life outside of their hero business.) but they end up being pretty much most you can get out of the game in this aspect. Game really expects you to already know the source material and because of it. Game leaves lot to be desired in this aspect, but there’s no saving alumon because there’s no other material about him.(as far as i know.) Also the characters don’t get more backstory than the cliff notes or occasional mention of past event.
How to solve:
Adding optional events where the group would just “relax” once in a while between the unending fighting. One example would be adding some events when you’re fishing . “Camping” events in specific dungeons and/or on the world map which would require adding something close to a “tent” item from lot of rpgs that let’s you rest in the world map(more about this in the gameplay part.).
Having character specifc sidequests that would give more insight into their past would’ve been cool too and/or being able to “unlock” the comics as you procress through the game would’ve alleviate some problems.

Yes i was able to tell from the first couple hours of gameplay that the game is not going to concentrate on this aspect but would’ve made the ride better.


#2

World Map
This is going to be a nitpick that the world map really stands out how it looks “too different” than when you’re inside the dungeon and looks “weird” when compared to the character art. This did not really affect my experience but still would’ve been nice if the world map would’ve either looked like the “adventure”/dungeon part (or character would look something that belonged into it rather than “just” using the in-game models) or something closer to the character art. character models and pirate ships end up looking out of place in the map or vice versa.

World map encounters should be skippable with lower level difference at the current state of the game. This really wasn’t much of a problem for me as i used the inn 4 times(if you don’t count the ones that i did after the first time to see as many inn events as possible so i didnt have to handle enemy respawn thus avoiding map enemy respawns mostly(except after dungeons) But i think once you’re pretty much 2 maybe 3 levels higher you should be able to skip them (i think the gap has to be 6? for this to be option) or making the encounters harder from them to have atleast be a challenge rather than basic action spam.


#3

Animation/models.etc
Before starting this one, i like the animation in general in the game. This more about nitpicks mostly. I’m going to use monika as example. I don’t like Lightning Reflexes, Riposte and Basilisk shot.

  • Lightning reflexes needed another animation that would give the idea of adding “speed” to her rather than just text and reuse evasive maneuvers (btw i like distracting shot that uses evasive maneuvers and part of wild shot so reusing animation in certain ways does work when it makes sense [in my head].)

  • Riposte only bothers me because i think there should be a visual difference between the normal version and dodge buff version(abilities should also have visual difference if you hit it with the extra condition)

  • Basilisk shot has neither of these nitpicks. It does actually add something to the chimera sting animation but the problem is that it lacks in impact to the user. I think it would’ve added much to the move that it would also move monika backwards as she “fights” against the impact that the move should have on the user.

Having different “idle” stance while blocking, low health and/or both. Just having the character pretty much stay in the stance he/she takes briefly before going back to neutral (when using blocking action)would’ve been enough for me(monika being the questionable one because of the nature of her evasive maneuver pose). Of course adding the animation that the character still actually breaths etc. Also adding near losing consciousness state would be nice rather than going from 100% to lights out from love tap from the enemy. Combination of both would be just extra.

The thing that most games in this genre do not actually bother doing: Dodge animation. Would be nice that the game would give the idea of defender actually skillfully dodging an attack rather than just phasing through the attack/ attacker totally botching the attack. Just playable characters having this feature would be nice not necessary for the enemies.

Armors don’t change how the character look or rather there isn’t single armor that does. I would’ve been fine with either with buying a armor changing “item” how the skins work or having 1 armor(something obtained like the ultimate weapons) that once you obtain you get extra costume nothing more. And against the argument that they didn’t want to mess up the how the characters look then why did i have to handle Gully using god damn boxing gloves? yes it’s a cartoonish game. Yes character uses her hands when fighting (apparently a sign that she has to have boxing gloves at some point). even as a joke weapon nobody else has anything like that so why doesnt garrison have lollipop as weapon? no toy pistols for monika? etc.

Using recolored enemies is fine to certain extent but there was lot of recolors. i wasn’t bothered by this too much for some reason but having couple models for humans and lycelot would’ve helped.


#4

Gameplay

Fishing

i did it once in a while (once a dungeon run). nothing to really say because of the basic nature of the minigame but once in a while it was somewhat hard to tell were the fish were because unclear idea how deep they were in the water. I won’t be giving any suggestions really cause this kind of minigame is not aimed at me so i couldn’t give advice how to make it more engaging and fun for those who like this kind of thing.

before going into this part i used gully,garrison and bretto in the begining. once monika was introduced she replaced garrison and alumon replaced bretto respectively.

Combat

Biggest nitpick that when there is so much space, why can’t i see all my abilities at once or able decide which order my abilities are so the ones i use the most would be at the top? Also pretty much any game in this genre should be taking notes from persona 5 how to make combat flow faster by making you open “category” by pressing a single dedicated button rather than having to navigate to said catergory and then pressing a button. I dont think anybody is going to say “no” to using more buttons on the controller/keyboard.

Overcharge as a concept works really well and i like it a lot but i think getting overcharge is too easy in the current state of the game. Enemies arent difficult enough to force you to use abilities without having the time to get atleast one(or 2 which makes abilties cost no mana [most of abilties cost 20 or less] thus mana potions are not necessary) action between the abilties.

Lowering the overcharge gain to half(so most actions would gain 5) would also indirectly"buff" mana potions and manas importance in general.). Or increasing the monsters power generally that would make it “harder” have time to use regular actions to gain overcharge(yes this would also force making 1 overcharge more valuable so it should buff example certain abilities damage more like garrisons warblade)

Changing “most damaged” to “least health” description in the abilities would be nice so it wouldn’t be a lie.

monster “unit” too often consist of 1 enemy which should automatically make them either be by nature tough as nails to kill but usually are on a playing field with you or lower which makes it easy thus boring. Only time lonely high tier enemy would be threatening was when i was multiple levels lower without proper level gear.

Adding “stamina” into the game would make it more interesting. So let me explain while you’re fighting every action(also using items and abilities) would drain this resource. having low stamina would decrease your characters efficiency. i would suggest having 4 states. 100%-50%,49%-30%,29-8% and 7-0%(these are only examples to give direction to see the point). first state: normal. second state: decrease stats by around 20-30%. third state: decrease to around 50% and unability to use burst. Last State: Unable to do Anything except runaway ,use items or block that really gets nerfed in this state.

How to regain stamina: resting either at the inn or using earlier mentioned tent item. Tents should be usable only either in a room that has been cleared(making a dedicated room would force some redesigning in the dungeons so that it doesnt become just annoying time waster or something because monsters don’t respawn for example and only adds useless back and forth running).

On (EDIT:Heroic not hard) difficulty or higher you would have max times you could use tents on single run(Or adding some nasty ambush encounter that would start happening after certain amount of times and this encounter would happen BEFORE you get health, mana, stamina back)

Reason i suggest this because you can avoid using healing potions using really easy “exploit”(if you can even call it that and/or even if you need to use it. i did it 2 times)using Alumon.He can Heal and shield(himself or gully for example)all your guys to max health and once he has done that just use his action to get all his mana back after couple turns and heal himself in the end so you can be pretty much be as if you’re fresh out of inn in the next fight . Thus i think there should be a system in place that would make it that you want to end combat earlier rather than “let’s relax for a while and get our resources back while this last weakened enemy that dies to next poke tries to get through our shields”.

Dungeons

There are 3 difficulty settings that dont really make much of a difference. Even if the monster do have couple levels on you at the begining, after couple fights you’re going to level up fast because of the level difference which makes the dungeon get easier and easier as the time goes by. Also makes it so that there’s almost no reason whatsoever to play them again besides the slight stat upgades,bestiary and maybe trying to see if there are anymore events. So basically making dungeons obsolete as soon as you level to/past them.Also the fact that you can actually exit the dungeon go rest at the inn and just makes most of the consumables pointless as long as you actually have a healer in your group and dont mind wasting couple minutes. Also only time that the game makes you fight multiple waves is the arena and in the dungeon it’s not gonna happen if you have patience or don’t want to fight more enemies yourself at once.

How to fix:

*Exiting dungeon SHOULD reset dungeon(at least (EDIT: heroic) or higher difficulty if you’re afraid making the game too challenging on base level). This would make consumables way more important(never used anything other than 3 revive potions and 2 health potions whole game)

*Also increasing the enemy numbers per “unit”(1 unit is basically one enemy model in the dungeon.).

*Using level caps so that while in the dungeon depending on difficulty too, you would be at a certain level(only capable of lowering your level for duration of the dungeon). You would gain exp same way as normal but while inside the dungeon you can’t go past certain level cap. imagine trying to go through legendary difficulty while you are multiple levels lower than the enemies.

*Adding a dungeon difficulty that would be balanced for max level characters with best gear. this would help not making dungeons totally obsolete but also add more content to the game cause you could have the bosses evolve too by having more attacks and maybe designed for specific combinations etc.

*As a bonus having a specific party combination challenge that would give you a reward for one of the characters(first 6 dungeons for example) and when completing the 2 final dungeons also you would unlock “secret dungeon” that has no “normal difficulty” and would be the final test to see are you able to survive.(Yes i know this kind of thing would be a DLC or maybe a feature in the possible expansion/sequel)

dungeon skills

Again i like the idea but most of them are unnecessary thus i didn’t even bother going to a inn that much. Only ones that really matters are in the begining brettos group heal and Ground break that can break walls but even that is an extra rather than necessity. Another useful one was stealth so you could avoid multiple units attacking you at once in the earlier state of the first dungeon run when you’re still under leveled.I ended up ignoring them most of the time so would’ve been nice that they would’ve had more of a impact but i understand that they didn’t want to have certain characters “be” necessary for dungeon runs. But i think they should’ve made ALL characters have one skill that is either powerful/useful(heal/stealth) or has effect on the dungeon(smash a wall and get reward).

Bosses

I don’t think the dungeon difficulty* affects bosses or if it does… then it’s not enough. dungeon bosses were way too easy. They almost always ended up at least feeling easiest encounter in the dungeon. All bosses except the first one ended up dying in couple rounds.Worst one being Farseer getting basically only one, doing burst and buffing itself next turn even though it was about to die.

How to fix:

*making the difficulty matter more and making the boss tougher/harder. Boss monster should BE THE BOSS. it should be challenging, nothing should compare because it’s lone monster(usually) they are more powerful but not enough.This can be done in so many ways: new attack/s,adding power to moves, way more health and higher defense, more turns for the boss(this would require some changing to bleed, poison so that they only tick when your “turn is over” which should only tick when you have actually used an actions, ability etc. rather than making using ability make it tick twice). Something that would make you play by the bosses rules rather than let’s kill his ass before anything matters.

*Making you start with 0 burst. once you unlock higher level bursts, the dungeon bosses just end up becoming even easier than they already are. Or making changes that game assumes that you have 3 burst from the begining and buffing them radically to compensate but i would like starting the fights with 0 burst and making you earn burst in the fight.


#5

random stuff

Level ups

Why doesn’t level up screen show stat gains? yes it’s a small thing but i actually like seen that. i want to know how much a difference there is going to be from begining to end. yes it’s just numbers but having this thing would make things better for some of us without taking anything away from other. so adding button to see stat gains on level up.

Crafting

felt useless and did not use it outside of ultimate weapons. i did notice the interesting idea that you are able to craft better version of stuff by using more materials or taking the chance with less ingredients and possible failure. But i think it’s kinda silly that potion can succeed without the container?

Menu

party screen

I think that outside of dungeons i should be able to customize and compare ALL the characters without having swap at the inn or dungeon entrance. Or making you able to cuztomize all characters at the character selection screen.

nitpick of the round is the equipment, perks etc. text box where you choose the category. just make it take the whole lower part of the “left page” rather than leaving that weird useless space there. (this one to as extra option as how you want the game to show the item comparison stats) so it would show three stats: one you’re wearing, one you’re howering over and the difference between the stats.

inventory

having two icons: icon that shows in the item when it’s new . Another one for when you get another “copy” of an earlier item. category that has only new items that you have not checked before

Crafting

This thing was ignored by me except when the ultimate weapons showed up. newer crafted any potions or enchanted anything because the game never required it. but i did check it that it was clean and easy to understand. though toggle details seemed pointless? it’s not like it was getting in the way of any details so why the option to hide it?

journal

Simple, works as it should. Maybe getting slight notification when you complete a side quest would’ve been nice?

Beastiary

Very clean and tells you the information well. Adding search by category like"bosses", “bats”,“slimes” ,"dungeon name"etc. because if there’s a sequel and if it’s gonna have more monsters, finding specific one can become too time consuming.

Lore

works and looks fine, maybe consider making a “mode” that would make you read the actual “letter” so it could be messy, bloody and stuff but also having this clean normal look were you dont have to worry not able to read it.

dungeon codex

able to see dungeon monster bestiary entries from here?

fishing

divide the inventory space to rods and baits (3 slots wide) and changing the selected rod and bait to be above said respective side

Options

Let’s just get this out of the way. No rebindable keys/buttons is just…horrible and unacceptable. You pretty much can’t make a key configuration that would please everyone. You can make presets and should but assuming that everyone is going to be happy is just naive. This is a must. Also controller vibration turn on/off option would’ve been nice rather than making me do it “outside” the game cause i play this kind of games on pc while resting my arms on the table so it gets obnoxious really quickly when controller touches table most of the time.

As a final thing though i did spend around 40 hours with the game so i did enjoy it ( i had to because i dont spend more than 0-5 hours if i dont like a game except if someone is crazy enough to pay me)but nature of this post is opinion how to improve the product which in turn might come across as just complaining. I hope the best for airship syndicate, battle chasers and future products

EDIT: At first i had these posts as one long ass text but figured that maybe it’s bit easier to have things in multiple posts for anyone reading


#6

i played through NG+. I noticed that i forgot to mention some stuff so i’ll be adding them here.
Yes i played it with in the same version but next time i’ll be playing the game with the update so i can experience the changes myself. Some of the comlplaints here might end up being irrelevant because of the older version. I killed all the hunt bosses except Hunger(While being atleast 2 levels lower than the hunt boss except the Grave warden and ancient treasue fiend. Warden:on same level. ATF: explained later)
NEVER made/used any of the ultimate weapons. playtime was around 13-14 hours and played all dungeons on mystic(i think the name was mystic?) the new dungeon difficulty

NG+ difficulty
some things before starting that is in the patch notes for the newest patch:

don’t know how much of a buff this is or if it affects bosses but i’m hoping for the best.

Soo… this was easier than first playthrough except the first dungeon on mystic. Entered dungeon with character levels around 2. one character maybe level 3. Dungeons monster level was 9. This was only moment when game was exciting on NG+. BUUT again the “difficulty” drops fast because of the rapid level gain and ended up being around level 8-9 by the end of first dungeon run(i never leave dungeons before finishing so no grinding or stuff in between). After that i was always max 3 levels lower(with some exceptions) or on the same field as enemies than the dungeon which didn’t really make a difference.

I did also play the first dungeon with probably worst party combination in the game: bretto, garrison and Knolan (if you want to talk about worst party combinations, let’s do it somewhere else cause that’s not the point of this post) and again begining was harder cause enemies pretty much 1-2 shotted my guys (had to actually revive people on couple fights) but again only for couple fights because lack of levels and gear.

Also for NG+ the leveling was fine this way so i didn’t need to replay dungeons multiple times but the difficulty really suffered for this. I’m pretty sure also i got way better items(more orange items and items would’ve enchants way more often on default) than on the first playthrough which made things easier too.

Traps
Traps need some serious buffing. i didn’t even bother avoiding them if it meant i would go faster through the dungeon.(exception was begining of the first dungeon) Trap damage is too low or atleast damage everyone in the party rather than let’s swap character here and there and just forget about them. Also they’re totally avoidable (also easy to avoid )without using dungeon skills.

Dungeon skills.

  • Garrisons quick step really just ends up feeling inferior to Gullys Stoneskin. Duration(quick step avoids traps only for moment.) and defense increase, Yes quick step gives haste bonus in the begining (for garrison) BUT defense is more useful if you ask me. so again i think the skills should really do one thing and/or atleast do one thing better than other skills.

  • Path of Darkness, Alumons dungeon skill is too powerful against unique monster bosses like Grave Warden and Ancient Treasure Fiend. Treasure fiend was level 29 and i was 24-25 and basically killed him before the fight had even started(did not use this thing on the first playthrough because wanted to experience the fights without using bs tactics)

Fix: Make all hunt bosses start without having time to run away from them OR make them Immune to dungeon abilities.

hunts/bosses/arena: make it possible to fight against hunt bosses(maybe even all bosses) again in the arena(without exp gain looking at any boss that can summon enemies). make them level 30 versions and/or make me able to limit my level so i can test out stuff against the hunt bosses without needing to restart playthrough. this would be just for fun and experiments.maybe also level 30 boss rush mode in the arena?

Buff Shrines/Wells and their effects(dmg-, regen-, overcharge buff ) should NOT affect bosses/hunts and arena. I really just forgot about them cause again was a feature i mostly ignored.

Overcharge gain buff just outright breaks all fights because you can spam abilties.( you gain 20 overcharge for using abilty) but against bosses/arena it’s just too powerful.
I would suggest making turn overcharge gain to 5 (and maybe even changing it to mana gain rather than overcharge)
Why nerf the buff? You have specific mana pool (so at max mana, buff doesn’t have such powerful effect) and also moves don’t get buffed using mana. But also how other buffs have either no affect on combat(more exp, money) or slight gain(health regen, dmg buff) but they dont break the game.

Basic offensive actions: As the game is right now. These are be too “powerful”. Towards the end while i was lvl 25 and map enemies 27, i was killing them using 1-2 basic actions. Yes patch notes might affect this:

But even without criticals i think the basic actions might need nerfing as they stand. If i am ONLY action spamming fighting against monster that are 2 level above me, something needs do be done. Also lot of the basic monster could not even break Gully’s defensive start (start combat with shield perk) with one attack(sometimes multiple) but perks have been rebalanced so maybe this has been fixed

Can’t talk about character balance in this one because of lack of experience with whole cast but that is for later when i have time. Also i did not have class cannon builds cause my lowest health character in the end had 9.6k and highest 13.4k and the ratio was pretty close to that whole game (if not closer) and nobody got even close to one shotted(exception corpse explosion from mages might have one shotted at one point without shield,not blocking or using guard).

Perks: Maybe put some point cap to the perks? i had like 195 points with the characters on main party(yes i did buy all perk gain books i could(all characters type) on my first run but i did not farm just went and bought the books and started ng+). Would’ve broken 200 mark if i used/bought perk books that i gained in ng+.

Burst: by the end if things stand in the direction the game is right now. Burst should maybe drop to 0 between fights because you do gain it really fast. or atleast against bosses as i mentioned before.

Shield: Yes it’s nice to have it but i think it might need some minor nerfs to it. Making enemies have attacks that would do more dmg to shield maybe? dropping the max amount of shield maybe to lower than 50% of your max health(at least i think it is)

I think the game should get another difficulty. as in difficulty mode rather than the dungeon “difficulty”. So you could avoid the problem of some people not being able to complete the game. Mode that would address these problems. Mode that would go in the direction that it was meant to be played with well working combinations. Most likely most of the stuff i’m asking anyways would probably be in the higher difficulty mode but that’s what i want so i don’t mind if that is what is going to happen. i Hope it happens.

And last advice if you do add difficulty mode to game. Do NOT name them using basic easy, normal, hard terms. ESPECIALLY EASY. some not so skillfull players really get offended if they can’t complete easy or normal and we’re living in a world that if “hard” is too “difficult” people complain about the difficulty(for example God of war:ascension patch)

EDIT: Dungeon Codex should show all the possible events in the dungeon. they could be like the in Lore section. not seen ones as bunch of ??? and then name the events with brief explanation so completionist could know if they have seen all the possible events in the dungeon


#7

Or Making “difficulty setting”…sort of. Where you could decide how many levels you’re going to be “behind” enemies for example if you want to be 3 levels behind enemies, fighting against level 17 monster only give you exp till you’re level 14. After that you have to find some new stronger prey to level up.


#8

Lack of monster with “certain” roles and problem with aoe attacks.

What’s the point of using aoe attacks(not counting bursts) that damage everything when it’s just better do more damage to one enemy?(Yes against stealth but it’s really rare for the enemy be in/go into stealth and if that’s only reason, pretty bad one have to say )

Having enemies that actually used taunt and/or redirect single target actions/abilities that could "protect high threat targets? Enemy type that would summon “taunt” creature as it’s main thing? Enemies that could bypass/ be immune to taunt?

Enemies who would do dmg depending how much mana you have left? making enemies with “physical” or “magic” shields that would only block certain type of damage to make enemies easier to kill with certain combinations but wouldn’t make any combination useless. Enemies that could enter “stance” that would counter magic by dispelling it and buffing the enemies and some that would intercept if you try to attacks with basic actions.(maybe stealth could bypass this and also taunt?)

idea to change how fights end up really just going. .Kill enemy with highest damage and repeat. and rather make sometimes “support” monsters the highest threat and monster that mess with the “optimal” order to kill them


#9

Bumping this for the awesomeness of his ideas


#10

If they decide to keep this map layout then a little sneak peak at final fantasy tactics could help add some nice ideas


#11

I’d like to suggest also that the exp gain greatly drops once we are 2 levels or more higher then the enemy. this can help keep Legendary and Mythic dungeon difficulties still challenging in regards to level and would mainly get easier by gearing in epics and legendary level gear.

speaking of harder difficulties of dungeons they shouldn’t increase in levels but multipliers. as levels just cause to us to spike in power by leveling up and not using gearing. this would help keep the dungeons alive outside of 1-2 runs. It’s much to easy to clear mythic/legendary once and be done completely with the dungeon because you greatly outlevel the gear that drops. by just going to the iron outpost i reached level 6 without any grinding and after about 5 fights on mythic i was leveled up so much that heroic never even stood a chance.

in short, Mythic/Legendary really need high multipliers. We as players need to have to use our whole kit to clear fights. Currently chunk damage is all that’s needed, and DoTs are hurting when they should be a strong alternative in the higher difficulties.


#12

Have to say i overlooked one of the things that also makes potions/flasks less important. It’s the level ups. If level ups didn’t actually give you full health/mana then consumables would be way more important in the current state of the game.(If you couldn’t just go visit inn and waste little bit of time)


#13

that could help but i think their either not being fights in general and overcharge being too easy to come by keeps mana pools high.

i barely was EVER below 50% mana on a healer by the end of a dungeon. If i had Gully set up right, i never had to use a single point of mana because Cal could HoT her and use direct healing from overcharge.

i feel like Overcharge should only be available once your mana reaches a low point.


#14

Well the getting health/mana back in the level ups was after thought mostly and would affect mostly people who try to play the game on higher dungeon difficulty from the start to avoid replaying them . I would rather lower the overcharge gain as i mention in the earlier post that would make it harder to keep your mana at max.

i don’t think it would really fix the problem if you would only gain it when having low mana.[EDIT:it would hurt some characters damage output/overcharge abilities] Against bosses this would do nothing in the current game(because you always start at max ) and against normal encounters it would only have effect if you’ve got yourself in bad position where you have to spam abilties like heals AND you’re low on mana. Yes this could give little bit more importance to flasks but it probably just move your mana to certain point(whatever the overcharge gain threshold is) and just stay there like in the current game(level ups would make it go back to max though). Also making max mana make you perform less efficiently.

But more importantly it’s because they made overcharge to be a central mechanic that has effect in all fights so limiting the gain in that way would hurt the games identity.


#15

I really Hope it’s a SEQUEL rather than just a DLC with minor improvements.


#16

@Kaho and if that’s succeeds we have a new competitor to final fantasy ! :smile: