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Kailow_Krow

Just beat the Beta, here's an unsolicited wall of text.

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I want to preface this by saying: I know this is wall-of-text, there will be a TL;DR at the bottom. 

The scanner upgrade doesn't feel worth the precious scrap when it can be spent on things like commandos, weapons, ships, and slots. I think some of these might be a bit expensive, or at least, increase in price too quickly (This is all my opinion) I think something like the scanner might serve to be cheaper, starting at a 15-25 range instead. I also think, and (I'm pretty sure this is meant to be implemented later) but the different ships you can start with should start with a few of these upgraded by default, or offer a higher max, lower prices on some etcetera.

These are nit-picks, and I wanted to bring them up, but I have a much bigger issue I want to discuss and it might be my only "complaint" so to speak. 

Ship weapons need some work. 

Most of the battles I've fought wind up like this: The enemy ship has a powerful ship weapon for anti-unit only attacks. But the player stars with a 15dmg to any targets. So, most of my battles wound up with no units on the board and just running down the cooldown for that ship weapon while the enemy ship just sat there without any possible moves. I had effectively checkmated them, but then I needed to spend a few minutes just whittling them down 15dmg at the time. This tactic is fair in my opinion, it's not unbalanced, it's not illegitimate, and I do not consider it cheesing or invalid.  It's conservative, and I kept many of my units from getting completely downed.  Instead, I would prefer an "all enemy squads" destroyed win condition. In the same vein, it might be worth considering whether or not this should also provide a valid win condition for enemies against the player? I think this because even three powerful ship-weapons can't always defeat a lot of enemy squadrons, with their cooldowns and focus costs. I think it's worth considering very carefully, and I write a bit more about why later. This is my big issue, but there are a few other things I want to write on more specifically. 

On heroes: 
I think you need to reconsider the way these are rolled and selected. There are several "unique" heroes, with better abilities and it's not difficult to roll two. And it's possible to roll one you like, and another you're happy with, or two you like: My favorites being Hiro and Kara.  So, what I think you should consider is a point-select system. You have for example 15 points, uniques cost 10, normals cost five. This way you could never have two uniques, (or only two, or make the ones you can get a bit stronger, etc. I won't "tell you" how to balance your game.) But this way you could have three randos. This ties into planet expeditions which I think two heroes and three classes makes things a little rougher than they need to be on the RNG side. The "basic" heroes are generally not upgrades in terms of efficiency of their ability strength and the ability activation timer. Which means there is a one in three chance of getting a hero that will be useful and a much lesser chance of getting a unique hero that would serve as an option worth swapping to. I think that boss ships should have weak heroes on them, or heroes with strange abilities think something like teleporting a random unit, or leeching health from ship adjacent squadrons, and so on. I don't doubt this kind of thing is in the works for somewhen along the pipeline. (And it'd be really neat if you unlocked them to roll or pick up in later playthroughs when you beat them? ;) 

I think heroes should be a possible reward for beating certain fights. There was one I fought that I really enjoyed that was over a dozen weak drones. And I got thirty-six scraps for nearly dying. (Winning is its own reward, I'm not complaining! I'm proud to have survived that and then the next fight without being able to repair my hull) and the amount of reward you get should be less than what you expend during a fight. That felt like a boss that slipped in as a random encounter but a drone-centric unique hero for a rare encounter seems like the kind of thing you could do to spice things up while not being unbalanced. There are only two slots, so any hero you gain or use is a lateral progression path, not a flat upgrade path, only offering more versatility not really making or breaking anyone fight by much. That's the kind of thing I really love in games and wish to see more of.  And it serves as a good reward for a variety of challenges 

During the aforementioned fight, I had lost all my squadrons and only barely won by blasting the two remaining drone squads and then firing at the hapless ship. In the turn-based tactics game "Banner Saga" there is "Pillage" which triggers when one enemy is left and lets all your units move first. Maybe just decrease the cooldown on the ship weapon after all enemy squadrons are destroyed to speed things up a little? I'm really not sure what I would do, recommend, or think of how to go about solving this problem. 

I'm not thoroughly read up on all the planned features set for implementation. So if I covered a few things (or everything) that is scheduled for implementation, I'm sincerely sorry for wasting your time, and I will never live down this humility. I enjoyed the game a lot! I love that the strategy allows for a level of skill-compensation against the wicked forces of RNGesus.  FTL always bothered me with its %chance to miss. I've always been bothered by Gungeon's wealth of awful, worthless guns (don't get me started that game's drop rates). I've always been really, extremely annoyed by Into The Breach's procedural maps that work more as obstacles in your way than things to factor into defense and offense strategies as well as the sometimes terrible extra objectives. 
This is already very close to being my favorite Rogue Like that I've ever played. From the bright but mono and dual-chromatic colors and aesthetic. To the refreshing post-apocalyptic-space-opera setting, to the amazing voxel art style. This is all just my opinion and my way of doing what I think I can do to make this best possible game it can be. 

 

TL;DR, 

1. Upgrade value to price ratio needs some balance in my opinion. (Focus and health are more valuable than the Scanner. Fueling efficiency is secretly a must max.

2. Ship Weapons could use a bit of Balance. Routing the enemy squadrons should result in a game over if they don't have a ship weapon that can target your ship.

3. Heroes have a lot of little quirks that should be thought about and discussed a bit more. There are ways here that can make the game both tougher, fairer, and more balanced with no shortage of possibilities

4. You've made a bloody amazing and impressive game that I'm in love in with already.

 

Love you,
Sincerely, Kailow. 

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Great feedback ?

1/ On the Upgrade scanner. I get it that you find it expensive, yet it is one of the upgrade you have to take at least level1 in order to optimise your run. The balance is very rough right now because we are still questionning some part of the gameplay, more serious balancing will be done very soon. You are right that battleships should have different upgrade level at start and different max, for example the scanner lvl1 will be available to the 1st battleship so that the player will learn how significant it is to be able to choose the right selling station type or expedition reward. I take your feedback on how important it is to have balanced upgrade pricing and will consider lowering the price of the scanner.

2/ Weapons are being rethough, we are leaning toward slow cooldown/high impact weapons or more versatile/debuff. The end of game with weapons only is a problem we have since the begining, we plan on implementing a "enemy is fleeing" feature to avoid these uninteresting and bothersome moment. We feel that fleeing is a more natural way of dealing with it but we would appreciate your opinion on it. I have the feeling that automatic victoryis weaker than an enemi trying to flee, tension wise.

3/ On heroes selection. Right now you can reroll all you want. The original and still planned solution was to only reroll the starting roster if you ended the first sector. As long as you don't beat the first sector, the roster will not change, what do you think about this approach? This solution is mainly for breaking the routine and avoid infinite reroll. The point system could be used in addition but if you can't reroll, the RNG will only offset slightly your chance to win with one, two or zero named hero and I like the idea. Overall we must avoid bothersome manipulations to become the best move to improve your victory chances.

4/ Thank you a lot, we hope we will have enough time to make it even better. We have so many problems to adress and we want to make everything perfect. We are already proud of the promise the game holds, let's keep working to make it 

 

As an additional note, we have an experimental version with lot of change in fight that we are trying to finalize here inhouse and hero works differently, we will try to send the experimental version to some player in order to have feedback on it ?

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