Mid test feedback


  • TF#1 - WHISPERER

    I'm going to provide my feedback on all aspects of the game as of the current alpha. Sorry, this will be long.

    What did I test so far:

    This time I've played with a quarterstaff mage with a focus on luck.
    Fortunately this game is quite open to whacky builds like that, and in fact it turned out the character works very well. It's a good bruiser with good mobility, decent tanking, decent damage and good support abilities. It plays well both in solo and in group.
    Together with a group, we decided to make our own city. The wonderful Koala Lumpur!
    At this point of the test I'm out of the young player protection, and I'm probably around 90k KP. I've explored a good part of the continent, except Shadow Vale and the Southern regions.

    So, with this basis, I will now provide my feedback on all areas of the game that I touched, starting from the ones which were more impacted by the last changes.

    New talents

    I think that this needs to be put as the first topic, since it has a huge influence on the next ones. The fact that the talent tree had been completely rewritten wasn't announced in any of the videos or blog articles, and yet it is probably the biggest change in this alpha in terms of impact on gameplay. Strictly speaking, the characters were hugely nerfed. All builds, without exception have seen their durability, damage and resources severely limited compared to the last alpha. While previously you had mana regen talents, lots of damage bonuses, huge health buffs, poison immunity and stuff like that, you know have a few mild bonuses for specific builds and some meager generic buffs.
    I've had many discussions on this topic and I know that other players have different opinions on this (I'm sure you can find that thread if you look), but to me, this felt wonderful. Simply put, the previous talents were too strong and made you grow into a rabid killing machine which knew no challenges in the game. You were punished for learning too many skills, because those KP points had to go in talents. It was dumb to do otherwise. Now they are still there as a buff and they still provide you some progression, but they are mild enough that there is an actual choice between knowing more skills or having more talents. Obviously this is just a first draft of the new talent tree, half of it isn't even implemented, but as a general direction for them I fully approve this iteration.

    New skills and redesigned skills

    We had a huge amount of new skills. We all know these, I'm sure that many of us did in fact pause Jacopo's video at least a few dozen times as he predicted. I know I did.
    What to me was more interesting though, is that many old skills were redesigned. In particular, all cooldowns based on attributes were turned into fixed cooldowns. This had a huge impact on builds. While previously you had some skills that gained both effects and CD reduction from an attribute making its scaling quadratic and hard to manage, now skills are usually quite linear. You got 12 INT? Good, your fireball is 2/3 of the effects of the one cast by that guy over there with 18 INT. Easy and linear.
    A huge number of skills also became more restricted. In particular some skills were moved to heavy weapons only, some skills were disallowed from heavy armors, many were moved to spell channeling weapons only and so on. This is fine, but if I counted them correctly, we currently have around 100 skills, and only a third of them can actually be used without a spell channeling weapon. If we consider that many of those skills also require very specific weapons, then the choices available when you make a warrior type character have become quite narrow. Some restrictions could be lifted, or we need new weapon skills in my opinion.

    Changes to attributes

    As was already previewed, we have new effects for attributes. The most notable differences are that strenght no longer provides weapon damage, which has greatly diminished the damage of warriors, dexterity no longer provides movement speed, perception no longer provides critical damage and most of all, there is no longer a bonus when you reach 20 in a stat. The effects of this are again a decrease in the overall power of characters and that it is no longer that necessary to go high on a single stat to chase that bonus. Opens more builds, I like it.

    PvE difficulty

    The 3 previous points tie together into this one. How has the PvE experience changed in the game?
    In one word, it is now brutal.
    As I said many times already, characters are weaker. The world is a more dangerous place now.
    Previously you started being unable to fight against a couple of goblins and ended up being capable of soloing a legend.
    Now you still start being unable to kill a couple of goblins, especially considering the new issues with mana, but no longer scale that much in power. Currently, with a very specific build and after an extremely hard and long fight, I managed to solo a mountain troll. It was a real challenge.
    In the previous alpha my mage archer could kill 2 of them while semi afk.
    There are some things in the game now that you should never get close to if you are alone. The guys that I instead found too weak were the new ogres. We went in with an ill prepared group of 3. All melee, all crushing weapons (ogres are resistant to crushing damage), tier 0 equip no gems. We had no issues at all in there. For one of the hardest areas of the game, it felt quite disappointing.
    Apart from hiccups like that one, I'm liking this new PvE. A lot.
    The issue that I have with it though, is that it is poorly presented and it scares a lot of players. The game starts hard and stays hard. I've met a lot of confused players that didn't understand what were they doing wrong, or if they had to find a better weapon (spoiler: No, your primitive weapon already has the same damage of a forged one) or they selected a class that sucked or something else.
    In general, nothing prepared them to this experience. Nothing told them that PvE wise this game was quite hardcore and that players wouldn't grow that much in power compared to other games.
    This then mixed together with them not knowing what a lot of things meant. What is that purple on my health bar? Why did I start walking and taking damage from fatigue? And so on. This led to a lot of frustration in approaching players.
    The tutorial needs to be more complete on these topics.

    Imbuing

    Now lets move to those mechanics that are supposed to provide the players with an actual increase in power. The first one is imbuing.
    Now, I really like the reagent system of fractured, but I had a few issues with the imbuing mechanic. Sincerely speaking, it isn't worth it. Finding chipped gems is not so hard, and the bonus that a tier 1 imbue provides is actually good. The problem is that a chipped gem costs less than 100 gold and the reagents for a tier 1 imbue cost less than 50. This amount of resource invested are in line with the buff provided. Too bad that a flat 500g tax is applied to every imbue, even the tier 1! No way that those bonuses are worth investing so much gold!
    On the other hand, a flawless gem easily costs you 2k, and the legendary reagents necessary for a tier 3 imbue probably another 5k. And yet the tax on tier 3 is still 500g.
    This needs to be scaled based on the tier of the enchant. Very few players are going to bother with imbuing at that gold price, and that is a pity because the reagent system of Fractured is one of its best features.
    Tier 1 imbuing should be easily accessible. Having tier 1 imbues should be the norm, you have to entice players into collecting all those reagents. The gold tax should be very low, 50 or 100 gold.
    It should go up to 250g for a tier 2 and then around 1000g or even more for a tier 3.
    Yes, I understand that we had issues with low gold sinks in the previous alpha, but let's not swing the pendulum to hard in the other direction.

    Note: Please add a way to know in which type of equipment you will be able to socket the gem after the imbue process.

    Enchanting

    Unfortunately I can't give much feedback on enchanting. That is because I never enchanted a single item. Building a city takes a lot of gold and we never had enough to bother with enchanting.
    That said, even if I had the gold to spare, I probably wouldn't have bothered increasing my leather armor's armor values by 30% at the cost of 3250 gold. It would have given me a damage reduction of around 15% compared to the tier 0 against slashing damage. Considering that an armor lasts around 1 week before having to be changed, I wouldn't have found the cost to be right. Probably the cost for enchanting the armor must get lower, at least for the tiers that don't provide a new socket.
    Completely different approach to weapons instead. Yes, a weapon lasts you only 3 or 4 days of use, but at the same time we are talking about 1000 gold for a 30% damage increase. That's juicy.
    I feel that if we find that the price for enchanting a weapon is the correct one, and I think it is, then the price for upgrading the armor should be at most the same.
    The other problem is that mages don't scale in damage with the enchant system. Since it is an inherent property, the "Spell channeling" should scale with the tier level of the item. In this case I suggest that for each tier of the spell channeling item, the spell effects are increased by 15%/10%/15%/10%.

    Now let's move to city level stuff:

    City Progression

    The city progressions has been changed in a way that in the end all cities will be either tier 4, 9 or 15. This is because there is no difference between food requirements at the inbetween ranks. This means that a city which is not at those ranks is simply a hamlet/town/village under construction.
    Sounds good, it can work.
    In this way when you go into an hamlet you know that you will find all the basic necessieties: bank, shrine, market, inn, basic crafting.
    Now, how many hamlets/town/villages we are going to have is strictly related to how much food it will be possible to produce. In my opinion out of the 35 cities of Myr, we shouldn't get more than 5 or 6 rank 15, and then we should have around a dozen rank 9.
    I'm sure that our resident Lord of Famine (@OlivePit) will be able to provide a better feedback than me on this matter, so I will leave this to him.

    Tech Tree

    As was promised, the new Tech tree promotes more specialization.
    Interesting the fact that you need at least rank 5 to get the tanning tubes and rank 10 to get the advanced smeltery. You also need rank 5 to craft mage apparel and rank 10 for assassin clothes.
    It kind of works, but we had too few cities to really understand how it would all mesh together.
    What I was instead surprised to see, is that there was no t1-t4 branch for jewel crafting, they were instead put inside the blacksmith tree. The blacksmith tree already provides enchants on a huge number of crafts, ranging from weapons to armors to shields. Adding jewels to it may be too much. It could have used its own separate branch. Jewel enchants are extremely powerful. On the other hand, the carpentry branch only works on a total of 6 items, but I guess that the bow and crossbow section will get expanded a lot. Finally, there is the witchcraft branch, which is useless. It is used to enchant only the 4 mage staffs. Maybe that witchcraft and jewels could become just one single branch of enchants?

    On another note, right now the flawless gems are quite rare, so having them be required for both jewels and staffs feels a bit too much. Maybe that the staffs could instead require 3 fine gems?

    Market

    Not much to say about the market.
    It works.
    I don't have particular comments about it. It is fine like this and I don't think that further changes are required.

    Residents

    The link between residents and cities has been changed.
    Previously your rank was tied to the number of residents, now as long as you have at least 20 citiziens (10 in this alpha) then you can reach any rank.
    This is good and bad.
    It is bad because the previous system made it so you were forced to cooperate with solo players and small groups so that your city could grow. Strenght was in the numbers.
    The flaw of the previous system was that winner took all. If you had more residents, you were also more likely to get more because you had more techs and benefits to offer.
    In this new system, you don't have this issue, since you don't need residents. At the same time though... you don't need residents! So there is nothing stopping you from locking your city services to your citiziens and completely monopolize the city for your guild.
    For this system to work, you needed the residents to actually provide you something. And that something couldn't be those meager 500g per week of their taxes. So first of all that tax is now doubled. We also have a more deep tax system which allows to make residents pay for the use of city services. By the way, I didn't find a way to tax the enchanting. Considering that it requires a lot of research points, I think that the city should be able to profit on it.
    So now residents are strictly an economy resource. Ok, can work I guess.

    What I don't like (but is not something from this alpha) is that resident plots should look like resident plots. Not factory backyards. There should be a limit to the number of refining facilities on a plot! Some look very dumb.
    Since we have now defined residents as coin bags, then I think that the best solution to this, is to increase the weekly plot tax by an amount that depends on the number of facilities on your plot. You are using the city techs, so you should pay the taxes for it. At leats there's a reason to keep the number of forges on your plot to a sensible number!
    Also, the plots inside the city, should have no refining facilities at all. You shouldn't be able to use the land plots as just additional space for your facilities. If you want more forges, build another blacksmith.
    This in any case is tied to the next point.

    Refining

    This isn't something related to this alpha, but it is (in my opinion) a still unsolved situation.
    I will make a different thread for it though.

    Ok, I'm mostly done for those that are still reading.
    Two last points that I want to touch.

    1. Rare monsters are now too hard to study. Things like bandit archamages are very rarely found and give too few knowledge point. It takes an eternity to get their skills.
    2. Many mage spells were changed in effects, and now there are very few direct damage spells. That is fine, but there are some iconic spells out there that now have really no place. I'm looking at you fireball. Low damage and much smaller area of effect for 3 memory points. Please show some mercy to our beloved fireball!

  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    Thank you so much for taking the time to post all this constructive, thoughtful feedback! I know there will be disagreement with some of your takes, but I can hope those disagreements will be as respectful, constructive, and thoughtful as the OP.

    Great help for evolution toward a successful, fun game for our community 🏆 🖖 🍻


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @spoletta said in Mid test feedback:

    Residents

    You are using the city techs, so you should pay the taxes for it. At leats there's a reason to keep the number of forges on your plot to a sensible number!
    Also, the plots inside the city, should have no refining facilities at all. You shouldn't be able to use the land plots as just additional space for your facilities. If you want more forges, build another blacksmith.
    .

    Now I will agree with you on the forges. There is no reason to place those in your yard. When it comes to the smelters or tanning tubs, however, I disagree completely. Here is why. Theft! Theft! Theft! It is totally impossible to place ore in a smelter or hides in a tanning tub and have any guarantee that they will be there when you come back.

    I once had someone stand over the tanning tubs I was using, just waiting for my leather to finish so they could snatch it before I could. Their excuse, “someone stole mine so I am stealing yours.”

    So no, until there is a solution to the theft I will place as many smelters, or tanning tubs in my yard as I need. I agree it looks bad and I hate doing it but I hate having my hard work stolen more.


  • Content Creator

    I love this detailed feedback. Very constructive, and I agree with several points.

    I can agree with some of what my sister, @StormBug is saying too, but I still think there should be limits on how much can be put on a plot. I think no more than 2 refining, and 1 crafting station per personal plot should be okay, AND such plots should still require a house to be built first.

    Town plots can be set up by the governor for extra tanning tubs, chests, smelters, etc... if they want to use city space, but that shouldn't be what personal plots are used for.


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