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About Vadimir

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    IT Professional
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    Love gaming: strategy, third person action, FPS, Tower Defense, XCOM/MC/Frozen Synapse, RPG
  1. I think this is a very good point. I missed a lot of things on my first couple of playthoughs. One of the crucial things I missed was the use of the "F" key, which incidentally is integral to the use of knockback/stun/extra damage. Unrelated to the above is the fact that you don't see much replay ability with this game. What do you think would make it better?
  2. I think the answer lies in different strategies. I've never gone above 3 keeps, so I have fewer heroes and like the traits Longevity, Spry and Young at Heart Of course, that means I can research more items, get a second crucible, that sort of thing. As you put it well there's a huge element of Time management, and it really comes down to what you decide to spend your scarce resources on. Ain't economics great
  3. Couple of possible causes for your experience: 1. You managed to get some Nervous into your bloodline so now your heroes have decreases accuracy. 2. Some advanced enemies have increased evasion causing you to feel any lowered accuracy more. 3. Availability bias: you've become very attentive to any glancing blow delivered. It's like "have you notice all the BLUE cars on the road?" Then a day later after paying special attention you're like "damn, there really ARE a lot of blue cars out there". May have been triggered by a very bad run of bad luck. As far as I know relics do not require anything special to "work properly".
  4. I like it too. If anything it addresses one of my complaints in the random event system: lack of influence. I absolutely hate it when the same quest comes up, I pick the same option as last time ... yet I get a different, sometimes even horrible result. Like that idiot Parabox event where it's completely random whether it smartens the sagewright or kills her. If it's a completely random outcome there is no reason, and it's even slightly insulting, to provide a choice. Just serve it straight up: "Someone opened a Parabox, now your hero is frakked, ha ha ha, suck it up and press play".
  5. Now, that I agree with, and I believe I've played that map too. There's another very annoying ditto where the Sagewright Guild is attacked and your heroes are so far away they can never protect the weak sagewrights. On some maps the heroes also spawn apart and "activate" several enemy groups at once. In a sense it's not so much the enemy count that matters but how you spawn. If you spawn badly, THEN the enemy count becomes a problem. So it's more of a symptom. From a game design angle it would also be easier to just fix the spawning issues. If you tamper with the cadence attacks you'll have to do a lot of balance testing. The number of fights deliver a pool of XP, touch that and balance needs to be recalibrated. Also, the game is now calibrated for five heroes facing an "index 100" number of enemies. If you lower the number and hence power of enemies - and the attrition that takes place - then you'd have to nerf the heroes or items (less healing from Healing/Ultralixir, less accuracy from Steady Hander, etc.) My experience from seven games is that the count is OK as long as you spawn in a fair position. Definitely no issues in patch .90, I even think the battles are a little easier (got good bloodlines and Standards to do that)
  6. There's a first for everything Thing is that I have built up a cool caber relic once, and in raw damage output it sure did outstrip the ramcab caber. However, I found that often I did not put down even that one target. Even if I did and enemies are clustered around me I happen to personally prefer the tactical advantages that come with the highly reliable, multiple stun that a ramcab caber potentially delivers. And yes, it's as reliable as anything in the game as it's just a question of your accuracy (even caberjack Knockback needs accuracy). I haven't done the exact math on it, but I suspect that in the long run a ramcab caber will deliver more damage output that the best caber relic. Here's why I suspect that is: even the highest damage can only take out one enemy, but you'll frequently smash two or even three enemies together and get the "double damage" (once for the hit, once when hitting the wall). And that's not counting the strategic advantage you've just given yourself by stunning the enemy. But maybe I've just not seen all there is to see wrt. to caber relics, so I might change my mind in the face of new information. Then there are the games where I just happen to get no caber relics. In that case there's absolutely no contest. Who in their right mind could recommend a Timefist caber over the Ramcab? In my view the potential AoE when pummeling several enemies that are lined up, and the tactical advantage of now stuned enemies, is just too good to pass up. Besides, if we want high damage output there's now the brewtalist: excellent damage, and over the top with Hack'n'Slash + Relic.
  7. Almost all the research outcomes aren't specified fully. It seems to be a basic, philosophical choice made by Double Fine: sure, start researching, but of course you don't quite know what the research is going to lead to, y'know ... it's research, not the ability to look into the future. I think it would be nice with just a smidgen more info to go on, but it's a general issue that would have to be addressed for almost all research options. In the case of the blunderbow at least it says the hunter is "pushed back" once you get the bows. However, whether one fully comprehends the consequences of that is another question However, once you understand that any knockback has a potential stun built in it's pretty clear. The whole stun thing is an integral mechanic of Massive Chalice. Not fun? Well, I've had some fun just now imagining the look on your face as that bow pushed your hunter back and stunned himself or another hero. Been there, done that ... went WTF If I got hunters I definitely still research the Blunderbow. It's a great weapon, and the pushback can actually be used tactically. For instance you might want to sacrifice a hunter's next round by getting him deliberate stunned by his own recoil so that he manages to stun the wrinkler just next to him.
  8. In so many way you're right, but I'm having to disagree on philosophical grounds. What if you proposed the same for StarCraft II: why don't you auto-set the drones on minerals, cue the first drone, etc. etc. Heck, maybe if you input "MMM" the engine might work through the entire first tier... "It's just not how things work", right? Another thing, still taking clues from StarCraft, is the "what if..." catch. Crazy builds are discovered by the community that developers never thought of. Finally it's a bad philosophy to take the ugly choices away from players while substituting a few "known to work" build orders. Players need to master the first one, two or three moves as well as the exciting mid- to late-game.
  9. Last bit: - BUG: I got one random event called "Null". "Null" on headline, description and button. It was almost game breaking as the UI became unresponsive (couldn't start timer), but luckily I could reload the earlier battle and it went away as the game re-seeded. Maybe armor the code with some exception handling to avoid this? - BUG in patch .90: in a Sagewright Guild attack (keep attack) one of my sagewrights had "null" for a weapon. That meant he couldn't move at all.
  10. (Most of these notes were written before the latest patch .90) By now I have five playthroughs of Massice Chalice. Here's my feedback. First of all let me congratulate you guys for making an awesome game with a nice, distinct flavor and some great concepts. I have really, really enjoyed playing it during Steam Early Acces. As for now, December 2014, the game is not just playable but thoroughly enjoyable. The game certainly has a learning curve. I've been through five plays and I've improved each and every time. The game's hard, but if you strike the right balance and have the right building order - AND some prime genetic material for regents - it's possible to beat the game. UI/GUI ##### - All over the UI is pretty smooth and I like the fact that you can upgrade skill points from pretty much everywhere. - I'd like to see Hit Points on the basic page when choosing the loadout. Early game and when you're low on heroes and have to make choices I need to know the HP as it affects the choice of item (maybe Healing or Vitaliband when it's a low-HP hero). - GUI is a little sluggish with anti-alias on. Pleas make it faster and more responsive. - Maybe add a sound when you hit Esc and gets to the menu. The UI could have a more snappy, precise and edgy feel. It's "soft" now. - I like the way you name the game and then when you save it's used as the prefix. When saving I'd like to be able to see the list of savegames so I can add the appropriate number to the save (MyGame01, MyGame02, ....). If you hit Save but forgot which number you reached you'll have to waste time going back to check the number. In patch .90 you have to click with the mouse to change the savegame name: not good, please set focus. - I lose my bearings when unfolding/folding the hero detail on the (long) list of heroes, especially in late-game. It's especially bad when the personality and traits are many and the name is pushed up and out of sight. At least keep the name/basic-stats bar at the top of the list, or color code so that the selected hero is easily identified. - There's way too much orange-on-yellow-on-white: which skill did I chose, where's that flask gonna land in that foilage, etc.? Even if I don't have an eye handicap the low-contrast is going to cause trouble for some players who need high-contrast to see it. So add a thicker or differently colored outline to skills and flask markers and/or play with the colors depending on the ground. Gameplay ######## - I'm loathe to say this, but the Ramcab Caber is currently close to OP, or the alternatives are just not good enough. In a sense I think the caberjack needs this or there just wouldn't be much stopping power left in the class. What I don't like is this: relics and the Timefist are NEVER a match for the Ramcab caber. Like, who'd want to Timefist a single enemy when you can just knock two or three enemies against a wall, or each other, stunning or killing all of them? Also, who'd want a relic caber that can ONLY ever hit one target but without any tactical advantage from the auto-knockback that comes with every blow from the Ramcab caber? Now, if the Timefist was able to knockback like the Ramcab, but still had Timefist and (of course) lowered damage it would be fun. Or else the damage has to be buffed WAY up on the Timefist and relics to make them worth their research. And who'd want to logjam when it doesn't have knockback/stun? Don't get me wrong: the ramcab caber is one of those immensely satisfying items that really makes the game shine. It's just that it makes everything else irrelevant. - Alchemist relics have the same issue as Caberjack relics: they're just underpowered. Once you get the Boom Slinger it largely invalidates the relics. I notice that much is better with .90 - Alchemist Unstable Carapace armor: more trouble than it's worth (like bee armor thingy in .90 and, well, bees in general). Now, if the armor exploded ONLY in the direction of enemies (or just the one that hit you) it would be useful. Maybe if the armor spewed some acid at the attacker and that did something akin to the Acid Solution skill, maybe even Armor Corrosion? Anyway, the huge trouble is that it hits weakly and indiscriminately, and I just never rush my Alchemists int the thick of battle. Battle and controls ################### - If the hunter's first move is stealth, consider making it the default (somehow) for the second move too (especially when the Veil armor is on). I'm good now, but when inexperienced I moved too many hunters while forgetting stealth during the second move. - Shouldn't the Unstable Carapace armor explode one last time when the hero dies? - Bug: if your hunter is the last hero with action points and he has Scoot, then typing "Z" will not only bring up the info but End Turn too, thus forfeiting the Scoot move! - Throw Ultralixir icon can easily be mistaken for a flask throw and vice versa. How 'bout a hand over the healing bottle? - Some spawning points are horrible, especially if it splits up the party. Also, in those Keep Attacks it's just not good that those stupid sagewrights are stranded all the way over there with their puny hammers while the entire party is placed at some random, far away point. Sagewrights, being unarmed, should have a Safe Room. - Lapses and level 10 heroes: it is beyond annoying that ANY hit from a lapse will cause a level 10 to instantly lose a level. Compare to a level 9 that may be hit several times before dropping to level 8. Could the level 10's have at least a buffer of 500 potential XP beyond the max (towards a theoretical level 11)? Of course such experience will have to be earned, but it would allow 1-2 hits that didn't auto-level you down. Kingdom management ################## - It would be great if items were cheaper to research or had a whole separate research tree. Items aren't like the other research options because there's a limit on the number of items heroes can bring to battle: so more items would allow for more experimentation, more fun and more clever tactics. With the harsh limit on research I just never get to experiment as there's always just one more thing I need. - Related to the above: if you're not going to increase the access to items more readily at least provide some more information on what the research will lead to. - Random events: as a concept random events are great. What I don't like at the moment is the fact that the outcome is random as well: I've made the same choice several times and had completely different outcomes (for instance it sure ain't the same Parabox being built every time). It's just too much "same choice, different outcome" It makes me feel powerless and when it's a random, negative effect it just feels pointless and unfair. If you have to ... at least make the choices dilemmas: y'know, hard choices of either one or the other. Rule: you can get some of the good stuff, but there's a trade-off. - During Keep Attacks suddenly the loadout of regents & partners become important. At least allow me to chose the loadout before battle: once for the party of heroes, then one for the regents. At the very, very least auto-equip the regents with any upgraded weapon, armor and random items. OK, notice you've done some Double Fine work on this in patch .90, not perfect, but please go in that direction (now you need to auto equip those boneshell armors as well) - In some earlier games, especially when I had very few heroes, the marriage choices were hell. For instance I pick a male Regent only to then discover that no female partners are available, but had I picked that one woman I'd have had maybe 5 male partners to chose from. You HAVE to provide extra info so that players don't reach such dead ends.
  11. I had to heal my guys with an epic flask throw when standing next to a bulwark. No biggie as the bulwark had full HP, so I thought I'd do it: the "25" ultralixir heal showed up on the bullwark as well, so I assume it would have been healed had it been damaged.
  12. I bet you've been in this game longer than I Before patch .90 (mid/late October till now) my first game was merciless. Simply had to abort. Heroes had no XP and I got mauled to no end at a sagewright keep attack. Second was better, but I could never complete the final mission: too low level heroes (5-6, maybe 7; couldn't put enemies down between waves, so new game ...). The four next I won without much trouble and the last one or two I had plenty of level 10 heroes. Now, the 7th game (.90) has been a relative breeze. I reached a baseline of level 8-9 with my hero trainees well in advance of the 300 year mark. Heck, let me do a couple of samples, here's my vanguard levels in different years: Year 100: 4, 5, 5, 5, 6 Year 150: 6, 6, 7, 7, 8 Year 175: 7, 7, 8, 8, 8 Year 200: 8, 8, 8, 9, 9 I can't say any game has been easier on me (it was even easier than the 6th where I managed to get the Walrus genes into the pool). This is my usual style: I always put my best heroes into the bloodline - rule is: it's somewhere between what you need and what makes you really nervous. I remember the first time I "sacrificed" a perfect high level vanguard as Regent, it's just one of those things where doubt sets in, and it's only much later that you realize it was the right decision (tried crap Regents and/or Partners in my early games ... not trying that again). I'm generally on three Keeps, two Crucibles and one Sagewright Guild. I got Experience Scarfs. Usually opts for these in addition: ramcab caber, healing/ultra, boneshell armor, refined alchemist armor, blunderbow/barbs/veil armor if I got hunters. Obviously nation armor, longevity and/or XP Boost right at the end. No idea if my 7th game experience on .90 is fast or slow compared to how a more experienced players like you see things? For what it's worth I've had good enough heroes that the fights were easy and enjoyable, and I think I've reloaded half as much as usual.
  13. Assuming it works like hitting someone with a caber (I haven't had the class with Knockback Arrows yet): It's a small thing that I didn't spot on the first couple of playthroughs: F If you mouse-over an enemy you'll be able to MOVE the white hash showing your attack vector by pressing the key "F". It will always push back exactly in that (opposite) direction and that allows you to know for sure where the enemy will be pushed. Distance ... not as easy, but you'll get the hang of it. (If you can't do that the Double "Mighty" Fine dudes should get to it. Being able to predict which wall critters are smashed into is necessary.)
  14. I'm almost finished with my first playthrough with the hybrid classes. I tend to pick the best heroes in Kingdom Management so that my bloodlines becomes awesome. I just cannot abide breeding on anyone who's Asthmatic or Nervous, and those drunkard Revelers are a pain too. Given the scarcity of (good) heroes to pick from the class choice becomes largely incidental. I've had only one game out of six where I had Keeps with all three classes (original three). The pattern is the same: I end up with about two classes that carry me through, and I put my research into making the two classes powerful. With hybridization the class "choice" has become even more random. Sure, I'd like a particular class to come out of a certain Keep, but not at the cost of horrible personalities and traits. As it is now I just need two classes to win the game. Don't care much which classes, though. But it's gotta be a hard one. One the one side you want to keep heroes a scarce resource, on the other offer the player some choice in the matter. Dunno how you'd solve it, but I'd like just a wee bit more "real choice" when picking regents and partners So what's my impression? Well, I haven't tried all combinations. On a general note I like the new classes as their specific skill sets challenge me to think about new strategies. For example I was initially a bit miffed about the brewtalist, but once the power of explosive knockback is realized it becomes a killing machine with nice, tactical features. On a deeper level the addition of the hybrids didn't manage to quell another worry of mine. Maybe it's just habits, but I still find myself largely opting for the same upgrades. At least with the brewtalist I don't think I ever chose anything but the acid solution, and I still don't see why I'd ever chose anything but the double item upgrade for carrying items. I dunno how devastating this is, though, as even XCOM Enemy Within had it's share of largely unused upgrades. Heck, maybe it's just me sticking to what I know works. It's just that ideally I think the vision should be to provide some hard choices, and depending on the choices: access to widely different playing styles for that hero (in that regard maybe the logjam AoE will become useful now that those shadow cabers can sneak into the midst of enemies ... never use it today, much rather opt for the rarely used Prime Target). Random GOOD thoughts: I like the hack'n'slash from brewtalists, I like the knockback flasks, I like that my "cabers" can sometimes carry two items now. I like that different types of alchemists have different AoE shapes. I like having to opt for more acid solutions (there's just something provocative and satisfying about finishing off an enemy with this pathethic after-effect ). Random BAD thoughts: It's hard to build for certain combos, for example it's next to godliness to have two cabers on a team with ramcab cabers and Stand Your Ground ... and have an enemy position itself just between those two guys ... it's like ping pong . But then you have one blastcaber and he isn't offeren Stand Your Ground. I don't like that there's SO many combinations now, some are bound to suck. Had I been new I'd been overwhelmed with the hybrids - it's a lack of a priori knowledge of just WHAT a certain class is and what it can do (like ... who knows that he WANTS a brewtalist until having actually played one?). WTF bees ... had it on one guy who offed himself on his own bees, and I never saw the insects in that bad lighting.
  15. Good points. I'll add a few thoughts of my own. A) I'd like to have HP be visible when equipping items. With all the weird traits, such as Sickly, hit points vary a lot and it's nice to know quickly who gets to use a Vitaliband. B) I think the new "auto equip" is the way to go. It's not perfect yet, but it was such a joy to see all those caberjacks with ramcab cabers all of a sudden. It wasn't perfect, though, as those new boneshell armors didn't get auto equipped. Worked for Refined Alchemist armor though. One possible bug I encountered might be related. One sagewright, during a keep attack, was equipped with a "null" weapon. As a result the unit couldn't move (but he could be mowed down )
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