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papafhill

Impression Thread (Week 1)

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It's probably best to explain where I'm at in DDA after this weekend.

Hero Deck Level: 49
Playtime: 18 Hours
Device: Clevo NH70RAQ, GTX 1650, i7-9750H, 16GB RAM (no performance issues)
Playstyle: Solo or with my friend from DD1

My first impression of DDA is, "Wow, this game sucks worst than I thought it would."  The only reason why I'm playing it, and really the only reason why I'm having any fun with this, is that my DD1 friend got the game and we've been playing together for the most part.

Leaving it at that would be... destructive.  I'm looking to leave constructive criticism on this thread.

That said, let's jump into my thoughts:

  1. The game has more Quality of Life improvements than actual changes / balances to gameplay.  These QoL changes are buggy, which means CG released a game with no gameplay improvements and a new UI that is broken.
  2. Playing insane from the get go is impossible... simply because the items dropped are level 27 and up.  I would have liked to have seen loot closer to my level with better stats.
  3. The sorting system will be great some day.  A sort by level requirement feature would have made this great.  As I stated in #2, you get so much stuff you can't use if you try to challenge yourself early game, being able to sort out the higher level items would be nice.  Also item comparison I would have thought would have been a must have pre-launch, but apparently CG wants us to play the game of Memory when we go through our inventory.
  4. No item indicators on maps is problematic, especially when you don't realize there is a legendary on the map and you start a new wave.  There is no way to tell the game you want all legendaries to go to inventory.  After Wave 20 on Deeper Well you can get about 20 legendaries... if you pick them up... which leads me to #5... I have just been informed the Auto Loot Feature is in Options > Gameplay > Auto Loot Filters. 
  5. Time it takes to get to Wave 15 on Insane Deeper Well Survival at level 49 is about 25 minutes, which isn't terrible ... until you realize it takes double the time to get to Wave 15 on the next level.  This really is my biggest pet peeve with the DD series.  When I make it through the first 200 mobs in a Deeper Well wave (the hardest part of the wave), I shouldn't have to waste my time with the 450 fodder mobs afterwards.  In the next level (level 2, not sure the name), you get 2 ogres thrown at you after the initial burst of 200(ish) mobs.  Ok, great, I've killed the two ogres, now I have to wait for 800 fodder mobs to clear through before starting the next wave?  This is just terrible game design.  I spend more time waiting on fodder mobs to clear out than I do building a tower layout to handle the first burst of each wave.  If I only have to handle the initial burst of each wave, than this would go a lot faster, and would be more enjoyable.  Looking back at #4 & #2, having to look over items on the battlefield takes even more time (especially when you are level 49 and can't equip 99% of it).
  6. After wave 15, the mobs move too fast... maybe?  This is a double-edged sword.  For AFK tower players like myself, this is great!  We want mobs to move as fast as possible to get through the boring AFK-ness of this game.  But for anyone looking to play a DPS hero, I just don't see how it would be enjoyable to have hundreds of mobs flying at you.  What skill is required to to defeat them?  Do you just left click through the mobs?  Lawn mower?
  7. Locking the hero deck during the waves is TERRIBLE.  We have limited build time on insane, then we are stuck with whatever hero we have out when the wave starts.  Why the step back?

Overall I think I can boil this down to a few simple points for CG to consider:

  1. Enemy Utilization - Spam mobbing my walls is NOT a good utilization of various mob types.
  2. Hero Utilization - One-off use Heroes are awful.  I have an HP Tower Squire... nuff said.
  3. Comprehensive QoL improvements - Think through all aspects needed to make them true improvements

Although not all towers are equal, I do feel like there is variability / creativity afforded to Tower-players.  If CG could focus on more utility of towers than just making them damage-centric, I might be OK with DDA being TD focused.

- = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - =  -

What is everyone else's impressions from Week 1 so far?

Edited by papafhill
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Re point 4 you are mistaken. There is auto loot in game play options. Will exactly what you want. It does need refining so that you can auto collect all legendary AND all tiers of bracers, masks etc. 

 

Hero lock deck is good and adds danger to not building in time when there is a timer. 

 

Specialised heroes are part of dungeon defenders imo, with deck xp we can't really moan about it. 

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37 minutes ago, Hover Tower 2000 said:

Re point 4 you are mistaken. There is auto loot in game play options.

Yea, I just saw a video on this.  I'll strike through that point in the OP.

Still... WHO THE *(Bleep)* CODES A MAIN FEATURE THIS WAY?  I mean there isn't even a comment in my inventory screen saying, "Hey, go to Options> Gameplay > Auto Loot Filters to setup your auto looting!"  I mean, a simple button in my inventory screen leading me to this feature would be expected by about 95% of players.  This is the perfect example of terrible encapsulation.  It's like iPhone putting the power button inside of the phone, and you have to take the thing apart to turn it.

37 minutes ago, Hover Tower 2000 said:

.. .not building in time when there is a timer.

... imo, with deck xp we can't really moan about it. 

Appreciate the opinion!  I feel the opposite way.  It locks gameplay for tower players to build phases that are about 30 seconds long.  That's hardly enough time for players using builds incorporating towers from more than one hero.  The timer is way too short and it feels punishing when I don't press my F4 for my monk fast enough.

I will acknowledge that CG compensates for this by having the most boring Wave 1 on every single map.  Like Royal Gardens has two lanes with a single goblin each, so you just need to focus on building the other four lanes.  This, however, goes back to point #5 in the OP, why waste my time on this? 

If I could choose, I'd rather start on wave 2 or even 3 with that higher volume of mobs, give me the ability to swap heroes mid-wave, and challenge me to keep building in the midst of the chaos.  I do that currently on Wave 1.  Then I AFK every wave afterwards.

Edited by papafhill

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The UI on the whole is awful, I always recall when they talked about taking the KS money and going to GDC (or wherever) and hiring a UI specialist, are you freaking kidding me.  

 

Armours have 2 names, no keyboard shortcuts for sell etc. , the skills aren't named the same in differing parts of the menus etc. Etc.  

 

I have (to) hope it will be refined a lot over the EA period. 

 

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A number of features are missing.

  • keyboard shortcuts in inventory (Lock, Sell)
  • inventory folders
  • additional filter options like armor type, weapon type
  • survival starting wave selection
  • view level of players in game
  • repair should snap to the most damaged tower targetted

Progress has been made since the closed beta,  but it's not feeling like a cohesive game yet . 

 

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I am actually LOVING this game's potential. I just assume that the UI and menus will eventually be fixed down the road. 

 

I do think this game will be a disaster though if they don't properly implement most of the great content from DD1. 

 

-I know there will be boss fights in the future, but will they drop farmable unique weapons like the Soul focuser?

-Will they bring back classic pets like the laser robot that dealt ALOT of DPS without needing an active ability?

-Will all of the characters come back?

-Will they include the farmable game modes like "Assault" where you can farm weapons like the Blasticus?

-And more...

 

I have faith that most of the bugs will eventually get fixed. My focus is how the content, progression, and end game will be handled. During DD1, it was a fun and big deal when the released one map at a time. Each one included new unique (farmable) weapon drops and a new enemy that would make an appearance on every map when played on Nightmare. I feel like the current core game play that they are building off of is capable of being better than DD1. That is my first impression. It all just depends on how well they handle the bugs and implement the future content. 

 

Incredible potential. 

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3 hours ago, papafhill said:

Ok, great, I've killed the two ogres, now I have to wait for 800 fodder mobs to clear through before starting the next wave?  This is just terrible game design.

It's not terrible game design though, because durability is a thing and lesser mobs tear through it. Not to mention they drop loot and give an actual use for AoE towers - if waves got reduced down to just "the hardest burst" and the filler got removed single target towers would absolutely dominate. 

3 hours ago, papafhill said:

Locking the hero deck during the waves is TERRIBLE.  We have limited build time on insane, then we are stuck with whatever hero we have out when the wave starts.  Why the step back?

Because mid-wave switching is something that only serves to make the game remarkably easier and nothing else. It makes slow building, terrible placement and being fairly undergeared pretty much non-issues and considering they're essentially the 3 biggest loss conditions that's a big impact. Many people didn't want it back.

2 hours ago, Hover Tower 2000 said:

The UI on the whole is awful, I always recall when they talked about taking the KS money and going to GDC (or wherever) and hiring a UI specialist, are you freaking kidding me. 

Yeah... I feel a bit bad ragging on it because it's someone's work but it's just... Bad. It feels a whole lot like a shoddy mobile game UI and the inputs being laid out for Switch even on the PC version bothers me for some reason.

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2 hours ago, Cuddles said:

...

We are just too polar opposite, Cuddles. 

I see both of your points as opportunity for change.  Yea, they did hero-swapping wrong in DD2, but that doesn't mean the feature was in itself bad. 

Also, you are right about durability, and I can agree that about 99.9999% of TD games push the durability of someone's build. 

You know how I feel about it, I want more ARPG gameplay out of DD, that's all.  And pushing harder, more hands-on gameplay, but giving more variety mid-wave would be what I'm looking for, although very hard to pull off and balance well.  (Not to mention, likely it isn't the direction CG wants to take DD)

3 hours ago, theProdigy said:

I have faith that most of the bugs will eventually get fixed.

Second time I've heard someone (Mr.JuiceBags on YouTube) in the DD community talk about faith with CG.  My faith has been dwindling with this company.  I bought DDA because I got free copies of DD2 and DDE from my involvement on these forums and in testing, so I figured I may as well give a little back.  Plus, Mr.JuiceBags had a great point about getting involved in EA means getting involved in the front end feedback that shapes the game.  I'd love to see this game change, but not everyone on the forum see's the game's future potential in the same light.  Really, we are all just beta testers that are paying CG to be testers.

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Since this is front end feedback which could potentially alter the games course I’d just like to throw my opinion in too and mention that I do not want to see mid-wave hero swapping possible. It takes away from the difficulty of the game and pushes it further to letting one person solo-building a game while 3 others just sit there doing nothing. It’s still possible even without switching but at least you have to really try

Edited by chrislafeken
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49 minutes ago, papafhill said:

Yea, they did hero-swapping wrong in DD2, but that doesn't mean the feature was in itself bad. 

No, the fact the feature itself was bad was why it was bad. I absolutely categorically do not want to see mid-wave swapping. The timer is fine as it is. 

Other complaints I'll agree with, though. The UI is bonkers terrible. 'Not the worst I've seen this decade' is about the highest praise I have for it. It's functional but a bit incoherent and lacking features, etc. They'll hopefully get there, but we'll see. I don't especially have faith nor am I especially cynical, so just taking a wait and see. In the interim I'm enjoying the game enough that I'll get my money out of it either way, as I basically wanted 'DD1 with some new maps and minor changes', which is in large part what this feels like in a lot of aspects. 

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6 hours ago, Hover Tower 2000 said:

The UI on the whole is awful, I always recall when they talked about taking the KS money and going to GDC (or wherever) and hiring a UI specialist, are you freaking kidding me.  

That's what they get for trying to design the UI and game to be accessible by people wanting to play it on a handheld device.

I have thoughts on that, that I probably shouldn't say otherwise it might end up with me getting muted or banned. 

On topic however, my general thoughts are this:

-I'm enjoying the game for the most part. The graphics and while in the game is pretty fun and enjoyable. The UI/inventory screen has a lot to be desired, though.

-I dislike the step backwards in looking to find out what ranks towers are at a glance. Why was it changed from DD1, or even DD2's visual upgrades? A step backwards because that thin, tiny yellow line is garbage. 

-Weapon variety needs some love. ie: huntress see's nothing but crossbows 80% of the time. Maybe it's just RNG, but it'd be nice seeing some different items occasionally in the sea of items. 

-Certain towers feel mostly pointless. (Lightning tower for instance.) While other towers feel really good, like the flameburst.

-Some maps on survival feel decent as far as enemy counts later on, then other times they feel super dull. Alch labs I think? has a ridiculous amount of enemies which aren't particularly difficult, but the pauses between enemies turn it into an extremely long ordeal. 

-Fix enemies getting stuck please. If I'm on a character that can't get rid of a tower and build something near the spawner to un-bug the mob, I have to wait ages it seems. That or lower the time to kill when it's not left spawn after X amount of time. 

-Pets are all over the place. Some are good. Some are mandatory. And then some are just bugged as all hell. 

-Hopefully fixes for losing progress in multiplayer games is in the works and will be on the way soon. This is my biggest gripe for the most part. I can deal with bugged mobs. I can deal with bugs here and there, it happens. Losing progress of any kind, from leaving a map and going back to tavern should not be a thing. Period. 

-Is it intended for you not to be able to drop pets? If not it's bugged.

*I'll add more as I think about it. 

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3 hours ago, papafhill said:

We are just too polar opposite, Cuddles. 

I see both of your points as opportunity for change.  Yea, they did hero-swapping wrong in DD2, but that doesn't mean the feature was in itself bad. 

Also, you are right about durability, and I can agree that about 99.9999% of TD games push the durability of someone's build. 

You know how I feel about it, I want more ARPG gameplay out of DD, that's all.  And pushing harder, more hands-on gameplay, but giving more variety mid-wave would be what I'm looking for, although very hard to pull off and balance well.  (Not to mention, likely it isn't the direction CG wants to take DD)

Second time I've heard someone (Mr.JuiceBags on YouTube) in the DD community talk about faith with CG.  My faith has been dwindling with this company.  I bought DDA because I got free copies of DD2 and DDE from my involvement on these forums and in testing, so I figured I may as well give a little back.  Plus, Mr.JuiceBags had a great point about getting involved in EA means getting involved in the front end feedback that shapes the game.  I'd love to see this game change, but not everyone on the forum see's the game's future potential in the same light.  Really, we are all just beta testers that are paying CG to be testers.

I never said I had faith in a company. I have faith that the small UI bugs will be fixed. Like the controller not being able to interact with the menus properly. That isn't too hard to do. Faith in a company is a completely different topic and certainly not remotely close to what I said. 

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15 hours ago, chrislafeken said:

... I do not want to see mid-wave hero swapping possible. It takes away from the difficulty of the game...

Can someone explain to me how this took away from the difficulty of the game?  I honestly don't get it.

11 hours ago, theProdigy said:

I never said I had faith in a company.

Sorry I misquoted you then!!

14 hours ago, Tristaris said:

Alch labs I think? has a ridiculous amount of enemies which aren't particularly difficult, but the pauses between enemies turn it into an extremely long ordeal. 

I played the map just before Arch Labs last night on Insane Survival.  It took me 2.5 hours to get through all 25 waves.  I agree, this just becomes too long of an ordeal sometimes.

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“Hero lock deck is good and adds danger to not building in time when there is a timer. 

Because mid-wave switching is something that only serves to make the game remarkably easier andnothing else. It makes slow building, terrible placement and being fairly undergeared pretty much non-issues and considering they're essentially the 3 biggest loss conditions that's a big impact.”

If you don’t understand the link between mid wave swapping and difficulty, Consider this: being locked into your builder or your dps character means you lose access to the other during the wave. If one of your structures goes down while on your builder, you can rebuild! Yay! But if you’re on the dps then you can’t. Now the pressure is on while you’re down a tower for the whole wave.

But being locked into the builder can also be a problem. Towers need assistance sometimes to take down an enemy or a particular grouped up part of the wave. If you aren’t on a dps character then you are heavily relying on your towers or allies. That required strategy or cooperation with allies is what keeps the game from being too easy. Remember that your towers are stronger while your builder is out. If you could switch out mid wave you’d essentially get the tower bonuses while he’s out for the whole wave and only switch to dps to deal with threats then get your builder bonus again after.

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For all the reasons said above, I absolutely do not want mid-wave swapping for heroes. It would make the game too trivial. Timers can be adjusted as needed to allow for adequate build times, but you could solo nearly every map in DD1 with build timers and no mid-wave swapping.

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Commenting to add on to the above points of NOT wanting mid-wave swapping back.

Also I haven't been having any problems with the build timers on insane.

You learn to start with barricades in every lane and build your damage towers during the first very easy wave.

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mid-wave swapping would basically destroy the game for me personally. I do understand both sides on this. But beeing locked out of your builder while your enemies crush through your terrible placed defenses is something elemental to Dungeon Defenders.

However the UI has improved in comparison to Beta. But it's nowhere to be finished and I think that CG knows that. From what I have seen so far DDA is hella fun at the moment, and when you look at the fact that they developed everything from the ground up and painted every asset, model, object new, then I truly believe that they will be able to develop/design a good working UI. In the end this is nothing to difficult. Just comparise combat UI in beta with EA Version. It did improve!

 

We all should just continue testing the game and gather up good constructive feedback for CG to make DDA a good game.

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