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Amuga

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  1. I...I think you responded to the wrong thread :D
  2. I will preface this by saying I'm not new to the Tower Defense genre, neither am I new to the more modern iterations of Tower Defense games that involve third person hero gameplay etc. The point of this thread, will be in parts to express my opinion of the current state of the game as well as the pain points I personally have with it as well the things I enjoy about it. Also for an idea of where I'm at in terms of progression I have just bridged chaos 7 and floor 29 for the first time, mostly played co-op with a friend who started with me. The Good I won't go too much into a pep talking session here I'll keep this section simple and straight forward.The leveling system is fine and straight forward, ascencion is easy to understand. Gear Progression and drops (being upgraded as you drop more) works well, is fairly clean and easy to understand for the most part. The game mostly offers a fair and intuitive challenge while remaining fun throughout it and progress [i][u]mostly[/u][/i] goes smoothly (I'll expand on this in the other sections) and offers a fair bit of depth. The Bad (and the ugly, AKA what could use some work)This will be a bit of a longer section and is meant entirely as criticism and not ranting/flaming/bashing. If need be edits will be made. (Also my personal opinion, so if you don't agree thats okay). To keep things concise I'll separate them into headers of general areas. UIThe UI has, well, a lot of issues, for one, there is a lot of information in them, which by itself is fine, however most if not all of this information is represented by icons, which may or may not mean anything to someone depending on their familiarity with the game or the genre. Icons, oh, so many iconsFor instance my friend had absolutely no idea what the Gear icon meant (for gear score)and unless you search for a lot of this information you end having having to guess your way through them, as there are no hover tooltips or any sort of immediately/intuitively available tooltips anywhere, aside from the occasional loading tooltip. Magic? Physical? Maybe it was born like that? Maybe its maybelline?Even though there is a lot of information, a lot is still missing, things like tower damage type (magical/physical) (which is mostly left to guessing and assumption), things like that should be more readily available. Often when reading through mods or lane modifiers you are sort of left guessing what a keyword means or entails. '50k dps' [nukes army in .1 seconds]Tooltips are often showing incorrect information regarding DPS (and at times other stats) and can be misleading,I have noticed that the most when watching people play with EV2 and the weapons manufacturer, flamethrower also looks iffy at best usually.Another example being frostbite tower not showing how defense power affects the slow % (according to the UI it doesn't), no clarification on whether mods are accounted for in some cases. What does this tower do again? And where do I find out again?Maybe I'm blind, but I can't find an intuitive way that doesn't involve clicking Create Hero and click my existing hero to find a description of what a certain tower does (which is far too many clicks and driving you away from the experience in my opinion)Even then, when I check the tooltip in that one far away random place, it can be misleading or ambiguous, for instance the Boost Aura, sure it says it boosts the defenses, but does it increase power and health? Does it affect my slow % on frostbite? Sure you could check the tooltips but its hard to trust them.2014 called and they want their UI backDon't mind the attempt at humor, point is, a lot of screens feel, well, ugly, and navigating through them can be clunky. A couple easy examples:Reaching the map page and clicking Expeditions and then having to click the arrow to select the chaos level I wish to go to, a dropdown would make me have to click less to get where I want to.I have to sort of dig to find the server list with maps, I can't create any map from a certain area without choosing a specific (here's the theme, choose the restaurant, baby)Some things UI wise don't scale very 'pretty' things feel sort of big and awkward even in 1980x1080 I still feel like the menus are playing on 1024x768 (hyperbole) I can't get borderless fullscreen without my start bar peeping.Minor thing, but annoying and I shouldn't have to fidget with my OS settings to have a proper borderless fullscreen instance of a game running. My conclusion for the UI (and this will be a recurring comment) will be that I shouldn't need to google these things or look up guides to understand what they mean, 'if your UI/UX needs an explanation your UI/UX is bad'.I understand its a large game with a lot of systems/towers but these things sort of setup the foundation of the game and if they are unreliable and unintuitive it takes away from the fun. Chaos Progression I know, I said progression was mostly fine and I'm not going back on my word, I didn't have a ton of issues with this, so this section will mostly focus on one thing my friend and I agreed on.There is a very odd bump in difficulty between chaos 1 and chaos 2 (and no we weren't heavily using auras, at all actually) where we went from being sufficiently challenged (or comfortably winning) and having 10/10 Chaos I gear to 'oh lord its wave 1 and everything is breaking and we're dead'. Aside from chaos 1-2 jump it was mostly fine, I'll mention why 'mostly' in another section Shard Acquisition Okay, there's a few things about this, which will also tie in with a couple other areas that I'll touch on.To be plain, Acquiring shards feels, well, awful, it is BY FAR the grindiest part of the game and also the least fun.I understand, a free to play game has to have some level of grind, and that is fine. However, there is just far too much fodder, and not fun repetitive farming (sitting in chaos X plowing through waves with strong towers and looking at another monitor)And doing that repeatedly because Cod forbid you go to town or tavern to do something else for a bit, because then you lose your 'consecutive win' extra shard by doing so.You can't trade them either, not even for the Premium Currency (Will be expanded on in it's own category) with other players.You just end up collecting a stockpile of useless shards (and dusting them, and them reacquiring them on a 10:1 proportion), also could be confirmation bias but I'm fairly sure odds on certain shards dropping are weighted, haven't googled that one though. They could at least be pseudo random, that'd be nicer...I think shard farming feels, boring, and its sort of a crucial part of the game for progression to not be halted in case you don't get good shards at a certain point, and crucial for gilding and 'late game' progression with resets and such. Solo PlaySolo play feels pretty bad, as a lot of maps tend to be very large and require some level of managing (for good and bad reasons) you put in a lot more effort and you are left with objectively inferior rewards for not having someone else to play with, I played mostly with my friend so we had some of the bonuses fairly consistently.I understand you want to encourage co-op, and that's fine, however I don't think the playerbase is that massive that you always end up in a match with pubs if you want to, and if you do you run the 'risk' (or reward depending on your goal) to just enter a game and be completely carried, when in fact you wanted to actually try and, y'know, play the game, as you can't see champion score in the server browser, and you cant filter a maximum allowed gear score to your public servers either. It could use some love, I think co-op is fun and I don't dislike it. However I dislike feeling heavy handed to play it, and its fine if some extra rewards are added for playing with others.But there should be some advantage/bonus that isn't just 'I have OCD and want to build everything myself' and running around like a headless chicken for playing solo, either that or scale waves/annoying units (Which I'll get to) and yes I know HP gets scaled down in solo, that's not enough, another alternative would be allowing solo players to scale the enemies HP (and whatever else gets scaled up) to multiplayer level and acquire better rewards that way through a handicap system. Enemies/BossesThere isn't too much here, most things are fine and straight forward this will mostly talk about a few, less than ideal encounters that don't feel as fun/challenging as they feel annoying and obnoxious.Starting from the bottom (and I know I'm not alone here) Flying/suicide kobolds They have far too much health, and setting up a skyguard tower to deal with them is utterly pointless and will 90% of the times get blown to shreds before killing them, and manually dpsing them down when not using some sort of ability also takes too long and often ends poorly. (I also think regular suicide kobolds have too much HP) Usually suicide threats have low HP to counter their devastating power and high speed.These have virtually no weaknesses (in comparison to most games of this genre) aside from mass long range CC high damage.This will be expanded in the next section but Skyguard tower feels overall pretty awful in dealing with most airborne threats. Chaos 4 Berserker orcs (Lady Orcs) high damage, willy-nilly ignores blockades and decides to attack them from behind sometimes, now I have read this is a known bug, still incredibly frustrating to deal with when it happens, and it does, often. Chaos 5 Dark Assassins way too much health and damage (if you were doing a solely warlock/hunter gear set I pity you) plus there is literally no way to avoid them or break free unless you have CC in towers/pets, they also tend to appear at the worst times, like when Drakenlord shows up and freezes all your stuff. Also upon being CC'd they tend to jitter around in a really buggy fashion and sometimes still hit you a few times even at a distance (even if all other enemies are moving normally), honestly encountering them just feels frustrating and sigh worthy as there is no 'skill' counter measure you just have to run in front of your CC and wait there is no dodge/break free mechanic, and that feels really uninspired and lame. Chaos 6 Hex Throwers not much to talk about there other than the insane range (and really high damage) these guys sometimes have sitting behind the defense chucking spears with the precision of a sniper at your blockades in other lanes, which I can mostly deal with but sort of usually just involve using certain less fun strategies, unsure how I feel about them, their range and targeting could certainly be limited to their own lanes at least. Chaos 7 KoboltsHaven't dealt with them too much yet as I've run only a couple of times on chaos 7, but they have the same HP issue (aggravated actually) from regular suicide kobolds. Sadly everything from chaos 4 and up feels like more a hassle than a new challenge and 2 of those (4 and 5) work in a very buggy fashion at best. Cannon OgreHe is mostly fine, but I feel like he has perfect aim against players which causes you to be one shot when trying to get close no matter how good your dance moves are. a little frustrating. Goblin Siege RollerUntil I faced this thing I had no idea what so ever that this game has a 'weak-point' mechanic, because, well it is literally never mentioned or touched upon (more on New Player Experience), and that caused the first couple of encounters against this boss to be rather frustrating although after doing what I shouldn't have to do (look up online)DrakenlordThere is also no explanation here what so ever that in order to disable his very strong frost aura/shields you need to both Oil THEN use flames on him, which is a very specific combo not available to most heroes, but once you figure it out (aka look it up on external resources) he is fine (though paired with assassins that tend to jump you as you're charging up the phoenix shot can be....Fun) The idea and functionality overall of all these enemies feels fine and acceptable, the implementation however feels lackluster and could use some reworks/tweaking. Iffy TowersMostly just gonna talk about some personal opinions but also just overall things I notice in the meta. (also only talking about the base heroes as those are the ones I have)Skyguard Tower In concept good, but for something that costs 50 mana and only attacks Air Units (and even with shards for damage/range/ascension slow and power, and has the unique modifier installed) it does an awful job at killing fliers, I shouldn't need more than one to deal with a handful of suicide kobolds/zappers, I don't mind having to tussle against a large number of dragons though. Also not sure if this IS a thing already (and if it isn't it sure should be) but I hope there is some sort of targettng priority for the skyguard tower to attack natively flying/high value targets versus random airborne enemies that are being knocked up by other towers (shatterstone shard for instance or mage tornado). Boost Aura High cost, small AoE, most of the times you're better off putting another offensive tower for the cost, and depending on how you setup your defenses you're not going to have towers that closely together to make it be worth it. FrostbiteBoy do I want to love Frostbite tower, in every tower defense game I have ever played (and I come from Starcraft TD mods time) I always enjoyed using freeze/cold towers as ways to CC/slow enemies however in DD2 you're mostly better off just using the points for yet another 30+ mana aggro tower.It can veeeeeeeery selectively be useful in certain specific occasions, as it deals no damage. The main issue I have with most of these is usually tied with the max mana per map system, 99% of the time your defense will consist of a couple aggro/high damage towers and blockades, there is rarely room or need for diversity in the recipe, its mostly if you want to add flavor or challenge yourself further. I think, the game could perhaps benefit from a support tower mana allocation system (just ideas) or some other benefit or maybe just make them cover a much larger area (frostbite 360?, skyguard not awful?), or lower their costs, to make them more meta viable. I'm tired of flame aura/EV2 weapons man. solve-all approach. Monetization/Premium CurrencyOkay, this is a tricky area for feedback as often this involves core business values and other harder-to-bend ideas depending on the company values etc.And usually hardcore fanatics will just say its fine and that I'm in the wrong for trying to deprive the poor men from a roof over their houses and a warm meal. Hopefully this is not you, reader of this (really long) post. So I'll say what my honest opinion is, the current monetization system is bad, and I'll compare it to a game that does it really well and has been highly profitable using this system, Warframe.Here is the one and only pain point for me:Bag space is limited, fair, its a monetization hook, I get that, no worries, here's the issue, the game provides you with a limited (also fair) source of PC (Premium Currency from this point onward) which allows you (if you waited or research to find out what to use it on) to buy you 1 extra bag (first taste is always free). Now, there is no (free) way what so ever from that point on for you to farm new ways to get any of these things that, lets be honest, are not cosmetic, bag space/bank space/materials vault are sort of a core part of this game if you're trying to get into the late part of it without sacrificing a lot of things along the way. Now, I'll talk about the approach that I enjoyed about Warframe which also has a similar 'limited inventory' (for weapons and 'characters') that has to be expanded through PC. In Warframe, Premium Currency is tradable, and before you go 'well then people would create accounts and throw their free PC in the market and flood it', the answer is, no they won't and they don't, because they can't, PC that is given by the game to you is untradable, thus only PC that has been bought by players can be traded by players (and ultimately get put back into the game by means of them purchasing things), which always generates the necessity of purchased PC to be in existence in order for there to be a PC trading system (which is not an issue there and it wouldn't be one here either) Other than that I have no issues with it, mostly for cosmetics or 'loot boxes' type gambles on shard packs (not a fan but I don't buy them so doesn't bother me)I think a PC (Premium Currency in case you forgot) trading system could be implemented (as previously mentioned for shards for an example) and it'd provide more value and draw/appeal to the game, nothing wrong with copying a system that works better. (I know its not that easy)Alternatively allow medals to be allowed to be traded for bags/inventory space/vault/material bag space. New Player ExperienceOh the guides, pets guides, hero guides, ancient power guides, so many guides.Like I mentioned, I'm a relatively new player to DD2 and the franchise(picked up the game a while ago for a few hours, put it down a few months ago, came back to it last month with a friend and we went from lvl 20 to chaos 7 together) So here's the main thing, there is SO much that you have absolutely no idea about in the game when you start (normal) that you can only find out if you do research outside of the game, you may take that as a given depending on that type of player you are, I was able to figure out a lot of stuff with some research but I also not exactly a casual gamer (and I'll be using my friend as an example of the latter), and I am used to having to fiddle my way through forums and guides to learn certain 'specifics' of games (and then explain everything to him), but DD2 feels like a lot of the basics are left out without any decent explanation on basic and more advanced mechanics, my basic example will be the following. From the get-go you have access to all sorts of things like Tinkering and upgrading your gear, rerolling stats etc, neither which you should really waste time/medals with early on as you go through them rather quickly (there's an argument for campaign level gear (which sure), since it only costs a few gold coins) but the moment you start getting into Chaos (pre ancient power reset) that stuff becomes a resource and gold sink that can and should totally and absolutely be avoided, but nothing really tells you any of this and you kinda have to learn the hard way, and usually by then some damage has already been done, people shouldn't have to go outside of the game to learn how to play it. I think more guidance is needed to a lot of these more intricate systems that become relevant later into the game and in the beginning are a plain waste of time and resources. Helpful tips/ingame resources when introducing these mechanics that players can easily access. Another example which is also mentioned in UI is certain mechanics that you didn't even know existed until you ran into something that required use of them,For instance enemies having weak points, that is, at no point, mentioned in the game other than in some mods much later into the game and you have to figure that out on it's own (mentioned in the enemies/boss section for specifics). Or how certain combinations of 'elements' affect enemies, e.g. oil and fire and water and electricity etc. There is no enemy/mechanic 'Codex' or source of knowledge or introduction of these mechanics, they just sorta get thrown at you at some arbitrary point in the game and you're forced to guess. Which is no bueno. And lastly, a specific mechanic that gets hinted at but not explained as to why one should bother what so ever is, acquiring more cards of the same hero, I read one online guide about it, and I still sorta don't get exactly how it works or if and why should I bother doing it, I understand its available and an option however I have not been given any reason by the game what so ever of any possible perks or advantages of spending hard earned medals in doing so, and that just feels, wrong. The EndThat's it, we got there, took me a few hours to write this all out and I had already spent some days thinking about this, so if you managed to make it through the end, congrats, let me know what you think, and feel free to correct me and suggest edits, after all these are all my (not only mine) opinions regarding the game. I have had a lot of fun playing it and plan on continue doing so as I believe DD2 to be one of the better TD games out currently.
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