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Xurtan

Defender-In-Training
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Xurtan last won the day on March 11

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  1. Hey guys, So I wanted to talk about something that doesn't seem to get much love, and is incredibly important from a general gameplay perspective. Yes the game is too easy, we're all aware of it. Yes there are balancing issues, etc. But by far one of the biggest hurdles in my mind (and indeed, of people I've tried to get into the game) is how clunky and honestly sort of amateurish the UI and the client is. A game should not take more than a handful of seconds to load. Everything is big and blocky and overall sort of in the way. It's slow to use and just an un-enjoyable slog when I attempt to load the game up or close it, switch maps or do anything that involves me interacting with the client itself. Compare it to a smooth, easy to use client/UI like Overwatch or GW2 or the like, and it's abhorrent. I do more than understand you're a smaller company and don't have the funds they do. It doesn't have to be that pretty or anything of the sort, but it really does need to be smooth and pleasing to use. I do realize that getting combat out is a huge effort by the whole team, and that new skins, heroes, balance tweaks, maps etc are beloved by the community. But I do fully believe at this point that it's past time to work on the optimization of the game itself. When it was just the original defense council team it was passable. But now when the game is actually out on steam as F2P, trying to attract players and so on? Even knowing it's unfinished and being worked on, the excuses tend to wear thin. I've tried to get most of my gaming crew into the game little by little, and while they enjoy TDs and the idea of the game itself, the long waits and sub-optimal systems are a major turnoff. None of us have old or slow hardware, so I'm certain it isn't on our end and is more of an issue from the server side and the design of the game itself. Do we have any information on when these systems are liable to be improved? There does get to be a point where adding content just isn't enough, and it's time to improve the core of the game.
  2. can you not adjust the ipwr requirements to which ever you like? should be able 2. Nope! It lets me do that for some things, but only up to a certain difficulty, and only in some game modes. If I click on say, Expert Incursions, it tells me that I have not yet unlocked that. Which is funny because I remember doing them months back. :P Wondering if they reset something and I now need to go through something again, or if it's solely based on ipwr even in a private tavern.
  3. Just getting back into the game with the new heroes, and wondering why even for solo or duo private games I can't seem to access the higher difficulties? It's boring as balls playing on difficulties designed for my item level, because they're easy as dirt with literally no way to lose. I remember when I used to play I could more or less play wherever I wanted with friends. Is that no longer the case? Is there a way to unlock it, or am I just sort of stuck at boring mediocrity until I up an artificial number through small upgrades?
  4. I just want a cool Apprentice skin. =/ The Squire has the Ram skin, -all- of the Monk's skins are cool, and Huntress has the new one plus the Red Riding Wolf thing she has going on. The Apprentice gets ghetto-Harry Potter with an ugly ass sorting hat, and whatever the hell that abomination in a barrel is. Bleh.
  5. I got a single daily quest right after the patch. Nothing since then.
  6. Love it. Seems like a really good mix of both worlds. +1 Truthfully I don't think it would even be that hard to code. Just take an average stat level for various ipwr levels, maybe every 5/10 points or something. Then let players debuff themselves to that level. Depending on the type of debuffs we already have it shouldn't be that difficult to make a permanent one that affects stats until we go to an NPC to get it removed/changed. I mean, if you wanted them to save copies of your character at every level and scale you back to your unique stats at that time, I could see it getting awkward.. But that wouldn't work as well for DDII's style, anyways. Either way, I think they need to do -something-, so kind of curious to see what if anything we'll see as a result of future downscaling changes.
  7. I basically agree with everything the OP said, but I'll likely go over some of them in more detail and give a nod to others - as well as expand on some of the things I've noticed in the game as a whole. Overall, it was an interesting patch. For starters, one thing I can say is I wish y'all would post the patch notes during downtime. It's a little thing, but it gives the community a bone and lets us pick them apart early. Unless you're planning to change things last minute, there isn't any reason to avoid it. That said, let's dig into some of the meat. I definitely agree with Severex in regards to stats. Hard caps are never fun for anyone, same with DR. If we want to go with a whacky build, let us. That was one of the fun things of DDII. Crazy attack speed builds were hilarious to see in action. (But more on that later) Regardless, one of the biggest issues I personally have with stats is there's no transparency. You give us this big arbitrary number, say for example +423.11 crit damage.. which is.. what, exactly? That tell us nothing. Sure, we can click on the 'stats' tab to see where we're getting all of those numbers from. But that still doesn't tell us anything. Are we really going to be forced to rely on people actually doing the math and breaking down the algorithms to figure out what does what, and the most optimal builds? Come on guys, you should know better. Knowing how much each point/handful of points adds to a certain stat would be beyond amazing. Give us actual hard numbers and percentages. If you think it would confuse people, have it squirreled away in a stat menu somewhere. But at least give us the option. XP Progression. I think you're well aware of the issues with it, but it can't hurt to be mentioned again. Hitting a brick wall so early in the content? It isn't fun. In DDI, you only -really- slowed down beyond.. what was it, level 70 I think? Which was fine, because by that point you were done with everything and working on gearing up for Nightmare and the like. Here? We're just starting on Hard mode. It's very jarring. It feels less like an attempt at balance and more like you just wanted people playing for longer, and this was definitely not the way to go about it. People will always go for the most optimal way of leveling, and in this case that's spamming 70+ runs of Betsy Easy Campaign. It's not the most miserable thing I've done, but it's up there. As far as downscaling.. this is a tough subject, because I understand what you're going for, but I do agree with Severex overall. Part of the fun of DDI is seeing how strong we've grown, how powerful. To just run lower level content and laugh as we one-shot everything. (Again, more on this later..) But now? We don't get that sense, really. Our stats are nerfed in higher difficulties, everything is nerfed when we're in lower maps.. It makes it all feel kind of awkward, and like we're punished for advancing. But on the other hand, being able to play with lower level friends and not completely breaking the content is kind of nice. My suggestion would be to take out the current downscaling system, but give us a 'mentor' system in place. An -optional- downscaling, so we can lower ourselves to our friends levels/stat range, and play together.. without forcing it on us. Not everyone wants to be nerfed to that degree, and sometimes it's fun to just go back and see how far we've come. Matchmaking: Yep. We need a server list. We also need a better way of telling if people are in a game on that map already. The whole system is a little awkward, at the moment. We know you're proud of your social tavern and the like, but.. urgh. Convenience shouldn't always be given over for "gameplay". Inventory: Yeah, the scroll speed is also. In fact, I've found the mouse speed in menues in general is kind of awful and really not smooth at all. In game it's fine, but outside of that it feels super clunky. Suggestions.. 4, 5, 6, yep yep and yep. ESC not closing windows is particularly aggravating. For 7 & 8 I'm actually fine with the systems as they are currently, so no comment. 9 & 10, yep. EVERY cinematic should be skippable. I'm sorry, but no one wants to sit through that god awful 'victory' or 'random chest' cinematic. Just let us see what we got and get out to the next level. Bugs: The pathing. That's basically all I need to say for this. It's still super awkward in some spots, but I know y'all are working on it. Also, on.. Siphon Site Hard Mode, I believe? We only played it once, but the map had 9 waves. 8 was nothing but fliers that dropped a ton of mana, and 9 didn't have anything spawn. We eventually had to exit out. Not getting any dailies at all. Shellium when. As far as my own suggestions.. I think we need better customization options in Onslaught. Just picking a specific slot is not enough, particularly for the difficulty. As it is, there's no reward for the risk. The loot scales terribly from round to round, and the ilvl stays the same as the map.. So by the time you can do 2-3 rounds, you're ten levels or better ahead of it - thus making the loot absolutely worthless. I can go do the first map of hard difficulty and get ten times the amount of gear, a lot of it upgrades, for less than half of the difficulty. So why bother with Onslaught? For the monthly pet? Ehhh. I think being able to pick 'Tower Defense', 'Hero Defense', 'Hero Offense', or 'Tower Offense' would help a fair bit. But -something- obviously has to change. Balance in general needs work. When Nightmare is just three Squires sitting in an Aura? That's an issue. Where is the Apprentice supposed to fit in? His barricade is useless, and his ice tower feels very mediocre when it doesn't have an innate freeze chance. (But once more, more on that later) Regardless, if you're looking to make everyone able to solo the game.. That's currently impossible. Personally I don't solo or ever intend to, and I don't honestly care if you cater to the solo crowd or not. (Sorry, soloers) But you've mentioned multiple times you -want- to, in which case.. well, currently they can't. So either everything needs to be possible to solo, or you need to mention some things are not meant to -be- soloed. Still, either way 'Three Squires Blocking' is not a tactic I want to see as the meta. It's boring for everyone involved, and sure as hell not interesting at all. I know you've always had problems with balancing, but this is particularly egregious. Every Hero should have their spot. To me, the "best" hero comp should be one of each. That seems like the point of the game, doesn't it? Four heroes against the world? As it is, Monk and Apprentice are kind of left out. Squire is tanky and has the block, has the best barricades, and usually to always has the best towers. The resists helped a bit, but in the end don't seem to make a huge difference. Huntress is at least somewhat useful as a DPSer, even if it doesn't feel all that great. So I guess I should get to some of my other issues. Attack Speed. I know, I know. It's a hot topic, and you removed it for a reason. But crit? It doesn't feel good. We don't see the results, it isn't noticeable, and we have no idea what stacking it does because we don't see the percentages. Attack Speed? We very obviously saw results. It was obvious in the animation, in the DPS (Consistently!) and on the 'stats' of the tower itself. Now? We just.. kind of have to hope crits go off. RNG is not a good system when it comes to defenses. That, and we lose a lot of our customization options, I feel. It isn't viable to stack crit like it could have been for Attack Speed. I'm aware that it solved a lot of the animation and balancing issues y'all were running in to remove it, but -removing- fun content to make it -easier- for the devs? It's a bad habit, and one that's going to come back to bite you. People play the game to have -fun- and when you remove things that they enjoy? It sets a very bad precedent. Even if you had to tweak things more individually, or nerf things here and there.. It would have been a better option than removing Attack Speed altogether. Very poor choice. On another note, Hero DPS. It -also- feels rather sad. In DDI, you got a good weapon, some amazing stats.. and you literally mowed down entire waves. It felt great! You felt powerful, and strong! You were truly at the top of your game. ..And you still got stomped by Nightmare. After all, you couldn't be everywhere, and a lot of it came down to your build and defenses. That's the way it -should- be. But here? Hero DPS feels.. bland. The weapons are boring and single-shot things, and the Slayer passives were very much a letdown. Even with a ton of DPS and an amazing weapon, you're still sitting there plinking away to take out a single mob. Better if you can consistently crit them, but urgh. It's not at all the same. It lacks a sense of fluidity and enjoyment, to me. It feels slow and somewhat cumbersome. The next topic I want to talk about is Skill Spheres. I know, kind of late at this point. But while I'm talking about everything.. It's an interesting idea, but the way it's implemented is kind of rough. Unfortunately, those of us that were here before that system was added will always be comparing it. Is that fair? Maybe not. But at least to see, the older system was far superior, far more interesting, and gave us many more options. Once upon a time, my Apprentice could freeze things solid, knock things up, and double blast them with my fireblast towers all at once. Now? I have to pick -one- of those options. It feels like a serious downgrade no matter how I look at it. Again I can only imagine it came about because of balance issues, but -removing options to make it easier to balance is a poor idea- because you lose customization. You're making us pick a very narrow field, and inevitably what happens is one thing becomes the 'best', with no room for any of the others. Before? I could change it up each map, focus more on one area and less in another. It was -nice- to be able to do multiple things. A lot of my love for my Apprentice was a combination of the knockup on the Earth towers and the Freeze of the Ice. That's no longer an option. I do really like the Skill Sphere system, and I think the passives they provide are quite nice. Even if the way they unlock with the XP progression is a bit of an awkward mess. Personally, I still would rather have seen it added -in addition- to the original talents. Alas. I do think you're going to have to do something about it, but that's just my opinion. Ubers, in particular, feel all but useless. Especially for being level 50 "Uber" Spheres. They seem to be consistent downgrades. Why even bother with them? Sorry guys, I know you're trying and we do appreciate all of the work you do. But it definitely still needs work. Beyond that? We need a better way to tell if an item is an upgrade or not than going through hundreds of items at a time. The ipwr system is kind of garbage and poorly implemented. A lot of people just equip the highest level items they have to advance, caring naught for stats. It hard gates us from content, particularly if we're waiting and trying to find specific stats. But that's not what I wanted to get into. We need a way to set 'stats we consider important', so we can look solely for those. Seeing an item -with nothing but red stats- and an upgrade thumb is.. so incredibly saddening. We get it, the ipwr is higher.. that doesn't make it a better item. Give us a system that lets us customize what we're looking for. Again, it always comes back to customization. For that matter, give us an option to only see drops of a certain rarity, or for drops to automatically go to various bags or into the trash. (I don't ever loot anything below blue right now, but as it is they get in the way) If nothing else, give us the option to 'hide' those. Notice I never say it should be one way or the other. Always, always, always -options-. Being able to mix and max accessories and skins would be a great boon, as well. On -that- note.. Why are all of the Apprentice skins terrible? The Monk is getting amazing outfits left and right, and we get.. A farmer? Really? Can we get something that -looks- like a proper, powerful Apprentice? Please? Not all of us like silly skins, and so far I've found the Apprentice ones lacking. The accessories at least allow for some decent options. Admittedly, the last couple of ones are more cosmetic and ease of use complaints. The only other thing of note I can think of at the moment is being able to set bags for where items go. IE, click on an icon and select 'Food', or 'Legendaries', or multiple things, even. Let us organize things a bit better. That, and please fix the bag bugs where it forces you down to the last one opened instead of at the top. -_- This has gone on entirely longer than I expected though, and I apologize it's kind of rambling in spots. Overall I think the patch had some really good ideas, just a lot of it was poorly implemented. You've come a long ways since the DDII doors first opened, and I truly adored DDI. The instant I heard of the sequel I was watching it, and I look forward to seeing where you continue to go. Keep up the work, guys. A final thought.. Why can't we 'open a new tab' on a previous page of a thread and have it go to that page? It always just takes me to the top root of the forums.
  8. It's already rare by its nature of it being an event. The only people to have it will be the people playing during that time period. A way to say 'Hey, look at this. I was playing when..' Plenty of games have similar events, but they're almost never RNG due to this very reason. It upsets your player base when it's meant to be a way to keep them interested. RNG as a whole is fine, people don't mind grinding for gear and so on. But adding it to a time limited event? A lot of people have work or other obligations to take care of, and can't afford to spend eight hours a day grinding for something like that.
  9. More options for what we get might help. Let us pick the stats, at least. IE, Select Relic > Get a pick of DPS, Tower Power, or Defense or something. As it is, the rewards are awful. We're doing it in the mid-30s to get to round 3 or so, and the items are 10 levels below us. The risk vs reward is just.. non-existent.
  10. Absolutely awful. Loot is few and far between, mana is nonexistent, and the loot you -do- get is pretty garbage. I've yet to see an upgrade even with 13 rounds completed, one of which took us to round.. 7, I think? The mobs were late level 50s, either way. 100k health a pop, hit like trucks.. All for some really incredibly terrible gear no one wanted. I thought it was supposed to improve? =/ As it is, hard mode gives a lot more better loot a lot faster for NOWHERE near the difficulty. Course, the fact I seem to find nothing but relics with defense health for drops is another story entirely..
  11. Huntress is useless, Squire is again King of Everything, Apprentice is useless, Monk is useless.. There's a few cases where this isn't quite true, but overall? Yeah. It kind of sucks. Tired of Squires always being the best, particularly as they already have the only useful blockades.. they don't need the best towers on top of it.
  12. Will the merchants ever sell anything worthwhile? Are you going to remove the incredibly terrible system that time-gates content, preventing people from playing at their own speed?
  13. This is kind of a difficult subject. I can see both sides of the fence, but really in the end I do think there should be requirements to join Incursions and such. Once the level cap is expanded it might not be as big of an issue, if the difficulties you unlock at 25 are spread out further. But even still, there's something to be said for immediately hitting 25 and being able to hop into an Incursion map. I don't think it's fair to the builders or the hero DPS players to have to carry dead weight. It's just kind of a crap shoot. Do you get someone that knows what they're doing and is aware of how to play and build? Do you get someone -able- to build and withstand Incursions? I had someone try to build with such weak stats the other day we didn't survive the first round. Whereas I know my Apprentice's towers can withstand it. It's a frustrating experience. You join Incursion and expect competence. It's a lot like joining a raid force. Seeing as we already have ilvls, why not take advantage of them and restrict Incursions to a certain power level? Let people work to unlock them. This would be good for player retention, too. Something incredibly important for any game. As it is, people get to 25, hop into the end game content, finish it and then.. what? What else is there to do? If they're forced to farm to play those maps, they'll play the game itself longer. Which is good for the game as a whole. Not to mention it will help give them a better idea of build strategies and where they should be at any given time. At the moment, everyone blasts through the content and it doesn't take any time at all to get a new character leveled and geared up. Failing a hard restriction, a setting by the Leader to allow only a set range of ilvls might be an option. I think that would divide the playerbase though, and I'm not sure the population is large enough to deal with it. Whereas at least with a hard cap it's for every game, rather than just a few. Being able to make private games helps the situation, sure. But sometimes you just want to play with random people that know what they're doing. Or you don't -have- friends to play with. So you want to play the hardest content in the game with other people that worked for it. I think expecting people to be carried sets a bad precedent, and they don't learn anything from it. As maps and difficulties get harder and harder, they're going to be further left in the lurch and a further drain on those people that actually work for it. Better to nip that in the bud quickly, in my opinion.
  14. Not a bad idea, but then the issue comes back to what would people use it for? I just have a hard time believing that a lot of people would want to grind out very rare pieces of gear solely to have it. Even if the stats are 20% better, when you can easily curbstomp the hardest map in the game now.. *shrug* Of course, there is something to be said for being able to say you have the best gear, or preparing for when there is harder content. I know they've mentioned a higher tier of gear at one point, but it sounded like something that was further on down the line sadly. Course, as it is they're having problems balancing items and such.
  15. I don't know that I particularly like this idea, but a facet of it could be interesting. There are minibosses, sure. Why not have Lieutenants of whatever boss spawn on the last wave, or in the last two waves? Solely on the harder difficulties, mind. Normal and hard might just have the boss itself, and then the next two difficulties could have some sort of Lt. mobs pushing the lanes. Something in between a boss and a miniboss, styled after whichever boss is on that map. IE, Betsy would have Wyvern Lieutenants. After all, you get to the point where you can take out a boss and a lot of the time your towers going down isn't the issue - it's the DPS race on the boss. Having to peel people off to keep a closer eye on that might add increased challenge. Of course, this does make it more difficult/impossible to solo. They don't even need to be damage or tower focused. Having a couple more mobs aiming solely for the players, or buffing units, or whatever might make it more interesting. Maybe a 'Rally' sort of ability, where mobs from one lane are moved to another, forming a hard push for a moment. I don't rightly know. It's incredibly difficult finding a sweet spot between 'too hard' and merely 'difficult'. I just tend to lean on the 'harder the better' side of the fence. If it takes me months to farm and prepare for a difficulty? Hey, I'm pleased with that! It took my DDI crew -forever- to be able to do Nightmare Eternia Shards. Misty was particularly challenging for us. Weeks of agonizing over it, trying new strategies, building up our gear.. and when we finally, finally downed the boss and completed the map? Nothing compares to that. Everyone was incredibly excited, yelling in skype and everything else. Very much a 'YEAH!' moment. Those are lacking in DDII currently. Nothing takes long to complete, and when a boss is downed it's more 'Huh. She didn't drop a Legendary. Oh well, do it again.' and less 'Holy crap! That was amazing!'. I know you're trying to keep a good medium guys, and not make content too hard - particularly for the new players. But I say why not? Not every piece of content has to be designed to be easy. If it takes people a long time to complete? Oh well. When they -do- beat it, it will feel all the sweeter.
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