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Author: Cassielle

Player Feedback Needed! Difficulty, Karma, Balance   [Copy link]

Rank: 2

Post time 2013-1-19 15:21:35 |Show all posts
I noticed that since the newest patch, the caltrops skill feels a bit over powered.  As I am building straight cunning, I have a skill of 18 at level 5.  With this I am able to do 13 damage per second with the skill, but I am able to stack the trap (as in spam the skill in a single area) at least 4 times so I am able to do around 52 damage per second with the traps.  This means that I am able to kill most monsters I face in a few seconds without really doing much, but just spamming the caltrap skill.

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Rank: 2

Post time 2013-1-20 08:45:34 |Show all posts
The pickled head enemies in area 3-1 are WAY too over powered. They hit me for 300+ damage per hit and then I'm dead within 30 seconds of starting the level.

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Post time 2013-1-21 09:26:32 |Show all posts
Edited by Celeria at 2013-1-21 10:00

1- How are we doing on difficulty?
It starts out fine but gets out of hand in a hurry given 2 things. 1, the new level caps by area are just silly and prevent you from even getting your full level 1 skill set before unlocking a new area. 2, if you don't unlock the second area before stopping for the day that first time you play, you might have made your game nearly impossible. Seeing as you can easily take out the first yellow and orange ranked areas on a new character means you will, most likely, end up facing the overrun areas the next day, with no ability to avoid them since you can't move onto the next environment. And since you're stuck at level 4, you probably won't be taking out even the spineripper fight without using up a lot of the karma shards that you need in order to unlock the next area. Can it be done? Of course. Will most new players stick around long enough to get it done? Highly doubtful.

Suggestion: Allow people to choose what difficulty they will face when they choose the map to take on. To preserve the integrity of the current system, allow them to choose from among the unlocked difficulty levels based on how much time has passed (if only yellow threat level would have been available, they can choose only green or yellow. If red would have been, they can choose yellow, green, red, or orange. Regardless of choice, the timer should be reset and only green should be playable immediately afterwards.)

2- What about karma?
Various issues. The entire system needs to be rethought, imo. I see no need for the enemy to drop multiple visible items instead of dropping a single crystal upon death with a variable value. Killing large groups of enemies can slow you down considerably due to the karmabomb effect. The fact that it also restores HP made "gold" items essentially cheat items, seeing as how you'd restore so much by killing one enemy that you were nearly invulnerable(that has changed only because gold items are nearly non existant as far as I can tell, not the best fix). Maybe they should also have a separate HP heal item that drops per enemy, also variable. Even gives you the opportunity to change that "thirsty" effect into something useful. As for the actual values of items and equipment...Most of it seems balanced, but equipment kind of runs away in price as level increases, with the overall earning potential of the characters remaining fairly constant. Also, starting out is kind of a pain because you need so much karma just to get your skills(just the starting skill isn't nearly enough), and to unlock the next area, and for equipment, items, spirits...The costs add up a lot faster than what you earn in the beginning. That can really put off new players.

3- And the item generation system?
The equipment shop only seems to restock once you have logged out and back in. This is....not the best way to go. On the one hand, yeah, it reserves that item for as long as you keep playing so you CAN farm the karma to buy what you really want, but on the other hand, it forces you to stop and log out and log back in if there's nothing good in there. It also allows you to just keep logging in and out to refresh it until you find the gear you want, which again has pros and cons. I think it'd be better to just have it A, stock more when it does restock, and B, change up stock like once every 30-60 minutes. If it turns out that things disappear too quickly for people to farm for what they want...then I don't know...lay away?
As for drops...they seem fine, really. Bosses should have at least a 100% chance to drop a green item, though. Bosses just kind of feel like they are only there to make sure you don't get any exp unless you beat them (and spend all your karma shards if they are too hard to beat >.>). They seem more like a hindrance than a rewarding challenge.

4- While we're on items -- what about those items?
Not a fan of nerfs, never will be. If something is "overpowered," it's probably better to bring the others up to speed rather than drag the good down. As it is, Dueling and light armor seem useless. A more appropriate benefit to using a single one hand weapon would be a moderate power bonus while doing so, and aligning that with the power classes. The whole point to dual weilding is it increases speed and agility, not "two swords means the power of two swords at the same time, so it's about power." In using two swords, you sacrifice the ability to put your full strength and weight behind each attack, so when using just a single sword, you should regain that power. As for light armor...move speed was a nice concept, but the game is just too small for it to work out. You are usually running around cramped areas where you don't really have enough room to make a getaway and return fire, no matter how fast you run. Then you have to anticipate that some enemies will always break away from teh group and end up getting in front of you, blocking your path, and it just ends up getting silly to try to run instead of using a getaway skill. As for what else you can do with light armor, I'm kind of stumped. I figured cunning characters would have gotten the energy regen, so I expected that on light armor. Nothing else really fits for light. Would have thought medium would offer either attack bonus, health bonus, or health regen, though.

5- And lastly -- but by no means least importantly -- skills.
I've only played around with cunning in the latest test, and it's easily less impressive than where it started. I still think steady shot is absolutely the worst starting skill they could have. It drains too much energy per shot, the whole shot charging thing can root you instead of letting you run away, and it just sets the class up as being somehow a ranged class, which really isn't a fair depiction of the skill set. Ninja escape would be a much better starting skill as it really lets you know what sort of specialization you're signing up for. As for their general skills....caltrops has been improved, but for some reason it won't affect bosses at all. Maybe it shouldn't be full effect, but it should do /something./ Same with ninja escape. Seems the duration of the stun was shortened, but it still generally "works." But when you are fighting a boss, it's just a pointless energy drain. Steady shot is nice, but uses too much energy to be useful in general, and the possible rooting effect of charging it up makes it dangerous in many situations. The others I haven't fully tested in this round, because playing a cunning character kind of blows in this round...I'll try to test them more and add the notes here.

Overall, though, I think a major problem is the game just doesn't feel....accessible. If you are just starting out, it kind of sucks. If you've been testing the whole time, you know what to look forward to, but I can't imagine a whole lot of people playing it as it is right now and deciding they want to stick around very long. The game needs more pull and a softer curve at the start to really draw in and keep new players, or it just won't last as long as it could.

Edit: I'm not going to keep testing. I was going to, but honestly, it's just too tedious and grindy. I'm getting like no joy from playing it at this point, and that was really the only payment I had for helping you make a better game, so...yeah.

Major note to keep in mind: "The longer they play, the more money we can get from them" is a simplistic and faulty view of F2P game hosting. You have to have a game that's /worth/ playing for a long time in order for that to hold true. This game is fairly simple, and was fun, but the only real reason you have to keep playing it for a long time currently is that you are /forced/ to keep grinding in order to get ahead. Grindhell games are truly a dime a dozen, and this one lacks any real reason to favor it over the near infinite others. Maybe grindy just isn't the way to go with this title. I've seen that people get more mileage out of "fun."

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Rank: 2

Post time 2013-1-22 04:27:11 |Show all posts

Is very good, but just if you clear the 2 first maps in a day with your first character and level up to lvl8 in the same day, because when you relog the next day, you've got high thread missions, and they're just impossible in other ways. Bosses at high threat (and sometimes even that) are impossible without dying some times. We need more health and better buffs from the armor and weapons, because they are to low for bosses, and mobs like those mushrooms or the werewolves.

2. Karma

I think is almost good, but left some things like extras on any maps, difficulty, and better rewards on bosses and mini bosses (because 6 karma shards is nothing in some bosses or mini bosses). The item shop thing, is that the equipment is very expensive, and sometimes not even worth the price.

3.Item generation system.

Let me think... at first time you play seems great, but later in the game makes feel you like ''wut?'', because appears items level 1 and 2 on higher areas and those items are just usless because you're like 7 or 10 levels higher. So, we need a better drops in higher areas, and in higher difficulties as well, because high threat missions worth better drops I think.


2 handed weapons overpowered?? maybe just at the beginning, because at higher in 2nd or 3rd areas. or even 1st high threat area, are almost usless, that 10-15 aoe damage effect doesn't do much to monsters in 2nd and 3rd area, and above. Another thing, 1 handed weapon thing is usless, because damage is too low and the buff it is too, that's because 2 handed or dual wielding are better.

The armor thing, I think that speed buff on light armor is useless, I don't even understand the utility of speed movement in this game, you may run faster to loose the aggro of enemies? or run faster to get away and spam cunning skills?, just don't understand =_=, you may remove that movement speed buff and change it by the dodge thing (if you add it). By the way, buffs on armor and weapons, as well, must be higher, and may change the movement speed buffs by dodge buffs (if you add them).


  I'm gonna talk about those skills that I used:

Hungry Cleave: low at damage or low at life steal, is very useful at the first leverls, but later in the game, damage around 30, or life steal of 29 on each monster is useless, sure thing mobs kill you before.

Rain of Blows: nice stun thing (a shame that doesn't work on bosses) but the damage is low for bosses or 2nd, 3rd and above maps.

Iron Thorns: I love this thing, but It's kinda useless since you can't just stand between all those monsters that are attacking you and let the skill kill'em all, not even with Skin of Stone.

Skin of Stone: useless thing, because that buff is too too low for above 1st map.

  I hope this help, cordially, Atrytos.

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Rank: 1

Post time 2013-1-22 11:22:05 |Show all posts
I don't mind the grind for shards/ equips personally, but everyone plays different.

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Rank: 1

Post time 2013-1-22 11:33:09 |Show all posts
Edited by BropocalypseNow at 2013-1-23 14:27

I. Difficulty

From what I've noticed, this is pretty good, if maybe a bit easy. As I went back to earlier missions, it felt like the game was pretty fairly accommodating to me no matter what level I was at. Encounters became larger and more frantic as the game progressed, which is certainly a good thing. I think that a little bit more variety in how the enemies attack would be a good thing though. Kiting enemies is far too easy and I was able to run circles around Wanted level enemies without them even coming close to touching me. Perhaps let them run in for a melee attack or something if a player is being too mobile for their ranged attacks to be functional. The giant wolf boss at the end of the second string of stages also let me run circles around him, leaving me with nary a scratch at the end of our intense encounter.

II. Karma

*Edited from original post
After having spent a bit more time with the game, I have a lot more respect for the karma system. The fact that you aren't restricting content from players is very admirable, and it does a great job balancing after the first initial deaths. However, I would say that the cost to unlock new areas is still too high. I found myself having to play levels far to many times over in order to progress. Given the game's difficulty system, it's alright to replay them a few times but after a certain point it loses it's meaning and becomes really grindy.

III. Item Generation/ Items

I think this needs reworking. I was seeing a variety of items being spawned, but not too many that were actually worth the pickup. As I replayed areas more and more I found looting to start becoming a hassle. I would skip the occasional chest because 9 times out of 10 it would only be basic, level 1 or 2 weapons. I know that an over-saturation, and a lack of loot aren't good things, so a happy medium should be where you guys are headed. I would try and make more items to drop specifically from Wanted creatures on harder difficulties, to reinforce going back to already visited areas even more, thus keeping with the rest of the design and giving players incentive to do so. Whatever you do, just please don't place an emphasis on merchant weapons over dropped weapons. Also, add an aura, or some outline to differentiate between the loot and the ground, I've spent far too much time searching for lost weapons.

IV. Skills

The skill system seemed pretty bare bones at first but as the game went on I found more ways to experiment with it. I think that there is still more room for active abilities that encourage experimentation. For example, Ninja Escape has been a TON of fun to play around with. It really gives a feeling of mobility and control in combat while simultaneously complementing other skills that I had in my arsenal, like Hungry Cleave. I didn't see quite as many other skills that quite reached that level of involvement and practicality though, so I would work on trying to refine and rework some of the current less useful skills. The experimentation is there, but I believe you guys could take it just a little bit farther to make something really great.

Overall, I am very impressed with the game. I usually don't like ARPG's but this one feels like it has the potential to be a fantastic game for the casual and hardcore alike.In this age where Free to Play games are popping up and fading away every week, you need to be VERY smart about how you handle your in game economy and not underestimate how resistant players are to being nickel and dimed, but for the most part it seems that you understand that. There are some adjustments to be made and bugs to be squashed, but so far I am optamistic.

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Post time 2013-2-4 07:06:18 |Show all posts
In my opinion Firebomb Trap is completely underpowered (at least the first level) when comparing it with Caltrops (also first level).
Firebomb Trap has a higher requisite and is more expensive to learn, consumes more energy to use, and yet causes much less overall damage and doesn't slow down enemies.
I was testing it against a group of ~10 enemies running after me, the closest enemy triggers the bomb and it damages some 4 of them and keeps burning them for 13 damage each second(?), but the other 6 that came behind are not affected and none of them were slowed. Even if I manage to group them close together and plant the bomb in the middle of them it won't damage all of them. Now for Caltrops, ALL of them will step on it effortlessly, be slowed and take 17 damage at least twice (or more if you keep running around its area so that the enemies won't leave it). In the end, about 3 uses of Caltrops will finish them all, but it would take about 8-10 bombs to do the same.
I'd suggest three possible modifications:
1. Raise explosion area considerably
2. Raise damage considerably
3. Make the floor remain burning on flames after the explosion so that everyone who steps on it begin to burn (except me of course)

*Sneaky Looter is very funny!

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Post time 2013-2-4 07:29:51 |Show all posts
Also, I expected better loot drops from bosses. It seems that the only difference to common enemies is that bosses always drop something while other enemies have only a chance to drop. But the quality of the drops are the same.

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Rank: 2

Post time 2013-2-4 21:33:28 |Show all posts
There's some great feedback here already. I just want to add my take on the karma thing.

First of all, the game is fun and it's cool how you can buy everything worth the currency you earn in quests, but right now it's pretty difficult and slow to grind karma. I understand you want to encourage people to spend some money on the game to save time, but if the game becomes an unenjoyable chore in the process of trying to unlock that next area or get the skills you need, then that's a mechanic that needs to be addressed. If it takes me like three run-throughs of a dungeon just to buy one skill, that could get pretty excruciating after a while.

I think one way to balance this is to raise the price of optional things, like cosmetic bonuses, armor dyes, face changes, access to PvP and bonus dungeons, etc. Raise these prices enough that it's clear that they're meant to be bought, or even introduce an alternate currency you can only get with real money. Don't make it pay to win, but allow people to use the new currency to pay for cosmetics and decorational pets a la Path of Exile.

Don't make it painful to progress through the game by repeating the same content over and over again to the point of ridiculousness. You're going to burn out your players quickly if karma prices get absurd and earnings don't dramatically increase with them.

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Rank: 4

Post time 2013-2-5 13:41:38 |Show all posts
Just for old users reading new replies... Give your updated feedback on the release version please! This information is continuing to be forwarded to the team, and monitored for new problems!

And remember, if you find exploits or other such stuff -- don't put them here, send them to the ZenDesk!

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