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Old 10-29-2016, 06:24 AM
ScrObot ScrObot is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 252

As for the Zombasite Expansion, I'll throw some thoughts down here.

What do people seem to clamor for? Deeper clan management aspects, and not the tacked-on variety. (The work/rest/etc. setting, for example, serves a purpose, but that feels kind of tacked-on to me, to address a need, rather than designing a new interesting mechanic or extending it beyond selecting from a dropdown and having some numbers change over time. The Clan Armory falls into that category for me too -- it's perfectly functional and solves an important problem, but part of me feels like it was reactionary and a more interesting or useful mechanic could have been added.) Try not to simply solve problems within the systems they are in; try to break out of the systems and implement new features rather than just extend the existing systems.

When you say "clan and town management," people automatically think about more customization than Zombasite offers -- building placement in town, buildings that actually DO something, buildings that can be upgraded (ideally in more than just a single linear fashion). Give people choices for specialization, and personalization they can be proud of. Make clan member jobs do more directly tangible things.

People complain about the lack of vendors, which I can understand but which isn't really a problem once you understand how the game functions, but perhaps some sort of mechanic where your clan members could be put in charge of a "shop" that was basically a poor and not well stocked vendor, where they would occasionally swap out their stock. They wouldn't have much gold, but it fills a void that people seem to be missing. Being able to specialize what they sold to be relevant to you would be even better. (Throw some bags in all of them, as those are too hard to come by in the base game, IMO.) This, to me, seems like something that should be in a game that talks about clan management and building up your own town. Maybe explore some VERY light resource management for these upgrades, as long as it doesn't ever approach being grindy. Maybe it's less about resources and more about getting allied clans that have certain characteristics to help you, etc.

Perhaps the ability for clan members to learn new jobs (probably not combat skills, but if there's a job prerequisite for them to open a shop, or to build or upgrade a particular type of building, etc, it doesn't make sense to rely on stumbling across random people while adventuring and praying they have the skill you need. Give us a way to swap out a job they have for a new one (which maybe takes time to get to 100% during which time they either cannot do whatever they need to do, or at reduced efficiency).

But really revamping how your town is set up, managed and customized feels like a good use of development time to me. Try thinking about how you would design it without the Depths of Peril constraints, and work backwards.

I'd like to see (more?) custom-designed areas -- sections, or even entire overworld squares that are hand designed and feature interesting landmarks, specific placement of items, hazards, dungeons, whatever. Imagine going into an area that has a huge lake with a bridge out to an island. Or a large structure in the desert sort of like a temple, with a dungeon entrance placed at the center. Or an area where you can see some treasure chests but there's a powerful enemy guarding them. "Set pieces" like this are always fun for me, as long as there is a big enough pool of them and they are rare enough that they don't show up constantly. Different flavors of NPC clan towns too -- from decor to layout to what buildings they may or may not have. This would do so much to give them more personality.

Traits never attracted me. While I appreciate there aren't any "no brainers" that are insta-gets for every character, I feel like the negatives largely outweigh the benefits, so I don't really dabble into them. I'm not a hugely conservative player, but I'd bet a large chunk of players fall into the same category (especially with it taking "so long" to unlock them -- not everyone is going to dedicate their time to leveling a character way up just to see how they play out). Perhaps shifting the tiers from every 50 to a lower starting number, so people can get in and mess with them sooner? And perhaps the lower tier ones could be a little more palatable without severe downsides (especially ones that dictate a particular playstyle). Perhaps add some traits that have a random positive element to them, so it's useful but still unpredictable.

Also, we all realize this isn't WoW or Starcraft or LoL -- everything doesn't have to be perfectly balanced. If someone wants to turtle and just mess with their town for an hour, that should be at least somewhat viable. If there are traits available that you can get certain combos that make you OP, that's okay. People are going to do it anyway (see people getting a barn full of clan members who have different support spells). You have all the systems in place to let the player give themselves a challenge when that happens.

Lastly, as noted over on the Steam forums, maybe take a look into the Steam Workshop. Don't worry too much about people installing incompatible mods, or not having a ton of mods available -- the ease of installing them from this UI, and in an expected and easily browseable way, would be a big win if it's not too difficult to implement. Us Soldak fans are pretty good about helping the newbies, so I wouldn't worry too much about how many ways they could screw up their game if they installed twelve incompatible mods -- the community will be there to help.

Last edited by ScrObot : 10-29-2016 at 06:30 AM.
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