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  #1  
Old 10-17-2008, 03:09 AM
Redstar Redstar is offline
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Just wanted to preface this by saying that you've created a really accessible, playable, and fun game once again. I look forward to playing this one as much as I did DoP (which was probably altogether too much, looking back on it).

I tried the beta on both a PC and a Mac in an attempt to remove variables. Here are the things that I found that could use some more attention:

-There seem to be some issues with the way the game handles stereo sound - for example, I repeatedly found that when fighting a creature, the sound of my sword swing would be panned hard-left, while the sound of the impact would be panned hard-right. The end result was a feeling of being disjointed from the game environment, and took away from immersion.

-Relatedly, I found that the volume level of the background ambience changed dramatically based on which direction my character was facing at the time; that is, when I was facing up, down, l., or r., it would be relatively quiet, but when I pivoted 45 to point diagonally, volume would double. Weird and distracting.

-Occasionally, clicking on the pop-up nametag for an item won't select it. Not a huge deal, but when you're trying to bust barrels as fast as possible, it can break your chain and cause frustration.

-The "Not Enough Mana" sound is really jarring and obnoxious. It's made worse by the fact that it triggers again and again as long as you're holding the spell button. If there were a different tone for it that only occurred once each time you clicked, that would definitely be an improvement.

-It bothered me that certain bushes are destructible and others aren't. Not a huge deal, but I would constantly be mousing over every bush again and again, making sure I hadn't just missed targeting it somehow. Maybe if the target size on the destructible bushes was bigger,, or if they looked different somehow, this would be less irritating and distracting.

-When looking at the large map and hovering over the green player blip, it reads "YourCharacter". Space please!

-When playing as the Scout, entering Stealth Mode allows me to highlight and select some normally non-selectable environment objects (such as 'crystal blue', 'crystal yellow', non-destructible bushes, etc.). Doesn't really affect gameplay, but it's confusing, as you can't interact with them in any way.

-I saw some glitches in the Orc Warrior's animations. Most commonly, when killing one it would go directly from a standing position to dead on the ground, without any animation of having fallen. After that started happening, they also started losing their "walk" animations - they just popped from tile to tile on the floor while standing still. Wish I could do a better job illustrating what happened.

-I managed to find two super secrets, completely by accident. Is there any way to know one when you see it, or do you have to rely entirely on getting lucky when you're clicking around? I'm just curious about this. Maybe there should be some kind of glow or something that an observant person could notice about the super secrets? It made me feel like I was never finished with a level, but going around and clicking on every doodad isn't really my idea of fun.

-Have you considered adding any pickups that add a certain kind of elemental damage to your attacks? It would be pretty cool to grab a "fire weapon pickup" and have your sword catch on fire and start dealing +1 fire damage as opposed to +1 physical damage. Could also be done for armor, granting resistances and a slight color glow to the character.

I should mention that despite these little things, the game had me captive for two sittings of about four hours each. I had a blast going back to early levels with new characters - the wizard and the ninja especially.

The art direction seems to have come a long way from DoP - the skins and textures are very intricate, and I found myself zooming way in on my character to look for differences every time I grabbed a weapon or armor pickup.

I was a bit disappointed to hear some of the same lackluster sound design from DoP crop back up in this version.

I'm probably going to be back with more, because I enjoyed playing the beta enough that I'll want to run through it again on other difficulties before long.

Last edited by Redstar : 10-17-2008 at 03:13 AM. Reason: double post
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2008, 08:58 AM
Iane Iane is offline
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Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-I managed to find two super secrets, completely by accident. Is there any way to know one when you see it, or do you have to rely entirely on getting lucky when you're clicking around? I'm just curious about this. Maybe there should be some kind of glow or something that an observant person could notice about the super secrets? It made me feel like I was never finished with a level, but going around and clicking on every doodad isn't really my idea of fun.
Actually most of the secrets are too easy to find and should be made harder - the super secrets are great and alot harder and making them easier would be a major Crime against the word SECRET - what's the point of havin a neon sign over a secret saying "Look here it's a secret" Afterall a secret is a secret so lets secretly keep it a secret
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2008, 11:25 AM
krozman krozman is offline
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Actually most of the secrets are too easy to find and should be made harder - the super secrets are great and alot harder and making them easier would be a major Crime against the word SECRET - what's the point of havin a neon sign over a secret saying "Look here it's a secret" Afterall a secret is a secret so lets secretly keep it a secret
Because going over every square inch randomly clicking on walls is stupid?
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2008, 12:05 PM
scragar scragar is offline
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Originally Posted by krozman View Post
Because going over every square inch randomly clicking on walls is stupid?
I thought that at first, but a lot of them are easier to spot that you first thought(and when you do find them you find youself wondering how you could ever have missed them in the first place).

Besides, they are secrets, no reason why they should be obvious(and you certainly don't need to obtain them to get anywhere -- well, except maybe on level 3(where you need to find the secret way in to get the green key to open the door ))
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2008, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-The "Not Enough Mana" sound is really jarring and obnoxious. It's made worse by the fact that it triggers again and again as long as you're holding the spell button. If there were a different tone for it that only occurred once each time you clicked, that would definitely be an improvement.
I've made it quieter. I still need to see if I an make it only beep once at you if you are holding down the button.

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Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-It bothered me that certain bushes are destructible and others aren't. Not a huge deal, but I would constantly be mousing over every bush again and again, making sure I hadn't just missed targeting it somehow. Maybe if the target size on the destructible bushes was bigger,, or if they looked different somehow, this would be less irritating and distracting.
There should be a hint, which ones can be destroyed and which can't. A blue glow if I remember correctly.

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Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-When looking at the large map and hovering over the green player blip, it reads "YourCharacter". Space please!
A missing space usually means it's trying to go through the localization system but there is no entry. This is fixed now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-When playing as the Scout, entering Stealth Mode allows me to highlight and select some normally non-selectable environment objects (such as 'crystal blue', 'crystal yellow', non-destructible bushes, etc.). Doesn't really affect gameplay, but it's confusing, as you can't interact with them in any way.
Yep this was a bug, it's fixed now.

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Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-I saw some glitches in the Orc Warrior's animations. Most commonly, when killing one it would go directly from a standing position to dead on the ground, without any animation of having fallen. After that started happening, they also started losing their "walk" animations - they just popped from tile to tile on the floor while standing still. Wish I could do a better job illustrating what happened.
I know. This pops up every now and then. I haven't been able to track down what is going on though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-I managed to find two super secrets, completely by accident. Is there any way to know one when you see it, or do you have to rely entirely on getting lucky when you're clicking around? I'm just curious about this. Maybe there should be some kind of glow or something that an observant person could notice about the super secrets? It made me feel like I was never finished with a level, but going around and clicking on every doodad isn't really my idea of fun.
All of the super secrets in the game (except one) do have subtle clues. The pictures on the super secrets menu are also in order and tell you where you found them so that's another hint to at least what adventures they are on.

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Originally Posted by Redstar View Post
-Have you considered adding any pickups that add a certain kind of elemental damage to your attacks? It would be pretty cool to grab a "fire weapon pickup" and have your sword catch on fire and start dealing +1 fire damage as opposed to +1 physical damage. Could also be done for armor, granting resistances and a slight color glow to the character.
This would be cool and most of it could be done fairly easy. The flaming sword might be tricky with the effects system right now though.
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2008, 01:33 PM
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We have tried to make some secrets easy and some hard. The super secrets are harder on purpose, but do have subtle clues. They also have better rewards.

This is one of the places that we (as in Soldak) have to think of the entire audience that is going to play the game. That's why we have some secrets that are easy and some that are hard.

This is one of the places that mods can really excel. For example, there is going to be a smaller niche within our gamers that love harder secrets. Well a modder can easily make some adventures that have really hard to find secrets and people from this niche will love it. People outside that niche just won't play that specific mod.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2008, 02:20 PM
Redstar Redstar is offline
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Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
We have tried to make some secrets easy and some hard. The super secrets are harder on purpose, but do have subtle clues. They also have better rewards.

This is one of the places that we (as in Soldak) have to think of the entire audience that is going to play the game. That's why we have some secrets that are easy and some that are hard.
Definitely fair. I guess my point is just that there's a fine line between difficulty and tedium...

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Originally Posted by krozman View Post
Because going over every square inch randomly clicking on walls is stupid?
... that, once crossed, will start to irritate people.

One good example of "secrets" that comes to mind is the 'rpg' campaign in Warcraft 3 - sometimes there would be a few trees that, once destroyed, occasionally revealed some reward. Or maybe nothing at all. This could be done in Kivi by placing large clumps of destructible bushes, barrels, etc. blocking the secrets. Clever players would unconsciously start to realize, "Hmm, when there's a bunch of stuff I can break, I should look for secrets behind it."

Or, place them at the end of long, very narrow hallways - or just short, difficult-to-see ones. This follows in the vein of one great idea I already saw in Kivi: when there's a small, enclosed area that you can't seem to explore, that's a good place to look for a secret door. (And why not? It's worked before!)

My point is that when I spent 20 minutes running around a level looking for the secret I might have missed (but didn't - it was actually on the next floor), I reached a point of frustration that I just hadn't clicked on the right spot. I started to think, "Why am I doing this? It's a waste of time!" And that's the last thing you want in a player's head.

The game's level design needs to be more of a "language" that an experienced player learns through playing. That's somewhat present already, but I'd love to see it borne all the way out so that casual players (the target market) don't lose patience with this game.

Last edited by Redstar : 10-19-2008 at 02:23 PM. Reason: for clarity
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