Observations, Suggestions and Feedback

Good morning,

Last year when the Beta released there seemed to be a glitch and it was downloadable in the US for about an hour and I managed to get it. I played nearly for several weeks until there was a game update, and since the glitch was fixed I was not able to get it in the US and that ended that. Just before the game was fully released in the US here a few weeks ago I ended up in the hospital with a foot injury. I am fine and recovering at home, but between eight days in the hospital and a few weeks of bed rest I have had a lot of time on my hands to play. As such I thought I would share some of my insights.

So the first thing I want to mention is that the game is both slow to load, and crashes frequently. I know the game just launched and all software has its bugs, but it is concerning especially when you lose a turn in a PvP battle while trying to reload.

VIP Member

I have become a VIP member this month, and so far, it is not quite worth the subscription. At ten dollars a month it needs something more. The rewards right now seem to be worth closer to five dollars a month. One suggestion to improve the VIP experience would be that when doing challenges you get ALL the rewards, not just one of them. Even with that it would not be worth ten dollars a month, but it would be a place to start in my opinion.

The one drawback to this would be the challenges, sometimes I do the challenges over and over looking to grind out one specific piece of gear. For an example one of the days challenges was offering double gold in the Frostsilver Mines. The challenge rewards had Halbernet’s Moonstone Pendant, an excellent epic item, on a roll of a twelve. I kept making sure to try and not take gold rewards so that I could have more chances at it and manages to get it up to level four before the event ran out. As a VIP member if I got all of the rewards I would have maxed out the daily challenge much earlier and not had the ability to grind out that specific piece of gear. A minor drawback but still a drawback.

Another idea is to add a second daily quest for VIP members.

Challenges

Overall, I really like the change from the progressive dungeons from the Beta to the new Challenge Mode. I do think they need to be slightly rebalanced. I have been able to complete the first three. With all of them, if you are able to beat the final boss, then all the fights up to the second boss are way too easy, and then when you are first trying to take down the new challenges, the third boss is overtuned. I assume with Sharpstone Keep you are making sure that people just starting out and trying to complete the daily quests have a place to complete some rooms and kill a few bosses, but in the Hidden Forge my Shevarith can one shot most non-tank mobs until the final few rooms, and then can get one shot by the third boss.

I suggest slightly increasing the difficulty of the first few rooms of each challenge, and then stepping each final boss down slightly. In my opinion the Red Dragon from the story mode should not be a pushover compared to the third boss of the Hidden Forge in Challenge mode.

One final note, I have only completed the first three challenges, but the second one, Frostsilver Mines, needs more XP rewards. The first and the third challenge offer roughly one gold to one XP exchange rate for completion. Frostsilver Mines is 100g, but only 83 XP. For reference Sharpstone is 50g for 53XP and the Hidden Forge is 150g for 152xp. The Hidden Forge does have more rooms, but in my opinion the gold to XP exchange rate for completing challenges should be similar. Increasing the difficulty of the first few rooms of Frostsilver Mines with a bump in the XP gained to just over 100 XP would be my recommendation.

Daily Quests

The daily quests for the most part are great, and the rewards are nice, but right now are very unbalanced. Some of them you can easily complete just accidentally. Others are a chore, but the rewards are either the same or less. The 450 melee attacks one took me nearly three days to complete, playing almost constantly, and the rewards were the same as completing 12 rooms in Frostsilver Mines, which is less than two full runs. The rewards should be commensurate with effort, and right now they are not.

Battle Mode

So using random teams is an interesting design choice, it forces people to work on their weaker characters. I do not really agree with it, but then again there are some character combinations that would be too powerful otherwise and would force people into a certain “meta”.

There are several overpowered abilities in PvP though, especially when there are little to no counters to them. The three most powerful are Winter’s Hood from Saarvin, Charming Lute from Calliope, and Justicer’s Coronet from Farideh. If I randomly get Tommus, Raika and Naomlen, and my opponent has Winter’s Hood or Justicer’s Coronet, then it is pretty much an auto loss. Even if I do not have all 3, my entire team can get pounded for multiple turns while I can do almost nothing. The knockback from Winter’s Hood requiring me to move 2-3 zones is extremely potent crowd control, and if the match goes long it is a death sentence if you get pushed into fire. Mass Hold Monster having a four turn duration is really brutal. Dominate having a two turn duration is also brutal. Not only does it take the turn away, but it is also an attack, so my opponent basically gets three moves in a row.

I have only found two possible ways to dispel, Tommus’s restoration flask, which works only for himself, or Halbernet’s Lunar Steps, which require him to move, which if he is locked in place, he cannot do. Right now there is little to no way to counteract these faults, so the only hope is to out level and outgear your opponents?

Also Raika seems almost completely useless in PvP. She has little to not crowd control skills, is squishy and her damage is anemic. She also is nearly useless when she is immobilized, which there is a LOT of.

Finally, matching people based on their rank is all well and good, but then giving my opponent all of his best characters and all of my worst just makes me want to quit. Literally if I load into a PvP match, and my opponent has all level 12’s and I get my level 10’s, I close the game and go do something else for a bit because it is just not worth when you are down a cumulative 6+ levels. It would be very difficult to try and algorithmically correct this, but at least put a quit button so I can quit the match and try again. It is not good game design if it makes your players put your game down to go do something else.

Gear

Overall the gear has an interesting mix of abilities. One characters gear baffles me though. Calliope’s Epic Lute gives Dominate, which is extremely powerful. Her Legendary Lute gives Power Word: Kill, which as written is absolutely useless. It does zero damage on it’s own, and all bosses are immune to it. I have been unable to find any scenario in which Dominate is not hands down better.

Speaking of gear, I have found several pieces like Halbernet’s Moonfall’s Steps and Tommus’s Warrior Boots that add additional effects as they are leveled up. I have searched and searched and cannot find any repository of information about what items do at what level. Is there a way that information could be published so we can make informed decisions about which gear to pursue?

Story Mode

Overall I think Story mode is great, I do not have any suggestions for it, other than letting people go back and read the lore and story about the various previous bosses and monsters. Actually a public Wiki with monster, boss and gear info would be really useful.

Store

I think the free chest and the buying and selling of the individual cards is well done. I think the card packs are overpriced, as are gems and gold, especially the card packs.

Gameplay

I really like turn-based tactical games, but the way this one is set up does have some drawbacks. The linear positioning I can understand from trying to keep the game complexity from getting too out of hand, but it does limit gameplay styles. Right now because of how high the damage output is in PvE the gameplay ends up being extremely defensive focused. Using a tank, healer and ranged CC to hold enemies at bay, then picking off targets one by one. Unless you outlevel what you are facing you almost never advance on your foes, you almost always wait for them to come to you. I actually like this style of gameplay, it plays to my natural tendencies, but I have several friends who prefer aggressive strategies and this game does not allow that.

Also when playing, especially when grinding challenges, the animations take a LONG time and are a bit slow, both for attacks, crits, and room changes. Eventually adding a toggle to speed up animation or cut out crit animations or simplify room transitions would be beneficial. I play Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and they have a toggle for 1x, 2x and 4x animation speed which helps a lot.

When killing bosses, especially the killing blow, I often will get a crit after I have applied a few debuffs, but because of the boss dying animation, I never get to see what I crit for. I would love to be able to turn off boss death animations.

Finally, the Buff/Debuff indicators need work, especially when you have multiple stacked up. In PvP there is not much time on the timer to select your character and see how many more turns there are on that disarm or immobile or taunt.

Sound and Art

Visually and sound wise the game is done really well. You seem to only have one voice actor, but she does a great job. The character art and weapon design and animation is really amazing, and the sound effects are excellent. The melee weapons especially have a satisfying weight to their sounds.

The only visual miscue is that the attack on move boots for the various characters show no animation for the attacks. I know this is complicated to try and get the animation to switch from a move to an attack, but it is very jarring when it happens, or when an animation does not happen and an enemy just falls over dead.

Wrap Up

I hope that my criticisms have not made it seem like I am not enjoying the game. I am having a good time with it and am playing a lot, but with anything you come to care about and spend a lot of time with you can find flaws. I hope the game continues to improve and I can enjoy it for years to come.

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Thanks so much for the detailed feedback, @Necros! Knowing what our players think of our games means a lot to us.

I’ve taken the liberty of forwarding this to our developers so that they can take your comments into consideration moving forward.

1 Like

Perhaps on PvP all debuffs should only be a turn. Some debuffs were just nerfed with the latest update and it made PvE much harder. Nerfing more abilities for the sake of PvP will have the same effect. The solution is to make debuffs last one turn only in PvP.

Raika’s epic spear has won me several PvP battles via its heal effect.

Frostsilver in Challenge Mode is unbalanced. The difficulty in room 7 and beyond means that you need a well geared level 9 party to consistently get to the last room let alone beat it. Tommus is ABSOLUTELY necessary to kill the final boss. His extra action on move allows a player to set up a situation where the Souls of Frostsilver is unable to push and set up a fresh barrier. Halbernet with his epic weapon can do massive damage but you need to have regeneration active to risk putting him in the front rank.

@Necros I’ve found that during the critical animation that if you tap your screen during the animation that it will cut it short, so you don’t have to wait through it all. The same also happens for XP rewards screen, you can tap through each character quickly. Finally when opening chests as well.

I agree the Sharpstone boss animation of the giant falling forward is getting pretty tiresome.

Over half of the time when I go into battle, I end up timing out because of Internet lag. 10 seconds doesn’t seem to be enough unless you have lightning Internet…

@Froman - I think they will eventually need to move to having different durations for debuffs in PvP vs PvE, a LOT of games that are not designed for PvP from the start end up having to do that, especially with so few mechanics to cleanse debuffs or remove buffs.

@Charles_Rosenberg - I think there is a bug on it, at least in PvP, it has been over a week and I have only had it proc once in the Arena.

@Mercurial - I know you can tap through those screens, but even with all that my runs through Sharpstone and Frostsilver mines are nearly the same duration because of the animations. Same amount of time for less reward is not awesome.

@RedWizardsAteMyBaby - I only have problems in PvP if the game crashes when loading into PvP. Are you on Wifi or 3G? Which country are you in? Ludia is in Montreal I believe, I live in New England, if their servers are in Montreal that might give me a better ping, but I do not have any data to back that up.

@John - The one big question from my post was if we will ever get a data repository with the gear levels and stats and mob info and character lore. At this point I am most interested in that.