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View Full Version : The good, the bad, and the ugly...



DanielRH
09-19-2017, 06:39 PM
Not too much ugly... certainly not with this handsome fellow in the room:
http://www.spacetimestudios.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=163799

Instead of posting bits of feedback in different threads, I've opted to combine all my initial feedback into a single thread, as there are some overlapping items.

Let's start with the great, and the good:

In terms of ease of use, PLA feels like any of a million other games I've played -- I immediately picked up the control scheme, and felt right at home.
At the same time, the art is beautiful and unique, and while somehow familiar, the first few PLA dungeons elicited excitement, and intrigue that immediately captivated my attention, and left me wanting more.
The intro video, and the dialogue before some of the dungeons are absolutely adorable.
The bear, elf, and especially the bird are fun to look at, and the plethora of available outfits and styles only add to their allure. (see further feedback and suggestions on this in "Social nature of the game").
Character progression is largely smooth going, with perhaps a few small balancing changes to be made to specific dungeons and campaigns.
The game manages a lovely balance between F2P & P2P. For those with the means (or access to the means through parental units), the game gently provides incentive to invest in plat. Once you begin skipping timers and buying legendary item chests, the speed of advancement sucks you in, making it unlikely you'll return to F2P rather than invest just another $5, and so on. At the same time, for those without the means, spending on plat is certainly not a requirement, and while character progression is slower, amazing community, game play, and the small amounts of plat you earn from the daily quests will keep you coming back for more.


What needs improvement (unordered random mix of large and small items):

I'm playing on an iPhone SE, with a 4", 1136‑by‑640 pixel screen. Basically everything is a little too small. Specifically chat text, and chat bubbles are really too small, and on the uncomfortable side.
The party requests screen is a little odd -- tiny text, huge item, strange button size. http://www.spacetimestudios.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=163798
Given that I can barely see my character's gear, much less that fine pair of undies, being able to zoom further than currently possible would be lovely, and would go a long way to supporting the vanity and character styling market.
The ability to rotate a character in the inspect page would be great.
Unclear how to advance if you don't know to check the next campaign for unlock star requirements. A "stars remaining to next campaign" indicator on the map would take care of this.
Gauntlet:

The interface is a little rusty -- the black stat screen and 3, 2, 1 countdown could use some visual improvement (preferably not a black screen?).

The gauntlet (and all other multiplayer maps) difficulty should be scaled to an average of the party tier.

When you die, your screen shouldn't go black -- perhaps you should be turned into a ghost of sorts where you can't effect the battle, but are given free range inside the map so you can watch your teammates continue the battle?

After dying, it would be very nice if you respawned at the beginning of the following wave -- perhaps with a penalty of some sort (half health, skill cool-down, etc).
It would be nice to know how much gold/plat/gauntlet tokens you own on the various buying screens.
Given the rarity of jewels (especially as a F2P player), you should be allowed to "reclaim" jewels from items at the Jeweler -- perhaps with an item durability, plat, or gold penalty.
The reforging process is rather unclear -- from what I gather, reforging an item randomly assigns the item stats between the various min and max values. This definitely needs clarification text within the reforging interface.
Minor point, but I think the 10/20 spells/pet upgrades required to unlock the following tiers are perhaps a few too many...
As for the talents, given the lack of specific tiers like the spells/pets, I felt a tad overwhelmed by the many options, and felt that I was randomly choosing whatever sounded good, rather than knowing what actually might make a difference. This could be improved by adding tiers like the spells/pets, or through instructional text of some sort.
Pet revival cost is too expensive for the T1 (& maybe T2) pets. They die so easily, it can be incredibly expensive to keep them alive and functioning until you upgrade them once or twice. Reducing the cost for these early pet tiers would probably result in less frustration, and greater plat spending in early character progression.
It would be nice to be able to view and rotate the pets without the stats on top. A stats toggle button would be perfect.
There are a few missing X buttons from various menus (specifically Menu > Party & Menu > Friends) -- this can make it difficult to exit these windows.
When clicked, the gold chests display a different amount of gold in the title than is displayed below, and actually delivered. http://www.spacetimestudios.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=163797
When you finish forest haven, the game tells you there's a discount for the legendary item chest, and when you purchase it then, no plat is removed from your account (* I noticed this the first time, but not after my character was reset, so perhaps this is no longer occurring).
Given the number of people likely to join the game from the other legend titles, perhaps a message stating that the spacetime login will not work would be good (new players to any legends game won't see this anyway).
Dungeon Times: Some dungeons (such as most T3 & T4 maps) are rather difficult to complete with sufficient stars in the allotted time. Perhaps matching the dungeon completion time to star ratio with the player's overall item power, skill, talent and pet levels would result in a smoother experience.
Chat PMs would be great.
The ability to add friends by name, without having to find them in-game will prove valuable once the game launches.


Social nature of the game:
Given the quick and easy, pick up and play nature of PLA, I believe it has immense appeal for the more socially geared gamer. To capitalize on this, there are a few areas in which effort should probably be invested.
1. Vanity & Character customization
The existing vanity and customization options are excellent, however there are further possible improvements. First, I think the costumer detracts from those wanting to uniquely and richly style their character -- it reduces the importance of specific items, reducing the worth of the rare item/vanity market. Second, being able to zoom in far further than currently possible will allow people to invest more time and plat into character style.

2. Socialization venues
In the other legends games, there are two large socialization avenues. The first being the towns, which attract players because of the stash, and market, but ultimately serve as a gathering and socialization area (additionally, random events such as droid run-throughs or various player challenges certainly added to the town appeal in the early PL days). The second socialization being guilds. As more multiplayer opportunities are added, the need for guilds will likely grow in PLA.

Additionally, I believe PLA would be a perfect candidate for extensive player housing options and customizations.

Solving the end-game player retention dilemma:
As it currently stands in most legends games, players who finish the campaign trail keep themselves somewhat occupied with PVP and merching. While I absolutely think that PVP should be added to PLA, PVP alone will likely not consistently keep players coming back and investing in the game.

Xyzther kindly demoed a crazy plat spender, and reached end-game incredibly fast. Others are playing F2P and everywhere in between. While the speed of advancement changes based on plat usage, I believe the path to tier 12 remains relatively standard. Even if you spend like crazy, it's difficult to acquire the shards, jewels, and gold necessary to upgrade more than a few spells/training skills/talents/pets. Xyzther for example only maxed out three spells in the charge to tier 12. I believe this variety in spells/training/talents/pets offers an opportunity to keep end-gamers invested for significantly longer than the length of the campaigns on offer.

Specifically, I would recommend the creation of a set of rotating, scored dungeons/events (multiplayer or single player) with leaderboards and awards for the participants/winners that cater toward specific skill sets. For example, a dungeon with enemies and a boss giving significant advantage to light armored, ranged, fire damage players. Such events with a cumulative leaderboard, will provide incentive for end gamers to seek specialization in a greater number of skills, training skills, talents and pets.

Such events, if multiplayer, could also be geared toward several sets of classes, adding class cooperation dynamics, and making parties paramount to leaderboard success.

This functionality already somewhat exists in the different types of enemies (fire, light, etc), but could receive greater emphasis to make specific classes truly necessary. This idea could of course use some more thought.

Well I've got to go to work now, and you have this tome to read, but expect more feedback to follow as it comes up. I'm loving the game thus far, and am delighted to help test it out!

Java
09-19-2017, 10:43 PM
Great review and suggestions!!

Avaree
09-20-2017, 05:45 AM
Well said :) ty

Justg
09-20-2017, 10:11 AM
Great feedback Dan, thank you!

VROOMIGoRealFast
09-20-2017, 10:55 AM
1. Vanity & Character customization
First, I think the costumer detracts from those wanting to uniquely and richly style their character -- it reduces the importance of specific items, reducing the worth of the rare item/vanity market.


Could you elaborate more on your thoughts regarding this?

The costumer will only allow you to use the visual of an item you have previously owned or purchased from the Vanity Vendor. Since you can't use the visual of a certain item unless you've obtained it, we will be able to preserve the rarity of any item visuals from hard to obtain items. Since there will be no market for trading or selling items, the value of any item visual should be tied to the amount of effort it took to obtain that item.

angeldawn
09-20-2017, 11:50 AM
Could you elaborate more on your thoughts regarding this?

The costumer will only allow you to use the visual of an item you have previously owned or purchased from the Vanity Vendor. Since you can't use the visual of a certain item unless you've obtained it, we will be able to preserve the rarity of any item visuals from hard to obtain items. Since there will be no market for trading or selling items, the value of any item visual should be tied to the amount of effort it took to obtain that item.

I love how this is currently setup. Every now and then I go back to Amira and see if anything new has popped up that I can change into. I don't look at all the visuals of the items I get as drops. I just look at them based on stats. This is one of my favorites aspects of the game. I wish all the games would implement this.