Hi, this is my feedback after completing the EA. I mostly played it about three weeks ago, so sorry if I missed anything that has changed inside the game in the meantime. Also, sorry if I am repeating anything mentioned elsewhere, but I just don’t have enough time to check everyone else’s comments.
Overall, I was really pleased with the game and it certainly felt like a legitimate EA. It was very playable, with only two random crashes overall. I thought the camera is much improved since the demo.
I also thought the PC dialog system has some really good potential. For my good alignment party, it worked really well, except for maybe two or three lines that seemed to make my altruistic cleric sound a bit too bloodthirsty. I will try out an evil party soon as well to see how their lines change.
Some cutscenes I liked, some I thought needed a bit more polish. But the pacing was good in that regard. They moved the story along well and didn’t get in the way too much.
I could also list lots of things I liked, but here are some things I noticed that could use some kind of adjustment in my opinion:
- Pre-generated character names: Very minor point, but during character creation, if you let the computer choose a name for you and that name is already being used by a pre-generated character, you cannot select “Finish” from that page. Maybe they shouldn’t use the same names then?
- Bad cutscene trigger: After I joined the council, I fast traveled to the inn to level up right away. After resting, when I was walking around the city, the cutscene conversation with the scavenger leader happened fairly soon after I walked past her usual location and turned left a little. It was like she teleported ahead of me so it felt odd. Maybe she shouldn’t be at her usual location until after that conversation? Or maybe it should trigger in her usual location. It could be probably be handled a little more naturally.
- Camera control too sensitive: It’s too hard to turn the camera smoothly when holding down right click and moving the mouse, as it turns way too fast for my liking. If there was a way to lower the sensitivity, that would be great.
- Aid spell broken: The bonus HP work properly initially, but then something is causing this to malfunction.
- Fast travel saves stuck characters: I foolishly ran out of time when using a Jump spell in the big library. I thought I’d have to reload an earlier save, but luckily noticed that fast travel will let a stuck character get back to the rest of the party. Is this a bug? Or a way to get around a potentially huge gameplay problem? (Since you’re separated, you probably can’t rest and your other characters probably can’t go to a town to buy a scroll.)
- Rations are too heavy: I understand this adds an interesting strategic element, but they seem to weigh you down a lot more than they should.
- Green boxes used for cutscenes: I like having green boxes for places where you will obviously change locations. But for looking at statues, runes, and other interesting visuals, it breaks immersion to see a green box or two in the distance. It doesn’t feel like I’m really exploring if the game is already telling me where to go.
- Add a highlight button that points out chests, etc.: If I could hit a key and then see what nearby objects are useable, that would be really convenient. In many cases, that could also solve the green box problem I mentioned above. At least then it feels like you’re searching a bit.
- Area maps give too much info: Info about things I probably can’t see often appears on the map. These details include monsters, traps, chests, and locked doors.
- Inventory issues: I think you know these already, but clicking on and dragging items can be a bit troublesome at times. Not always though. Also, it would be nice to split items into any combination of numbers I want, and not just take one off. If I want to split up ten items into two packs of five, it’s a bit tedious to do that one item at a time.
- Add easy storage in the town: A storage chest in the inn would be nice, for example.
- Make crafting a little easier for lower level characters: In my playthrough, I wasn’t able to craft much until about Level 4 or 5, meaning the lowest level items are almost useless then. I want to be able to craft the easiest items almost right away, but it’s too hard to buy or find enough ingredients. Perhaps the shop system is a bit too strict?
- My ranger is OP: A refreshing change from most D&D games, but by combining dual wield, hunter (hunter’s mark), and colossus slayer, my ranger is way better than any of my other characters. Overall, she deals way more damage than my fighter due to the extra attack and bonus damage. The difference is huge through Level 4. At Level 5, the fighter caught up a little but not completely, thanks to a second attack and finding better equipment. But considering my ranger also scouted and thieved for me, she seemed fairly OP compared to my fighter, cleric, and wizard, and also pretty much every enemy.
- Better enemies: I think you could add some immunities or defense bonuses to certain monsters. For example, I think skeletons need more protection against piercing items. The AI could make better tactical choices here and there as well. For example, their decisions are sometimes odd regarding movement, spells, and ranged attacks. Some enemies like bandits would also certainly retreat when badly outnumbered.
- Pace of leveling up: Overall, I thought this was not too bad, but I did stay at some levels a good bit more than others. And I probably leveled up too fast in the last area with all the undead. Just my personal taste perhaps, but I prefer not to receive lots of large Experience rewards if they level me up too quickly.
- Clearly say when EA is going to end: I didn’t know when the EA would finish, so I spent some time tweaking my inventories while in the last area and especially right before moving out of that area. I was thinking I’d at least get back to the main town so I wanted to be ready for random encounters on the way. A heads-up would be nice.
- Crown cutscene: When I chose which character will pick up the crown, maybe there was a glitch, because I didn’t understand why it suddenly appeared on his head. It looked like there were a few frames missing from the animation.
- Cutscene when attacked while holed up inside the fort: During the first council mission, based on the choices I made, I didn’t understand what happened to the non-dwarf female character who is inside the fort with you. One male got killed in the cutscene and the scout and the dwarf accompanied me inside the cave-like area. It said somewhere that only two of them survived, but did that lady get killed, too? I think she just sighed because the other guy died. Maybe there was a glitch in my cutscene, or I guess I missed something that was a little hard to notice.
Thanks for all your hard work and ingenuity! I’m looking forward to the winter release – and the full game, too, of course.