Finished EA content and wanted to share some feedback

coredumped
Level 5
4 months ago

Hello everyone.

Like the title says, I finished the EA content (spent around 14 hours) and want to share some feedback. This will mostly be directed to Tactical Adventures but feel free to comment if you want to discuss something.

Side-note: Before I discovered this game existed I played Baldur's Gate 3 as I'm a long time fan of D&D games, and it was an extremely bitter experience to say the least. I can pretty much say that (in my opinion at least) your game is far superior to BG3 in the most important aspects, which are, to me, the theme (aka setting), the level progression and the combat.

Disclaimer: This may contain some spoilers.


I was really surprised in the best way when I started playing Solasta. From my initial findings of the game (mostly screenshots and random gameplay footage) I was a bit unsure of it, partly because of my very recent disappointment with BG3 and because of the overall weak/simple look of Solasta.

The Good:

- Theme/Setting: I feel the theme of the game is exactly right for this kind of game. It perfectly sets up the mood for a party adventure right from the get go. It's dark and mysterious and always exciting to explore the unknown that lies ahead. I loved the mini tutorials and intros to the characters in the form of bar stories beind shared. I'm a fan of all the main areas created, my favourite is the last one, the Dark Castle.

- Combat: I haven't played D&D 5e so I'm not deeply familiar with the ruleset but from what I've seen and read, Solasta looks to have a really nice implementation of the system. The combat feels good and rewarding. It flows smoothly and the actions being done are clear. It was a VERY nice experience especially after seeing the "liberties" that were taken in BG3 which just completely mangled the entire combat system with bullsh*t. It's also very easy to go through the motions as the UI is very nicely done (more on that below).

- UI: Though the overall UI could use some makeup to look a bit prettier, its design, positioning, menu displays for bonus actions or spells, etc. is so clean and simple. It's absolutely amazing. So often games tend to clutter up the UI with unnecessary things that it becomes a mess. In Solasta it's really easy to use and understand.

- Grid: The use of a grid system for movement and placement of the units feels like the right fit. I guess some people may not like it as much since they're looking at little squares on the ground instead of the actual scenario but it makes it so much cleaner and easier to use when you can clearly see where your characters and enemies are, their areas of influence, etc. Not to say I dislike the non-grid systems, but as a side-note I'm also currently playing Temple of Elemental Evil and sometimes it's really hard to see if I'm gonna get an opportunity attack while moving, or if I'm in range for something, if I'm flanking correcly, etc.

- Loot/Containers: Not a whole lot of containers to interact with in the game, only some chests, boxes, etc. here and there. It's perfect. Games nowadays tend to fill the world with crap and tons of containers to interact with just so when the player opens them, they're empty or contain a spoon. It's dumb and becomes really tiring after a while. In Solasta they are nicely spread apart and always contain something relevant which makes it so that when I'm exploring and find something to interact with I'm always excited to see what I get. That feeling is something that should always be present in this style of game and it's really nicely done here.

- Resting: I like the current implementation of the rest system. The rest points are close enough between them so you can recuperate after some battles and far enough as to make resource management matter. Like the Loot/Containers section, this design choice also makes it so that I'm always happy when I find one.


The Bad:

- Overall look of the game is rather unpolished, especially concerning character models. The faces are mostly ugly or funny-looking. The map itself and the areas are quite nice however. There are also the various issues of hands going through objects or seeing a wight clutching his sword two-handed but one hand is grabbing air. The one thing I find that really needs some work as these I mentioned are weird and unappealing but not really affecting much, are the combat animations. As a few examples we have the shoves where a character is being shoved and it looks like he's being pushed over ice and just slides away with no visible reaction, knocking someone prone the character doesn't even touch the enemy and then the enemy just casually lies down on the floor, the fighter "Block" (sorry, can't remember the actual skill name) which gives disadvantage once/turn to an enemy attacking an adjacent mate he just swings his shield in the air before anything happens from the enemy, etc. These things look weird and make the combat a lot less exciting that it can be.

- Voice acting: While some characters are really nicely voiced, others seem really amateurish.

- Player choices: I've only had this happen to me on a single occasion, but when meeting the old elf at the end of Black Castle I'm not given a choice to just bash his head in. I had to pick between three non-violent options, since I wanted to fight I picked the lowest chance to win one and then needed to reload until I actually failed the charisma check so I could enjoy the combat encounter.

- Difficulty: The game is overall way too easy. It is still enjoyable, but finishing each combat encounter with the entire party unscathed and without spending nearly any resources takes some of the excitement away. What I fear in this regard is that you might want to "fix" this by then adding several difficulty levels to the game (chosen at the start), but when games of this style do this, it's usually in the way of inflating enemy HP, saves, AC, etc. which makes it harder sure, but also makes it something that it's not meant to be in my opinion. Inflating enemy stats is a really terrible way of making the game harder. Making the encounters overall more complicated for the party to manage I think would be best approach.

- Random encounters: The random encounters found while traveling are ok, but from the few I got I think I only saw two maps which were always the same. More diversity here is needed or these encounters will become boring quickly.

- Loot caches shown on map: Currently, when opening the map, the several chests in the area are displayed. If the chests shown are the result of some sort of invisible check which the party members make to signify they spotted them, please disregard this point. If however they are always displayed it feels less rewarding for the player when exploring. It's much cooler to start exploring some dark corner of the map, push over some rocks or jump over a cliff to find a nice treasure than just following an icon on the map. (This could at least maybe be an option which could be toggled in the settings).


Bugs

- Item pickups: Interacting with my inventory has some really weird interactions. If my inventory has several rows of items which go over the visible area of items in the backpack, when trying to click the items on the ground that I want to pickup I'm actually picking up items already in my pack (looks like it's actually clicking the item "behind it" in the UI.

- Combat log bug: When fighting Wights I constantly see their attack rolls as using a Shortsword. But they're actually wielding longswords.

- Spell scrolls: Several spell scrolls have incorrect descriptions. Example: Picked up a "Scroll of Fireball" with the description of "Launch a Lightning Bolt" and it actually was a Lightning Bolt scroll. 

- Disadvantage on Wights: Maybe this is not a bug and I'm just a noob (or the UI isn't clear enough in this regard) but when fighting a Wight, I usually place some magical source of Light adjacent to them as it shows in their portrait "Disadvantage: Exposed to light", but when they actually attack, no disadvantage is being imposed.


Improvements

Combat log: At times I feel like there isn't enough information in the combat log. If I want to see why my character got hit I can't really see what composes his AC or what composes the enemy attack roll. Also, if an enemy attacks me in the dark and has no disadvantage (e.g. Skeleton Knight) it should state why.

Light sources: Have some sort of visual cue to show the areas affected by a light source. At times I'm trying to position my dancing light so it lights up my enemies but not my party and I have to guess. It should show the squares in which it will be brightly lit and dimly lit.


The game is really looking good, so keep on improving it and I'm sure it will be a success!

J
Level 7
Kickstarter Backer
4 months ago

The biggest issue I've run into when talking to people about the game are the aesthetics: it's just not a pretty game. Now when it's in combat and exploration that's not a big deal at all. It looks fine to goodish when you're in those modes. However, character creation is horrible and character models in cut scenes look similarly bad. Also, it seems like the faces you choose in the character creation don't necessarily look like those in the cutscenes. More voices would be helpful as well.