So I just finished first run through, here is my thoughts and feedback.
Love the focus of the game – tactical combat, custom party right out of the gate, faithful rules etc (my only main complaint about 5e is a 2d10 roll would give better balance than a d20, but that’s the system so it is what it is).
The game doesn’t have to be a funded or as slick as some similar types of games – I love the combat and feel and care less about some big grand story with tons of NPCs – I want to micro manage a party and fight monsters. Solasta is super exciting for that reason. I look forward to the finished game (and hopefully new DLC after). The party banter is fun too, everyone giving each other grief is mostly how a regular group would act usually.
The flavour of the game is great – just a group of adventurers out to make some money and bash monsters, Whatever minor issues above will be playing this and buying any DLCs 100%.
This is a game it seems was long past due – just a fun tactical battle game.
1. Please allow a ‘skip tutorial’ option/button.
Going through the 4 minor tutorials is great once, but as an ‘alt-oholic’ by the second time it is already getting old, and the third time is just a frustrating time sink.
2. Enable a ‘loot everything within x squares’ option that shows everything in the area on a single page. Spam clicking and going through page open after page open is slow.
3. As said in another thread, long rests and rations are over the top punishing. A party should still be able to rest without food, maybe with a penalty to all rolls until fed or something. Also the weight of rations is too high for what you get. In pnp you buy rations by the week not the day.
To get to the last tower took 10 days (using up 40 units of rations which weighs ….120 lbs?!) – and my party got next to no forage after entering the badlands area, AND I didn’t notice the side areas at the castle, so did not get to loot any rations before entering the keep…so fought everything up to the master with no long rest or spells. Was very frustrating. My cleric hit level 5 right before, but because no food – could not level up to get ‘create food’ spell. The whole process feels punishing.
Also maybe, have a ‘spend the day foraging’ option, where say you forgo travel, or switch to slow travel, and get like 8-12 ration units.
4. Mazes and puzzles. I know some people like them, but there are a million other puzzle games out there, I play D&D and tactical games to build up characters with builds and group dynamics – and go and fight as much as possible. Spending very long times fighting with the pathfinding and maps and it feels like the game itself is ok for a few minutes, but the last puzzle in the Masters tower took me like 2 hours and I even had to look up a video from someone who streamed it because I missed something. He even took 2 hours and said he was almost ready to rage-quit the game too, until one of his viewers told him a missing part.
Again – it feels way over the top and punishing rather than fun. The long rest area in the maze was blocked by a stone, and I thought I was going to the rest area the first time when I ran into the master fight with half health and no spells. Not fun at all. It took way too long to finally get to the rest area.
- Have a master door unlock once you get to a certain point/solve the maze. Having to keep running around placing characters just to rest before a big fight seems like another time sink.
- Change colors of door buttons perhaps? One of the door buttons I was missing for 30 min was in a lit area, and I was not seeing the highlighted button it seemed due to the lighting, even with pressing Alt and looking over the whole map repeatedly.
- Please reduce the amount of locked areas/blocks to push over etc. A couple is ok, but after a while it gets painful. Similar example is the library earlier on – great area, visually very cool. But getting stuck over and over and over again starts getting old fast. There are how many blocks to push over to access the next area? 6? 10? Why cant my acrobatic types just climb over the rock?
- Have smaller puzzle/maze areas for main quest lines, and maybe optional areas can have bigger mazes, so maybe there is some juicy loot behind that long grind, but you don’t get stuck in frustration trying to advance main quest if you are not fond of puzzles.
5. Long resting – On one hand it is great that resting is a limited resource and has consequences. (Unlike BG3 which I have watched but not played where you can spam long rests after every single fight with 0 negatives and have full spells for every fight for example)
However – locking rest areas behind puzzles such is overly punishing. Realistically…you should be able to rest anywhere, any time. The consequence is that you spend the entire day, and without say a good ‘rest area’ have a much higher chance of random encounters.
Right now there seems to be no time-sensitive quests, but if resting could only be done once per day, and if you do stop to rest more or in an open area - then you almost guarantee a random encounter perhaps that would balance it a bit?
6. Please don’t have the camera snap back to the party every time you click them – trying to navigate a maze, and you find the area you want to go to, click the party – and the camera zooms away from that spot and you have to scroll back it just adds unneeded time. Have a button/toggle option to snap back to the party (tab I guess?), but not by default.
7. Performance – I have a decent video card and 8 gig of ram, can run many other games no issues, but Solasta is very laggy for me. Especially in outside areas like around the castle. Maybe it is an optimization issue and will get gradually fixed, but right now it is extremely noticeable. (sometimes I will click on a spot to move, and it takes 2 full seconds for the mouse to even register and show the circles.
And related – as said in another thread – please enable edge scrolling. But also – it seems the default is an inertia ‘gradual speed up and slow down’ of the camera. So scrolling doesn’t just scroll, but slowly speeds up, then when I get to the area and let go – the camera doesn’t stop but comes to a gradual stop. That is really annoying as I cannot even click on the area until the camera stops moving, it just doesn’t seem to want to register the click, but I have to keep going back and forth with all the overshooting.
8. Lighting – covered in a few threads. One suggestion, have a default setting where any casters with the light cantrip have a script ‘whenever I am in a dark area have light up on my helmet/armor (not the weapon as it goes away when changing weapons).
Also maybe extend the range or light sources a little bit? Right now the whole thing seems like a significant challenge every single battle, more than maybe it should be?
9. one of the dev interviews/videos I believe said that right now magic items are common, and on full launch may be less common.
While there is a ton of scrolls in the game (too many?) It seems like the number of weapons and armor and miscellaneous items are actually really low for a D&D game. I finished the game at level 5, with only like two +1 longswords, some leather, some +1 half plate (which was awesome for my battle cleric dwarf tank along with the +1 shield), two +1 shortbows (no longbows)and a single ring of protection. And some of that was right near the end anyway.
It feels underpowered, and usually in a D&D setting you would have more items, and be getting+2 items by that point also. Fighting a bunch of wights with only a single magic weapon (so everyone else was doing half damage it seemed) feels low powered.
10. More details on the combat log please. Other games you can hover over the to-hit/damage and see the details, type of damage, damage roll etc. It would be nice to see in the log what the rolls are, if damage was resisted etc. That could show temporary AC bonuses for example, ones that dont show up on the character sheet but can hopefully be seen in the combat log.
11. For mapping, maybe a floating arrow above the party for directions to key quest/npcs? For example, when you first get to town after the tutorial, the whole map is greyed out, but you have to get to the council and stumble around every corner until part of the map lights up and lets you move forward.
Or even just on the map a general tag like ‘city hall over here’ in the general area.
In the early access there are not a lot of areas to explore so it is a minor issue, but later on with more and larger areas it could get more confusing perhaps.
12. For classes/races;
As in another thread, one of the key strengths of a Champion fighter say is the customization and extra bonuses from feats (in pnp). If not added, maybe a flat bonus to all combat would balance it out.
More feats would be nice however. The amount of tactical options that open up are significant. One example – things like combat expertise/Sentinel – where you get extra attacks of opportunity, and your attacks stop an enemy from moving – that’s a huge build path you can go down that changes how you build and play every fight. Or a trip/stunning blow specialist. The options are endless.
Humans normally in pnp get an extra feat and proficiencies, otherwise they are significantly underpowered even with the +1 to all stats compared to other races.
Races with armour skills would be nice, or at least have a feat to add all armor proficiencies. Looking at the idea of a battle wizard for example, right now, without multiclassing, there is no way to get medium armor(and a shield) on a wizard for example. In pnp and some games, a melee wizard with defensive buffs can be a powerful and fun build. **edit forgot about Sellsword background giving medium armor prof, so nvmd mostly. (but maybe any proficiency in an armor type also gives all lesser armors too)**
13. Add a ‘gladiator arena’ or some kind of random battle area please. Even if it gives no xp, just for the fun of it.
This game lives and breathes on the battles, and it is great. Being able to go somewhere and try out tactics, or just fight random, or sequentially harder waves, would be amazing, and a huge incentive for people I think.
For example, not even considering dungeons or barfights or whatever – one game, Champions Online, has a training zone, where you can go and pick easy/medium/hard enemies, out of several different types, and test your hero against ‘holograms’ over and over again. It’s a great feature. Just reset the button and go again.
Maybe even have it as an option from the main menu? Pick 4 characters, pick an arena, pick random or select enemies, and it loads the fight. Have a menu option to back out/cancel any time, and you can try out different combos of characters, tactics, spells at will.
It would be a great feature if possible.
14. Even though its early access – maybe an option after the end to teleport back to town? Sell your loot, identify stuff, and roam around outside of town looking for random encounters to use your new stuff and levels on? Would be a nice holdover until the main game launches….
Anyway, that’s enough for now, until my second run with new characters…
Looking forward to Monks!