I've really loved what I've seen so far in the Early Access and the dev updates. So many features and choices seem to be just right!
One important facet of Solasta eludes me, however, I'm not sure which direction it will take regarding the story. Most probably because it's too early to tell.
Tactical Adventures have taken the time to develop their lore, to present the setting, but yet the game seems a bit casual about it so far. Sure, the main quest is developed after the first quests, so after a little while we see more and more dialogs focused on the problem to solve, and the background lore to shape it up.
On the other hand, I'm wondering what the developer's goal is. Is it to remain casual about it, or to develop the dialogs and choices further down the road? I'm not saying either choice is better, preferences can only be subjective here, and they're just different approaches to role-playing.
For now it looks rather casual. The dialogs are presented as talks with subtitles, they are short conversations, little or no descriptions, the choices are few and don't weigh much in the outcome. If the game was to get more story-focused, I would expect little signs like
- longer dialogs, and descriptions that give a deeper feeling and subtler nuances to the player about the situation, since not everything can be rendered by graphics and voice alone
- dialog choices that influence the quests, or even the final outcome of the game (but that last one requires a lot of work so I wouldn't expect that in a first game)
- a better presentation of the dialogs that allows the user to scroll back, and to give answers in a more practical and natural way (one choice per character feels strange, arbitrary and limited)
- perhaps a more developed, or rather more visible lore, accessible from the in-game "tutorial" book (or encyclopedia)
- choices that work around some problems to avoid combat and still reward the party with experience
What's the plan, what's the big picture? :-)