Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Preview RPG Codex Preview: Expeditions: Viking

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Atomical Logic Artists Developer

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  2. Make America Great Again ERYFKRAD Arcane Patron

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    Forums will be up as well by then, I take it?
     
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  3. veevoir Klytus, I'm bored Patron

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    Preview mentions witches - is it a reskin of doctor class or is use of the ol' norse magicks an option?

    Can my chieftain run around in pointy hat and cast lightning bolts?
     
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  4. Abu Antar Arcane Patron

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    No lightning bolts and shit. No real magic. There's healing, though. The witch is closer to the doctor, yes. She's a story character and her profession is working under the local seer.
     
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  5. almondblight Arcane

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    I really prefer a 2D map over the 3D map in the first game. If they still wanted to include exploration, something like NeoScavenger's map would have worked well.
     
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  6. Cadmus Arcane

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    Downloading the Beta!

    actually it told me beta is offline try again later
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  7. Jonas Logic Artists Developer

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    Beta is up now, pardon the delay.

    We'd be interested in more feedback on the camera. It's been tweaked since the press preview build, but there's always room for improvement.
     
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  8. LizardWizard Savant

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    Would love to give feedback but getting a CTD when I exit the initial Feast.
     
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  9. Cadmus Arcane

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    Posted my feedback in the steam thread. I said it nicer there but it feels terrible. Too top down, I don't know how you say it...can't see ahead of me too much, can't see what anything is because I'm looking at the tops of the heads.
     
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  10. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

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    How about this?

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    Be nice if the top down angle wasn't as sharp but haven't actually played to give proper feedback yet.
     
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  12. Cadmus Arcane

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    imo that's definitely better. I would try to go even more tilt? (tell me what's the correct terminology) with the zoom out. Maybe even somewhere halfway between "new zoom out" and "new zoom in". Depends how easily you can test it.
    I don't know how difficult is it for you to produce these mockups but basically if I can look at the game in a similar fashion as an isometric view, then I get a great deal of information while actually being to see the models which are pretty good in your case.

    Anyway, the new zoom out looks much better on the screens.
     
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  13. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

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    We can maybe tweak it a bit more, but at some point the camera will start seeing too many things and performance takes a hit. I'll try a bit more.

    EDIT: Also, the less downward looking, the bigger problems trees and other buildings become.
     
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  14. Cadmus Arcane

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    Ok, I really have played only a short bit so I haven't seen any obstruction to the camera so far, but it made me feel a bit dizzy by how I had to wrestle with it to actually see anything. I thought usually there's some kind of opacity thing you use for when the character view is obstructed by objects or in cramped hallways, you don't have that?

    Is there a reason why you don't let the players themselves fuck around with the camera?
     
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  15. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

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    You can pan, rotate and zoom (Which changes the angle a bit). If we let you change the tilt freely, it could potentially cause huge performance hits, which we'd like to avoid as much as possible. As for fading out obstructing objects, it's not quite as simple as it sounds and would require a substantial amount of work, which is why we let you rotate instead. In some instances, we do fade out certain objects manually, but it's not a systemic thing.
     
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  16. Quillon Educated

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    Maybe add 3 or 5 levels of verticality slider option for it in video/display/gameplay settings with a tooltip warning of performance hit if necessary? If its this simple.

    Oooor just leave it out on a simpler config file that advanced users can mess with.
     
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  17. I'm With Her oneself for prison Liturgist

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    You want access to secret forum bad huh
     
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  18. I'm With Her Mustawd for prison Arcane

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    :M
     
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  19. Whalenought_Joe Whalenought Studios Developer

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    The portraits in those screenshots look wonderful!
     
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  20. Fredward Novice

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    Disappointed by the idea of fewer CYOA events, I was hoping a smaller group would mean more. Upgrading the village might be fun, depending on how dramatic the changes are.
     
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  21. Make America Great Again ERYFKRAD Arcane Patron

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    You're alive! :love:
     
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  22. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    I've played for a few hours today and these are my initial impressions

    Graphically it's a big step up from Conquistador, aside from the fact that basically no attention has been paid to clipping, the visuals in every other case are very good. Post processing effects are a bit over the top for my liking, especially the environmental/ambient ones on some maps. But it's a nice game to look at, which I know helps a lot of people but not necessarily something the Codexian audience of this game might care about.

    The camera is okay, but the area map sucks - it's like a way worse / confusing version of the Baldur's Gate style map. The full 3D rotation makes finding the correct orientation on the area map useless - hopefully they make it interactive so you can click on a part of the map and navigate to it before release.

    Combat is exactly the same as conquistador, but there are more special abilities from the get-go. Tactically, the fights have played out very differently in this for me compared to Conquistador, mostly because the AI is pretty retarded in this and the map style is a bit different for the most part, at least compared to the maps on El Salvador. in Conquistador there was a lot of play around barrels and chokepoints. So far in Viking I've been moving my hird from cover spot to cover spot while enemies hide behind cover and generally don't do much/don't advance until you get close and my archers pick off the strays, and then I close in at the end once I have the numbers. It's also a bit different to Conquistador in that battles are often fairly even, you might have 6-7 enemies and face the same number. In Conquistador you had maybe 6-7 (forget the number) and you could face 10-14 enemies in some cases.

    I'm playing on Insane difficulty and it means that enemies hit harder than you, Brawlers can one shot most of your party members, but you can 2-shot them with archers, maybe Nefja can 1-shot them on a crit with a unique spear. Damage seems a bit high overall. In Conquistador from memory it was more along the lines of 3-4 hits for a kill, maybe 2. Viking is more 2-3 with the odd 1 with properly specc'd characters. I guess it's the freedom of character creation that allows for the disparity and I think some changes to the advancement system could make this a bit more sensible. I think Jonas was talking about limiting the weapon upgrades by total accumulated skill points. I think this would help, as long as it also applied to enemies and was applied retroactively.

    So yeah some tweaks to the damage formula, the shield changes which I heard are coming and some improvements to AI would be good (Swords are also a bit bleh). Also some different versions of the campsite map because it's the same map and same enemies every time, so you can use the same strategy every time and win the same way every time.

    The 3D travel map of conquistador has been replaced by a 2D travel map and in-level gameplay like Baldur's Gate. On the worldmap you can get the CYOA sequences and scripted interactions in the style of Conquistador, but there are a lot less of them. I've only really explored one big "Wilderness" area and one small farmstead outside of the main base so far, and the big Wilderness area had a good amount of stuff in it. Some quests, some loot, a little bit of exploration and a few of easy fights.

    Companions so far have been less interesting than Conquistador, but that's largely due to the lack of CYOA events. Conquistador had a lot of CYOA events that occurred if you had a specific character, or specific mix of characters. So far there's been dialogue with the characters before they've joined the party and a little bit of dialogue in the prologue, but not a peep from any of them since then, just reputation changes.

    At the moment I'm leaning between "different to Conquistador pros/cons" and "I dislike this departure from Conquistador". I think a lot of people that didn't pick up E:C will be interested in this because of the more traditional structure, but the people that really liked E:C might be a bit disappointed about the changes, because most of the people who really liked E:C really liked it for the CYOA and different style of party/companions.

    I haven't got into the strategical management part of the game yet, so I can't comment on that.
     
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  23. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    Here is my updated feedback that I posted in the Steam forums after completing the Denmark Campaign and getting about halfway through the available Britain content.

    This is the last day where I have the time to contribute to the beta (I think), so I thought I'd write up an overall feedback post.

    Usability:

    The most annoying thing in the game to me is the lack of functionality of the area map. The full rotating camera combined with not being able to use the area map to jump to location is quite annoying and it means you have to constantly pan the camera around all the time to navigate the areas.

    I think this would be less bad if you could use the area map to center the camera in the area by double clicking on the area map like you could in Baldur's Gate & similar games.

    Another thing that would be nice is a hotkey to center on the party as when you're off looking for something, you have to manually scroll back (I think).

    It would be nice to have some options in the Graphics menu to disable post-processing effects, particularly stuff like Bloom (as I find that a bit annoying).

    The only other thing I can think of is maybe have a tooltip on the area map that tells people how to move the area map around. After you do the forest outside Skejn and the Farm, the next area is off-screen and it took me a little bit to realize that the map was actually bigger than it was. Coming from a Baldur's Gate player that's pretty noob of me though.

    Otherwise I think usability is pretty good. There's not really anything else that blatantly sticks out as being annoying when interacting with the game.

    Combat:

    I think Combat is too lethal compared to Expeditions: Conquistador. It's too easy to kill people in one hit, and most enemies (and even party members) can be felled by one or two strikes very early on in the game.

    From memory (I would A/B test if I had time but I don't), it was more likely for you to kill enemies in 3-4 hits in Conquistador, with the odd 2 if you got a crit. In Viking it seems like you get one-shots pretty often, particularly if you have a unique weapon.

    I made an Archer and found a unique bow and I also found a Unique spear pretty early on that I gave to Nefja and those two characters one shot people very often. It's super easy as an archer to take out an enemy with a Signal Arrow > Quick Shot combo, as it often raises the hit chance to 95% from considerable distances. It's very easy with Aimed Shot or the above combo to almost never miss compared to Conquistador. It's *way* too easy to get 95% chance to hit as an Archer

    Personally I think the damage balance in Conquistador was better, and ranged accuracy should probably be lowered a bit.

    I remember reading that shields will be getting a buff, particularly against Archers, but I don't think that will solve the issue (if you see it as an issue).

    I think armors could be given a bump in protection, and maybe overall damage from weapon skills toned down a little?

    The AI is also not great at the moment but I know that improvements will be coming, so I don't really see the need to talk about that.

    I'm also finding the combat way too easy on Insane difficulty. It is possible that a fully implemented camping system and AI fixes will solve the issue.

    The map style is very different from conquistador, it seems like there's a lot less emphasis on use of choke points at the moment, and it's more about moving from cover point to cover point and getting some picks with Archers before moving in with melee for the mop up. I have only had to use items once or twice in the very first few fights in the game and then I haven't used a single item since. In Conquistador you needed to use items because enemy numbers were high. I haven't seen that many encounters with heaps of enemies in Viking so far, so I haven't needed to use items to even the odds. Enemies also prefer to hide behind cover instead of push as well.

    There could be some more traps in the setpiece fights - I think I've seen one net trap in the entire game so far. Enemies don't use items either (but I'm sure you're aware of that).

    Character Progression:

    Character Progression seems a bit off at the moment. I think this has previously been discussed but I went for the weapon skills first, which pretty much trivialized all combat. Once you get like Rank 4 in any weapon skill, combat becomes an absolute breeze. I think one of the devs was talking about capping weapon skill progression ranks until you've gained X amount of points and I think that might be a good way to go.

    So far in the game (I'm probably half way through the available Britain content), I've found one unique item of every weapon type except one-handed axes. Perhaps I missed it?

    Swords seem to be a little bit underpowered. The Offensive Skill tree is mostly good but aside from characters already having assigned Cripple and Anticipate Opening at the beginning, I'd probably never pick those in the future. Cripple seems a bit redundant at the moment because if you're melee, enemies usually won't move if you're next to them (and you kinda have to be to use Cripple) and if you're Ranged you can most likely kill the target in one turn anyway.

    Anticipate Opening doesn't seem worth losing an attack action over. Make two normal attacks to deal 1x[x2] damage to do 1.05-1.5x damage on the next turn ? No thanks.

    Mostly every other skill seems ok, except for Sharpshooter. Raise the minimum ranged accuracy from 5% to 10%? Haha, most of the time I have over 80% chance to hit. At the moment that's a complete waste.

    In Conquistador I picked that one, because in a lot of encounters you were actually quite a fair distance from the enemies and the hit chance was a lot lower, so it was worth it for RNG pot shots. In Viking it's not worth it. Opportunist also doesn't seem worth it because I've never seen enemies potentially provoke 2 AoOs from the same character in a turn.

    Denmark Content:

    I thought the Denmark content was pretty good. Nothing groundbreaking. Pretty straight forward dialogue and simple quests, similar to Conquistador really - the main change being how you explore the world. The 'flow and experience' was fine to me. I think it will be better with more world map events and proper camping.

    The main thing that bothered me was that companions were pretty quiet after you recruit them. In Conquistador they were more of a part of the game outside of combat due to the CYOA screens and they often interjected more in quest dialogue.

    I wasn't really that big on having to recruit the 3 extra random mercenaries that you create at the end of the campaign. It would be better if you could get characters from Skejn instead but it's not too big of a deal. I can kind of see how you might need the extra people to simply cover camping mechanics, but I don't think it's quite as good as in Conquistador where you probably had your Scholars and different types of not necessarily combat oriented people that added a bit of flavour to the journey and also were part of the CYOA stuff.

    Britain Content:

    I haven't finished it yet, the content that I've done so far has been fine other than basically no reactivity from Morcant as I'm killing his people ... unless he's meant to be like that. Went in and killed the guys in that Church, didn't say a peep.

    Overall Content Remarks:

    There could be more hand placed loot, particularly in the tucked away containers on maps. Feels more rewarding to find something specific that was "hard" to find.

    I'd suggest making more use of 'small' containers, like seeing the small highlight of pixels on a table and picking up some valuables, or a dagger in a body that you can pick out of the body. It just feels nifty, as close as you can get to 'secret'/hidden items, I suppose.

    There were no pickable herbs in York that I remember, which seems odd.

    The Swamp area could use a container/consumable pass.

    And performance could be improved. I average 40-80 FPS on my i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / HD7970 OC Windows 7 machine, and my video card fan is very loud when playing. In other Unity games I've generally gotten ~100 FPS or more on average. The areas are pretty though, but Unity games are generally CPU-bound, so...

    Hopefully that's helpful. I'll continue playing today and maybe update my Britain Content feedback.

    EDIT: By the way for those reading out of interest, so far I've found that there is less combat than in Conquistador. You spend a lot of time in Conquistador fighting random encounters on the worldmap. Here it's mostly set fights in areas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  24. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

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  25. LizardWizard Savant

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    R9 Fury Sapphire here and this is what frightens me. When I load up the game the GPU sounds like a fucking lawnmower. Have not experienced this behavior with any other game to date and that includes plenty of unoptimized Unity shit.
     
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