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 Post Posted: Friday, 13. December 2013, 05:26:31 
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Let me preface this by saying that Robbe has done something truly unique. Indeed, I would go as far to say as that GoH may be a better Diablo genre game than Diablo 3. Furthermore, unlike Blizzard, you listen, respond and accept advice. This game is by a gamer, and for the gamer. Incredible work.

Furthermore, I am no expert. I play almost entirely single player, and usually as an EM. I am grinding Askatar as best I can, with no teal items and only 2 mp at the moment.

That having been said, I think there are critical points of improvement. The 3 overarching areas to focus on are consistent progression, single player flexibility and end game.

One huge issue is that the game progression jumps like a rabid donkey. Some levels are a rush through; others are a grind. Furthermore, because quests reset with every new game, certain areas are very hard to farm effectively, such as Askatar and it's walls and towers. I think that the solution is that crappy monsters should give a touch of experience even at level 60. If someone is stuck, give them an out for experience, if not items. To offset this, I would scale gold bounties better. Kobolds, wolves and crabs should never give more than 3 gold. Conversely, monsters from Askatar, Help and Dream Land should give over 100.

The larger problem is that GoH is a single player game no matter what anyone says. It's a battle rpg with a tiny community, much of which is spread over random time zones. Therefore, unless you wish to allow multiple heroes to be microed by one player, adjustments are a must.

One approach is simply eliminating areas or challenges a given hero cannot defeat. Dragons are brutal on a Warrior, and an EM cannot kill Hell Wagons with magic.

However, I have a more clever suggestion that will expand item usage, create a gold sink and make the game more enjoyable: expand mercenaries. Allow them to level to 60. Make them hero units that benefit from stats. Most importantly, give them a limited inventory. Treat the 3 current mercenaries as a Warrior, EM and Priest respectively. I cannot tell you how much fun having a warrior mercenary with Black Destroyer and Night Steel would be.

Mercenaries should also be revivable in two ways: relatively cheaply at base, or at a surcharge in the place they fell.

Furthermore, empower high mp growth by allowing 2 mercs at 40, and all 3 at 60. That would expand late game indeed! At mp 60, give them unique abilities. For instance, the healer can resurrect fallen fellow mercs.

My other major point is a higher progressing late game. One suggestion is very meaningful slayer arenas that require you to fight many bosses at once with outstanding rewards.

Another is a unique class of items that have game-changing effects rather than just better basic stats. One idea I had is a cycle of metamorphic items. For instance, one item turns your character into a Phoenix. Your spell damage goes up, you deal damage per second equal to your intelligence in a passive area, and you resurrect on death with a 300 second cool down. Or, you are a black dragon with chaos damage and splash damage. Or... A steel avatar with magic immunity and a unique bash... Or a werewolf with maximum movespeed and a massive critical hit... Or the legendary skeleton king, with life steal, critical hit and summoned skeletal subjects. True late game variety.

Another idea is making lifesteal and mana steal percentage based, making them more viable lay game.

Additionally perhaps a companion map accessible only to loaded mp 60 heroes can allow for further expansion.

Finally, improve the English on spell descriptions. I can gladly help with this.

I hope this read was of value, as I am sure it was a bit long.


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 Post Posted: Friday, 13. December 2013, 14:03:02 
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First of all, let me say how pleasant it was to read all that, it somewhat sounded like me in some of my longer posts, but with less brackets and probably a slightly larger vocabulary.

Concerning the game, I have a little more experience, I have been playing this for years and now have 6 classes on 60 again, with 4 or 5 finished builds, and I plan to play all of the more important builds in the future to be able to judge all their usuage and balance properly.

I agree on experience progression, although it goes a little more smoothly with a group of players, because then one can be more versatile and face different kinds of enemies (e.g. autohit classes have difficulties facing a boss like Xi-Pasi-Mù). And I agree, that even though the stun has been shortened, it is still hard to farm crystal fields for some classes, but I do not think that it should be made any easier, because then it will become boring.

With a decent build, even characters like an int-based Elemental Mage can farm in Hell. It may be more difficult than for others, and there is a lack of an item or something, that can cope with it (like autohit classes can use one spell on level 10 or Element Former to defeat the Mud Demons, Odin's Relic is a bit weak in comparison and relatively hard to find), but it is possible.

And so it is possible to play the entire map alone, including Askalor, Cronos, and farming in Dream World (Merati requires more dps, but even optimised builds using his items are still rather the exception than the rule).

In my opinion, most of the issues, that result in a higher difficulty for some classes rather than others, can be resolved by surgical balance changes. For others, there may be need for a slight systematic addition (cf. my suggestions about cooldowns for boss spells to prevent permstun for autohit heroes due to their lack of burst damage).

Advanced mercenaries may be a good idea, but not to the extend you suggest. E.g. Necromancers would barely profit from it, as at least the ones with summoning builds often have to control more than 12 units at a time anyway.
I can somewhat imagine a system with mercenaries like the hero system in Spellforce, where one is able to have some heroes next to the main avatar, but I do not think, that it should go that far with GoH (as said earlier, the map is already soloable, and btw that has not always been the case).

I think, that the slayer arenas you suggested could be implemented as a change to the current PvC system, which is frankly just boring and not a real challenge, it just costs a lot of gold.

Concerning the variety of different skill builds, that profit from different sets of items, I am unsure, whether these unique items are required. I currently have 4 very different builds on my Elemental Mage (missing only one or two items), and I hardly consider Elemental Mage (as an example) missing variety. By current balance, the classes with stronger abilities mostly also have more variety in builds and gameplay, with balance adjustments, all classes should be playable with such variety.
Another sign of this is that there are no two same builds for one class, or at least I cannot remember, when I have last seen two people using the exact same items and/or spells.

The suggestion for percentage based lifesteal and manasteal has been posted several times before, and again I must say, that it is absolutely not necessary. I have seen many builds, that get far more life- and/or manasteal than they could possibly use, even without lacking further damage due to their item choice.
My Assassin recovers over 1600 EHP per second by lifesteal without using any abilities.

A companion map has been suggested many times, and usually turned down for the same reasons. It is not as easy to make such a map in Wc3 as it would be in Sc2, where one could just use the same mod and all data would be the same. Since Robbepop already has got hardly any time to work on the current map, it would be basically impossible to create an entire new one. Theoretically, there is still space on the current map, but creating new areas and such takes time.

And finally, I agree on the descriptions and tooltips. Not only could they use a lingual brush-up, but some also lack data, that is not actually supposed to be secret, which makes it hard to estimate the use of said abilities.

And I see, that I am also guilty of making long posts, but it is worth it.

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 Post Posted: Friday, 13. December 2013, 18:18:02 
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Everything you are saying seems about correct. I admit I simply know less about the game and its highest-level play than you. My larger point is making sure that endgame is more than just farming Askatar for teals. I also really do think that there are barely any games out there for team play, and the game should be treated as a solo map first. What do you think of my end-game item ideas?


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 Post Posted: Saturday, 14. December 2013, 15:29:51 
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Current high level gameplay seems to be farming Hell or Dream World and Moshrak, Askalor, and Cronos (the dropchance for mastery items in Askatar is only 0.33% afair, and it is more efficient to farm whereelse, if possible; Merati's items are not as useful as Moshrak's, Askalor's and Cronos' for as many builds), as well as farming some quests with high exp rewards for those with less than 60 MP and Mainquest + Purgatory for guaranteed mastery item drops.

Groups killing Merati are rather rare even in the once again growing community in Europe (timewise, most games start between 6 and 10 p.m. CET, there are players from other continents as well, just not as many; we have had some full house games, with up to 9 players on 60), but that has more than one reason. Not only is it relatvely hard to find a group, that is actually capable of killing him, but also as I said above, his items are not worth the effort for most people, and overall it is not a very interesting bossfight (only slaughtering summons instead of mechanics like in the fight with Cronos).

I admit, that this is somewhat limited, and the reason, why many people became inactive shortly after the release of the current version. And I think I already said that, but the main reason, that there is not more, is that there is (and will be) only one developer, who has little time.

Also, it has been designed as a team map in the first place, and I still regard it as such. The map becoming so easy, that it is in fact soloable (apart from Merati), is apparently a somewhat necessary compromise, but I would prefer to not go much further.

Some items, that affect gameplay more than the ones until now, might be a good addition, but I think, that something like this should wait until the existing systems are balanced. An important factor to consider, is that builds still have to be variable and there should be no must-have items, which is something, that works rather well so far.
Have you read the other suggestions since the release of 1.33 (most suggestions from then have not been implemented, apart from some urgent matters, 1.34 rather contained older suggestions afair)? There have been various suggestions for endgame additions and items as well, even some with unique effects.

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 Post Posted: Saturday, 14. December 2013, 22:57:28 
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Hiho,

thank you for your suggestions and warm words. =)

I also think that this game is far from being perfect and wish I could have more time to optimize it further. It is also nice to hear that people actually see that I at least try to listen to them which is sometimes hard as developing maps and creating games is a constant compromis.

I by myself wouldn't cathegorize this game as single or multiplayer map. I simply have no statement for it. A player should decide on his own what he/she wishes the map to be. So I basically want to allow all possibilities. Of course it is nice to have this kind of mechanics as warcraft 3 is already very old and the community not as present as in newer communities but it is most of the times more fun to play within a group of people.

Over the time it was also a very hard decision what information a player can store to load in the next game. In todays normal games or even starcraft2 maps developers are free to store data on the hard drive and load it as well. In warcraft 3 there is only one way - writing but not loading. So players have to manually copy the information as text message into the game. However, since text messages are limited in size the maximum possible amount of sharable information is also very limited which leads to constant compromises of what is important enough to store, what could one make dependent on other information and what is not important enough to store.

E.g. storing spells is case #2 as spells would take a huge amount of information to store them and their level. However, you can easily replace storing spells by storing the total amount of skill points of a player which is itself dependent on the heroes level - so you basically have to store no information at all besides hero level. This is nice and the only downside of this was that players have to rebuild their abilities every game ...

I am always looking to preserve the hack'n slay feeling of the good old GoH RPG series and try improve the activity and action of this game in general with every version. In long term this has led to less passive and more activ abilities per hero type - many players were disappointed when they saw their beloved passives fading away with every patch but playing with passives (basically doing nothing at all) is no playing at all in my honest opinion. ;-)

As you have analysed correctly I haven't got that much time in order to fluently develop this map and so I am also extremely depending on the meanings of actively playing players when development starts again as their experienced input is something I couldn't have as a rather inactive person in the part of actually playing this map. So I am always very happy to see comments, suggestions and critics about this game which finally helps me further improve this game.

Thank you all! =)

Robbepop


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 Post Posted: Thursday, 19. December 2013, 07:40:33 
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Quote:
writing but not loading. So players have to manually copy the information as text message into the game.


well, we both know that that's not exactly true ; )

http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/spel ... ev=mmr%3D6

but codeless codes are even more limited than non-codeless :\. I am probably going to work on it a bit to see if I can improve it ; p.

We also have SharpCraft to consider ^)^.


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 Post Posted: Thursday, 19. December 2013, 16:47:20 
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hiho,

I am aware of your system which is extremely cool to be honest.
However, I as map developer can't accept the condition to edit players registry so that they are able to load their heroes. This is something I would never force players to do as it is something which one should generally avoid.

But what do you mean with: "codeless codes are even more limited than non-codeless" ?

Robbepop


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