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Author Topic: Observations from my blind playthrough  (Read 1025 times)

Sythion

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Observations from my blind playthrough
« on: August 06, 2019, 12:25:47 AM »

As title pretty much, I plan on editing this. Currently about 10 chapters in or so. I suspect most of my complaints will not be an issue in the current project but presumably feedback never hurts!

Things I like:
1) Multiple units per class is a nice thing. Yay for redundancy if losing one, or just letting player field multiple of the same class.
2) Randomly generated maps are awesome! So far I've only observed two but a lot of fun to have such a things in an official campaign.
3) Haven't messed with it, but mod support is always awesome!
4) Ambush spawns waiting a turn to attack are great!
5) The graphics as a whole are great and music superb.
6) Optional grinding by not finishing objectives and then spamming things like Shove and Hover. Slowdown ruins this sadly.
7) Fall-off damage with range, and most things having 100% accuracy. I'm glad mental attacks exist to handle blind, and evasive foes.
8) Drowned enemy items drop on shore!
9) Terrain manipulation!
10) Variable range on many attacks that in older games were fixed. For example bow being able to shoot at range 2-4 instead of just 2-2.
11) Friendly fire, and I guess "enemy fire" in terms of heals.
12) Not being able to pass through allied units.
13) Xp scaling based on level gaps.
14) Cavalier (I love the fact they're giant mantis instead of horses too) and archers being able to hit and run. Yay for Canto+ in terms of Fire Emblem. (I'm a big FE fan)
15) Hotseat multiplayer! Now if only I had someone to play against...
16) Generic units that can be summoned by general in hotseat!
17) I love that units drop all items they have equipped on death. Yay for looting.
18) Rather fond of the seemingly rock-paper-scissors of unit classes. Similar to FE in that regard.
19) Really enjoying the variety of items both consumable and not. At first didn't like bandages not taking a turn but at this point enjoying it.
20) Energy system is wonderful for balance, and fits thematically.
21) Skill balance. The damage, range and cost of just about every skill seems very fair and carefully tested.
22) I like  movement not ending a turn, as well as the undo button. Letting a unit move 2 tiles and then later 2 more definitely helps with the "can't move through units" thing.
23) "Interesting" Class promotions. At this point I've only gotten some of my units to the second tier of class and of those only some were more than a mere stat gain. However for example Mentalists getting lower energy cost for two skills, and an extra range on another (aside from stat gains) was fun to see and certainly can change how I will use them.



Things I don't, many of which could be fixed with the built in mod support but not all.
1) Skills don't mention range in description so when first facing a foe with an unknown skill player can't react.
2) Shop and inventory management definitely isn't ideal, weapon durability isn't shown in the shop and needing to drag an item to a unit from the manage items supply to even view requirements shouldn't be needed.
3) Growths per level  and what level units learn skills is hidden. At least some idea would be nice such as "By level 5 an archer will have gained 5% crush resistance, 1 counter, 8 hp and 4 energy" And "a new skill is learned at level 8".
4) Having too-many skills (for example in campaign with the Mentalist) makes it "overflow" out of the skill bar.
5) Seemingly no keyboard-only support.
6) Inability to sell items causes non-consumables to accumulate over time.
7) Lack of "suspend" is not a good thing, players don't always have time to sit for multiple hours on a map.
8) Even if player caused it, burning, poisoning or drowning damage doesn't award xp on kill.
9) Sadly AI is confused by lack of bridges (that get blown up) and doesn't seem capable of building their own.
10) Only a few types of terrain have effects, more is better!
11) Elevation is telegraphed poorly,  it can come as a surprise when unit knocked off land takes fall damage and can't swim up.
12) Status effects from damaging attacks feel unbalanced with a heavy favor to freeze, followed by slow+weaken and blind. The remaining ones feel weak. Maybe changing them to be percentage based or increased proc change would help. Or, lowering chance to proc the more powerful effects. Or even changing casting costs.
13) No in-battle turn counter or status effect display timer. If a unit is Slowed for example I can only guess how much longer it will last.
14) No minimap or zoom option. Best thing to do currently is to hit f12, look at full map in paint.
15) Honestly, not fond of the character mugs. Every other art asset looks good (especially class sprites) but faces just feel uncanny.
16) In the local matches, most classes don't have a full "skillset" compared to what is learned by their campaign counterparts.
17) Maybe I'm missing something, but seems to be no multiplayer outside of hotseat.
18) So far I've only noticed two ways to really effect enemy equipment (skill with chance to drop weapon, or skill to take control and make them drop it) but most enemies unlike the player aren't even equipped with anything. Of course, the player isn't able to use most skills with no weapon. Presumably this was done since if all foes dropped weapons durability would never be an issue. No idea how to resolve this, but didn't feel fair.
19) Skill variety. New units with a fully new skillset are great, but as a fan of previous games in the series I was disappointed to discover most of the older classes had little to no new attacks (telepaths seemingly only gained a status effect buffing skill and something to counteract status effect and give resistance to magic) Perhaps some terrain manipulation focused skills could help but I'd love to see more offensive skills too.
20) Skill damage formulas not being shown.
21) Game always starts in fullscreen. Might be able to change launch options manually though.
22) Minimap isn't clear enough to easily make out specifics such as chests. Allowing it to be resizable would help.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 09:46:16 PM by Sythion »
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CraigStern

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2019, 06:52:15 AM »

Thank you for the detailed feedback! I agree with nearly all of what you wrote--and I'll add that a pretty huge chunk of the "things that could be better" you mention have already been addressed in the new engine. Elevation is much easier to suss out because terrain is proper 3D, there's a dedicated shop interface, items can be sold, you can save mid-battle, range is shown on skill tooltips, etc. :)

One thing, though: TT actually does have a minimap! Try hitting Shift + M. ;)
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Sythion

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2019, 09:44:01 PM »

I've read through just about all the text in that thread now, very hyped! Anyway, wasn't aware of the minimap thanks!
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Sythion

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2019, 03:05:12 AM »

Just finished, final thoughts for now most likely. I intended to replay this as among other variables such as shop special items and the loot found for that fog of war level I began the final level with only 18 units left alive. Which is to say, several were lost on the way.

As with the second to last map I found the constant reinforcements not fun (albeit was much more fair on the previous map) and found Terror to just be plain unfair. Maybe I missed something but there seemed to be no counterplay. As mentioned before in my list, Freeze seems much stronger than every other status effect. Frost spriggats are very scary as such.

In the end I gave up trying to block tunnels, go for the chests or levers. Instead, lured boss to fly into the lava field and then with a flying Whisper Mega Stabbed (backstabbed) for a OHKO.

Kind of wish there was a sandbox-y postgame but looks like the remaster will have much more freedom in that regard.
I couldn't figure out how to recruit the second Assassin or the Stone golem.
To finish, only other things that come to mind are disappointment from:
1) Being unable to buy more wrenches for my poor Machinist
2) No recruitable spirit (unless I missed it?).
3) Cavalier felt like one of the weakest units offensively, this may in part be due to bad luck on str rolls however. Charge isn't reliable enough to use as a stun either. Although worth noting it's one of the few classes (I had left alive) that hadn't promoted so maybe things changed.
4) A few units (cavalier, and what I call "mages")  suggest they can learn counter, but presumably it has a very low weight in level ups. Sadly I wasn't able to get any on those classes of my own but despite meeting some foes with them.
Overall very fun, but I wouldn't advise friends to buy unless on sale.
That's mainly due to the lag in longer fights and lack of user made content that a new player can download on a whim. This series needs more advertising!

Was wondering, does frost resistance lower the chance to be frozen as well and not just damage? And if so I'd image it's percentage based and not subtracted. Would be neat if 50% frost resistance made units immune to freeze though. Could have just been bad RNG, but every "Control" attempt I made on enemy Shadowlings failed (they have 20% mental resistance) which made me wonder about this.

Here's to hoping the remaster is near completion but I won't hold my breath!  ;)

Now to see if I can copy main campaign and just tweak a few things for my liking such as teaching psy healers a skill to "clean" status...
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 03:13:22 AM by Sythion »
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CraigStern

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 07:06:56 AM »

4) A few units (cavalier, and what I call "mages")  suggest they can learn counter, but presumably it has a very low weight in level ups.

In Telepath Tactics, I seem to recall that psy users don't learn to counterattack--they're pretty much exclusively player-phase units. Your cavaliers, however, will gain a counterattack upon promoting to Mantis Knight. :)

Scarlet Etoile's Strength growth isn't the best; I seem to recall that Edwin Gabbergast has a somewhat better one.

Was wondering, does frost resistance lower the chance to be frozen as well and not just damage? And if so I'd image it's percentage based and not subtracted. Would be neat if 50% frost resistance made units immune to freeze though. Could have just been bad RNG, but every "Control" attempt I made on enemy Shadowlings failed (they have 20% mental resistance) which made me wonder about this.

You have guessed exactly right: 50% resistance to an attack's element will (with very few exceptions) drop the chance to receive a status effect from that attack down to 0. Thus, you're better off not trying to freeze Frost spriggats or enthrall shadowlings--but the converse is also true! Freezing red spriggats isn't hard at all, and enthralling spirits is a piece of cake.
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Sythion

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2019, 07:54:12 AM »

This suggest otherwise, but to be fair I'm guessing you haven't touched the original for a while  :P In turn, some units don't even have a 0/0 counterattack displayed which implies they can never learn one.

So, statuses are impacted by whatever the correct term for simple subtraction is rather than impacted on a percentage basis. Well ,good know I have a counter to Frost Spriggats! Presumably Mental resistance works verses Terror too.

Forgot to mention, the final level music is simply perfect.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 10:29:53 AM by Sythion »
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CraigStern

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 06:58:31 AM »

Thank you! I am also extremely fond of that music. Ryan Richko did a killer job on the soundtrack. :)

So, that screenie is actually another example of me not doing the greatest job on the UI in TT. You're right that showing the player a counterattack skill absolutely does suggest that the character can potentially raise it above 0, though in practice there are instances where they totally can't. ;D

You can actually check on counterattack growths for yourself--find a character in CharClasses.xml, then look at the ctrLimit in their OnLevelUp tag. If it's above 0, then they can learn to counterattack by leveling up; but if not, they'll simply never go above 0 unless it's through an item, a skill, or a promotion bonus. And Farasat's ctrLimit growth is 0, sooooo...

"So why display Mind Blast as his counterattack, Craig?" Great question! I don't entirely remember what I was thinking at the time. I suspect what happened is that I set Mind Blast as his counterattack skill early on in development, perhaps planning to have him gain a counterattack upon promotion, but later decided against it. I may also have been planning for the eventuality that he could gain access to a counter-limit-boosting item (though in the end, I think the rapier Aravel is the only item that ended up in the campaign with a counter-limit-boosting effect.) In any event, I shouldn't have had his character screen display a counterattack when he had no chance of gaining one. In the new engine, it just plain says "No Counterattack" unless and until a character has both a counterattack skill and a counter limit above 0.
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Sythion

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 05:22:38 AM »

For my second playthrough decided to mix things up, this amuses me. Negative score, both heroes promoted by end of level 1! Would've have gone further but lag grows.

I do not plan on doing a Strider-only playthrough as someone else has done, it's more about testing level 2 in terms of chests and possibility of killing boss.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 05:39:20 AM by Sythion »
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CraigStern

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2019, 06:40:05 AM »

Hahaha, holy cow! How did you keep them (and the enemies) alive long enough to manage that?!
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Sythion

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2019, 09:28:06 AM »

Same way it was done in the Strider-only run:
Attack Silithis every round in the training mission, then have her deal with the bandits on her own while Sabrina runs for the treasure chest. She should just barely make it to level 3 with one bandit still alive, at which point she gets Pull and Shove.
At that point I would just be careful with moving in a circle around a clump of trees, and then spam snare, shove, pull and motivate.  I made a few mistakes from which I took damage, so ended up removing weapon. In hindsight, the weak foe wouldn't have attacked if it resulted in death so I made it more complicated than needed. Turns out push and pull don't need to move something to result in xp provided I use it on a relevant target.

I would end up with Sabrina starting her turn next to a stunned bandit. Moving 1 tile, dropping a snare and then moving 1 more allowed her to remain in place the following turn and gain 5 energy for the start of the turn *after* that. Alternatively I could pull her and then drop a snare. Again, moving the 1 tile needed to have a valid location of snare placement but without her own movement so she got 5 energy.
Final option was drop snare, move 1, get some free xp with shove and then use motivate on her so the last action was considered "no movement or attacking".

I can be patient, if not for the lag issue my entire team would've reached second tier in my first run for sure.
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CraigStern

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Re: Observations from my blind playthrough
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2019, 12:45:19 PM »

Impressive; that's quite involved! :D
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