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lqsx

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  1. Reposting Discord logs here so they won't be completely forgotten when you come back to making the game (9/16/21) Ame: For instance, some of the most annoying things in FE are siege weapons (ballista, bolting), berserk, and moving same-turn reinforcements And the reason those are so bad is because you have no ability as a player to do anything about those but sit there and take whatever the RNG decides to do to you I'm not saying that I'm gonna start throwing same-turn reinforcements all you at the time, but I think it's certainly less problematic if I do because you're at least in control of if you dodge them or not, and that fact allows me to be uglier with strategic hiccoughs But I'm looking forward to seeing how creative we can get with diversifying the combat side of things too. Me: I don't think this is a great way to look at things. There are 3 possibilities for players to find themselves in: "can dodge easily every time", "can barely dodge at all", and "can sometimes dodge" Basically all combat in the "easily dodge always" category is effectively just a waste of time since you're slowly slogging through battle scenes that have no impact on your character's health bar or resources and solely exist to body block you. "can barely dodge at all" reduces the game to a normal tactics rpg with really long battle animations that can't be turned off. So it should be a no-brainer that you should always want to stay in the middle of these two, right? Weeeelll... Once you're in this middleground, we can model each player's performance in these QTEs as a % chance of success, pretty much identical to how things are in fire emblem, bringing us back to the problem we were trying to avoid in the first place. This isn't even mentioning how incredibly difficult to tune a binary success/failure n-frame timing window challenge into something you an reliably make into something you can reliably predict a player's chance of success with (and the number of frames in these windows will also be so small that making single frame adjustments to these windows will completely change these %s and make it more likely that players fall into one of these extremes) Of course, you could cheat and quietly make things easier behind the scenes to make things easier/harder to players that deviate from your expected % dodge chance, but that would be really dumb and could probably be exploited no matter how you implement it if players find out about it. Suggestion: Turn skill-based dodge/crit/damage mitigation into a burnable resource replenished each map rather than the only system of combat. This solution: - Pushes players to engage with the tactics RPG side of the game rather than just lowering the combat difficulty and outskilling their way through all encounters without resistance if they reach a roadblock or their dodge rate is below what the game is designed around. - Makes it easier to tune difficulties since you don't have to do as much to make sure that players aren't on one of the two extremes. - Provides less incentive to reset turns to get the benefits of doing the gameplay portion better - Wastes less of the player's time with QTEs that the player will get bored of really quickly and allows for more continuous focus on the tactics RPG side (of course this means you need to make an actual balanced fire emblem game which is pretty difficult to do on your first try without experienced and inexperenced playtesters) oops forgot to mention implementation. before the start of each battle animation (both player and enemy phase), there's a prompt to either burn some "skill juice" or not, each mapped to a single button (maybe make an extra "confirm" prompt or selection between different kinds of benefits when they choose to burn it). Also enable the player to just press start during enemy phase if they've done the math and no one's gonna die.
  2. The difference between games and movies is that games allow give the player agency to make choices at any given moment; I can finish the objective I spent the last few minutes on OR help this guy right in front of me with his problem. Rejuvenation strips this option away from the player. When you're doing a help center quest, you can't do much other than follow the objective marker because you're locked out of all other quests. It's Rejuvenation that's stripping away the game and only leaving a movie, and that's exactly what I've been arguing against.
  3. Games like Sonic '06, Anthem, and the Kingdom Hearts PS3 collections are generally considered to be significantly worse (or at least less enjoyable) games than they otherwise would be because of their loading screens. While all games have loading screens, their length and frequency has a big impact on the player's experience. They harm the pacing of the game by forcing the player to wait through them in between the sections of the game that the player is there for. If complaints about those games' loading screens are considered valid, I think my complaints about Rejuvenation's early-game walking should be valid for the same reasons. Rejuvenation's quest system makes the trek to each sub-objective similar to a loading screen. As a result of quest exclusivity, each quest has to tell the player where to go to a very specific extent, and the player's agency during a quest is minimal since they're locked to a single quest. They're walking sections with no challenge through areas the player is likely to have explored and cleared of trainers. You know how Sonic '06 sometimes has back-to-back cutscenes that are just a few seconds long with loading screens in between them? That's what something like the haircut quest feels like, except it's done four times in a row, and the player can't just sit back and watch. They have to actively navigate to the correct location and find the right NPC to talk to in order to get the next objective. I probably would have been more actively engaging with the story and characters if I didn't have to internally repeat the next location in my head as I navigated to it for a minute each time a sub-objective was cleared. Different players have different levels of tolerances for different aggravating factors. Some people can't stand playing games they might otherwise enjoy because they can't vibe with the art style. Some people stray away from fighting game characters that would otherwise fit their playstyles because they find their voice clips annoying. I play my RPGs with battle animations off and a speed up button if possible because I'm in it for the long-term progression and story, so I'm particularly sensitive to long loading screens and walking sections. Just because the self-selecting demographic of people dedicated enough to the game to post on forums about it are fine with it doesn't mean it's not offputting to others. This is completely anecdotal, but the only other two people I know irl that have played Rejuvenation have told me they stopped playing for the same reasons, which is why I went and wrote this post in the first place. You're not going to see them on this subforum because they already decided the game's not for them. Feedback from people that aren't already superfans of the game is incredibly valuable because they can point out where it can be improved the most in ways that the small subset of people here are unlikely to care about. Hearing about what got them to put down the game gives you, the developers, the pathway towards the game retaining more passionate players. In the same way that reducing the length and frequency of loading screens is a net good for basically all games, reducing the length and frequency of walking sections in sidequests would do wonders for improving Rejuvenation's pacing. I hope that quest system revamp helps with this. I'll personally probably hold off on playing through the game until my grievances become less of an issue. I wish you guys the best in making the best game you guys can.
  4. Note: I’m gonna say “walk” a lot when referring to moving from place to place. I know there’s a run button and a speed up button. You don’t need to tell me. I've tried to get into Rejuvenation multiple times, but I've ended up dropping the game very early each time. I'm currently not very far in the game at the moment, I think the Help Center system in this game is SEVERELY flawed, but before I start trying to tear it apart, there are a few very big benefits of the system over Reborn's "unlisted" sidequests: The Help Center prevents the player from missing out on or forgetting about meaty side content just because they missed some random NPC in a house they didn't check. Quest Exclusivity allows for more frequent complicated quest design without leading to too much player confusion with a dozen overlapping quests, which allows for denser worldbuilding. The quest list telegraphs the potential rewards from a quest beforehand so you don't, for instance, miss Reborn's EXP share that's locked behind the "find all the furniture that disappeared" quest. It can telegraph a quest's potential difficulty probably with something like a recommended level or opponent type specialty at the acceptance screen (though this isn't implemented), which allows overlevelled quests to exist without the unintended consequence of surprising players wandering the overworld and making them go "welp, guess I'm blacking out" or resetting. It allows for different instances of certain areas to appear based on quest status, decreasing the likelyhood of unexpectedly running into sudden difficulty spikes while keeping the encounters accessible at a time when they would be real significant challenges. And here's the bad: The Help Center is horrible waste of the player’s time. Here's what you do in the simplest "Save Starly" sidequest: (optional) Talk to the questgiver in Gearen Lab that tells you to go to the Help Center (optional*) Complete previous quest because you can only accept one at a time. A quest this simple would normally be a trivial diversion you could go through without Walk to the Help Center, (abandon previous quest), accept quest Walk (back) to the questgiver in Gearen Lab to learn where the Starly is Walk to the docks to confront the gang members. If the encounter is too difficult to get through (probably not true for this one in particular but will be true for multiple others), and you want to try out another quest instead of grinding/resetting: Walk back to the help center to give up on this quest and start on another* Once you’re at an appropriate level, walk back to the help center once again to re-accept this quest when you think you're prepared (and you could totally guess wrong and have to give up the quest again)) Walk back to the help center to get the reward and start the next quest despite the fact that some questgivers are closer to where the player is than the help center is *You technically can't do this in this instance since it's a required tutorial I shouldn’t have to say this, but walking isn’t fun, engaging gameplay. In a game like Reborn without a dedicated quest system, this is how the quest would go: (Optional) You find the questgiver in front of some dead-end alleyway, maybe "panicked" pacing to grab your attention (or a persistent "!" bubble if Rejuv's UI is used). The gang members are a few tiles past the questgiver down the alley, and give dialogue that gets us up to speed regardless of whether or not you talked to the questgiver, something like "You here to 'save' that little girl's precious Starly? Too bad! It's ours now!" Immediately after beating the gang members, the "story" cutscene plays, followed by the questgiver walking the few tiles towards you and giving you a reward. Note that the questgiver can't be too far from the gang members. If the player doesn’t see the direct connection between the questgiver and the gang, they would see the questgiver taking away the overpowered bird friend they were about to make and be very sad at the comparatively worse reward for the quest. Cutting out the physical Help Center location saves us MINUTES OF WALKING and forces each quest to be tighter and more immediately understandable since the developers won't have a "where do I go next" NPC to use as a crutch for bad objective conveyance. I'm sure there are waaaay better sidequests later on the game. I don't doubt that. You could very easily make the argument that this is a bad sidequest that should be skipped (though you still can't, since it's a prerequisite for future sidequests and has what looks to be a major character intro). The "if it's bad just skip it" argument is also really dumb since it doesn't take into account a player's first blind playthrough where they won't know what is and isn't "worth doing". To address the positive point of the Help Center being used as a tool to prevent the player from missing good content, this could have also be done by having a visible "!" expression bubble above the head of each questgiver and a quest log on the Pokegear. The player not seeing everything the game has to offer isn’t really a huge issue anyways given the extremely hardcore target demographic that will actively seek out everything there is to do. Since all the "important story" content will be conveyed to the player, there's less of an incentive to talk to all the NPCs scattered around the town because surely the developers wouldn't want to lock important things behind some random dude only a small fraction of players will talk to… but you get a fishing rod and coin case by talking to some NPCs that aren’t telegraphed as important, so you end up having to talk to everyone anyways. Quest Exclusivity allows for more frequent complicated quest design, acting as a band-aid over tedious and convoluted quests that would otherwise be extremely difficult to follow Each NPC in a quest has to explicitly tell you a very specific place to go next (otherwise the quest exclusivity would make re-talking to a bunch of NPCs and seeing if any of them have a different response areal annoying chore), further exacerbating the feeling of railroading and checking off each box one by one. The haircut quest had you walking back and forth between haircut clients and the girl at the shop, with some clients not repeating the "where to go next" dialogue when talking to them again, so if you forgot it… rip. You might also just walk to the next building in search for the next haircut client, but NOPE you gotta walk back to the daughter first for some quick remarks before the correct NPC will advance the quest. In the love letter quest I talked to the wrong guy and thought I was stuck. Turns out it was a different guy with a similar sprite in a position that the unrepeatable (unless you walk to the help center and restart the quest, I assume) cutscene before it poorly indicated. I would rhetorically ask "how did this stuff get past testing", but the answer is pretty clear; the audience of the Reborn/Rejuvenation fangames are generally either: The extremely hardcore Pokemon audience that's willing to look past the horrendous pacing for some good battles to test them, and are generally open to reading guides if it helps them with their team minmaxing Literal children (like me when I got into Reborn) that don't value their time and are willing to accept grinding, EV training, and talking to every NPC when they get stuck on a quest because they take the meme of "git gud" seriously, holding themselves accountable for their perceived failures rather than calling out bad encounter and quest design. The Quest List transparently showing the list of sidequests and their rewards can have one of two outcomes: Player Indifference: The player knowingly skips content they would have enjoyed otherwise because they tunnel-vision on the rewards. I really doubt that most people playing Reborn/Rejuvenation fall into this category until at least their second playthrough, where they’ll probably know what is and isn’t worth doing, so I won’t spend much time talking about this. Player Passivity: When the player is presented with a list of objectives, they just start ticking off the boxes one by one. Rather than exploring the world at their own pace, they railroad themselves into a quest, then another, and then another. While it’s good that players are likely to do all that there is in a game, there are some problems: There’s no parallel progression, since as mentioned earlier, quest exclusivity is a thing. Parallel progression is what makes games like Breath of the Wild and Reborn so fun. In those games, there’s always another interesting thing right around the corner and the player has the choice to either explore the little diversion and get some marginal statistical benefit and some extra variety in gameplay or continue with their current objective. Rejuvenation doesn’t give you this choice. The player just has to make a beeline for the next step in the chain since you’re locked out of progressing in the other quest until you’ve finished (or abandoned) the one you’re currently on. Then you’ve gotta walk back to your the Help Center and walk back to the objective that would in theory have been in the player’s path 20 minutes ago but was artificially locked away because the quest wasn’t active. This makes every run-through of a quest feel effectively the same and extremely restrictive in a meta-progression sense. The game has to rely on branching paths/dialogue choices for the illusion of novelty, which take more time to develop than just letting the player do what they want on their terms. For a game that’s (at least in theory) designed to be replayed with different choices, this is really bad. Players’ insatiable urge to check all the boxes before moving on really pads out the game’s pacing. Yes, this game suffers from having too much content. When the player is doing sidequests, they are by definition not making progress through the main story, which is what leads to the biggest major leaps in player power, the level cap increases and area unlocks with new pokemon and items to collect. Judging by the level curves, the game isn't designed to be plowed through, main story only, in the same way games like Fire Emblem are. The player is pushed towards sidequests as a way to get the resources (EXP, early game money, exclusive pokemon) that will make the main story’s roadblocks easier to get overcome. These sidequests are significantly more time-consuming than Reborn's due to their much greater focus on plot. This isn't inherently a bad thing, but in effect, these long story quests will become padding as the player eventually realizes they’ve spent n hours without their team getting significantly stronger. The player can accept (and lock themselves into) quests in any order they want, and that’s a problem. In a mostly linear game like Pokemon, the developer has responsibility over the gameplay loop, always hoping to strike the right balance with new areas for wild pokemon to catch, fodder trainers, minibosses, dungeons, and gym leaders. Giving the player control (and locking them into the decision they make under penalty of walking back to the Help Center) will lead to them unintentionally getting into a quest type that they’re tired of at the moment and slogging through it. The quest info screen also isn’t always helpful/transparent about what kind of gameplay to expect from a quest, so there will probably be surprise appearances of gameplay segments that aren’t appealing at a given point in time. Variety in the gameplay types in sidequests is also lacking (at least in the early game). While Reborn generally has a divide between the main story’s focus on major battles and dungeons and the side content’s focus on exploration, bonus character relationships, and insane puzzles (with some overlap between the two of course) Rejuvenation kinda likes throwing a bunch of battles at the player, leading us to the next issue: The quest list doesn’t telegraph a quest's potential difficulty. By consolidating everything in the same sidequest list with no indication of difficulty outside of the order in which they're posted, the player is bound to unknowingly run into encounters that they're underlevelled for. Instead of the player telling themself "I'll come back later when my team is ready for this," and just walking away, in Rejuvenation, you’re locked in, so you have to walk back to the help center to abandon and get another quest to try. You also have to walk back to the help center to re-accept the quest when you think you have a strong enough team to take on the sidequest (though if you misjudged the opponent's strength, yeah guess you gotta abandon the quest again if you don't wanna lock yourself out of progressing through other quests!) NO, I WILL NOT STOP BRINGING THIS UP BECAUSE IT COMPOUNDS EVERY OTHER ISSUE The level of spike some of these sidequests are in the difficulty curve is also pretty insane. Before the most recent hotfix, the only good way to grind before Venam's gym was by doing an overlevelled sidequest, levelling up, and intentionally losing so the encounter can be repeated, which is incredibly dumb. I personally think sidequests should be an escape and opportunity to power up for the crushingly difficult main game. Sidequests are often what gives the player the resources that bring them higher up on the progression curve than if they just followed the main story. When the most signposted path towards improving your team in battle forces you to face the same type of challenge you probably aren't equipped to handle just yet, that's really dumb, especially when things like the nidorans and flechlings are given out with so much less resistance in comparison. Players know they won't have to complete unfair difficulty spike sidequests as soon as they get them, so the "best solution" that minimizes frustration/grinding/resetting/walking to the help center to abandon is to simply not engage with them until you have a team that's levelled to be even with or above theirs, possibly leading to trivializing encounters that might have been a fun challenge if you went at them at the right point in the progression curve. As I mentioned before, Reborn alleviates this issue by making most side content primarily exploration-based, with much of the 'difficulty' that leads to player satisfaction when reaching the goal in sidequests coming from the puzzles and exploration. The player's enjoyment of puzzles and exploration aren’t affected much by where they are on the progression curve, but the player's enjoyment of Rejuvenation's surprise difficulty spike battle sidequests definitely will be. (It also helps that Reborn puts fewer hoops in the way of leaving surprise difficulty spike sidequests and coming back later since it doesn't force the player to walk to the help center to abandon the quest and walk back to re-accept it later) The quest system locks different instances of certain areas behind quest acceptance/progress, ruining the organic discovery process. Changes to certain areas or NPC encounters that you might be thrilled to discover organically now only occur after having accepted and advanced the correct quest. This makes the world "feel" less organic. Instead of seeing something interesting and interacting with it, you’re just take a guided tour through all that Rejuvenation has to offer after an NPC tells you where to go to advance your progress in a quest. I understand that nothing about Reborn's overworld encounters is inherently more "organic" since each one had to be evented by the developers and all that, but I feel Rejuvenation is way too transparent with its events that blink into existence after accepting a certain quest, disappear when the quest is cancelled, and reappear when it's accepted again. The “checking off boxes” problem is further exacerbated by Rejuvenation’s (early game) world design. Walk into a tall building? Guess I’ll just check four floors to see if anyone gives me anything worthwhile. Goldenwood Forest and cave are effectively a corridor with minimal exploration. Barely anything of note is obtained from going off the critical path in the sewers. While Reborn had the underground railnet entrance tucked past a forgettable part of town, the secret garden, hidden fishing pond, and the house with the espurr event before its first badge, nothing the player can do before the first badge in Rejuvenation “feels” like it was some neat secret that they should feel special about for finding. The Nidoran, Fletchling, and Buizel events are just kinda… sitting there in the open and the optional grass/bug type park to the South of the town is also just… there. Even the TMs were trivial to obtain. The "go here do this to get this" approach to player direction will also likely diminish the feeling of accomplishment you get in Reborn when doing something like Route 1's Heracross/Pinsir quest or finding all the secrets in the wasteland or revisiting all the rock climb spots. The best part about those sidequests is that they’re always just waiting there for the player to discover what’s at the end, with the only thing driving the player towards them being their curiosity. They’re doing the puzzles because they want to, not for the promise of what they’ll get in return. When you discover that the Heracross/Pinsir is catchable, the player is left surprised and gratified rather than thinking, “ughhh I had to do all that to get it?” Rejuvenation isn't a game that respects the player's time. It railroads the player to engage with it on its own terms with its own systems rather than allowing for real player freedom and the micro-narratives and surprises that come with it. It feels like all the content is being shoved down the player's throat, heavily pushing them to check each box off one by one until they get stuck and are forced to spend even more of their time grinding or walking. For being in a game that’s designed to be replayed, the early parts of Rejuvenation sure are a chore to go through, even for the first time. --- (I really just spent n hours of my life writing on this instead of the paper that I'll probably be basing my doctoral thesis on, so who am I to tell you what is and isn't a good way to spend your time.)
  5. With the previous blogpost on reducing Reborn’s late-game grind (THANK YOU), it seems like we’re approaching a game where a competitive-grade team is available without the time wasting hurdles of the past. I’ve got some suggestions that can bring the game closer to the goal of reducing tedium: After meeting with the move relearner, move deleter, pokemon psychologist, egg move nursery, day care, and name rater for the first time, they give you their contact information so you can use their services at any time from the pokegear, saving us from potential tedious walks across the city (or from Charlotte’s gym all the way back to the circus >:[ ). Get the contact information of the salon’s friendship checker, an EV checker, and shiny researcher that you can call to get a heart scale from when you show them the appropriate maxed out/shiny pokemon. This lets you get heart scales naturally from playing the game as intended, switching out team members rather than having to stop what you’re doing and going to the lake house to fish up luvdisc. The player gets rewarded for using the new quality of life features to build up more team members instead of forcing them to choose which of their 10+ pokemon to use their last heart scale on (or more likely just not using them for fear of encountering a better opportunity later on). Make the pokemon psychologist and move relearner free if they’re used enough. You guys have shown your willingness to eliminate the late-game money treadmill by making the EV reset discs more expensive but permanent in one of the comments on the dev blog post for reducing grind, so this seems like a natural next step. To prevent abusing EXP candies to immediately boost entire teams to the level cap the moment it gets raised, consider making EXP candies flatly increase to a level (EXP candy 50, EXP candy 55, etc.) and new upgrade them (to a “recommended level” for the upcoming gym leader) after plot progresses. With the much easier EV training and my proposed ease of access to the move relearner, egg moves, and pokemon psychologist, boss fights will probably be comparatively much easier, but I don’t think this is a huge problem. The edge in stats gives extra leeway for bad RNG or blind play before the player screws themselves to the point of being forced to reset. (With a poorly statted team and/or imperfect knowledge of the opponent, I think reborn is a bit too trial and error-y for my liking, even after my third playthrough) Rebattlable trainers aren't always easily accessible after the point where a gym leader/boss becomes fightable. Charlotte is the biggest offender with Routes 2-4 + caves, but battles like Bennet + Luna, Aya, steelix, Devon, and Titania+dragon have their mini-dungeons (I'm not sure if you can even escape Titania's, Steelix's, or Devon). This makes stocking up on EXP candies before their fights a chore unless you stocked up beforehand. Warps like the Route 1 angry Tauros would be much appreciated. There are also a few quality of life items that would be nice to have, many of which are from existing mods, but would be nice to have an official implementation for the majority of players that don’t use them: Pickup bell: To be held by a pokemon with pickup to be notified that their pickup item has been auto-added to the bag like in the SWM modular modpack (early game) Infinite use repel (would be most useful before the long mountain section after Route 2) Infinite use encounter bait (preferably gives priority to available pokemon that having been caught, would be nice to get when/before the pokedex completion quest is available) Analysis lens (key item, lets you see stat boosts during battle) Infinite use pokedoll Substitute doll (for activating HMs from the bag) Passive flame body item (similar to the shiny charm) or insta-hatcher Upgraded EV training items or EV Max discs (nightclub rewards) New bag sections (the current layout gets real crowded, even with the sort function): 'Training items' (EV reset discs, EXP candies, rare/common candies, vitamins, ability capsules, nature mints, bottlecaps) '(consumable) Quest items' (job applications, ill-fated doll, floral charm, etc.) 'Evolution items' 'Held items' (EV boosters, plates, choice items, gems, weakness policy, etc.) 'Field items' (repels, fishing rods, wailimer pail, itemfinder, escape rope, activate HMs from bag) 'Sellable items' Multiple registered items on different hotkeys (also was the crit rate changed to gen 7+'s 1/24 (from 1/16)? I know Pokemon Showdown had this wrong for a while.) Edit: Make all the game corner items accessible through other means if this hasn't already been done
  6. Has the idea of doing a flat increase to each level cap (of +5 or something) with a universal exp boost been considered as another difficulty option? Probably won't use it myself but it will probably make the game way more accessible to casual pokemon players that have no idea what EVs, natures, and X items are.
  7. Can you make the EV reset discs cheaper? 10k each is a bit pricy since you'll be using between 2 and 4 + berries on anything you already have trained up. I know cash isn't particularly hard to come by at the point in the game when you'll be buying them (clown gives 4.4k per battle), but money farming can still be pretty tedious. Also, this is more of a nitpick but could the potency of EV reducing berries get upped? Mass feeding berries that only drop EVs by 10 each gets boring real fast. Going by what you said in the post, it might even be less tedious to breed a completely new team and candy + power item them up than re-training a team that's on level which doesn't really sound right. Also even more of a nitpick, but could the potency of flame body and similar abilities on eggs be upped?
  8. Really appreciate how far over the top you guys are going for the post game, but I've gotta ask, do you guys have any plans to tone down the annoyances in the early-mid game before you get fly? Since a lot of the useful NPCs (move relearner, 7th street, heart scale farm, grand hall exp grind etc.) are at dead ends that are really far away from each other and most story events, there's just a lot of tedium you've gotta go through to use these things (Jasper Ward, Underground Railnet, Tanzan Mountain, etc.). Is there any sort of fast travel under consideration like with the wild tauros teleport on Route 1?
  9. I did thoroughly enjoy the demo but as a rhythm game player, I do see some issues: Skill-based damage mitigation of 100% will probably not be healthy for the game since in order to balance around it, you either need to (1) enemy spam and hope that with enough skill checks the player will fail at least a few of them (which a bit of this demo kinda did feel like), (2) make the timing windows unfair (which you seem to be reserving for backstabs), (3) make the rhythm game segments more complex, or (4) crank up the damage numbers like with scissors lady/crank down player health to make each hit actually meaningful instead of the *shrug* the 1hp damage numbers are. These all have their problems. (1): You'd have to balance around a % miss chance of some "average player" that doesn't represent most of your playerbase that's more or less skilled won't be at. While difficulty settings will help with this, you will definitely have players having a sub-optimal experience playing a game too easy (they don't want to miss out on content that you'll probably lock behind turn limits which will without a doubt be good for the game) or too hard (since it's the way the game was """intended""") for their current skill level no matter what. Repeat playthroughs on a better difficulty for a returning player in what will amount to be enemy spam maps that drag on will definitely be frustrating. (2 and 3): And here we have the everpresent massive divide between rhythm game players of varying skill levels. While implementing difficulty levels in the game, I really hope you have different options for both note pattern difficulty and timing window since some people don't want to be stuck playing note patterns that bore them just because they aren't accurate enough at the harder ones yet. As a rhythm game player, having a single button to time presses on is boring to me and I hope that you can make it so that up to 3 or 4 buttons being used is standard for attacks and not just skills. In the current implementation, there's multiple colors on a single line which is far from ideal. The standard four segment scrolling you see in games like DDR/Stepmania allows for things like jumps and hands (2/3 simultaneous notes) to be possible without having to do some color mixing thing (the current implementation might also really suck for colorblind people) (4): Making enemies too dangerous leads to excessively conservative play, i.e. abusing the early window for full damage mitigation instead of going for the riskier critical windows, more frequent resetting from saves instead of rolling with mistakes, and just having your characters stand with their backs to the wall/each other and turtling to avoid crits at all costs. These of course can be combatted by turn limits, but being too heavyhanded with those can lead the players that like playing in a low risk way to be turned off (people hate the XCOM 2 turn limits even though they make the game more fun). If you want my super idealized version of combat: - Get a rhythm game mapper to come up with unique note patterns (and weird polyrhythms at higher difficulties) for each unique attack at each difficulty. - Standard DDR style note scrolling segregated by button with players able to adjust note scroll speed and direction - Increased BPM or irregular BPM for more difficult combat encounters to raise difficulty - An option to change note offset to accommodate for display lag and input lag - The different rhythm game difficulties would have a varying number of notes to miss, but counteract that by massively inflating player health and to a lesser extent damage numbers. Make success/failure a smoother gradient based on the "MISS" "OK" "GREAT" "EXCELLENT" judges (which should be adjustable in a separate difficulty setting. Keep track of the average % damage mitigation the player gets and after each mission, recommend a setting that will put them at the difficulty you see as "optimal" for game balance.) This allows all enemies to chip you down very slowly if you're a bit off, discouraging stalling, and making the game less dependent on enemy spam and/or bullshit enemy damage For reference: Rhythm Game Design 101 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLKZUrW_F0 Also, what's keeping me from keeping all the fodder units not directly blocking the forward path alive to act as a meat shield from the actual threatening units? This is a problem that stems from the fact that you're effectively invincible to some enemy types and that you can just choose not to damage them. That seems like an oversight. I know you probably never intended to make a rhythm game, but sadly you have. If you want players of all skill levels to enjoy your game, at least some of these changes would be necessary. If things are left the way they are now, I probably won't stick with the game, but I do wish you guys the best in making the game that you want to make.
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