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My impressions and suggestions
#1
First of all, enormous congratulations to the devs because they really managed to blend RPG and tycoon genres into a solid, funny and addictive videogame Big Grin I started some days ago with EM, I have a short period of rest from university duties so I decided to give this game a try since I'm a huge fan of those genres aforementioned. I'm not sure how to write a proper review so I'll write down my thoughts as they come to my mind, sorry Rolleyes

Graphic
I really love the cartoonish style, the bright colors, the avatars for the PCs and NPCs.
The map is good, maybe a neater hexagon style would be better (a hexagon on the map is formed by six smaller hexagons, just why?).
When you choose a new class for your PC he gets the last class avatar, I think it could be nice if you can give some variations to the base avatars (it's impossible to draw every multiclass avatar, I was thinking to a simpler thing just like different color and/or accessories, even a choice between a weapon or a staff could be useful to the player whether he builds a warrior/spellsword or a warrior/warlock).
Animations on the battle screen need to be redesigned, there's no difference between a melee attack and a magic missile, a fire or a ice spell and so on; it really clashes with other effects like the burning or the bleeding or the explosion on death, these ones are great while the other ones seems taken from a common flash game.
Icons are very good except for the gods, I recognise the god by the icon color before that by the symbol.
The main screen is well organised, it takes only some minutes to learn where you have to look for the info you want.
The quest marks need to be enhanced, a small icon showing which faction that quest is about would help a lot instead of a simple ? or !.
I liked the item simple system of rarity and quality, but there can be more variety instead of only crests, bracers and rings. When I stumbled upon a unique item I was really happy after dozens of rings (it's annoying when you see a number of same-looking items with different power-ups).

Gameplay
The tutorial is well made and helps a lot in learning all the features the game offers.
Walking and teleporting on the map is easy and the marks for active and acceptable quests are good for planning.
The big amount of things to care about (items, quests, agency enhancements, skill synergies, plots against other agencies and so on) keeps the player busy without focusing on a single task because it takes a complex strategy to go further.
The league system is nice because it gives the game a tasty arcade flavor. But you need to separate this arcade mode from a slower, calm and deep game mode in which you can pursue the quest-lines without the hurry of the trimester's end; this way you can have a "Arcade mode" without saves and with highscores uploadable to your site for a periodic chart, and a "Story mode" where the player can follow the quests unveiling all the secrets and the endings.
Battle system is good as it is. Simple, linear, with side effects based upon the type of damage. Maybe you can change the "Heal damage" to a clearer "Healing".
The enchanter feature is meaningless, how can you pay gold for a random effect? It's better to raise (even a lot) the prices and give the opportunity to choose the kind of power up you desire.
Prestige classes are funny but apart from 2-3 they looks like base classes because they doesn't offer a synergy output based on the classes required in advance. And perhaps it could be better to disable some classes when you enter one (how can the monk, a man of spirit and martial arts, become a spellsword, a man of blades and magic?), this can lead to a clearer path towards a prestige class instead of spoilering them on internet.

Difficulty
My first run was on normal difficulty and I managed to reach the Silver league until the third trimester. Then I played some short runs to test the classes and when I figured my favourite party composition out I started another Normal run; things went well (or so) until the Gold league, that's where I realized I couldn't progress further without having a second (and maybe a third) party to take over low level quests when the principal party is caring about big bosses. Since I'm that kind of player which doesn't like to deal with minor tasks and focus on main lines, I decided to start again from scratch and so I picked a Easy mode with the 5 Fallen Stars cheat. This way I managed to beat the game with only one party from the beginning until the end but I found myself autoresolving a lot of quests in late game since the PCs became war machines, even the final battle was easy to overcome. Playing this way was fun because I could focus on building my allstars team but I was not satisfied because I left a lot of quest lines unfinished (I prefer Cassius but I managed to reach only the second quest of "Preparing the Steelborn") and, as I said before, the final battle was no problem for me. So I believe that I will give another run, this time back to Normal mode and forcing me to deploy another team across the map caring about the low-level quests while the main party heads towards a specific objective.


Longevity
I spent about 30 hours at this game and I will do another run trying to beat it again at a higher difficulty, but my only objective now is to unveil more of the story; I'm not a competitive player so I will not do this run in order to achieve a better score, and since beating the game doesn't give you extras of any kind probably this will be my last (or one of the very latest) run. It depends on how the story unfolds.

My party
Just for fun, that's my party that beat the game and my favourite PCs at the same time.

  • Bremen Painkiller, started as a Druid and fully developed to a Spirit Guide, fully specialised in healing. Not so much to say about him, I realized in late game that I could have given to him some offensive skills during the progression because the amount of healing and regeneration he could do was so much over the necessary; maybe a simple Druid-Priest multiclass (with mass regeneration and healing as skills) could be enough without spending ten levels on Witchdoctor and Paladin.
  • Carbo the Marshal, started as a Captain and developed to a Supreme Coach. His main duty was commanding (with damage bonus as passive skill choice) the damage dealers but when needed he gave some nice blows. I did not give him the access to 16-20 levels but I believe that if so I would let him progress as a Warrior.
  • Heidekar Nova, started as a Spellsword and developed to a Shovel Knight. My favourite PC until the very end of the game, giving him items with bonus at Arcana and Arcane Damage and choosing Arcane Damage passive skills turned him in a plasma cannon wielder! The prestige class was not a real deal, I gave him access to 16-20 levels just to enter the Mage class because of the synergy with Arcana growth and the skill Arcane Nova.
  • Vitalj Petrov, started as a Smuggler and developed to a Sniper. In early-mid game he was only the helper of Heidekar, focusing on mass damage dealing; I was not a fan of him since I wanted a lightning specialist (to stack with the skill of the Sniper) and he came with the Volley Fire skill, but things changed a lot when he gained the Fire Expertise trait and I found the unique item with +40% Fire Damage; and with the reduced AP cost as passive skill in mid-late game all combats started with a tremendous rain of fire!
Conclusions
I really appreciated EM. The combination of managerial features and the pure RPG atmosphere is almost perfect, the quests are well integrated in the story and the game system has a level of complexity that rewards the player for his planning. However some features need a rework, and sometimes the player feels too anxious because of the objectives that if not accomplished cause a definitive game over, twelve turns at a time are not so much if your party has one or two PCs with wounds to cure or if the quests with big rewards are at more than two turns away from a portal. Except that, EM definitely has that videogame magic of "just another turn", and the hours spent playing at it are full of fun and entertainment; with some things to be fixed and a lot of space for development, it's a perfect spark for a sequel.
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#2
Hey Novograd!

Thank you so much for leaving such a comprehensive and clear feedback post. Very useful and much appreciated.

The perfect spark for a sequel eh... perhaps. Big Grin

Cheers!
Frank "Lalight" Lalumière
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
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#3
(03-08-2017, 01:43 AM)Frank Wrote: Hey Novograd!

Thank you so much for leaving such a comprehensive and clear feedback post. Very useful and much appreciated.

The perfect spark for a sequel eh... perhaps. Big Grin

Cheers!

Take a look at the italian project of Doom & Destiny (no spam intended), I think your game has the potential to reach a lot of players if designed as a "real" game

Good luck and blessings anyway Wink
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