We’ve got questions for the beta team:
and weve got answers..
- Some people have said that Sorcerer King looks a lot like Legendary Heroes. What do you think people mean by this and what would be the most effective way to make sure the two games are visually distinct?
the cartoon look - it looks wonderful, just add detail. the ui layout is pretty similar too. also, the relative size of units and structures; and the distance between units.
- We are debating a lot about camera rotation. The game supports it and we plan to have an option for it. The question is, what would you like to see as the default and why?
completely top down, up=north; tilted back 5%.
- We have the Magic slider in the game setup. Right now, the plan for this was to have it determine how fast the Doomsday Counter goes up along with how much magic you receive from shards. But we would like to hear from the beta team how they would like to see this slider used.
i think separate sliders are in order. how fast the doomsday counter goes up feels like it should be part of the difficulty setting.
- So far, what is your FAVORITE part of the game?
allocating magic WOULD BE my favorite, if it werent for the fiddly control.. all i really want is to be able to pick 1, mana, lore, or skill, have half of my magic allocated to that 1, and a quarter to the other two. or pick 2 and have all of my magic split between them. or all of 1, none of the other 2. or right smack dab in the center of all 3. 10 "stances", or 'nodes/notches' on the magic wheel. this way it would be extremely simple for me to further customize my play style, and at the same time quick and easy to "stance dance", if you will. or i wish that the control was at least granular to the integer, and/or that we could manually input and lock the variables.
honestly even though it is my favorite feature of the game im not even using it because i got tired of fiddling with the control to try and narrow in on the ratio i wanted, always ending up with some weird fraction of mana points coming in. its really sad because the coolest thing to do every turn is "stance dance".
- Similarly, what is your least favorite part of the game?
the ui. although leagues better than fe/lh'es, it still irks me in many ways that culminate in a bumpy gameplay experience. like crafting, equipment, army management, and city details for instance. to be blunt, in general i feel like window layouts allocate space poorly and drive emphasis improperly, and that some decision controls utilize the wrong user input methods. if i can make the time ill bloody up a screenshot or two.
the "doomsday counter" and "reduce doomsday" spells and such as they currently are feel extremely gamey. they insinuate that i am a nerd sitting in a chair playing a computer game, and not a sovereign manning the kingdom of the forge. major immersion break. conceptually they are wonderful, they just need to be represented more indirectly and oriented towards the perspective of the sovereign, instead of the nerd. how about a skull hourglass instead of a doomsday "counter"? or "delay doomsday" instead of "reduce doomsday"? i actually just saw the new graphic for the "reduce doomsday" spell.. a little arrow demonstrating a bar decreasing... seriously? is the sovereign following the sk's facebook page on their iphone?
even more circles in ui, tile and terrain design, and map generation please - they go a long way towards alleviating the square board feel.
and the squares that cities expand into on the map when they level up REALLY need some enhanced graphical representation - even if its just generic city grain (dominant) square, city production square, or city essence square... at least expand the city walls around the newly acquired land like in fe/lh, and/or populate the tile with lil houses like in aow3. as it is, just lighting up another square on a city screen feels unfinished, gamey, and not very rewarding for leveling up a city. actually seeing the spreadsheet, ahem, world, gradually change over time is one of the greatest rewards in a strategy game; and the current city expansion graphics feel like a very big missed opportunity.
mario and peaches villa simply cannot compete with this:
"kingdom of isoth", see below
- For those of you playing heavily, what types of spells would you like to see in the game that we don’t currently have?
weather: strategic aoe enchantments.
also, play a few quick games of "demons and wizards". i am currently having more fun with it than sk or aow3 or any other tbs game. it really brings out a cohesive polish to fe/lh, and unique flavors to its factions. i especially recommend trying out the new factions 'dominion of urns', 'kingdom of isoth', and 'empire of xaroch'... or at least reading through the factions and gameplay sections of the wiki. fe/lh truly shines now.
- Which Sovereign so far is your favorite and why?
guardian: terraforming + summons.
- Which Sovereign is your least favorite?
i havent tried em all yet.
- Which types of quests do you enjoy going on the most?
ok so heres how quests should work... there should be quest nodes on the map that when visited by a champion present an option of quests, that are proportionate in difficulty to how far into the game we are (or the doomsday counter, or w/e). ie.. visit the local inn and accept a job offer. if we're within the first 25 turns of the game, 2 very easy quests and 1 easy quest are presented. turns 26 - 50 (next tier): 1 very easy, 1 easy, and 1 medium; 51-100 (next tier): 1 easy, 2 medium; 101-200: 2 medium and 1 hard, and so on. which quest is chosen and how difficult it is determines which quest location is spawned and how far away it is.
different types of nodes could pull from different pools of quests: ie. inns and markets offer certain quests, settlements and encampments offer certain quests, different guilds offer certain quests, etc.
different types of quests could pull from different pools of rewards.. for another layer of strategy for players to consider - who goes on which quests after which rewards and when.
while a node is active with a quest, and for some time after a quest has been completed, the node will 'return empty' when visited.
quest locations should definitely daisy chain - spawn subsequent locations.. ie. visit inn > accept quest to find missing child > 'last known location' is spawned > visit 'last known location' & defeat monster > learn of 'monsters den' (is spawned) > visit 'monsters den' & defeat boss > receive child unit > return to inn. upon returning to the inn and completing the quest a reward is received (proportionate with how long it took to complete the quest and how difficult it was), then the node STAYS THERE, just 'returning empty' for a while when visited. after some time it 'refills' with a few new quests appropriate for when we are in the game (or how full the doomsday counter is, or w/e). this way the world actually feels like a persistent growing place rather than a spreadsheet table full of variables with little figurines on top.
then aside from nodes, there should also be one-off quests, that disappear upon completion (like they do currently) - ie.. visit 'lost traveler' quest > receive lost traveler unit & 'first destination' is spawned > visit 'first destination' and "do something" > 'final destination' is spawned > visit 'final destination' & complete quest.
once a quest has been completed it is removed from the pool of potential quests for the rest of the game.
^this is how quests should work.
there should also be persistent, re-visitable locations on the map: that grant boons (enchantments that last x amount of time), or teleporters, or shops, etc. so the life of a champion is actually an rpg adventure story in a 4x world with notable locations, that can be visited along the journey again, or by others, instead of turn based pac-man devouring the next-nearest goodie. persistent locations like this also act as great strategic hot-spots. this is why heroes of might and magic is so good. travel locations. boons. other ideas.
- Which types of quests do you enjoy the least?
those from locations that for some mysterious reason vanish after i visit them. i never really cared for pac-man.
oh, and for the earl of preston and the duke of ted.
edit: also went back up and elaborated on my favorite part of the game.