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  • #7067

    RTester
    Participant

    I recognize that there was some feedback the devleopers got upon release of latest version but I couldn’t find any that would incorporate all the things I’d like to mention. This thread will be quite long, but it’s meant to point out all kinds of weird and clunky things as I see them in the game (latest available version) and usually offer some solution as well.
    Part of it may be considered a bug report but since many of the points will be connected, I’ve decided to not spread it over several threads. If I made a mistake, my apologies.

    So, here we go. Please brace yourself and remember it’s all for the sake of the game.

    Mana:
    There was some controversy and displeasure regarding mana mechanics. I understand and agree with the idea of making the game somewhat challenging but the current model does have some severe issues.
    For example, capturing/torturing doesn’t really work. I know how to do it but in practice it rarely happens without one carefully micromanaging every enemy and even then it’s a matter of luck. Almost always, however, enemies don’t really get scared enough and flee rather than push forward (with exception of visiting player’s dungeon) and in the rare cases their morale does break, they still rather throw themselves at swords of my minions than surrender. I understand that so far taking captives only works on the basis of severe injury – making it primarily dependant on morale however (with fleeing enemy cornered or otherwise prevented from escaping) would make the whole thing work. I’ve finished whole campaign and I didn’t acquire even one prisoner, making both torture devices and the prison pretty useless.

    There could also be alternative, less safe or more costly methods of generating mana, which would still make it more challenging than just idling around in library while not being dependant on luck. For example, there’s plenty of corpses around, usually stockpiled in hundreds on tombstones (which frankly, looks stupid). How about being able to sacrifice them, at least some of the more worthy ones (mythical creatures, accomplished humanoid heroes etc) for some mana? Same with equipment – when I craft weapons and armor better than supposed legendary, named ones, being able to sacrifice the better stuff for mana could IMHO work.

    Also, providing token mana rewards for clearing out another group from some map, even if it was of faction already fought – would make sense. After all, even if it’s 5th kobold lair, it’s still increasing some influence. And good encouragement for players to explore things rather than just go after the bigger creatures and “villains” from midgame onward.

    Lastly (for this point), prices of technologies should be adjusted. Rather than flat value of 100, I’d image some of the basic ones (pigsty, archery) should be relatively cheap and obtainable quickly. But then more demanding (and rewarding) technologies like steel making or mutations should require quite some commitment.

    Geology:
    Stone is even more rare long-term than iron and given how much regularly replenished traps require, it’s used up faster. Non-renewable resource aside as some loot from some dwarves, that makes the situation bad for longer campaigns. A way to maximize granite nodes is also to create smaller dungeon in the beginning and then branch out later. It’s weird that if I’ll make a big one straight away, I won’t be able to stumble upon resources (though I did get a message suggesting I’ve dug through some mineral I didn’t uncover yet).

    The whole geology is in general looks very improvised. Resources magically popping into existence and hard to find elsewhere seems like a way to control progression, but it doesn’t look well and frankly, limits player’s will to utilize basic features, like building a dungeon. I’d rather be able to stumble upon the ore and be able to dig it up even withotu geology, and use the technology itself to know where to dig as well as possibly uncover places for resources on the world map (after all, majority of it cannot be visited as it doesn’t have any special enemies – a thing that could be surely improved).

    Rooms, facilities etc:
    Torture devices and prisons are kinda useless as per paragraph above. But same goes for altars. Given rather severe creature limits (but balanced vs typical enemy groups one finds in the game) altars are really in use for a short period of time when said limit is topped and after that are of completely no use. Being able to sacrifice things for mana may work with those.

    Pigsties generate corpses. Ones that don’t get eaten, but just lie around and add to the clutter as it seems it’s not eating the corpse but killing the pig that is the source of nutrition for all creatures.

    Trap building requirements are kinda steep given those traps have to be replaced regularly. Also, I don’t see much of a point for them to be made at workshop anymore, beside “Dungeon Keeper did that”. I understand it’s so some monsters have something to do, but in reality they still often just sit in the workshop staring at walls till something activates a trap, in which case the creatures rush to build some more.

    A bit of an AI issue, but also a matter of management, certainly a pathfinding problem regarding using facilities. Creatures develop severely idiotic tendencies if there are several rooms of similar type. For example, I’ve made two libraries, one of them locked. Furnished the same, each with each of the three types of bookshelves. Every time a creature wanted to study magic, it went to one library, hit some bookshelf a few times and then went through the whole dungeon to attempt to visit another library, look at the closed door and then go all the way back to the first library to hit a bookshelf a few times. I also made a private bedroom, library and the pigsty for my keeper where I’ve locked him in. But for some reason instead of using any of these facilities, he was stuck in place till I opened the door, at which point he rushed to eat from communal pigsty and whatnot. It was fun, it was just silly.

    At that point I’d love to be able to specify ties between creatures and facilities. I want to be able to assign beds to particular creatures, limit certain facilities/rooms for certain groups (this is communal pigsty, this one’s for the army etc). And certainly I’d like that AI corrected.

    Generally, pathfinding seems to be messy. While normally the game runs at around 30 FPS for me (going down to about 18 late game), whenever I have creatures returning from a raid elsewhere, it comes down to about 1 – 3 FPS till they reach entrance to the dungeon, at which point FPS comes back to norm.

    Sturdier door would be nice. I’d like to be able to create ones that actually are able to hold stronger enemies for more than 2 seconds and repel weaklings altogether. Even in original Dungeon Keeper we had somewhat reinforced door or even outright steel ones and I don’t see why such couldn’t work here.

    Raids and creatures:
    Time doesn’t really pass when on raid. Whether it’s day or night may change and status of the creatures changes, but whether they work, move etc doesn’t. I understand it’s to limit CPU usage as having the game manage several maps at the same time would greatly increase the game’s system requirements (a thing I’d rather avoid myself) but at least simulation of some things would still be nice. For example, I can send an army, have it come back, send another and have it returned on the heels of the first one. Can be exploited in that knowing that enemy is about to raid me I can teleport my army away and then back to meet the enemy on the map’s edge.

    An ogre, even with a gauntlet of strength can lift only as little as equipment belonging to about two dwarves before being unable to lift anything else. An imp has unlimited capacity and cash easily shuffle thousands of units of wood, equipment etc. A corpse of average creature weights more than several trees. Balancing it out would be nice.

    Some creatures in general seem to be unbalanced. For example, some are much better in every way than others. At the point one has werewolves or ogres, they can get rid all orcs. It’s kinda disappointing. I’d rather balance them in a way that each offers certain benefits. Let orcs be weaker than ogres but actually able to acquire more, rather than less, levels of combat training – that way while they aren’t immediately very useful, they are still worth considering long-term as they can become pretty nice if left to polish their skills and properly equipped.

    Ghosts are absolutely completely useless the whole game. Since as mentioned, praying isn’t worth squat once you have all the creatures and there are usually better choices for praying monsters before then, there’s no point for ghosts to be there at all since praying is all they can do. They cannot really even participate in battle in any meaningful way as upon attack they die, supposedly possessing the enemy (but in reality, there seems to be no effect, possessed enemy behaves in all ways exactly as unpossessed one, player just wastes ghosts).

    Same with goblins. They’re meant to be expert crafters but really, any other crafting creature will do just fine, it’s just a matter of time. At the same time each goblin noticeably limits battle prowess of one’s minions as they are completely unable to fight with any degree of skill.

    Dopplegangers can absorb creatures, learning things like sorcery, but they’re actually unable to train or learn any spells. I understand if their training potential would be lower than that of the creature they’ve absorbed but some potential would be nice.

    In general, I’d like to be able to have even token reward for taking care of my creatures. Let most of them have some ability to train and allow every living creture to slightly increase their battle prowess outside of training room (no training level limit). On one hand it may create some balance issues, on the other, if I managed to keep alive a whole group of minions, using them in many military campaigns, it’d be nice if they’d have a way to show their prowess and experience when compared to some regular schmuck who hanged around training room at that time.

    Also “innate” skills like sorcery or crafting could be affected with time. For example, it bothers me that keeper has sorcery only at 20%, when even a shaman has it at 70%. But what if it could be raised every time the keeper masters a tier of bookshelves/spells related to them? Then it’d be some progression. Same could be done with other things – proficiency at crafting (that should not only affect time of crafting things but very slightly – their quality) could start low even for goblins, but rise over time as they make more things, thus actually making them worth hiring.

    There were ideas of providing several different types of keepers. I’d like to offer an alternative. Rather than choosing some sort of archetypes, upon keeper’s creation let players choose both how the keeper looks like and which stats, abilities etc said keeper has. Much more variety, better immersion, assurance that every player will be able to make a keeper they imagine (in boundaries of the game’s mechanics).

    Regarding keepers, please turn off that popup when keeper gets injured fighting a pig. Or better yet, make killing pigs unable to hurt anyone. Also possibly reconsider the whole eating – monsters apparently don’t need to eat, it’ll only affect their morale slightly. I’d make satiation a bit less of a bonus (aside from one to morale) but also something that’s necessary. Early game that may also force players to hunt animals or eat corpses of other enemies, maybe gathering wheat from the fields could also work.

    Other things worth considering:

    Additional checks for certain enemies would be good. For example, in the campaign I’ve raided and (after admittedly, a couple tries) conquered another keeper’s lair. The keeper himself perished, and his corpse was added to the pile of them lying near the tombstone. Still, the game declared said keeper undefeated. There’s no creatures in his lair (sans ever-respawning pigs in the pigsty), even imps were all found and slaughtered. And even if there would be around, I should still be declared a victor since I took out the force behind it all.

    I also met with gnomes but were unable to trade (the option was greyed out) yet were seen as friendly (as I’ve got annoyed and robbed them blind). Similar to dark elves – there seems to be no actual option to hire anyone trade or whatnot. It’d be also nice if down the development cycle such factions wouldn’t merely offer a hiring pool but also, should one want to use their services, demand certain commitments (asking for help against upcoming enemy raid, letting their NPC wizard come study at keeper’s library for a bit before coming back).

    I still wait for leather equipment actually requiring skins. It shouldn’t really be hard – there are animals one can hunt. Increasing their numbers slightly and respawn rate per every day/night could add a bit to the depth as now the keeper wouldn’t just send the raid to kill a few cows for giggles, but for actual resources. It could even allow some special effects in case of skins of rare creatures being used (at last that dragon corpse will have some use). Currently very linear progression of “every iron thing is better than every wooden thing and both are always worse than every steel thing” is dull. Though in that case corspes shouldnt’ be as easily rotting away (one day or so is enough for one to turn into bones).

    That’s it. For now. Hope it’ll be of some use to the devs. Have a nice day.

    #7074

    red_kangaroo
    Participant

    I guess I’ll add my feedback here. 🙂

    Mana

    I like the new mana mechanics. Before, the game was not really challenging unless the player made it so, because you could ratehr easily wait until you had enough mana to get every tech, then stomp the whole land. This current way of making the player fight for his progression is much, much better, IMHO.

    I would really like, though, to actually be able to take and torture prisoners. The game tells me to do it all the time – yet I never managed it in all my games. How do you do it? Is there a pop-up window if you manage to injure enemies enough without killing them? What if you took inspiration from Dungeon Keeper and only beheadings would outright kill a creature and reaching 0 HP would instead make them uncounscious from blood loss, letting your imps gather them and bring them to your prison. If left without care, uncounscious creatures would still die in a short time. As no-one would help adventurers, they would also die. Maybe there could also be cage traps to get prisoners more easily, or a way to abduct prisoners with a raid into another map? Maybe you could also get offers of ransom for your prisoners?

    Some form of sacrifices on the demon altars would be cool, but I’d much rather see corpses and bones used for leather and bone crafting than sacrifices. Maybe you could sacrifice prisoners, or your own creatures? Eg. if you sacrificed your own creature, the amount of mana gained would depend on how strong your creature was – so a new recruit would give very little mana, but an experienced creature with many kills would give a nice chunk of mana.

    Both awarding mana for all vanquished enemies (even if it’s less mana for an enemy type already defeated, to maintain balance) and adjusting mana cost of tech so that some are cheap, others very expensive are excellent ideas.

    Geology

    I don’t mind current geology, but it might be interesting if you could buy some tech that allowed you to build a remote mine – it would create a new location on your worldmap (you don’t have to be able to physically visit it, it’s just there on the map) and you could send some creatures away, slowly gaining resources. Even if this would give you unlimited iron and stone, I don’t think this would be unbalanced in the long run, as it’s nicely counterweighted by the limited mana you need for progression.

    Rooms

    I would like to be able to assign chambers to my monsters, too. Building a throne room and accompanying suite for my keeper would be much more satisfying if he actually used it. 😉

    Stone, iron, maybe even steel doors are great idea. If your enemies couldn’t get to you, they could still siege – maybe you could be blocked from [T]ravelling for as long as an enemy is sieging, thus you would need to get rid of them somehow. Or they could eventually just dig to you.

    Monsters

    Monsters being balanced and all useful would be ideal, IMHO. 🙂

    Ghost could remain very weak fighters, but if they were able to walk through walls, they could become invaluable scouts, especially coupled with their invisibility.

    Goblins also need a buff, but probably not in a combat way. Maybe goblins could be the only ones skilled enough to create some of the higher tech crafts. Thus you could make do with orcs for crafting in early game, but later some goblins would be needed. To make them useful even outside of crafting, what if goblins had the Ambush skill, so you could use a possessed goblin as a sneaky thief to get into enemy sites and steal from them without fight? They also seem to be skilled with traps, so giving them some beartraps or cage traps with which to hunt animals could work well, especially if you needed meat even before you had pigsty tech and leather for leather armor, not wood.

    Speaking of pigsty, monsters actually eating would be great – I would like to use the animals corpses for more than just graveyard clutter. Adding meat and leather as resources would definitely improve the way you need to take care of your dungeon. BTW, adventurers should also be able (and required?) to eat. Some bread and cheese in the shops, maybe a way to butcher a wild animal into edible meat?

    I would like a way for both doppelgangers and adventurers to learn spells. 😉

    Combat

    I don’t like how currently, your only concern abut your weapon if how high its + is. It would be great of you could specialize your fighter a bit. Maybe give them an option to choose from several styles of equipment, each with different strengths and downsides to balance them.

    “Sword and shield” style (or any one-handed weapon and a shield) could give much better defense than the other styles, but limit you to weaker one-handers. Shields should give considerable defense, at least as much as body armor gives, to give a fair exchange for the limited attack power of creatures using shields.

    “Dual wielding” is always cool and allowing creatures to wield two weapons and attack twice each turn would be a nice style to have. Maybe only give 50% chance to attack with the off-hand weapon, increased to something like 80% by having Ambidextrous trait (dark elves). This would probably be the style with best offense.

    “Two-handed weapons” have higher damage than one-handers, but would probably still fall behind dual wielding. Instead, they could be given special attack effects – I think war hammers can already knock you prone, so maybe similar effects could be limited to two-handers to make them distinct from one-handers, plus each two-hander could be given a different effect to make them distinct from each other.

    War hammers already knock enemies prone, maybe they could also stun them for some turns (or do they already do that?).
    
    Battle axes could cleave through all adjacent enemies, attacking all squares next the the user at once. Cleaving should not work if any allied creature is next to you, though, to prevent annoying friendly fire. This would also make the weapon great against hordes, but less great when fighting with a group of your own allies.
    
    Greatclubs (or how is the weapon called) could get similar knockback to Blast spells, occasionally sending your enemies flying backwards.
    
    I would love to see spears added, with the ability to impale several enemies in a row, thus making them great in a tigh corridor fights (as opposed to axes, which would nicely cleave through enemies in open terrain).

    Maybe all of those special attacks of two-handers could be accessible to adventurers through the Ctrl+dir attack option (you would still need to wield a correct weapon, though)?

    Misc

    Trying to hunt down every last raven an enemy keepe had is really annoying – declaring them destroyed on killing the keeper would be much nicer.

    Trading with allied creatures would be awsome. You could use your gold to buy equipment, scrolls or resources from them, and it would be especially nice if there were restocking shops. As I’ve already written in another thread (about adventurers, but this applies to both them and the keeper):

    Shopping is fun. 🙂 I suppose the current behaviour of no one caring if you loot the castle treasury is only temporary, as is looting the town houses with no repercussions. 😛 (Related to above – being able to steal from towns as long as you are hidden would be cool.)

    However, once you buy whatever you want from the shop, you have no incentive to ever come back. What if shops restocked their goods every day? Thus you would have a reason to come back and see if there are more potions or scrolls to buy. You would have a reason to haul the spoils of your quests back to sell and buy better equipment. As you would be still limited by the money you can earn, it wouldn’t hopefully unbalance the game by giving you too much consumables.

    Thank you so much for your continued work with the game!

    EDIT: A few more thoughts.

    Maybe sacrificing on demon altars could also summon a very powerful but temporary demon ally, like horned reaper from Dungeon Keeper.

    Goblins would also benefit from being able to wear armor. Even with it, they still lack the ability to train, so it would not make them powerful fighters, but at least they would be able to get some defense and maybe a ring or amulet if the player deems it necessary.

    Other creatures that need balancing are animals. They are weak, and not even early game weak – you can get orcs so quickly you have no need for animals. What if animals didn’t count as part of your population (and wouldn’t fill your population limit), but instead if you fulfilled certain criteria and had free cages, they would come to you on their own? Eg. bats and ravens could join anytime you had a free cage, bats always at night and ravens always during day. As long as you had a vampire in your population, bats would join you much more frequently. As long as you had a werewolf in your population, wolves would occasionally join you. You would need a built pigsty for bears to start joining you. You would be able to amass huge numbers of animals with no limit other than the amount of built cages, but then again, they are weak so they could be used to rush your enemies in a swarm, no matter that many die.

    I like that imps can carry anything. They’re like magical ants, carrying whole dungeon hoards on their backs! 😀 But something like an amulet of carrying that would allow others to do the same would be great.

    Why are there no long bows to be crafted? I would like my harpies to have an upgrade.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  red_kangaroo. Reason: weird formatting
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by  red_kangaroo. Reason: still weird formatting
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    #7081

    RTester
    Participant

    Won’t really comment much on likes/dislikes themselves as it’s just feedback and it’s natural players will have both similar idea regarding some developments as well as different wishes regarding others. I also won’t make awall of text bigger by agreeing with you agreeing with me – but I will comment on the ideas that would really detract from enjoyment for me and possibly add to the game IMHO (a very subtle, but important distinction!) :P.

    As far as question goes:

    I would really like, though, to actually be able to take and torture prisoners. The game tells me to do it all the time – yet I never managed it in all my games. How do you do it?

    There’s a chance an enemy will surrender when at a very low health and/(or?) at wretched level of morale. Recently I only had one creature in a whole finished campaign give up on me – a single dwarf attacked me (apparently I’ve killed all others and just missed that one) and shortly after reaching my dungeon gave up when I carefully injured him somewhat with my weakest minions and then left him to wander around scared. After that I tortured him for 16 mana which frankly, didn’t make a difference for anything anyway so you didn’t miss much for now, with chance of getting prisoners as low as it is.

    If your enemies couldn’t get to you, they could still siege – maybe you could be blocked from [T]ravelling for as long as an enemy is sieging, thus you would need to get rid of them somehow. Or they could eventually just dig to you.

    What has to be mentioned though that you cannot really block anyone completely anyway since enemies can dig through walls already so there would be no risk either way. Maybe if one could make reinforced wall unbreakable by any but the naturally digging enemies like ants and minor bosses like dragons, hydras etc, it could work and still be balanced. But either way, yeah, I’d reiterate that doors themselves that are a bit sturdier would be nice.

    The monster ideas are interesting though I’d go against forcing player to have certain creature or risk having whole production blocked. Maybe down the development path there’d be a way of training minions, so actual orc shaman and orc warrior would be both upgrades of regular orc, with things like blacksmith being another alternative. Same with goblin crafter that stems from regular crafter as an alternative to goblin rogue, mixing a bit of both melee and ranged fighting abilities, stealth and the skill to spot and disarm traps.

    I don’t like how currently, your only concern abut your weapon if how high its + is. It would be great of you could specialize your fighter a bit. Maybe give them an option to choose from several styles of equipment, each with different strengths and downsides to balance them.

    There is a difference. Maybe it’s just my imagination but I’ve noticed that with swords and axes it’s far more probable that the enemy will have some limb chopped off. But yes, aside from that the weapons don’t really differ and certainly monsters themselves just choose whatever will add most to damage when equiping things.

    I am wary about making any particular equipment style/mix “the best” for either offense or defense. Combination of quality of equipment and traits of the creature should be much more important so properly trained ogre with a huge magical maul he’s able to wield efficiently due to already great innate strength should be able to knock an elf with puny knives around, dual attack or not.

    But having the effects of different weapons more pronounced would be nice.

    Maybe sacrificing on demon altars could also summon a very powerful but temporary demon ally, like horned reaper from Dungeon Keeper.

    I am unsure about that since it could lead to serious balancing issues and dungeon builds where fodder is kept for reaper’s summoning. I’d prefer just costly way to acquire such through research and whatnot, the way it is with mutated (bio-engineered) humanoids/beasts.

    Goblins would also benefit from being able to wear armor. Even with it, they still lack the ability to train, so it would not make them powerful fighters, but at least they would be able to get some defense and maybe a ring or amulet if the player deems it necessary.

    I’d risk saying that the same way every creature should ahve some ability to increase their fighting capabilities if only through practice, so every creature able to put some armor on and knowing how to – should be able to wear it if it’s available. It’s just not everyone would be able to wear the same pieces, with goblins for example being too weak for heavier armor or two-handed weapons.
    But if I had plenty of amulets, magical swords and whatnot lying around I don’t see it’d be unfair to be able to spread them around my sentient servants. After all it’s not bonus from nowhere, it’s something I crafted and fought for.

    Other creatures that need balancing are animals. They are weak, and not even early game weak – you can get orcs so quickly you have no need for animals. What if animals didn’t count as part of your population (and wouldn’t fill your population limit), but instead if you fulfilled certain criteria and had free cages, they would come to you on their own?

    That wouldn’t work. While I do believe population limits could be adjusted (increasing the cap in general but have different creatures take different amounts of pop-points) so animals are cheaper to acquire, having them just pile up as long as one has cages would completely destroy balance in the opposite direciton. After all, nothing is stopping me from building 400 cages, side by side, thorough the dungeons and then literally flood any and every danger with angry bears. Amusing, but makes all other creatures pointless since animals are ready to use as-is, no need to train or equip them so they are capable of fighting (even if it also means that they’re weaker compared to sentients who ARE trained and equipped).

    I’d leave animals as they are. Or maybe instead of adjusting pop limits in general, one could have separate pop limits fo sentients and beasts? Not sure how well it’d work, I am brainstorming at this point.

    I like that imps can carry anything. They’re like magical ants, carrying whole dungeon hoards on their backs!

    But it does lead to two weird things – the first being me wondering why upon mining/timber-felling activities each imp just picks up some of the resource when I can possess one and carry whole forest to my storage in one trip; and the second being the situations when the player can simply possess an imp, go to faraway map and then quickly steal whatever isn’t nailed down (in enemy dungeon or whatnot). I did that to very easily defeat the default NPC keeper. One minor attack, then sending in imp to pick up everything it could, then sending the same attack force again well-knowing that whole NPC dungeon is paralyzed and any new monsters the keeper will get will be both unequipped and badly trained.

    Why are there no long bows to be crafted? I would like my harpies to have an upgrade.

    Lack of longer-range bows I can understand since on the scale most fights take place even short bow carries far enough (as it should be). But sure, some more powerful, magical and so on bows would be nice. After all one doesn’t need separately new technology to make iron weapons AND to work iron – the latter covers production of better melee weapons. But archery only allows creation of basic, simplest wooden bows.

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