Too Hard

Well after spending a good part of the day playing my last character "Hopeless" (aptly named) I died a whole lot of times at once in the daikara dungeon. After that it was really just over for me. I did manage to kill Ranth but had to flee without looting the body because a more dangerous monster awaited in the wings. (Some super nasty undead spell caster, sort of like a Skelly Mage if it had access to all spells and was able to cast something horrendous each turn.)

So that's it for me for awhile. No more TOME until it tones down a little. The frustration of having spent all that time to get a character to level 20 to have him die repeatedly to scaling/power issues is ridiculous. But I blame myself for that as I know I am not a good player even though I have played most of the bands and have extensive experience with both strategy and roleplaying games. Good players seem to sail through the challenges like a breeze and have no problems dealing with anything that I consider unfair or impossible. Even so I hope the game does begin to accommodate those who are not hard core power gamers.

Some comments on the game itself:
a) The UI is dramatically improved from previous versions of t-engine, however some of the things one expects in a band are missing or hard to find. A lot of the hot keys are unmapped which means less functionality. In that same vein the user command box on the lower right could stand to be done a little more efficiently, allowing more than 12 commands to show there with up/down arrows. All in all however this area of the game is just A++.

b)I really love the way the game unlocks different things at different stages and how each achievement is recorded and given some emphasis. The documentation (in game) could stand some work, but overall while not being linear it still gives the player a good idea of what to do next which is imho important in a game this large where you can stumble and die at nearly every opportunity. One thing that would be nice is if the game warned you when you are about to make game changing decisions like ignoring the thief/merchant quest (because you are afraid it will bug out like prior versions) only to discover it never comes again. (Well it never did for me and I spent some time attempting to get by walking randomly around the world map.)

c) The house while hard to accomplish is a deft touch. Giving the player a base is probably one of the biggest things you can do to tie them into the game.

d) The escort quests are stupid hard, unless you get lucky and the & is near the entrance AND the npc @ doesn't idiotically charge the nearest badass and die while your @ is engaged with 3 other badasses. It does help in certain maps to have unpassable channels but I had one quest in this last character where the escort died from collateral damage by a baddy. In fact in the last stage of Daikara the Boss was waiting 5 steps from the entrance in an unavoidable path so the NPC really had no chance at all even though I rushed the boss. In another instance in the same dungeon I suicided twice (killing the enemies around him while taking a beating) to keep the @ alive only to have him kill himself on known traps. :/

d) the game seems to favor spellcasters/ranged attackers at least in terms of monsters. Only a few melee monsters are really challenging much past their half level point. Spellcasters seem intensely dangerous beyond their typical threat level (ie: skelly mages vs skelly warriors.) Archers are likewise deadly without apparent reason. Yes we can go to "realism" because many games do but I feel that gaming isn't fun if that is the crutch we always rely on to make things more "challenging." That said killing them does give a certain satisfaction akin to crushing roaches, irl.

e) one of the nastiest effects in the game is the confuse spell. Not just because it does terrible things to the character but because it screws with the UI and makes using the mouse nearly impossible which I personally detest in games. I prefer to not be actually blinded/confused/stunned by the games I am playing letting my avatars take the brunt instead. After all I am not the character...

Anyway I hope you all have fun improving this. For now I am out...Happy New Years!

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