Comments on the Steam version
So I lay my beavergloved hands on the Steam version, and have been collecting some comments. In the name of brevity, let's just say I find the changes and additions laudable, and skip the pages upon pages of praise I could heap upon the game and the new version. I did encounter some bugs, but I'll make a separate post for that and put more subjective comments here:
- Overeating: When eating from the inventory screen and getting the warning "Are you sure?", it defaults to Yes. With my sausage fingers I sometimes end up space-surfing my way to vomiting.
- Loading/unloading guns: Would be nice to have inventory hotkeys for these ("r"eload, "u"nload?) Also, I'm for the suggestion made in another thread, that players with "auto pick up ammo" auto-unload missiles on the ground.
- Auto-explore: It's useful, but still a bit wonky. I would personally prefer if you stopped when spotting loot or a new stairway, for instance. Also, it'd make sense to visit bookshelves like you do chests etc.? When it comes to moving past plants and pools, the current implementation may be a tad on the conservative side. If I press "<" to go to the nearest stair, I don't mind wading through a pool of slime or moving to a distance of 1 tile away from a kudzu or jilted lover. Although I realize this could be tricky to implement, for instance identifying the extremely few cases where stepping into slime does pose a potential danger.
- Sensing nearby hostiles: Nearby hostiles, even when out of view, still keep me from autogetting stuff on the ground, constituing a kind of unaccounted-for "danger sense".
- Force fields: One of my personal favorites. But I've always found it weird how even intelligent creatures crowd around your force field to get shot. I think if humanoids would opt to retreat or avoid your force fields, it'd make force fields a bit less overpowered (but still crazy useful), and might even prompt more creative usage of the mutation (dividing batallions, trapping enemies, etc.) Stupid vermin might still be set to blindly advance, to retain the joy of using force bubble + disintegration.
- Disassembly: This skill always struck me as slightly odd. Its only function is to provide bits for Tinkering, and Tinkering on its side can't be applied at all without bits. Might these two skills be merged into one, or am I overlooking some obvious design principle? As it stands, it makes tinkering more opaque to get into for new players, I think. As an indicator this may be a blind spot, Artifex isn't even listed to have this skill during character generation
- Lead slugs: Used to be a real commodity in the old version, now they're readily accessible. After Grit Gate, you basically have an infinite supply. Bullets were perhaps a bit too scarce earlier, but it had the benefit of making levels with bullets strewn around feel like a tangible bonus, and adding to suspense in various other ways. I'd personally prefer if you struck a middle way here?
- Loosing your bearings: IMHO, it's a bit too random how many screens you have to visit before you stop being lost. After about a dozen screen, it feels much less like an added challenge and more like busiwork.
- Historical sites: I like what you did there, particularly how the random flora and architecture means you never know what to expect. But there are a few things that irk me a bit: First, the quests to retrieve artifacts that you can gain from inscribed items, gives the player very little to go on, since the location of those artifacts don't show up on the overworld map. I get the feeling there is/should be a system to investigate the locations, but I haven't found anything in the game. Second, there may be a few too many random books scattered around? One time I cleared a historic site on my way to the Stilt, and a visit to the library brought me straight from level 9 to level 12. By the way, the randomly generated titles are pure gold. The texts themselves become a bit too random. If you'd want to improve on them, I think I'd try to generate shorter excerpts and try to make them more suggestive, as the titles themselves. Maybe it could be just as fun with a colophone and brief description/summary ("This book with goatskin pages, written in 316 by the esteemed hermit glowpad Ugragoth of the Eastern Valley of Ys, describes the lives and times of Sultan Pethreph IV, as well as a dozen recipes for cooking with equimax milk.") It might also be possible to give books some gameplay value, such as divulging (hints regarding) where to find those pesky artifacts on your quest list. Of course, it depends on how much time and energy you are able to sink into this. At the moment, books are already a really fun addition to the game, I think.
That seems like a good point to stop rambling. I could go on, and wouldn't mind more in depth threads about topics like reputation. I love what's there so far, but also feel like the system could be fleshed out a bit more to become even more awesome (with more ways to gain, lose and use reputation, like maybe wearing inscribed armor increasing your reputation with corresponding cultists). In conclusion, though, I find your creativity and attention to detail really admirable, the game is just getting better and better.
You might find that some books already have hints regarding where a certain unique artifact can be found. That is, assuming the glitch that prevented these hints from appearing has really been fixed - I haven't bothered to check myself. That link contains spoilers on what the artifact is, so beware of spoilers.
Originally Posted by AgingMinotaur