Author Topic: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content  (Read 3886 times)

Atchodas

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Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« on: July 05, 2015, 08:54:02 PM »
After playing trough 90% of EA access content ( finished all the quest lines ) , i want to say that this is by far the best game i played in past 10 years or even more . It is challenging , it is interesting , and game systems are amazing . Here are some things i noticed that could be improved to make Underrail even better experience .

Trading :

General Store Traders - Cmon , this is a general store he surely could buy more "small items" like parts , consumables , grenades , components etc . As for now General Store traders are those guys who has 500-600 Charons and buys one Belt and 1 Foodstuff (trololol) . Dont get me wrong i love Underrail's bartering system just i feel like General Store's should be the place where you can sell larger quantities of various small items from different item categories ,  that would make sense for general store and make the world feel more real . I hope they will be fixed for the release version.

Praetorian Security Trader - CMON , this guy is exclusive to other 2 traders , and he sells complete crap , same quality gear as weapons trader in core city just has less of it , and he does not even sell Green/Red Bullets in large quantities like for example Protectorate trader. I really hope to see this improved in release version , faction exclusive trader should have some exclusive / valuable stuff to sell , or just plainly sell highest quality gears , he is exclusive to other 2 main story quest lines that are like hardest part of the game before Institute ( Even Protectorate guy sells crappy gear but he can be forgiven because he stacks 30 Green rounds , tho these traders should sell "high" quality pieces for sure )

Traders that are further away from cities/settlements like Marty in scavenger shop ,Lost Vault guy , Hanging Rat Guy , they should have some unique / decent stock of some kind ( not speaking about unique items that cannot be bought anywhere else ) so they are worth to visit more than once , nobody is gonna trade with Scavenger Shop guy when he sells same things as any other Corecity trader and buys 1 leather armor , by saying unique stock i mean these hidden traders that are harder to reach should have some component/ingredient etc that they sell in larger quantities and that is hard to obtain anywhere else ( Napalm C for example , or white Powder to craft grenades , even Bottles or Rags or anything like that just so you know this guy stacks item X and its worth to visit him again and again if i want item X in large quantity). This would allow them to stay relevant beyond the point where you meet them for the first time and sell them some random junk in from your backpack and ignore them for the rest of the game . Blaine is good example for this , meanwhile he has no Unique stock , he can trade SGS credits to Charons 3 to 1 that is best ratio only available from SGS Old Jonas ( 20 Charons every reset lol ) and Jack Quicksilver 80 every reset . It makes Blaine worth revisiting , even if his dumb ass takes few loading screens to reach .

Reactivity :

Meanwhile "nobody know me as Invictus" trolling in Institute was 10/10 , game needs some kind of reactivity , people in Corecity when asked about Invictus should tell its you or something .

I should be able to tell Gorsky to put his plans into his ass because i am Corporal of Protectorate and i aint stealing anything from my comrades and surely not killing some poor co worker .

Depot B in Junkyard after you help Black Eels to take over , seriously are there none of the traders that would like to move in? especially after you kill the best of all traders early game just for that quest , also even after 100 hours in game dead bodies are still there etc . I wish after some time the map would change a bit removing dead bodies and moving in some new people and a trader . There are plenty of places in the game where after something happened , time would freeze in that location and even after many game hours nothing will change , i thought this might not be possible due to engine , but a trader moved into Black Crawlers HQ in core city , you only could hope this will be implemented into other game area's ( for example free drones base becomes blocked forever after the gass is released surely there could be some way to clean the Gas there or it could just disappear after 20 in game hours or something ).

Buzzers shop in Rail Crossing even after months will have same annoying sound of broken electricity , guy reopened a shop he surely could fix the electric stuff, you get the point there are issues like this related to many quests / locations where they freeze in time and never evolve after you complete the quest .

Some general reactive dialogue and some maps changing some time after you complete quest would fix this easily .

Crafting :

Super Steel - CMON why the wait , it is not sure now how long i have to wait for super steel to get melted , there are no indicators , the guy will take more money from me but not give the plates etc etc. Just make this a cut scene (bla bla much time has passed you waited and got bored to death but now its done GZ , something along those lines would do ), or make some NPC ( let it be a whore / a drinking buddy in a bar W/E it could even cost decent charons like 100 or two) in foundry that helps you pass time until steel is crafted .

Blueprints - there are many amazing blueprints and crafting system is so good , it still could be better atm you can craft almost everything and it feels like you should be able to craft everything , however Green/Red Rounds arent craftable , meanwhile Shock / Acid / Microshrapnel Rounds are.. , also there could be 2nd and 3rd levels for Flashbang type grenade for example level 3 being something like shock grenade that just stuns shit for 1 turn , also Gas Grenades are very weak compared to other stuff , only use for them is to fuck some poor npc over who is willing to talk with you before getting killed ( rathound king for example ) , i wish Gas Grenades were reworked / improved into something more useful at least that they started working before enemy is dead , and there could be 3 tiers of them "toxic grenades" or just more different special grenades that uses Toxic Material , like Acid Grenade that melts shit or something . Like half of "special" bullets needs to be reworked , Micro Shrapnell is complete garbage just saying .

Energy/Chemical should not stop at Pistols , there should be some tipe of Rifle's/Canons that shoots with energy or chemicals , same goes for some type of rocket / grenade launchers would be nice to see them end game , also they could be a "grenade sink" for those low tier grenades that nobody buys and they just stink in your inventory for ages .
Also i hope that with endgame content we see at least 1 more frame for each weapon type , probably not gonna happen tho .

Biology seems to be lacking and its the skill that can be capped with 60 on char that doesnt use PSI and on 70 on char that does use PSI . I wish there were more blueprints for this skill with various effects like Aegis ( it is hard to craft , expensive , effect is minor but has no penalty it is not overpowered but it is really handy ) ( but no more injectable medicine we got enough of that lol , my character cant take more than 5 needles per turn lol ) Also more items like Regenerative west could be a solution .

Perks :

Some Perks are str8 up bad , like Ballistics ( They are not worth to take early because there are better perks , and late game they give close to no effect )

Three-Pointer perk seems too weak , if it added 5% for every point in dex above 7 it would be a thing tho .

Disassemble Perk - i get that reason for this perk is in the game to be able to sell more stuff , but it could work in a way like Three Pointer does , high INT removing the penalty ( like 3 % per every point of int above 7 up to 10 INT when you dont loose quality ) to make it really decent perk .

Weaponsmith - CMON 5% Crit for whole Perk :D? and Only to crafted weapons ... no. There is a perk that gives you 10 for very minor penalty .

There are other Perks that i dont remember right now but i will update the topic with them .

Side-Quests content :

There should be more stand-alone side quests that doesnt evolve into major quest line (such as milton's quest) especially in maze like locations such as Caverns or Lower Underrail(some parts of it ) or Under Passages , this would make exploration of those locations more interesting and rewarding , because right now its complete waste of time , you can skip most of those huge locations , and you wont miss anything because there is nothing there to find , add more content there because now it is directions you want to avoid or you end up being lost in dark tunnels with no real content .

Major Factions should have more quests ( Especially after you finished their main quest line ) talking here about Protectorate ( and Free Drones i Guess ) and Core City Factions , 5 quests for each of them is bare minimum tbh and faction feels empty and useless after you do those 5 quests there could be some sidequests ( atleast 5 more for each tbh ) that opens up after you complete the main quest line .

More Side quests in citie's there are ton of NPC's out there surely some of them could have some kind of "fetch quest gone wrong" type of stuff .
Some more people who challenge you after you become invictus in arena would also be nice addition , maybe 1 challenger every 3 hours of game time or something like that .

Difficulty :

Underral is kinda hard and challenging game when you dont know what to do , but sometime after you get access to whole Underrail , Mid Game content stops being hard , Burrowers in Camp Hathor were a thing , Burrowers during Protectorate quest line were animal abuse and i felt sorry for them ( and i did Hathor > Crossing > 2 Quests in Corecity > Protectorate  so that wasnt even that much of time gap and my character was 5 times stronger ). I know that end game is yet to come but due locations being opened to you all at once whole post SGS stuff is kinda same difficulty and it can give you like 10+ levels which makes your character way stronger in the meantime its same crawlers and burrowers , also the access to mid game traders makes it way easier if you are a crafter . Instead of re balancing every encounter , HARD mode should be in release version , looking that Easy is just some hp bloat i wouldnt mind HARD mode being similar to it , but seriously there has to be a HARD mode in such game , for now if you run a decent character , craft yourself some pieces of gear enemy assault rifle user does 0 damage to you while you shoot him for 300 .This is a problem in all combat heavy games that has "optional" crafting system
Ofc something like Path of The Damned (enemy has increased stats / there are more of them )mode in Pilltards would be more than welcome in Underrail but i guess this is too much to ask at this stage of development , so HP bloat hard mode will do .

Also arena isnt that hard until you meet the end boss who is a thing but the difficulty gap between him and others is too wide ( and i dont mean nerf him , make others stronger )

Give raiders better Rifles / more Armor Piercing bullets , they stopped doing mechanical damage to my heavy armored guy at level 15 and they never did any bullets damage after ( Hard mode would fix this , enemies doing more damage not you doing less )

That is it for now , just finished EA content so i might add something after time passes and i remembered it these are issues i never forgot meanwhile playing lol .
Edit : this turned out to be mega post :/ not my intention to wall of text you to death
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 09:13:45 PM by Atchodas »

Fenix

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 01:28:35 PM »
Great post! :)
Lets discuss it.

Trading - I can't say anything for sure about your suggestion here, feel like 50\50, maybe yes maybe no.
Before I wanted to nerf charon income, but after introdusing Super Stell - no, I won't do it lol.

Reactivity - definitely YES! Some time ago I noted that gave should respond on your actions more, for example those 6 outposts, your first quest - there are nobody, nobody will come there, it feels bad.
I don't think it require too much resources, so I hope it will be fixed.

Crafting - still have no idea, I just don't craft bullets, and don't use them at all lol.
I can agree about Biology - we should make some drugs that acts like Junkyard Surprise, but now I not sure in this, because it make Biology "mast have" for all.

Perks - definitely YES. They should have even more attention, than now.

Side-quests - I vote YES, but sure that It not gonna happen.

Difficulty - YES, I don't know what should it be - new mode, or just careful balance of present game.

Atchodas, thanks for you suggestion. )

Atchodas

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 06:28:37 PM »
Hey ty for reply .

TBH I believe that most of traders are fine , except those few that i mentioned - they really serve no purpose in the game or like general store ones they just dont buy anything and carry 600 charons , i also thought that i shouldnt care about traders and charons untill i started melting 9000 of them every visit to foundry , my 55k went down in few hours .
Bullet crafting is just very strange because you can craft epic Acid Bullets and stuff like that but not simple armor piercing ones , just feels lacking here .
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 06:32:54 PM by Atchodas »

reinhark

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 08:17:20 PM »
I am against grenade launchers.

First of all, low tier grenades should be in where they belong: That is, garbage can after first few hours.
Some things are just worthless to pick up - like low grade armor parts. You can't expect every grade of grenade to have same amount of effectiveness.

AND most of all, it will make throwing useless. Actually scratch that. It will make Gun the best skill over any other ranged combat skills.

Throwing has always been the AoE with utility like flashbang and molotov, and sometimes flat damage with HE, etc. Gun just provides viable high mechanical damage in the early game, and utility later with red/green bullets and custom bullets, as well as damage variation using chemical pistols.

If grenade launcher is to be implemented, why even bother with crossbow or throwing when Gun can singlehandedly cover AoE accuracy and AoE damage, utility with special bullets/chemical pistols and highest ranged damage?


Edit: Whoops, forgot that gun also provides utility with chemical pistols.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 08:26:30 PM by reinhark »

epeli

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 01:27:51 AM »
I don't think any large content additions are going to happen at this point, but I agree more reactivity would be great. Once Deep Caverns is finished, it's time to tweak and rebalance things, so expect a lot of those feat/difficulty issues to get sorted out.

On crafting:
- 1 turn stun grenade would be worse than normal flashbang, but it'd stilll be nice for certain builds and situations. 3 turn flashbangs, similar to Mk3 EMP grenades, would also be nice.
- Gas grenades and micro-shrapnel rounds are far from useless, even though your playstyle and build didn't find them useful.
- Energy rifles and more types of chemical weapons were planned, but they probably won't make it into release. Heavy weaponry like rocket propelled grenade launchers are for mechas.
- Biology and your fishing rod will have more uses in the release version.

On feats:
Ballistics: I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It's mostly for tactical vests and if you consider +9 DT useless at any point of the game, there's something wrong with armor balance.
Weaponsmith: don't look at the effects of a single feat, look at how much of that effect you can stack. That's what really matters.

On difficulty:
Hard difficulty would be a nice addition and probably easy to implement simply by removing player extra health, or something along those lines.

But the important thing for any difficulty level is to put overpowered things back in line, so the game is challenging regardless of playstyle. Many things got really powerful in the latest version thanks to higher level cap, new feats, easier crafting, new crafting possibilities and psi changes. Some OP things (like 1AP melee with multiple expertise triggers per attack, fancy footwork+blitz or outright damage immunity with metal armor) were hotfixed, but there's still a number of things to consider, like 1) metal armor is too good, 2) psi regen is way too high without any investment, 3) crit and assault rifle builds deal too much damage.
[[Underrail Wiki]] // character build tool: underrail.info.tm (thread)

Fenix

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 04:55:44 AM »
On difficulty:
Hard difficulty would be a nice addition and probably easy to implement simply by removing player extra health, or something along those lines.

Player extra health? I play 3 Con builds all the time, so I wonder...

epeli

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 07:34:10 AM »
Player extra health? I play 3 Con builds all the time, so I wonder...

Player characters have 1.5x more natural health than NPCs of same con&lvl. And easy mode gives you even more HP, so I figured removing the extra HP could be a good start for hard mode.

PS. I updated underrail.info.tm a while ago to calculate HP and some other stuff, so you can use it to easily check out how con&lvl affect HP.
[[Underrail Wiki]] // character build tool: underrail.info.tm (thread)

Diggfinger

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 08:30:49 AM »
Just do like old school Might and Magic: have a 'normal' and 'easy' mode.

'Normal' should be tough as balls  8)

RailNomad

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 09:41:04 AM »
I agree especially on the parts about Trading and Super Steel.

About Difficulity: enemies scaling to your level is something that many rpg players hate, but enemy scaling is very common feature in RPG games for a reason. The set of enemies in quite limited in Underrail and when there is no scaling, you have quickly seen every single enemy there is and know exactly how to fight them. Introducing some kind of enemy scaling system, that is not tied to your level, but on the difficulity level of the location would make the game more interesting. Having a few extremely experienced rathounds in the Rathound King's lair would certainly make the fight more interesting. And to be honest, I wouldn't argue against rathounds getting a bit tougher as you level up. Since level up is something you do at will, the payoff in getting new skill points and traits would be facing increasingly more difficult enemies.

I remember Nethack (?) had this system where Enemy level = (Your XP level + Dungeon level) / 2. It is a system that keeps game interesting also on the higher levels.

Of course this is a kind of big thing to introduce to the game at this point, but I don't mind waiting if the games gets more polished.

Diggfinger

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 12:11:22 PM »
I agree especially on the parts about Trading and Super Steel.

About Difficulity: enemies scaling to your level is something that many rpg players hate, but enemy scaling is very common feature in RPG games for a reason. The set of enemies in quite limited in Underrail and when there is no scaling, you have quickly seen every single enemy there is and know exactly how to fight them. Introducing some kind of enemy scaling system, that is not tied to your level, but on the difficulity level of the location would make the game more interesting. Having a few extremely experienced rathounds in the Rathound King's lair would certainly make the fight more interesting. And to be honest, I wouldn't argue against rathounds getting a bit tougher as you level up. Since level up is something you do at will, the payoff in getting new skill points and traits would be facing increasingly more difficult enemies.

I remember Nethack (?) had this system where Enemy level = (Your XP level + Dungeon level) / 2. It is a system that keeps game interesting also on the higher levels.

Of course this is a kind of big thing to introduce to the game at this point, but I don't mind waiting if the games gets more polished.

I disagree on the level-scaling.

I find that Fallout and Might and Magic are good examples of how you can make an interesting experience without it. Imagine late level fights with rats in Fallout if they are scaled up - just would not make sense. I think Fallout2 was a good example of a game where the difficulty starts out quite tough, then becomes 'just right' from level 6-14 where after you basically start becoming over-powered and fights are too easy (except perhaps Enclave random encounters). Now, if Underrail could somehow improve that to make late levels challenging as well it would be awesome (as I think was alluded to by Atchodas).
But level scaling? No, to me it feels natural that people should have a hard time in the beginning no matter which enemy you fight (low health, poor skills) but that basic enemies should of course gradually become easier. Of course, you can always place tougher versions of those basic enemies in later areas...

Moreover, I love how M+M just places super tough enemies are certain areas which requires you to be a certain level. Underrail could do that too!

Sorry for my random ramblings - but it seems to me that it might not be the best way to go (reminds me of Oblivion, which a good friend of mine hates for that very reason).

- Digg

RailNomad

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 12:22:02 PM »
Level scaling can be done well and it can be done awfully. All in all, I think that creatures of the same type should have some variation in their stats to add unpredictability to the combats. In a world where the protagonist can level himself up quickly, why other entities couldn't? But well, Underrail will do fine without level scaling, but it does need a few more creatures and difficult fights.

Atchodas

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 04:53:16 PM »
Quote
like 1) metal armor is too good, 2) psi regen is way too high without any investment, 3) crit and assault rifle builds deal too much damage.
Both metal armors and assault rifles requires crafting to be that good , that is 3 crafting skills you gotta pretty much max ( 4 if you want regenerative vest and that thing is very good ) , thats why we need a hardmode , so better thought / advanced builds would still have some challenge especially later in the game . Enemies could carry more green rounds , as i think a lot of builds will have decent armor tresholds and have better guns in general . Hardmode removing extra health is a good start i guess but it has to be more .

Also isnt balistics 3 more treshold ? how do you get 9 DT ?
About grenades : Smoke grenades takes too long to work , well maybe because i played with AR build and shit just died to left and right , they should spawn a mini gass cloud when you drop them and spread fully in 2 turns .
One can only hope for those 1 turn stun grenades,maybe grenades that carry frost/chemical liquid as we got molotovs&co and level 3 flashbangs :D , green and red rounds blueprints too maybe red rounds should be changed somehow to be as good as green ones .
I dont think level scaling is good idea , in general it is very hard to balance such open world game like this , some places where you have to fight your way trough could be made harder tho , i am sure after last part of the game is finished , balance will be done and if we get another harder mode it will be more than enough .
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 05:05:58 PM by Atchodas »

RailNomad

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 06:43:28 PM »
How about enemy level system that is not "scaled"? You could have rathounds come in unexperienced, experienced and very experienced varieties in different locations to give player the feeling of surprise and danger when venturing deeper into the caves and rail system?

The biggest turn off (it's pretty slight considering how awesome the game is) is the feeling when you encounter that 100th rathounds or 50th burrower. It's like:"These again." If there was some twist or difference in them depending on the location it would really make the exploring and combat less predictable without having to introduce whole new class of monsters. You know, traditional rpg's have the xp system of all characters for a reason. It's part of the rpg magic.

Atchodas

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2015, 09:30:18 PM »
Yeh different versions of enemies would feel right , bigger burrowers and something in between rathound alpha and ancient rathound , or just put ancient rathounds everywhere that one in sewers is whole different story and will feel different anyway  , but having more diverse enemies would be great improvement , just look at human enemies , nobody complains about them because in Underrail every group of raiders you meet feels different , because they are different , but wild life is just meh
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 09:32:29 PM by Atchodas »

Fenix

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Re: Some thoughts after finishing Early Access content
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2015, 06:24:55 AM »

I disagree on the level-scaling.

I find that Fallout and Might and Magic are good examples of how you can make an interesting experience without it. Imagine late level fights with rats in Fallout if they are scaled up - just would not make sense. I think Fallout2 was a good example of a game where the difficulty starts out quite tough, then becomes 'just right' from level 6-14 where after you basically start becoming over-powered and fights are too easy (except perhaps Enclave random encounters). Now, if Underrail could somehow improve that to make late levels challenging as well it would be awesome (as I think was alluded to by Atchodas).
But level scaling? No, to me it feels natural that people should have a hard time in the beginning no matter which enemy you fight (low health, poor skills) but that basic enemies should of course gradually become easier. Of course, you can always place tougher versions of those basic enemies in later areas...

Absolutely agree with you! Strongly against level scaling. with it you have no sense of character progress in game world, which make a game just a schizophrenic's bad dream.
We all remember how it was done in Fallout - usual rat, something thougher, and mutant rat, who is 5 times deadlier then usual rat, and Super Mutants too.
But we should rememeber that not every creature should have such creature variability, or all that start to resemble JRPG brrrrr.


Player characters have 1.5x more natural health than NPCs of same con&lvl. And easy mode gives you even more HP, so I figured removing the extra HP could be a good start for hard mode.

Isn't a 50% loss of a HP a bit rough? ???
Just calculate how much HP 25-lvl 3-Con char would have on Normal, and how much without 1.5 multiplier?
Anyway I understand it's just estimations. )
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 06:30:32 AM by Fenix »