Alpha Round 2 Feedback - Pilgore



  • After about 10 hours of play I have come off round two of the Alpha in a positive to somewhat conflicted feeling about the game in it’s current state. So I’m just going to go through some of the aspects of the game that I like/don’t like or otherwise.

    PRESENTATION

    After some time to let it sink in and think about it for a while I am seriously doubting the choice for the setting of Mirage. The middle-eastern-fantasy One Thousand and One Nights type world you have created sounds great on paper. There aren’t many games out there that go with this art direction and setting. But apart from the look of the maps from a distance that are included in the Alpha, everything feels…not great. The art style is cartoony and plain, creating an empty and lifeless atmosphere. The character design seems more distinct to the normal looking “soldier types” of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare but they’re not distinct enough. The characters feel like they straddle the line between Overwatch and Chivalry, not really committing to either style. The voice acting seems to be good though! Although the current voice command menu is different than that of Chivalry which makes quick voice commands in the heat of battle cumbersome. Not only that, but the time it takes for the actual line to be said by your character takes too long. The animated battle cries ( “c”) while moving are also great in some situations. But for the most part the animation your character goes through prevents you from using it in any combat situation where you actually want to survive the encounter. The result is a bunch of crudely animated and somewhat uninspired designed characters (like, to a lesser extent, in Chivalry) but without the Python esq and cinematic medieval movie feel to it. It needs…something, a hook, I just don’t know what. It just doesn’t hit that same instant this is hilarious/awesome moment you get when you boot up Chivalry. This is also the case with the music, it’s pretty good but not for an intense first-person slasher game. The entire match is filled with a somewhat chill middle-eastern-like tune that almost never really get’s going during the heat of battle. People need to get pumped up on some good percussion or something, but I suspect most of this will be taken care of during post-production. I do really appreciate the way every map has the other maps displayed in the distance, connecting the world a lot more than in Chivalry.

    COMBAT

    As someone who has close to 1400 hours in Chivalry, the combat is instantly recognizable. The base slash, overhead, stab, alternate slash/overhead, block is all there and it feels pretty good. What I was hoping for though was more refinement in the animations of the character movement and attacks. The swing-manipulation affects the animations obviously. You will never get For Honor (Ubisoft) style attack animations if the upper body can twist around like that. But I was hoping that Torn Banner might find a solution for this, so far it feels and looks almost the same like Chivalry with odd looking spinal motions during draggs and weird transitions between animations when getting flinched repeatedly.

    The abilities do add a lot to the combat. Every class adds to his team by using that class’s specific abilities. Flying around using magic carpet, popping heals as the Entropist or whirlwinding 3 people in one go with the tauren is a lot of fun. There are a few things I’m having issues with though. A lot of the guided-missile attacks like Spirit Orb and Phoenix seem to not be worth it. They fire too quickly and people can cross the distance too fast to take the time to press Q, press Q (or hold) Q again to guide the missile so I can get a single hit in with more damage and with a longer cooldown to boot. Where as with the spear (I’m sorry I don’t know the exact name!) or Grenade Launcher abilities I’m hitting (and killing) far more successfully.
    The ground pound abilities of the Tauren and Vigilist are effective but a problem I found was that once I hit the ground the head bobbing and screen shake coupled with my opponent possibly teleporting/climbing/phasing/etc away from me made me lose track of my opponent and my situational awareness got thrown out the door (spinning in circles trying to find my enemy).

    Levitate of the Alchemancer and the Kick Flip of the Tinker as well as Magic Carpet of the Entropist on some occasions seemed to just not be responsive enough. Other than traversal, the point of these abilities (at least that’s what I took from it while playing) is to get distance between you and the enemy. The problem is that I can’t fire these abilities off while surrounded or getting flinched. You could say, well don’t get surrounded or hit! But aren’t these exactly the type of situations where you want to use these abilities?
    If there is no room or space to use these abilities in the environment they’re (what seems to me) suppose to be used in I quickly switch them out for other abilities and just won’t use them. I cannot rely on them.

    My suggestion, make the dodge/flip/slide/kick/jump/levitate/carpet/etc abilities instant OR make them uninterruptible.

    In general, the Vypress seems to be the most competent class right now in sheer killing power. Most of the scoreboards have a Vypress player at the top.

    EVERYTHING ELSE

    Beside the things I just talked about, I think the UI and sound FX are already pretty darn good. The main menu looks nice, the build in friends list looks good. It would be nice though to see what everything does with some fade-in text because I was wondering what the little white plus symbols did and accidentally invited a bunch of people to play Mirage with me. The server browser is nice and responsive, especially compared to the one from Chivalry.

    Almost everything in the game already sounds nice and impactful, from impact/weapon FX to spells being fired (although those Alchemancer standard fire balls are not great, visually and sound wise).

    CLOSING THOUGHTS

    Overall I think the game is mechanically already pretty solid and has a good base to build upon. But almost everything about the presentation is something I have a lot of doubts with. I have no idea if people will dig this, long term. It’s less relatable and a lot more fantastical than Chivalry, and it’s maybe not dark enough. It doesn’t have the charm and character polish of something like Overwatch (or even Battleborn) so it can’t be that either. Perhaps it’s just because it’s new and I need to get used to it but I really feel like this stuff needs to be better, it’s not 2012 anymore. I’m hopeful the game will evolve and grow into something pretty epic once it finally releases next year. If I have any more thoughts and ideas I’ll edit this post and add to it or leave it at the First Impression thread. Hopefully this wasn’t and incoherent mess and it’s something you folks can work with!

    Cheers.



  • @Pilgore said in Alpha Round 2 Feedback - Pilgore:

    My suggestion, make the dodge/flip/slide/kick/jump/levitate/carpet/etc abilities instant OR make them uninterruptible.

    I think that making them uninterruptible would be a great addition to the game’s flow. There’s been a lot of times when I’e used explosive leap or pounce and then suddenly gotten hit from somewhere and it’s really confusing. Things that deal damage probably should have an interrupted release, which means for things like sliding kick or dash attack you don’t perfor them attack itself, but only the windup. It’s worth testing at least.



  • @Xylvion said in Alpha Round 2 Feedback - Pilgore:

    @Pilgore said in Alpha Round 2 Feedback - Pilgore:

    My suggestion, make the dodge/flip/slide/kick/jump/levitate/carpet/etc abilities instant OR make them uninterruptible.

    I think that making them uninterruptible would be a great addition to the game’s flow. There’s been a lot of times when I’e used explosive leap or pounce and then suddenly gotten hit from somewhere and it’s really confusing. Things that deal damage probably should have an interrupted release, which means for things like sliding kick or dash attack you don’t perfor them attack itself, but only the windup. It’s worth testing at least.

    Precisely, It’s not like you’re giving people an opportunity to deal damage without being stopped. These abilities are clearly meant as a traversal/get-outta-dodge mechanic and especially when in combat, those actions should not be interrupted. Unless it somehow breaks everything.