I’ll start off by saying I have a fair amount of hours in Chiv and understand the combat flow. I think that for any game, the first 30 minutes is incredibly important as it often decides if a player keeps playing the game or ditches it. My views are my opinions and what I noticed for my playthrough and it’s not necessarily what all players will be thinking.
Even coming off of chiv, sword combat wasn’t super intuitive for me. It didn’t take me forever to get the hang of it, but I felt like it took too long to understand. I think part of this was that attack animations from my opponent didn’t feel right. For example the ‘heavy’ guy with the hammer was swinging that thing like there was no tomorrow and when anticipating the strike to come, it felt too quick. I got used to this and adjusted to it but maybe animations could be changed to portray the weight and timing better so players don’t have to ‘get used to it’. Again, I’m talking about my thoughts on the first 30 minutes.
Not sure if anything can be done about this as it just comes with the genre, but I’ll list it anyways. I felt a bit overwhelmed with all of the different classes and tons of abilities happening everywhere. I don’t think that the current system is bad, but new players will feel overwhelmed by it all. Again, I know this comes with the genre. If you figure out a way to improve on this, it would be huge.
And the big one: Getting rekt. This ties into the last point more than anything for me. There was so much going on and I didn’t know how to properly use abilities and form combos out of the different abilities and whatnot so I just got destroyed without really know why. It also doesn’t help that I was a couple days late to the alpha. My proposed change for the actual release of the game is to setup beginner only servers or a matchmaking system that is heavily encouraged so that new players will play other new players and you all can suck together. This will give players time to experiment with the different mechanics while not feeling as overwhelmed.
This was how my first ~30 minutes felt. It didn’t take me too long to get into the groove and start really loving the game, but as you guys are probably aware, the majority of players just wont play if it feels overwhelming or hard. If they can’t have fun early on then they will put the game down and be done with it forever.
So I hope that this information is useful because I know as developers you guys are completely stripped of knowing what it’s like to play the game for the first time and you have been playing it so much over the dev cycle that it can be pretty hard to step back and see the game like new players would. I look forward to see where this game goes because I think it’s really something special! Any additional questions just ask below.