Performance is alot worse for me this time around, not sure why. GTX660 + i7 3770, should run this absolutely fine, was running it on max settings before at a consistent 100~ FPS but now im down to 60~ average, with large drops on certain maps 20-40 FPS in areas like the middle of Falcon Ridge. Im not sure how optimized the game is currently but i thought it was worth mentioning that i saw a decent drop in performance on max settings, most noticeably on Falcon Ridge though. The graphics are nothing astounding in terms of detail soo its probably just optimization issues, considering i can run many more modern, graphic intensive games with no issues.
General Game Balance
Right now i feel as though the game is coming along fairly well. Theres only currently a handful of problematic things i feel that need to be addressed which ill discuss below, class by class. One of the larger issues i see right now concerning game balance is mostly attributed to class stacking, but thats mostly because of imbalance of a certain skill in general, not because of the actual classes disrupting the balance at a base level. Again, other than a few imbalances the game is feeling very nice right now from a balance perspective.
Third person still offers a significantly larger FOV, while they did change being able to see significantly far behind you. As to whether or not this feature will be on permanently or only on certain servers has yet to be determined as far as im aware, the biggest concern here is that third person offer a very large vision advantage still.
Theres also a small issue of some abilities feeling a bit too similar to one another, or being outright better choices, id likes to see all abilities used, not just a handful of “meta” ones. Id like to see them more as playstyle definers more than anything else.
Theres also a bit of an issue with air control with certain things, negative and positive. While air control is very good, it also conflicts with some other things.
I wont talk about weapons or numbers, etc since i dont have access to them, weapons were random cycle this go and i havent noticed a huge dependency between them worth mentioning.
Anyways lets talk about classes/skills.
General Balance - Overall i feel like Taurant is one of the most balanced classes right now. He isnt too strong and none of his abilities appear to be imbalanced in my opinion. I dont have too much to say about him because i feel like hes in a good place right now. It appears as though the Steroid was removed (even though it was never a pickable ability).
Shove - Really great defensive ability, especially when fighting multiple players. It feels pretty good as is, its very satisfying to use. I didnt like this one much before but it grew on me a bit more now that punching isnt the greatest.
Punch - It feels okay right now, it doesnt feel as powerful as it was before. It feels as though the lunge range on it may have been toned down a bit. As far as the secondary effect goes, i wasnt noticing it disabling people who tried to block/parry it soo im not entirely sure if its working properly like it used to.
Boulder - Im a bit indifferent on this one but thats just because of my play style. I think its a great skill for people who like to play a bit less aggressive and a bit more disruptive. Its a great skill that can cause alot of mayhem and i think thats great.
Whirlwind - Probably my favorite ability to use as Taurant, its a really great skill to outplay players, especially ones who are overly aggressive or that chase. It really love the start up, the direction you face changes how “delayed” the hit is, it really adds some great depth to the skill.
Charge - Another great disrupting ability, really great for pushing people off the environment or displacing them. Its also great for making a quick escape and can also be used to get on top of things, or to recover after being pushed off the environment.
Leap Slam - I enjoy this one alot more than Charge personally because its a bit harder to read. It offers a great amount of mobility as well, similar to Charge.
General Balance - She feels really great to use right now and is similarly well balanced next to Taurant. The only major balancing issue with her that i see is her dome and also an issue with stacking her. The dome has quite a large area of effect soo it zones out that entire area, protecting players inside. It also disables abilities inside of it, which is pretty huge. One of the issues i noticed in matches is that people were effectively zoning abilities with them, making capturing points or objectives virtually impossible, The dome can take quite a large amount of damage before it breaks soo it isnt really feasible to use abilities on it, in addition to that, the duration itself is extremely long. While it offers protection against ranged attacks and abilities (which is great because theres nothing in game that currently protects against ranged aside from manually blocking), its simply far too punishing to have it disable abilities inside of it as well.
Ward Strike - Really great single target, crowd control ability. It gives ample time to punish whoever it hits by disabling them momentarily.
Impaler - Probably my favorite of the current two, i really enjoy the displacement to player positioning it gives. Its a well balanced skill that takes into consideration what a Vigilist can do.
Disperse - One of my favorite skills for Vigilist. Fights can be really chaotic if alot of people are on top of you, and this skill does a great job of getting them off you, in addition to dealing a decent amount of damage to those who dont avoid it.
Surge - This is another favorite. Its a great, ranged, disrupting ability. I also enjoy how it also functions as a “shield” that blocks other incoming abilities/attacks.
Iron Dome - This ability is very problematic in my opinion, its very imbalanced currently. It offers a large area of protection to fight in, in addition it also disables the use of some enemies abilities. Whether or not disabling abilities of enemies inside is intended, im not sure of, but currently it does so my feedback is under the assumption its intended (since it isnt in the ability description). This presents a very large issue when the character is stacked, as i mentioned above in the general balance of the class. I think this skill would be fine as is if they removed the ability cancellation inside of it. Right now there is simply no downsides to it, making it one of the best skills in the game.
Heroic Leap - This was one of my favorites before, but not anymore. They removed the mechanic where you can charge it by holding it to gain more height. Its basically a over glorified normal just right now, it doesnt give you the height disperse does and it doesnt appear to give any damage upon landing or anything still. Probably the worse skill in the game now over all the classes. It used to be alot more interesting to use, but at the same time, having multiple highly mobile skills isnt the greatest balance and we see that in another class which ill take amount further down in the post.
General Balance - I liked the previous version better but i understand why its been changed. In previous builds we had far too much control over the projectiles, it made FPS players like myself have in incredibly easy time hitting with Fireballs, in addition, you could curve them behind walls. It was a nightmare to play against good Alchemancers and it was very apparently that people would get annoyed when i played it. Bad balance isnt fun to play against regardless of how cool the mechanics were. The projectiles are much more balanced now, both in range and in the ability to control them unlike before. In my opinion, theyre still very hard to see (User side, not recieving side). Sometimes the UI like carts gets in the way of seeing them well, as well. The maps are bright and similar in color to either sides color for the Fireball attacks, id like something a bit more defined in color soo i can actually see it better. One big problem with this class as well is the spam, theres large amounts of ranged spam which can get quite irritating, the biggest one though is Chaos Orbs.
Piercing Shot - Its a very enjoyable skill shot, perfectly balanced as far as im concerned.
Phoenix - Another very enjoyable skill shot, perfectly balanced as well. The thing i really enjoy about this skill, over Piercing Shot though, is the fact it can be played three different ways. You can use it long range and guide it as intended, you can use it once and let someone walk into it like a mid-air floating mine, or you can pretend to let it float and then quickly turn it into a phoenix and hit someone with it. It really has great outplay potential and im glad more people finally see that now, as i saw no one but a handful of players using it that way two cycles ago.
Chaos Orb - This skills is problematic in my opinion. Its a bit too spammy for my liking and it just doesnt require any skill to use. It deals a large amount of damage even when splashed which is problematic because it makes “blocking it” not an option in alot of scenarios. Simply splash it against terrain and you can still deal a huge amount of damage without wasting the skill. Another big problem is that its just too easy to use, you just wait for other to fight and drop it, get kills or deal such a massive sum of damage with splash that your team ends up cleaning them up. A ranged, area of effect skill that functions as it current does, doesnt have down sides and its even more problematic when you add in more than one Alchemancer on a team. I think that the skill needs to have a Risk vs Reward factor similar to the Taurents Whirlwind, it shouldnt just be an easy to use, free damaging skill. I would remove entirely or rework it with those things in mind.
Teleport - I think this ability is fine as is, i also like how they combined the levitate ability into the design, removing a worse skill and just combining a mechanic was a great choice. It gives a great amount of mobility which the character needs, in addition, creates more depth by also adding a more aggressive playstyle. Teleporting stabs and overheads was my favorite thing to do two patch cycles ago, however they removed changing weapons for now soo i wasnt able to equip the flame sword, i was only able to use stabs and overheads.
Force Push - This is one of the abilities that i mentioned in the general game balance that was just a worse version of something else. Teleport does everything plus more than Force Push. While Force Push certainly has a lower cooldown, it really doesnt offer the same spacing or anything that teleport does. Maybe a small steroid of some extra movement speed or attack speed for a short period could make it a viable choice against Teleport, as it stands now though, i dont see myself ever using this over teleport.
General Balance - I feel like this class is still grossly overpowered. I cant put my finger on it exactly but i think its a combination of things. I feel like she has far too much power in all areas, instead of being mediocre in all areas. From what ive seen the class was supposed to be more of a squishy assassin kind of character but she didnt pan out that way (based on the old videos). Maybe her regular attack animations are just weird but i find that most people literally just spam swipes, and it works. Maybe theres just something strange with her animations or hit boxes, i dont know but i do know that ive more often than not, soloed multiple players by myself with her which is virtually impossible to do with other characters. She also becomes a nightmare to deal with when stacked but as i said prior with other classes, its mostly because of abilities, not because an underlying issue with the character.
Dash and Attack - Too much damage and mobility. The initial dodge to it dodges in the direction youre moving, then it dashes in whichever direction youre facing. Its a two part attack and the dodge wind up goes entirely unpunished, its too easy to use. In addition, you have air control during the dodge wind up, this allows you to do some strange things which makes it hard to read. For example a side strafe dodge wind up, then hitting them from an entirely different angle. I think the wind up makes sense, but its the extra smaller mechanics that just make it too easy to use to get an easy hit on someone else.
Shadow Kick - Now this is basically everything Dash and Attack should be balance wise. It has a wind up but offers nothing that works to your advantage other than your hitbox avoiding attacks/blocks that arent properly aimed. Its completely readable and doesnt have any weird interactions that allows for an easy hit, plus its FUN to use. It also does not give extra mobility, in the sense that youre still stuck to the ground moving at a normalized pace. Right now a big problem between the two skills is that Dash and Attack is just better in all aspects.
Chakrams - This is another ability thats superior to the other in choice. You get three charges/uses, with additional mechanics that are superior to the other ability, and its done instantly on keypress. I also think its strange for a class to have a ranged skill while also having as much mobility as it does, in addition to being absolutely nuts in close combat. The thing i love about this ability is the bounces, it adds skill and depth to how the ability is used. Im not even sure the class should get ranged skills but thats up to the developers to balance if they want to make her a true all rounder.
Blade Whip - The worse of the two range skills in most ways, the only thing it has going for it is that it pierces team mates, dealing no damage to them, which allows you to hit enemies through teammates, unlike chakram which will hit them and disappear. As far as the description goes as well, it doesnt appear to be longer range than chakram either, im pretty sure chakram go farther.
Phase - I enjoy this ability alot because of the out play potential and making people hit each other in 1v X scenarios. I do feel like its extremely strong but i think its by far one of the best abilities in the game. I think this ability would be fine as is IF they define the Viperesses role better. Right now its not very clear where she should excel, but ones things for sure currently, she excel in all scenarios right now, a bit too well.
Pounce - I enjoy this ability as well, i interchange between it and pounce often because each is good in its own right which brings me back to one of my other points. Her defined role and having too much mobility. Its too much when you combine it with Dash and Attack. she becomes far too mobile with both. I dont think its the greatest design when her role isnt clear yet and being highly mobile is a large advantage in objective games.
General Balance - Soo far i think ive found Tinker the most underwhelming but she does become a problem when stacked similar to other classes. The mine spam is completely obnoxious, especially since its pretty easy to have two up. If i had to choose between mine spam or chaos orb spam, i dont think i could choose between the two, theyre both quite irritating and imbalanced, though mines actually take time to arm and detonate. I did notice quite a few issues as well with placing them, sometimes you place them and they just break and disappear, sometimes they fall into the water, sometimes on the receiving end when you try to hit them to break them, they dont break and you get blown up. I also felt like she was the most boring to play, probably because her abilities are a bit bland and underwhelming in comparison. While i certainly understand her role and design intention, she really doesnt play how she was designed (pulling/pushing people into mines).
Hook Shot - Amazing skill for displacing people, i love the range on it as well, theres alot of strategy and play with the way you can use it. There are some issues with it however, if the target is slightly behind a wall or something itll hook them and pull them, but break in certain scenarios. Some functionality appears to be lost when you get a great hook but something like that happens.
Stasis - Well designed ability but it seems an unforeseen issue occurs with it, one i mentioned prior. You get some air control with your characters in this game, its a good thing for multiple abilities but it is also a bad thing when it comes to things like this. I really like the idea and design, play with the skill but it falls short because of the underlying mechanics, allowing you to avoid whats on the ground with air control, effectively avoiding mines placed below it (not to mention you can just use an ability and run away immediate).
Mines - I feel like i touched on this well enough in the general balance part for the class, see it above.
Dervish - Its a bit bland but it has some great play to it.
Kickflip - This ability also has some great play to it but i feel like it falls short in comparison to Dervish which is an equally bland skill. Kickflip has its uses but i find that having Dervish is better in almost every scenario.
Anyways, thats my feedback for now. Most of my feedback may be a bit generic but thats mostly because i feel like most things are well balanced as is, soo there isnt too much to say about them. I think i did a good job explaining some of the more problematic things however soo hopefully that helps a bit in the long run for the game development.