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My Time At Portia => My Time At Portia Suggestions => Topic started by: MadMephit on February 09, 2018, 02:43:37 AM

Title: About WOW Industries
Post by: MadMephit on February 09, 2018, 02:43:37 AM
Keeping the title vague in the hopes of preventing some spoilers for those inclined to worry about it.

First off, when I went up to fix the pipe, I was expecting to do just that. Maybe I should have known better after fixing the generator in the Amber Island cave, but especially when the pipe was right there just inside the door, I was not expecting to be irrevocably (short of restarting the day) committed to a dungeon crawl. My inventory was cluttered; I didn't have much food; I was well-armed but my defense was weak (just work clothes/pants). Inventory was a major struggle throughout the entire run.

Fast forward to the boss fight (which was painful, but that was in large part because of my low defense and I will own that much). First off, the swarm of enemies you get faced with all of a sudden is really hard to do anything about without getting stunlocked, given the interval between a dodge-roll's invulnerability window and the time the player can actually act again; waves of smaller numbers, even if the total number is higher, would be much easier to manage while still preserving the overall feel of the fight. Given how much of my ruin-diving time has been spent trying to carefully peel small numbers of enemies away from the main group, suddenly getting mobbed by a half-dozen of them felt a little unfair.

Moving on: If you get KO'd by the boss and have to try again, it's a bit jarring to see Sam just standing there after beating her initial crop of enemies, mysteriously not able to join your own fight. The walls of the boss arena are usually an acceptable break from reality (especially where they keep you from falling off of it entirely), but in this particular case it breaks immersion hard. Rather than have there be a fixed number of enemies for her to deal with (which drop things as they're defeated), you may want to look into having more rats continuously jump onto her little section of platform (but have them be "special" rats that don't drop anything, even if the actual models are the same), and just remove them when the boss is defeated.

After the boss fight, given that there is a single task which the player must do to progress forward, a certain amount of railroading may be in order. To wit, close the door leading into the boss room when the boss is down - or better, have the way blocked by a sludge pipe that opens up behind them when they first enter the room, like the ones that show up on some layers of the Collapsed Wasteland; it's a plausible barrier, but one that also makes sense to have vanish when the goo valve is closed, so that if the player DOES want to backtrack and look for loot they've missed, they can - after they've accomplished their goals for the area. In case they do that, it would probably be a good idea to either move the trigger area for leaving the dungeon to the actual beginning, or have a duplicate exist there - so players who just want to leave still get their shortcut out, but players who double back and look around don't have to find the specific spot they're supposed to step on.

And - most significantly - don't let the player open the door past the valve until they've used the valve. It's possible to hit the switch without even noticing the valve, and that just leads to frustration as the player aimlessly wanders around, unable to leave, until they find what it is they're supposed to activate. This single change is probably the simplest to implement but with potentially the greatest impact. Just don't have the interact spot exist until the valve has already been used, and it helps ensure the player doesn't veer off course.
Title: Re: About WOW Industries
Post by: MarioneTTe on February 13, 2018, 10:13:28 AM
I agree heavily with feeling a bit blind-sided by the dungeon. I got about halfway through it before doing a hard reset on the day and going in better-prepared. It wouldn't take much, either. Instead of the player being surprised that Sam is there, having some sort of info blatantly stating that the initial investigation makes it appear to be sabotage, that the militia will be there, but you should still be prepared for anything in case there's trouble (I haven't played this part in some time, so there might be a brief mention of it being sabotage prior, but it doesn't stick out to me if there was).