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Breakdown of Beta 0.8

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
In Short:
1) The New classes are OP, the old ones under-powered, the rejigged ones half-decent but still not as good
2) Higher difficulty just = more health, not trickier tactics
3) Lots of nice mechanics but ultimately, only 1 matters for you: triggers
4) Village is very pretty but lacking in functionality and time-consuming (and buggy)
5) Worldmap is very functional but lacking in interaction
6) Sacraments are like puzzles where any piece fits. This makes watching them repetitive rather than something to learn all the details of and adjust your strategy to defeat.
7) Economy = Sky Shards. They're the only thing in limited demand.

In long:
First and foremost: and this bit'll be short, but it means a lot: the sheer amount of cool little customisations, animations, sound effects and attention to detail in those areas is amazing, from the slightly tonally different toots of multiple Songsmiths to the little idle animations for each Commandment prior to the Sacrament, the speech bubbles from your villagers, the happy bouncing celebrations of your villagers in sacraments and levelling up your god - the style of your villagers changing as you advance, your little mud huts becoming stone, etc etc. It's a huge amount of work into the background and world and you really feel it as you play!

I'm no expert in visuals or sound, but it's seriously impressive and makes a big impact - great work!

That said, I am an expert in dissembling games' systems :p (sorry!), so here's a run down (and it'll be big, apologies!):

Commandments:
War
- still the easiest. Get Prophets, get Smiteswords. Between the prophet's Rage and the Smite's intrinsic passive defy, you can very easily stack very potent defences across a team and throw a lot of damage around. Not to mention the ridiculously overpowered method mention in Combinations below :p

Of course, you can forget about Weavers entirely and Songsmiths, while having some combo options, will be doing minimal damage thanks to the War dedications. Druids can work, but frankly, Prophets and Smites have amazing defence between them anyway - the only time you might want a Druid is for comboing with other classes or leveling up some weaker Disciples - which you'll never need to worry about because you can always do that easily with anyone in the infinite Inspiration Node (the one to the right of the first node you take over)

One class that works amazingly well with War that I hadn't expected: Druids! They're very tanky, which is great, but their Entangle ability is a physical one, so while their Guardian abilities won't hit hard, they can tank the damage needed because of it and completely shut down physical opponents while still being powerful tanks against morale damage. Their damage can even get quite hefty once you upgrade their health enough too, and it allows them to chain abilities with Beastwalkers because of the Nature passives Beasties get.

On which subject: Beastwalkers! They hit like a truck when they're built for crits, doing up to and including 50 damage in a single hit, and they get multiple hits with the right build. Downside? They can't tank at all. They do get some nice Evasion bonuses, but they're always going to be wide-open to Morale attacks - they'll need someone to cover them on that front (or finish off everyone before they can get an attack in). The other reason to use Beastwalkers is their massive Cunning - it means you're certain you'll be first in every Sacrament, meaning you can front-load all your damage and try to knock out individual enemies (or even just take out the whole team) in your first round in order to mitigate damage.

Peace - Peace is decent, though hindered by the fact that they only got 1 new class this patch: the Songsmith. While the Songsmith's great, it's not quite enough to carry the rest of the morale users: Druids *can* go Peaceful, but they don't get much damage if they do that. So that leaves Weavers, who, while great, are hampered by a lack of skills/passives presently. They can get a decent amount of crits with their high wisdom potential, but still not nearly as reliably as Beastmasters can (to combo with Songsmiths).

I hasten to add that this is mostly cause Peace stuff is awaiting updates, so fair enough, and don't count it out completely (it's still better than Lust, though the gap is smaller now with the classes suited to Lust in action).

What Peace does have that can work well is Smiteswords, surprisingly. Yes, they're primarily physical, but they can stack their morale move to decent levels (especially with the right background and miracles!) for a comparatively small cost - most of which is switching out their physical default attacks - then you can have a reliably decent hitter who can tank well for comparatively cheap. Once the Peaceful abilities get updated to suit their levels, Smiteswords should be extremely potent for Peace too. That, and it means you have a nice tanky Disciple option asides from the Druid if you want it. The main advantage for them is that they only need one stat (Devotion) to increase the damage of their morale *and* defence against morale.

Lust - Still crap. Doesn't get any reliable damage buff. What it gets is nice enough, but it's 50/50 whether it'll work on any given enemy. And you don't know whether it'll work until you hit them. And while +2 damage sounds great, +1-2 every time (War/Peace bonus) is *much* better than a 50% chance of +2. (Yes, yes it sounds familiar - Students from 0-2 research, Adriaan :p )

The Lust abilities are also lack-lust-re at the moment. They are too weak for their respective levels and clearly haven't been touched since the last build, which further mitigates the advantage of starting with a level 2 Lust ability - the only good thing about it is it's quicker to upgrade to another level 3 skill than War/Peace.

Classes:
Ok, the old classes are mostly similar to how they were - the abilities remain the same, and the passives are... terrible. Not that bad, granted, but terrible compared to the juicy new ones available to the 3 new classes :p

What's changed is that there's now a representation of all the elements (and therefore, all the weaknesses/resistances) across the 6 classes, making a nice little triangle for damage types: 1 element has 1 other element is it weak to and 1 it is resistant to. Everything else just does standard damage. Then things get complicated with the Passives.

But before I go into them, let's look at the classes themselves:

Smitesword: Ridiculously powerful and great for doing combinations with Rage Prophets for a War religion (potentially Weavers/Beastwalkers too or a really expensively trained Druid). Gets 2 passives at level 3 and 4, both of which can grant bonus attacks every time you use either a Virtuous Ability (one for your commandment - War/Peace/Lust) or a Dark one, respectively. Forget the other option at level 3. It just does not compare. Wiping your enemies out in the first turn is not only possible, it's likely using the Virtuous Sacrament upgrade - meaning a passive that gives you an extra 1 turn once, and only if you've already reached the second round...? No. Don't do it. There's 1 right answer. Virtuous Sacrament. It gives you bonus attacks every single round and lets you do it from the get-go.

In other news, the Smitesword's also got a fantastic defence - he can specialise towards Devotion. That means he can tank all those annoying Morale damage attacks. And his first passive at level 2 lets you choose between doing extra damage on his Divine attacks or getting a free Defy (morale defend) chance and a bonus to tanking it.

The only thing you don't want to do with a Smitesword is play a Lust commandment. Why? Their bonus damage with Smite/Greater Smite will never trigger: there are no Chastity abilities in the game yet, and Lust's Sinful abilities are Chastity ones. Also, War or Peace options are everywhere in all the class skill trees for Virtues (and even trigger on level 1 Disciples' main abilities!). Of course, a Peace commandment will massively reduce their damage, but they have potential with their Morale damage option to be a good tank and damage dealer there too; but it does waste their passive options massively as those have to be physical attacks.

Beastwalker: Has some fun combos and ideas - either can develop into a very potent first-strike-wins method using crits or an evasion dodge tank (and improves the entire team's evasion!). Unfortunately, Evasion dodge tank only work on Physical, so if it's Morale, you're missing half the puzzle. Given that the map and sacraments are designed to test both physical and morale against you, you're not going to get very far with just that, so that leaves the potent first-strike criticals option.

Which is great. Except that they have to burn through a lot of experience and Skystones to even have a chance of getting the ball rolling. It does work, but it takes a while - not least because you have to spemd so many skystones on them: each passive with an attached claw attack will need a whole skystone just to make half decent, and the level 5 one (a free hit at the start of combat) is all well and good, except that you have to take that option then and those hits reduce your later (much more potent!) hits - so unless you burn more stones getting it to something decent, you actually lose damage as soon as you hit level 5.

However, while not as adroit with chaining skills as some classes, they can get a nice tempo going with several of them - Nature's Hunter (3rd passive) allows them to put an additional claw attack in after someone else does a nature attack. Downside... it's yet another thing you have to upgrade or risk losing damage to. These claws almost don't seem worth the effort :p Not to mention that the Nature skills they get aren't the crit skills for the best damage, so even if you chain them, whoever starts the chain loses out on potential damage; etc.

In short, they have potential, and can certainly be fun as a different approach... but if you want to win quickly and easily? Go with something else.

Songsmith: Basically the not-quite-as-good-as-Smitesword morale version. Why isn't it quite as good? Can't reliably trigger their reaction moves: crits rely on having an ally sure of doing them, and even the Beastwalker can't do them every time, unlike the Smitesword, who can trigger it reliably every turn. Also their level 4 one is a counter, rather than a reaction to your allies' moves, meaning that, when against enemies using Dark, it's fantastic. However, since you can't be certain of that happening, it's a lot more chancy if it'll ever get used - not to mention that even if you have an enemy with a Dark skill, they may not actually use it to trigger your counter.

That said, they do give Peace an option for lot of potent chaining attacks: whack up the charisma on your songsmiths and either pair them with Beastwalkers with good crits or aim to tank the first round and get a massive stack of attacks afterwards.

Songsmiths are also great for AoEs - all their abilities are AoE, and because of that, their overall damage potential is much higher than other single-target classes: 3-4 damage on all three enemies is more than 6-8 on one. But only potentially, since you're likely to miss with one of the enemies. That said, once you've stacked your stats and damage bonuses high enough, you'll wreck entire teams with them easily. And no, you should never pick the +20% religion HP passive as your first if you're planning to make your Songsmith a damage dealer. - you take that, chances are likely that you'll miss at least one enemy each time you use an AoE - if you take the other starting passive to reduce the miss chance, you're looking at a 1/5 chance on each enemy - much healthier for a damage dealer! (if you're planning to make them a healer or to backup another Songsmith for the extra move in turn 2, go for it!)

Then there's the critical combos with Beastwalkers - you take that path, you'll be going for the Cunning Performance level 2 skill as your main skill, and you should put the Songsmith as the first to act in every Sacrament so that you boost the Cunning (both damage and chance to crit!) for the Beastwalkers (slot it to your crit-reaction skill too - those buffs stack and mitigate the damage loss from claws on your Beasties significantly!). You can potentially go for the level 3 skill too as it's got amazing damage, but wouldn't recommend if your main purpose is supporting Beastwalkers. Otherwise, go for it, it's great!

If you don't take the Performance level 3 passive, you're going Songs. Which works fine, but never socket their level 3 song. Finale's are a total waste of time - if you haven't already won by the last 2 rounds, you've wasted a lot of health and probably lost anyway. Don't bother. Stick with Song of Vigorous Power - it's great anyway and won't eat as many Skystones.

If you're playing with a Beastwalker and want a more damage-focused role, rather than support, go for Dancing Performance, and use the Beasties to buff your evade chance with their skills to boost your damage. (Take Natural abilities on them and the 'Allies gain evade whenever you use a Nature ability' passive). That said, the buff isn't as strong as when the Beasties are doing the damage and the Songsmith supporting, but the option's there (albeit costly in Skystones)

Beastmaster is very good at knocking off single-targets - their crit damage gets a bit insane, on top of which they can easily get multiple attacks in one round. Downside? That damage then tails off rapidly with Claw attacks. However, even taking down one enemy means you're only taking 2/3 of the normal attacks, which is significant.

Weavers: Weavers have had no love this patch. They don't have a level 3 skill and their passives are just stat ones other than their very first one (which is, admittedly, a good crit and damage buff, but still, doesn't compare to the new classes. That said, they're the closest you can get to a crit-morale class, and that's awesome.

They still retain the main source of Dark skills, and are comparatively cheap to put those skills on too with no level 3 stuff, stopping them from being irrelevant, but they're not very impressive at the moment either. (C'mon, give em some Weaver-specific Lust or Chastity skills, etc!)

Another thing worth noting: Weavers are the anti-Druid. Druid's weakness to Dark and the fact that they'll try to get in the way of everything makes them much easier to hit with high damage from a Weaver than any other class. And Druids can seriously spoil your day with a bunch of damage dealers: they soak up damage like a sponge, so offing them with a targeted blast of dark is very satisfying!

Druids Druids are rather interesting. They have an option for damage dealing with charisma or health (for a War team, though expensive to train for); but they really shine in defence. Druids are built on Health and Devotion, making them extremely tanky. Even more so when they get their starting passive (you can pick whichever you're weakest to of Physical/Morale damage to suit your team); and on top of that, their starting ability is defensive: any druid will start with 4/5 abilities that boost their defences and give them a chance to defend their allies when attacked - and on top of that, they start with a passive that buffs one of their defences.

This means they're a fantastic support for glass cannons or just to mitigate damage in general. On the downside, that's one slot used up that isn't going to be doing a lot of damage. You can make up for that by comboing their abilities with other classes (see Beastwalker's Passives that trigger on ally's Nature skills!) or just stacking the defences so high that it doesn't matter how much they soak up while the rest of your team deal damage. That said, they won't ever block every attack, so don't completely abandon defences on your damage dealers - but they will pretty reliably shift a chunk of damage to themselves (and reduce it massively in the process). Particularly useful if you've got a team that's strong to one of physical/morale but weak to the other. :p

They are fantastic as a support class for others, mitigating and assisting well even with very few skillpoints, making them nice and cheap if you want to focus on your other Disciples. However, I'd still hesitate to take one every time since they can't always save your other team members in defence. They do it a lot, and mitigate damage pretty effectively, but one bad RNG day and your glass cannons will get smushed without their own defences built a little.

Secondly, Offence is still > Defence in this game. Until turn 1 wipe-outs are stopped (or at least, made less reliable - I do like them in principle, but it shouldn't be the easiest thing to build a team for!) it makes Defence rather pointless. Until Defence is more important/reliable, tanks won't out-value damage dealers. I'd hope for a sweet spot where glass cannons can rely on a Druid to survive long enough to do enough damage to cover a missing damage dealer, but for now, they're not looking so hot. Still nice to have as an option in a team of 4 for multiple sacraments though - if one of your other Disciples is hurt and in danger of breaking for the next sacrament, the Druid can fill their slot with little effort or expense and just out-tank the enemy - great for those nodes that need multiple Sacraments completed before you can go home and rest.

Also, finally, beware powerful Weavers. They are your Druid's nemesis with their powerful dark crits. When you see your Druid throw themselves into the way of a Weaver's attack for the 4th time that Sacrament and kill themselves (having taken twice as much damage as the person they're trying to protect would've), you'll know why :p

Stat Balancing
Stats seem somewhat unbalanced in how much they can help a Disciple: Charisma and Might... basically only even useful if you those sorts of attack. But that's not just morale/physical: despite what the stat descriptions say, there seems to be no improvement to morale/physical damage on attacks that don't specify that they use Charisma/Might. So that's the Weakest of the stats, between them.

Then there's Cunning/Wisdom - clearly, they're useful regardless of which class they're on: they boost crit chance with either of physical/morale damage and chance to hit; not to mention being the main damage source for several classes (looking at you Beastwalker, Weaver!) as well. So not only are they immensely strong for any damage classes. On top of that, the greatest cunning (why not wisdom too?!) decides who goes first in a Sacrament.

However, the best of the bunch are Health/Devotion: they increase your classes' overall spirit and defences against physical/morale. Every class needs that if they aren't certain of wiping out enemies in the first round. That'd be fine if that was all they did, but Smiteswords/Druids can both boost their damage significantly by increasing them, meaning that they can dominate the Sacraments with just 2 stats (sure, they can improve that with cunning/wisdom, but they don't have to, while everyone else needs a bit of Health/Devotion to have a hope).

Given that they scale up the same across all the stats, and there's several times you have to make a choice over which stats you want to boost, it seems mighty unfair that they aren't weighted a little more evenly. If Might/Charisma both gave a small base damage increase to physical/morale damage (like their descriptions claim), I'd be a lot happier, but as it stands, unless your classes specifically say not, you can ignore those stats completely. Cunning and Wisdom I like the way they function in general, but they really should both affect who goes first in Sacraments, not just Cunning, and Health/Devotion are great, but perhaps the damage scaling for Smitesword/Druid abilities could be toned down a bit? They're meant to be tanky classes (and are!), so don't make them huge damage dealers too just because they can stack only 2 stats!

Excellent Combinations for teams:
Will add more as they come:
**See below**
(1. War Commandment, use only 1 Rage Prophet and Smiteswords (mostly Smiteswords, can later switch to 3 Smiteswords)

This one's hard to beat. Reach level 3 on the Smiteswords and give them Virtuous Sacrament - it means every time you use a War ability, they'll throw in an extra hit for free. For the first two Skystones (extremely limited in number at the start) you want to spend it entirely on the Rage Prophet, and spend every single ability point filling his bar with Ancestor skills (they're a level 1 War skill). Cause it means you have 100% chance to trigger your Smiteswords every single turn. That means 5 attacks in your first turn just from your Prophet using 1 attack with a 100% certainty of using it. That'll flatten pretty much anything up to 4 skulls even with only level 3s and no good miracles.

Until you're level 3 on your Prophet/Smites:
It's so important to get the good stuff for later, you should only use Inspirations when you need healing (or if someone gets the horrific 'Wish for Guidance' request), and then only until you're at full health/complete the request. When you do spend them, only send them to the village fire. That'll level up your God level quickly (as quickly as it can go at this point of the game) and boost their Faith. If you stack to 20+ faith, you get an extra 3 excellent mood chances for jobs - this is a minimum for getting decent chances at the best miracles.

Should you ever have only 1 person still doing a job in the village centre (never when getting miracles unless their mood is bad, in case get the heck out of there asap) when you're ready for a Sacrament, just quit the job and go fight the infinite Inspiration node (it's the 2 skull one just right of the Skystone node you start off next to) - you'll earn back even a wasted inspiration plus more, will earn exp as well (all important for those level 3's) and as you progress, you'll find you can go there once a day without trouble as you'll lose less and less health until you don't even need to stop to heal between trips.

By that point you'll probably be around level 3 on everyone anyway, and are ready to enjoy the rest of Godhood - go pickup the rest of the map and enjoy :p

(if your Prophet is getting a little old and risks vanishing to old age, you can substitute a 3rd Smitesword - the key is to get the level 4 upgrade for them (it adds an attack after an ally uses a Dark ability); and then get the Shadow of War ability triggering on one of them. As a bonus, it's tagged as both a Dark and a War ability, so it triggers both additional attacks on every Smitesword there - including themselves, which must be a bug. Enjoy ridiculous damage :p)

Another bonus to this combo: That which is strong against Ancestral is weak to Divine. So you just have to line up the targets with the right people and away you go (not that it'll matter much once you get to Dark/Ancestral/Divine combos). Oh, and if you come up against anyone using Peace skills, you're laughing - plant your Smiteswords opposite them and unleash Smite/Greater Smite and watch them explode.

2. Beastwalker and Songsmith: Your Songsmith is a heavy damage dealer: stack their charisma as high as possible and take the counters dark attacks and gets additional Performance when ally crits. Make all your performance reactions are Cunning Performance to boost your Beastie's Cunning and stack the Beasties' stats and passives into cunning and crits. That way you can offload a huge pile of crits and damage from your Beasties in the first round and trigger a blast from your Songsmith for each of them.

As a bonus, you get a great tonal shift from your Songsmiths when it all triggers too - Toot, TOOOT, toot, TOOOOOOOT! :D (Love that the the sound shifts slightly rather than repeat)

Only downside is the amount of exp and Skystones taken to get the ball rolling, and a general weakness in the defence department. Later that won't matter as you'll kill them all immediately (and never go second with all that Cunning); but at the start it makes it quite a struggle to get going. Second downside: Songsmith = morale, Beastie = physical. All well and good, except that means you're either not getting the damage buffs on one of them (and a penalty on the other!) or you're going Lust and not getting any damage bonus or penalty at all. You can make up for it by taking a Druid to soak damage, but that means you'll be training up 4 Disciples, not 3, meaning it'll take much longer to get the exp you need.

3. Beastwalker and Druids: The Druid(s) provide backup for the Beastwalker in the form of Guardians and Entangles, and when the Beastwalker hits level 4, providing regular use of Nature abilities to trigger the Claw auto-attack. Then just upgrade the auto-attack to the best claw attack, do the same at level 5 for the free hit at start of combat and max out your cunning/might asap. The Druids will tank the majority of the damage flying around.

This allows for huge crit damage on the claw attacks (I got a 50 damage single-target crit at one point doing this!) and it chains multiple hits too.)

**All the above**: Basically, trigger teams: have one or two people activating the other's triggers repeatedly - have the person triggering fill their ability bar with level 1/2 skills that activate the others and max out the triggered skills on the others (possibly chaining some additional triggers onto the others too to get enough hits in to finish anything. The only difficulty is preventing double-chaining abilities and the first one finishing them, as it'll crash the game)


Sacraments:
I'd start off by saying that the difficulties don't feel right at the present. Everyone you fight is level one with high level skills/stats injected into them. Even Colel Cob's team has junky stats, they just get a truckload of spirit and awe. On top of that, the spike between 2 skulls and 3 is huge, and it's entirely getting over that 60 awe barrier. 1 skull up to 2, fine, 3 skulls up to 4? fine. 4 to 5 or 6?

Well, either you can do enough damage or you'll be spending a long time trying to grind levels. If you have to grind, you'll be there a while, and frankly, should reconsider your strategy, cause you'll run out of Sky Shards from old age deaths/vanishing/retiring.

Which means... sorry Adriaan; :p Offence is still > Defence. It just takes longer to get there and a slightly more specific team - namely, one that can abuse ability triggers to get multiple attacks of huge amounts in the first turn (see examples above). That said, you can do reasonably well even without that so long as you're prepared to grind. Downside? That's not fun to play and takes forever. Making me switch my Disciples around for alternative team options to beat groups that're tougher for my normal team would help a lot here, however - make each node a tactical puzzle to solve - give people lots of team options and flexibility, rather than pinning them down in stone with both their levels and their ability choices (let alone non-refundable Sky Shards).

Everything in the design seems to be built for that: getting additional Disciple options to take to Sacraments when you can only bring 3 into each one, the way the classes have counters for particular enemies, elements or skills, the way the stats counter each other - it all points to a puzzle design... but the practical application appears to be like tossing an ingenious mathematician in front of an angry bull: It doesn't matter how smart he is, he's gotta learn to dodge or be gored, and all that potential is wasted. It needs shaping so that some classes or builds can only be damaged in a few ways, and give people flexibility to allow them to fit to that with whatever resources or Disciples they've decided to go with.

Even ignoring all that, there's a few issues: Currently the Sacraments have a nice balance early on across the 1 and 2 skull difficulties in terms of how capable your teams need to be, but there's too little early experience available. You could potentially put more resources out there, but I think the main point requiring grinding currently is the infinite Inspiration node - you need to get a lot tougher before you can pick up the resource-generating nodes. According to the map they should be 1 and 2 skulls, but the actual encounters have way too much health, forcing you to grind levels or abilities to beat them, which puts a dampener on the early game as it stands and really slows down the levelling/miracling up. That said, if you do use the Inspiration node for experience and save the inspirations, you're setup for a big batch of village-time once you do take the nodes.

If you make it through that, you need to have already been seriously considering your team build. The huge lack of early Sky Shards makes upgrading your team to a decent point extremely difficult and frustrating - the fact is, you're going to be stuck with at least the majority of your skills being mediocre starting ones for almost the entire game. It's only at the very end you can have built up a nice set of skillbars on all your team - provided you can get to that stage before your main prophet dies of old age.

Old Age
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the old age idea. Just currently it's a kick in the head, doubly so if you spent stuff on them, cause you aren't getting those resources back and lose your main high-stat person. Looking forwards to when they actually pass on their knowledge or whatever the devs have in mind.

That said, if you haven't managed to get your team rolling properly and doing the 3 skull locations before year 10, you're probably not going to make it with your prophet (they seem to die around year 15/16 generally in my experience). If you don't, it's a hell of a grind to get your team rolling again (unless you thought ahead and setup your prophet as a sacrificial dummy to the gods of old-age like I do now) :p

The World Map
The world map's pretty and has a nice design and layout. The various rewards/risks are well displayed (if not entirely accurate) and it's clear what to do and how to do it here without ambiguity. I look forwards to getting marginally randomised versions of the map (and a much bigger one!).

My only big regret here is that, although we can see the various religions (or areas that lack them!) clearly, there's zero recognition of that in the Sacraments we go to in these places: we see no sign of enemy gods having their own Commandments or playstyles as yet - very much looking forwards to that!

Likewise a reflection of (albeit, probably just the fantasy of) their villages: that'd be reflected in their villager's outfits, colour choices, the various Sacrament arena styles/dedications/etc. Their reactions and the like are already fantastic, but ultimately, every Sacrament's enemy villagers are the same (as are yours) as every other sacrament's enemy villagers - I'd love to see style-specific choices in different deity's areas.

The Village
The village is beautiful. The animations, villagers, sounds, buildings, you name it, it's extremely pretty and lovely to see doing it's thing.

Sadly, it's also a gameplay deadzone. The only gameplay perspective of the village is spending your resources, and you have to wait multiple days even for those to finish ticking through.

Honestly, the only things worth spending time on there are A) the village centre initially to get Faith over +20 before doing miracles. B) Getting 2 miracles (preferably wondrous ones, hence the faith) on the disciples for your end-game team. C) Skystone for abilities when you have the Sky Shards D) Temple of [insert commandment here] and E) when someone else is doing the above, collecting resources to fund D and dedications when you hit deity level 4. In the rare cases where one particular class doesn't match your chosen priest type, F) maxing out the most suitable other miracle to replace D.

The fact I can sum up the entirety of what you do there in one short paragraph is a problem. There is nothing else to do there.

Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff going on in there, just cut down on the time spent waiting for bars to fill and give us reasons to watch it all: maybe relationships build in the village between Disciples that will have an effect on your Sacraments when they're together - stuff symbolised by them talking together and reacting to each other, just make it something actually important and make it something that has no other indicator other than what happens in the village: something that you could easily miss (include instructions in tutorial!) but which gives opportunities to use in the Sacraments (eg. Pairing up two Disciples who get on well for a team effort bonus of some kind, etc. Put out a penalty for 2 others who don't get on at the moment for a penalty, etc)

I'd add that any such relationship-indicators shouldn't be too time consuming either - if it becomes a chore, it's not worth having it. Anyway, just an idea, make of it what you will.

The main issue is the time resource - I know you're considering scrapping it anyway, which is one solution, but I'd love for us to have a reason to watch the village ticking by other than A) Having to, and B) just to watch the pretty stuff.

Overall
My current feel of the game suggests you should be able to field more than 1 option (probably several) for your team and seriously tune-up the enemy teams - then you could match up against whatever the enemy has much better and it gives a reason to keep doing the weaker enemies - to train up the Disciples that are newer.

That would suggest having 5-7 disciples as an absolute minimum for most of the game and making your options a lot more fluid... but would also require far stronger penalties for taking the wrong team (or simply making it impossible to damage some teams with the wrong types of setup), slightly longer lasting or more consequential wounds (to keep you changing up your style) and more potent abilities for both you and the enemies to handle single team setups, making the Sacraments more like a puzzle that you have to try and get your team to fit rather than the current setup which encourages an exclusive 'one method beats all' approach and actually undermines the care and thought that goes into each class's abilities and passives.

Another possibility to make things more fluid would be to allow you to reposition Sky Shard usage - maybe spend resources to do it, but then you could adapt your Disciples to fit the teams you're up against - and it'd feel less punishing if you assign one to the wrong ability (which is basically a reset/reload job currently). It would also open the way for things like inheriting Sky Shards from someone dying of old age/retiring - then the permanent choices you make are all based on the individual Disciple's passives instead, and you can switch and fit your abilities to suit them. (Thematically, they're channelling the power of your deity through the stones I guess)

Another alternative might be to give 1 skillpoint (just 1!) whenever your characters level - it's not much and shouldn't be overpowered, but it rewards them for levelling beyond just the passives and means you won't end up with any level 5 Disciples who're still using nothing but the crappy starting skills because you can't find enough Sky Shards - and lets you experiment a little more with different abilities without worrying so much about picking the wrong ones for your build.

Either way, the way it stands at the moment, team builds are always going to favour the Offence approach because, frankly, the only thing you need to do is beat up the health tank in front of you in whatever way's best. The potential is there for a fantastic puzzle in the Sacraments - how to bring along this element to hurt them or counter their element: should you build this for a health tank or a devotion tank? Should you forego a tank so you can do enough damage and rely on a risky evasion/first-strike strategy, etc... but all strategic thought can only go into the damage chaining because, frankly, that's all we've got to do currently.

When some enemies can only be damaged by 3 elements at all or need you to be able to field physical or morale damage to get them, that's when you'll need to get your thinking caps on and actually figure out ways to adapt your Disciples to suit.

Without that, I'm afraid there's a big limit to any replayability you can get from it: I can say that as someone who's run all the different variations I can think of that would work in the current setup within 4 days - yes, that's just the Beta, but without a change in the game style, there's a serious limit to how long I'd be able to play this - I've already got (limited) versions of 6 of the 10 classes and I beat the final boss of the map flawlessly within a day with my third attempt at a team and after learning the mechanics of this build.

Anything else I could do would be a slight variation on what I've already done - and as much as I love the setting, style, and details that make up the game, it wouldn't be one I could keep coming back to.

That's just my view as things stand though, would like to see how further changes alter this.
 
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Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
(Sorry about the length and the tough-love, but I really do want this to succeed, and I love what I've seen of it, I'm just very worried about where it stands currently)
 
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Alplod

New member
Community Member for 5 years
Old Age
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the old age idea. Just currently it's a kick in the head, doubly so if you spent stuff on them, cause you aren't getting those resources back and lose your main high-stat person. Looking forwards to when they actually pass on their knowledge or whatever the devs have in mind.

That said, if you haven't managed to get your team rolling properly and doing the 3 skull locations before year 10, you're probably not going to make it with your prophet (they seem to die around year 15/16 generally in my experience). If you don't, it's a hell of a grind to get your team rolling again (unless you thought ahead and setup your prophet as a sacrificial dummy to the gods of old-age like I do now) :p
Well, IIRC "Old age" feature wasn't mentioned in the current patchnote as released one, instead it was mentioned in the roadmap. I'm not sure whether the thing you mention is a bug or feature. Given that I finished my game perfectly at year 16 without losing any one Disciple cause I never had more than 4 - just decided I won't take any new acolytes. The Disciple misteriously dissapearing without any note smells like a bug to me. So I reported it to Rutger via e-mail with save provided.

But it certainly needs some clarification from developers. Just to be sure.
 

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
Eh, think Adriaan confirmed it was old age and intentional, but it hadn't been mentioned as it only actually had the cutoff and nothing else (believe it was mentioned on the beta channel in discord)
 
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