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Design Feedback on Righteous Rituals

BrunoCPaula

New member
Well, after hunting some bugs and with several runs done, let me give you some game-design focused feedback on Righteous Rituals. Before we start on individual points, I'd like to open this thread with a compliment: The update is very fun and adds a lot to the game. Thank you for the added systems and increased content. Now lets begin with the individual points, in no particular order:

1) The change of having the 1st passive at level 2 to it being granted at level 3 was very good move. It made the first island much less RNG-dependent and is a very good change overall. That said, it is very rare that we get a top totem disciple ( I think I one ever got one in 15+runs since Newfound Shores hit), so it is very rare for us to get the last passive (which requires 5 miracles) on any disciple. I suggest you creating a new building, avaiable for all commandments, that can give any disciple a new passive as if it had a miracle. For balance reasons, I think it might be costly (both in Offerings and time) and should only be able to be used once per disciple, but thats a nice way to shape up your disciples better and explore all passives the classes can give. If you're not comfortable with it being given to all classes, you could limit it to certain classes (based on your commandments) and lock it behind a Development.

2) The rituals change is very nice and being able to tailor the rituals to your liking is a very engaging move. However, the fact that they can grow to huge levels in the late game, coupled with the many new passives that give stat buffs and stat scaling to your allies, means you can have huge power 40+ disciples as early as the 3rd island (which, if I recall correctly will not be the last island) with crucial stats like Might in the 100+ range, which makes sacraments really easy. I had a Rage Prophet doing over 250 damage with its abilities, which will one-shot any disciple by the 3rd island, and that was not hard to get. Godhood's base numbers and scaling were made with a very different meta in mind (in early patches, stat values used to be much lower) and the huge amount of buffs avaiable using rituals, developments, relics, abilities and passives are messing with the game's difficulty.

3) The martyrdom mechanic is a very interesting idea, but it suffers from poor balancing. At early game, it is not worth it since you desperately need both the crystal skull reward and the development point, both which are only gained when you win the sacrament, and at late game you're both steamrolling your opponents and don't have resource shortages so it is not worth it either. And theres even a worse problem with it, that is that high Martyrdom does not increases that much your rewards.

4) Martyrdom only increases your base rewards (materials and followers won based on the conversion bar), not your crystal skull rewards, but the more martyrdom you use, the more converts your enemy has, so the lower your rewards are. To put it on perspective, lets use some numbers for example. If a sacrament have a total of 200 possible converts (100 needed to win), and your enemy manages to convert 40, you'll convert 160 followers and gain 160 materials. However, martyrdom 1 gives your enemy 25 converts, so your rewards do not increase by 25% (from 160 to 200), but by 5%( (160-25)*1.25 = 168). This becomes even worse at higher Martyrdoms: Martyrdom 3 gives your enemy 50 converts, so your rewards become only 20% greater ( (160-50) * 1.75 = 192) instead of the 75% increase promised. In the end, you're sacrificing a lot (with a bigger risk of losing the all-important Crystal Skull and Development Points) to gain very little.

5) The follower conversion on heals and smitesword/guardian passives (on intercepting/blocking) are a very good addition, but the latter aren't that clear in game. I would make them a small ability that the smitesword/guardian would use after intercepting/blocking, so it becomes more clear to the player what is happening. As of now, too much happens at once: the enemy attacks, you jump in to intercept/block, then the conversion bar goes crazy with both sides gaining followers and its a bit too hectic to follow.

6) You should do a development trees balancing pass. There are some options that are VERY strong, and some that are lackluster in comparison. But I think the worst offender is the passive building. It is placed in the very top of the tree (being able to be picked as the 2nd pick) but is only useful in the mid/lategame, as you'll need materials for it (which you're very starved at the beginning since you need to get more God actions, buff your new acolytes, and develop your miracle buildings), spare God Actions (you don't have that at the beginning) and, more importantly, you'll need may Offerings (which are in quite short supply in the early game also). So placing the Passives Building in the top of the tree is a newbie trap: it encourages bad decisions that a newbie can make and someone experienced with the game will not make. Moving it further down the tree would be a sensible choice.

7) The getting old/pilgrimage/new acolyte mechanics are great. It gives me the inspiration of a new development tree based on pilgrims - a counterpart to Funeral Rites where you don't let your disciples die, and they grant bonuses to your other disciples when they go on pilgrimages (preferably you increase the bonuses the older your disciples are, so you make it a risk/reward thing, where you want to delay the last pilgrimage the most you can to get better bonuses, but if you delay it too much the disciple dies and you lose the opportunity).

I think this is it for today. Thank you for your work and know that I'm very hyped for the next patch :D
 

AbbeyAdriaan

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Ah yeah! Thanks for all the feedback!

1) Yes, those passives are hardly in play right now. As we finish the game, we want to unlock more purple and gold Disciples. So it's also a thing for coming content!
2) Yup! The game is much more balanced on island 1 and 2 then on 3 and 4. I will certainly look at that as well. Getting the 100+ is a bit out there. I specifically think Relics are out of place right now. Anyhow, I'm looking into it!
3) Yup, again the balancing is too much off. I like how it rolls on island 1 and 2 mostly, but 3 and 4 are indeed just steamrolls.
4) Good point. I'm thinking about changing it to a value based on the numbers of followers required to win. So if you need 100 followers to win, martyrdom would give 50, 80, 100, 150, 200 extra respectively. Basically the double of what you put in.
5) I'm a bit hesitant on that issue. I conquer it could be clearer, but adding an ability in between is a bit more vague (is it happening as a counter?) and more importantly, can have serious pacing issues. We'll look into it though, since the criticism is valid.
6) Tenets & Developments are going to get a complete overhaul. Structure and content is going to work a bit different, and I'm VERY excited to show it. It really is going to be more "Create your own Religion"! Once We're a bit further, I would love to pitch it to you. :)
7) Interesting! :D Final Pilgrimage and Old age are fighting with eachother a bit. I think we'll need to rethink that moment!

Again, thank you so much for all the help! It really is helping making the game a great experience! Together we'll get there. :)
 
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