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Sharing my experiences [Will of the people]

Xilconic

New member
Build: 0.13.19
Gametime: 5 hours (and 9 hours in total from previous patches)

Background:
1st playthrough of the game and impressions: https://community.abbeygames.com/threads/sharing-my-first-impressions.319/

Impressions:

Played and finished a War campaign, on Normal difficulty.

Keep on doing:
I still really like the easthetics of the game. Nothing changed for me between my previous posting and the current one.

I ended up not really making use of the customization of characters. I did tweak the appearance of my god a bit, mosly using the randomizer.

Only used the auto-save system. Still appreciate offering players the option of explicitly saving the game through the settings.

Still like the 'rolling' which attack out of 5 happens. I did notice that by the end of the playthrough I started to feel that the 'doubt' option of recently joined characters became quite a liability, completely botching Sacrements multiple times. A quickly adapted by chosing Sacrements a little more carefully and making use of the building can allows to build Miracle XP.

Still like the idea of characters reacting, chaining/comboing of other characters by jumping in front of the attack or reacting to something that has happened.

I cannot remember if the tutorial actually explained this, but it felt more logical to me that characters going to a Sacrament are not performing 'in camp' Inspirations. I appreciate the warning the game gives if I try to send a character to a Sacrement when they are doing a 2 turn Inspiration/Miracle action.

Game goal was more clearly explained compared to previous patch. Thank you for this.

Dismissing a character and receiving resources as a result of it felt more balanced than the previous patch.

In stark contrast to the previous patch, I actually remained engaged long enough to actually finish a playthrough! :) I consider this a major improvement! For me this is mostly because the camp management gameplay loop became more strategic. I could plan to go to a particular location, gather resources that synergised well with that location and had to make trade-offs on what to focus on. The eagerness of the population to go to a new Sacrement helped greatly in this. Increasing the number of available Inspirations as the game progresses also helps tremendously in this regard.

Uncertain or confused about:
I've accepted that currently placement locations don't matter. I'm still kind of missing the point of why I have the ability to place buildings instead of them being placed automatically as part of my village. I personally didn't get any special satisfaction from plopping down the buildings, as it felt more like needless busywork. If it has a purpose later in the game (current or future), then it might be worth explaining it to the player?

Why is there a limit on the number of inspirations? If it's an intended design choise, perhaps it's good to more effectively communicate it from the game and give visual feedback/reinforcement about this limitation. Consider having a reminder that when the player ends their turn, they have unspent inspirations left.

Layout of text is sometimes a bit akward. But I guess that'll be fixed a time goes by.

The 'detail mode' of the Sacrement could be better explained. Perhaps make that part of the tutorial experience?

I didn't understand how 'muti-group' sacrements worked until I actually when into one. This left me feeling unprepared; A needless negative emotion that could have been prevented if I was better informed on what to expect. (I off course learned about this from my previous playthroughs, but I think it's worth repeating as I consider it still not resolved)

I'm still not really sure how the character targeting works. I think the character AI is trying to be at least somewhat optimal in it? I wonder if I would be more advantageous to the player if that mechanism would be more transparent, as it might help make better preparations prior Sacrements.

I now finished a full playthrough and actually went from Age 1 to Age 2. But I didn't really noticed anything really happening as a result of this transition. So I'm still left wondering why it's in the game (just like previous patch).

After having completed the 1st complete playthrough, I expected that perhaps the 2 locked Beliefs would be unlocked. But they are still locked. There is no tooltip currently explaining why they are locked.

As play continues, you unlock upgrades for new batches of Disciples. These improvements are quite significant and do seem to fit the powercurve of the campaign. But I still felt sometimes that I could easily 'sell' characters for the newly improved onces. I am aware of the opportunity cost of having to 'level' up the new Disciple first before it has new powerful attacks. I noticed that I just hoarded Relics until I neared the end of the campaign, and only then really started to invest in certain Disciples. So the early game Disciples feel quite disposable; Not really the most satisfying feeling by not harmful to my enjoyment I guess.

I noticed that in my War playthrough, I didn't have access to buildings that could improve Charisma. Those buildings only became available once I gained a 2nd belief. Unsure if this was intended? If so, perhaps explain that a particular Belief causes certain buildings to become available?

When finding an artifact, does the disciple that uncover it actually matter in any way? Currently to me this doesn't feel like a meaningful choice to me. I just default to the first most happiest Disciple, as there is no information available that would motivate me to make a different choice. Perhaps we could display what factors into the random generation, such that the player could make a better informed choice?
For example, I ended up with 2 artifacts that added a +1 Charisma to Rituals. These felt quite underwelming results for a War playthrough.

I didn't bother building certain buildings when they become available, because the tooltip wasn't descriptive enough on what the benefits of those buildings were supposed to do. This is mostly for the Sacrement buildings, where 'defensive' or 'offensive' bonus wasn't informative enough for me to accept the opportunity cost on building them compared to other (better explained) alternatives.

When I received a 'critical' Miracle result on my war temple (the one that costs 50 urns, instead of the normal 25), one of the options could given me some 'Bloodlust' resources. In the previous patch, this used to be currency used to perform the ritual. But now, nothing actually explains what uses this resources, and I didn't come across any buildings that required Bloodlust. As such, I never chose that option over the other better explained options.

Things I did not enjoy:
Transparancy of the characters screens make no sense to me and decrease readability for me. I would consider an opague character screen background better suited.

Combat still suffers due to the lack of interaction for me. I spent some time in combat planning, matching Disciples that would likely result in the best outcome for that Sacrement. And then you wait until the battle plays out passively. Luckily the camp management breaks this boring sequence enough that it didn't cause me to disengage any more. But it still feels like a major detractor for me.

The reaction stat still seems to have a way too big of an impact in deciding if a sacrement will be succesful or not. This seems to heavily favor classes that can deal big damage combined with High reaction stats. Executioners for example feel one of the best options available as they enable going first and win a game in the first exchange. In my playthrough it was comboing a Chieftain with the Rage Prophet and some arbitrary High Reflex character. My Chieftain had a passive that allowed it to act 2x due to the Rage Prophet being in the party. The Chieftain could also trigger another bonus action for another character, essentially causing 5 to 6 attacks to happens before the other team had a chance to act.
Perhaps alternating attacks might smooth it out more, or have Disciples act in order of Reflex (although this last solution would promote a whole Reflex dependant team I suspect). Or perhaps introduce an Initiative stat which cannot impact how much damage a skill does (which introduces an opportunity cost on combat power vs turn order)?

Bugs:
I've had the game crash on my once, when choosing a class for a disciple at the end of combat. Luckily, the autosave feature eliminated any loss of progress (it just replayed the Sacrement identically to the previous time).

The 'critical' Miracle for the war temple results showed something like 'cdr.Str' in the tooltip.

In summary:
+ Continue with the current easthetic design and the direction that camp management has done.
? Perhaps make some mechanisms more transparent to the player. More tooltips explaining cause and effect for example.
- Please find a solution to making Sacrements more involving and engaging the player.
Would I recommend the game in it's current state to a friend: No (but I'll admit, it has significantly improved from the previous patch)
 

straylight

New member
I agree that the Sacraments themselves feel disengaging, but then again it's stated as an actual design goal right when the game boots up: influence, but not directly control, a group of disciples.

I only find it enjoyable if I sorta roleplay myself as a god looking down bemusedly at my disciples spreading my cause. Which is what the fantasy of the game is, after all. But I can only suspend my disbelief for so long before deciding to use that 1 minute of non-interaction for alt-tabbing to something else or going to check on the dishwasher or making some tea etc.

In a way I kinda like it: the actual meat of the game is the strategizing you do before the Sacrament, in the village. Once you send your disciples out into the world, it's definitely a different feeling as a player not being able to control them, compared to all those other RPG games where you influence the battle, control moves, drink mana potions etc.
 

RickSo

Abbey Games Developer
Developer
Abbey Games Developer
Thanks for sharing your feelings on the Will of the People update Xilconic! That's super helpful!

I can talk specifically about some of the things you found confusing / hope will be available in the future:
  • As a general note; I'll say that a lot of the UI feedback is incredibly work in progress, and you correctly identified exactly which bits are especially so.
    Examples here being the number of Inspirations you can perform, tutorializing the Sacrament etc. We'll most likely only start improving these when we know all the game's mechanics are set in stone. So expect game improvements before tutorializing / UI improvements :)
  • Ages right now do not do anything mechanically, as they are a hold-over from when Godhood's main challenge was beating the game before the final Age. Where things stand, Ages might return to play a bigger role again, or they might simply remain a background element of the world to give you a sense of how long your playthrough has lasted. We'll have to see as we flesh out all the mechanics!
  • The 2 locked Commandments (Greed & Generosity) are not yet developed, and will be added to the game during Early Access. A tooltip to explain this could be useful indeed!
  • Indeed, each Commandment gets access to a specific number of Miracle Buidlings, with the rest unlocking once you gain a second Commandment. This isn't really feedbacked anywhere as we implemented it quite late to the release, and honestly we might still revert it so everything is available to you always... Thanks for the feedback that this was unclear!
  • Currently the Disciple you pick to bless a Relic checks the following: Their Element & Their Faith. High Faith produces better Relics, and the Element decides which 'pool' of Relics you'll draw from. I believe Dark Relics are ones that give Charisma Up, so try blessing some Ancestral or Nature Relics instead! We'll be putting in more clearly what Relics you can earn later in development!
  • Bloodlust is an old mechanic and should be removed. Thanks for reminding me!
  • About Sacrament engagement: We are actively developing Intervention Powers which give you the ability to influence the Sacrament in certain ways. You'll never be able to directly order Disciples to do anything; but we do want you to be able to do some neat godly things and help your disciples win the day!
Thanks again for the detailed thoughts Xilconic! I really hope you'll share them again in any future updates we do! We'll first focus on expanding the game content (more Commandments & gameplay options) and game systems (intervention powers & more religion building) before we get to really expanding how the game explains itself, but I hope you look forward to that! :)
 

Blackvision

Well-known member
Kickstarter Backer Community Member for 2 years
For note: on War playthroughs, you basically want every single relic to be blessed by an ancestral disciple if possible - that's got the best stats and abilities for War. You might get lucky on one of the others, but unless you know specifically what you're after, Ancestral disciples are best.

That said, you probably will want to fill out your in-game collection so you have a reference point!

The other thing is that Common/Uncommon/Rare ones are completely different and draw from separate pools - useful when getting stuff for your collection or by referring to your collection for references.
 
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