Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

This is the place to talk about KotC, ask for help, and report bugs.

Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby xalles » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:45 am

***early game spoilers below***



I bought KOTC earlier today and with a few hours in it, so far I'm nothing but impressed. Seeing a game with this scope and depth with only four people behind its creation is amazing. I have to admit I did not play much of the demo. I fought a few lizardmen and browsed the in-game documentation, but it was the design notes and rpg reviews on the website that really sold me. I enjoyed the discussion of what makes rpgs fun (and not), and I agreed with most of it. I told my one rpgaming buddy about the game and site immediately.

Speaking of in-game documentation, KOTC's hyperlinking help system is one of my favorite features so far. That I can click on a stat on the character sheet, or spell description, etc. and it leads me into the greater documentation is excellent. Every sufficiently complicated game should have such a system.

Of course, my other favorite aspect of the game, which it seems to be centered around, is the combat. I like that it is hard. I enjoy having to try different strategies/spells to succeed. The SPOILER: fight to save the usurper dwarf wizard Neptune was very interesting: surrounding him, making him invisible, etc. For reference I'm playing a mul knight/tank, half-elf knight/archer/dual-wielder, human cleric, half-elf wizard. I was level 5 when I beat the above dwarf fight.

Furthermore, there are a lot of details that are great as well. The dynamic icon+text tooltip is concise and helpful. I like the auto-filling favorite spell combat menu. The interface in general is fast and easy to use. Also, making all the spellcasting spontaneous and scroll-learned are nice touches.

Finally, purely in the interest of humbly helping to improve an already awesome game, here are a few nitpicks. (As of version 1.04)

1) Non-game: The download/payment section might could be made somewhat clearer. I'd never used paypal at all before, and the paypal button loaded an error page in Firefox (it worked fine in IE). Simply a couple lines like, "yes you can just pay with a credit card without having a paypal account" and "yes you can use your silly American dollars (at an exchange rate)" would have helped my thick self.

2) Interface: The numbers shown for saving throws on the character sheet and the corresponding readout should reflect the appropriate ability modifiers (DEX/CON/WIS). Most of the other data on the sheet list only the final modified value (which is very useful by the way!). Furthermore, saving throw buffs (e.g. Bless) do show up on the sheet and readout, so not showing the ability modifier seems like a minor inconsistency.

3) Interface: Non-magical masterwork equipment should be labeled as such, to distinguish them from the truly run-of-the-mill stuff. Simply "M. Longsword" would probably do just fine. This is really minor, but it saves a couple of clicks.

4) Interface: "M" should close the local map when it's open. Yeah I know, tiny (but helpful!). Similarly, "I" could close the inventory screen, etc. Also similarly, it'd be nice to be able to close the world map (with "W" and/or "ESC") without actually going anywhere.

5) Bug?: When I earned the campfire from the SPOILER: friendly bears in the SW cave by giving them zombie meat, I couldn't rest at it. I could click on it to rest, but my leader would stand on top of it, and be unable to rest. Exiting and re-entering the area fixed the campfire.

6) Bug?: When either of my casters exits a Silence spell's AOE, not all of their spells come back online during that round. My cleric for example, couldn't cast her summon elemental spells or Lesser Restoration, while the rest of her spells were castable. And the next round she could cast all her spells again.
EDIT: Figured this one out! Those spells require full-round action: can't normally cast after moving!

7) Typo: Magic stone spell description talks about "peebles", twice.

8) Typo: Ghoul Touch spell description "paralyse" hyperlink does not work.

That's all my tiny comments on the game for now. Thanks for reading them, and thanks for a great rpg! I may reply with more comments as I continue playing.
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Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:22 pm

Hello Xalles, thank you for your purchase and for this great post.

All your suggestions are worthy of being implemented as soon as possible.
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby WCG » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:51 pm

xalles wrote:KOTC's hyperlinking help system is one of my favorite features so far. That I can click on a stat on the character sheet, or spell description, etc. and it leads me into the greater documentation is excellent. Every sufficiently complicated game should have such a system.


I absolutely agree! That's one of the best parts of the game.

But one thing I noticed which wasn't in the help file (not hyperlinked, anyway) was information about damage types. Is that implemented in the game or not? (For example, is bludgeoning damage more effective when fighting skeletons? I couldn't find that in the monster description, either.) I'm familiar with AD&D, but not nearly as intimately as most people here, I'm sure. So I really need the documentation.

If this IS implemented, you might add that to your great documentation system. If not, maybe you could just mention that in the general description of combat.
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:00 pm

WCG wrote:For example, is bludgeoning damage more effective when fighting skeletons? I couldn't find that in the monster description
Left click the creature, then left click "Feats". If the creature has damage reduction, it will show up there (You can also left click any line on the Feats page to get help on each topic).

Skeletons have DR 5/bludgeoning, meaning that unless you use a bludgeoning weapon any damage you do is cut by 5 points.
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby xalles » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:50 pm

Here are some more interface quibbles. Let me reaffirm that these minor issues don't really detract from the game's fun, only that IMHO the game might be even better were they addressed.

9) The combat cursor should remember the individual character's last left-click targeted action (melee attack/ranged attack/view enemy), rather than the party's last action. For instance, it's a little awkward when my archer shoots something and then next turn my tank in melee range suddenly wants to shoot something too! Also, I rarely want my wizard to attack at all (he just views things and casts spells).

Even better would be to remember these "last actions" between fights. Better still would be to remember these actions with the save file!

10) When looking through the documentation during character creation, you should be able to return to the creation screen via ESC and/or the "return to the game" button (as opposed to going "back" a whole bunch).

Similarly, in the game proper, clicking "back" when there's no screen to go back to should return to the game (and say that it does in the tooltip). Admittedly, this latter nitpick is only applicable when starting from the combat interface or from the inventory screen, as the character sheet has a nicely placed "back to the game" button.

11) If a lootable item is out of range, the party should move to get it automatically (maybe only if there is room for it?) when asked. Similarly, if an NPC is out of range, the party should move to talk to it automatically when asked. This behavior is already in place for doors (both actions; BTW the listen feature is awesome!), stairs, and campfires.

Also similarly, the tooltip should give different messages for "not enough room to pick up item" and "item not in range to pick up". Of course this might be moot if the party automatically moves to pick up items.

12) A caster should be able to target all party members with a cure/heal (or any non-combat spell, really) outside combat, even if the target isn't adjacent to the caster on the screen. One way to circumvent this in my party would be to put my healer in the 3rd spot in formation (in the middle), but I like putting my wizard there so he's better protected at the start of a fight.

13) Similar to the masterwork labeling suggestion in the OP, non-magical weapons made from special materials should be labeled to distinguish them from normal weapons. It looks like the game adds the material to the name of the weapon (on the character sheet and elsewhere) when rest of the name is short enough, which is cool, but it should show the material some other way when this isn't possible.
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:02 pm

All great ideas.

xalles wrote:12) A caster should be able to target all party members with a cure/heal
You can do this already by clicking their name in the top right corner, rather than the character sprite. (That's also how you cure an unconscious character)

xalles wrote:it should show the material some other way when this isn't possible.
Not sure about this one. It's good for masterwork (M. or Mwk would do) but this seems a bit complicated.
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby xalles » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:53 pm

Thanks for the replies! I'm glad my numerous comments are not burdening you. Here are some more. :D

14) Interface: If someone has all the martial weapon feats, the list should display "Martial Weapon Proficiency" or "Martial Weapon Proficiency (all)" rather than the exhaustive list. This would make knight feat readouts much easier to read.

15) Interface: When hovering over a combat target and the tooltip is displaying the percent chance to hit, the tooltip could also display the major contributing factor to the hit chance, or somehow display all of them. For example "target is flanked" (or just "flanked"), "it's raining" (with ranged attacks), "target is covered by wall", etc. might help thick players like me to remember the rules and choose better attacks.

BlueSalamander wrote:
xalles wrote:12) A caster should be able to target all party members with a cure/heal
You can do this already by clicking their name in the top right corner, rather than the character sprite. (That's also how you cure an unconscious character)


I'm trying this with a current save I have and it's not working for me. I've attached a WINRAR'd save file I've been testing with a little. If you can open it, try healing Kline (2nd position) by having Luminara (4th position) cast Cure Light Wounds on him, without moving anywhere first. I've found that it says "out of range" whether I click on Kline's sprite, or his name, to target him.

Also, try swapping Kline and Elinor (3rd position), to move him next to Luminara. I've found that now Luminara can target Kline if I click on his sprite, but not on his name. The list doesn't seem to recognize that Kline's and Elinor's positions have changed (I can heal Kline by selecting Elinor from the list as the target). Changing floors or saving/reloading seems to fix this. Moving does not.

16) Bug: While trying out that out-of-combat spell target list I found a pretty funny (and hard to reproduce) bug. Steps to reproduce:
i) Press 1 to open the leader's character sheet.
ii) Left-click "(LEADER)" to open party order list.
iii) Swap the 2nd and 3rd characters in the order.
iv) Left-click OK to close the list.
v) Repeat i through iv, except this time swap the 1st and 2nd characters in the order.
vi) Try to move somewhere on the screen. Note: to repeat the bug, don't try to move anywhere before this step.

At this point I've found the (new) leader high-tails it across the screen (though walls) leaving the rest of the party behind. Then, the party can no longer move. Sometimes the game goes to the world map (because the leader hits the edge of the local map?). Saving and reloading does not fix this after the leader is gone (if the game didn't go to the world map). I've found this bug happens in most of my current save games, but if you can't get it to happen to you, try using the save game I attached.
Attachments
KOTC save.rar
(247.66 KiB) Downloaded 198 times
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:03 pm

This will come in very handy tomorrow. Your comments will help make the game better.

My mistake about the targeting by clicking the top-right names. Will change that - but only outside combat of course. In combat, you should be adjacent to the recipient (unless he's dead or unconscious).
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby Pod » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:27 pm

I'm about to buy the game [edit: just bought it], but I'm waiting til I finish the demo to do that. Whilst playing I came up with a few small changes myself, and a few of them match what others have said. Overall I thought the game was great and will happily buy the game. How big is the download, by the way? [edit: it's less than 10mb :)] My home internet connection is currently terrible, so I might have to download it at work and ferry it over via my external HDD.

Anyway, the points I wanted to raise are:

* Dropping items - I can't see a way to do this. You can destroy, but is that the same thing? What happens if I want to drop a fancy item rather than destroy it?

* One the char sheets and inventory, would it be possible to add the range of damage after dice stats, eg 2d8 + 4 (6-20)?

* When picking items up, could the magic and masterwork ones be marked? Perhaps by a * or a + or some other symbol? (Other people have suggested this too ;))

* "Mark pixel on cursor". I replied to another thread with this actually. I wasn't sure if it was top or bottom left. It seemed to change, but I imagine that;s just becasue of the size of the cursor when in select mode.

* Option to ask before going down/up stairs - I've walked on them a few times by accident.

* Identify used wands in the interface - is it possible to draw one of those flashy red squares around wands that have 0 charges, please?

* When in battle I think you should be a bit easier on the player in some situations, especially in a situation that can be caused by a misclick, i.e. the ability to undo 5-step movement (or does this conflit with an enemies prepare attack?), going into inventory should only trigger AOO if you actually use something -- I foten forget which character has what and I can't look without being attacked, if I select the wrong scroll and then cancel it, it dissapears?

* dead end situations - this one is quite specific to the demo, but I'm down to a 3 man party, and finding it very difficult to either drop down into the undead area or into the troll area. As they get the first round free they often completely kill my 3 remaining characters before I even get a chance to move :( I'm not sure how you could allieviate this problem without some sort of artifical scaling on the enemy, but I imagine in the real game I could get my dead guy ressurrected?

* Escape interrupts enemy combat - I can't be bothered waiting whilst the last man alive gets slowly wailed on by 10 enemies. I'd like to just interrupt their go :)
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Re: Bought the game, loving it, and a pile of thoughts

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:58 pm

Thank you for your purchase and post!

Good points. For the damage range, there's the problem of screen space plus what to do when your weapon has a variety of effects (holy damage, shock damage etc).

Pod wrote:going into inventory should only trigger AOO if you actually use something -- I foten forget which character has what and I can't look without being attacked, if I select the wrong scroll and then cancel it, it dissapears?
You can view the inventory without actually using the "Use the inventory" action. Just left click the character, click inventory, it will display but you can't move items around.

Pod wrote:Identify used wands in the interface - is it possible to draw one of those flashy red squares around wands that have 0 charges, please?
Good idea.

Pod wrote:dead end situations - this one is quite specific to the demo, but I'm down to a 3 man party, and finding it very difficult to either drop down into the undead area or into the troll area. As they get the first round free they often completely kill my 3 remaining characters before I even get a chance to move I'm not sure how you could allieviate this problem without some sort of artifical scaling on the enemy, but I imagine in the real game I could get my dead guy ressurrected?
True. You would resurrect them. In the demo, I'd suggest going back to a save where you had your four characters alive. Don't forget to level up and cure your characters after a fight.

Escape interrupts enemy combat
You mean to bring up the main menu? I will see what I can do.
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