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Snowblind Studios > Champions: Return to Arms General Discussion

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Brendon



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 33
Return to Arms Wishlist  Reply with quote  

Since we know a bit about Return to Arms, I think it'd be a good idea to list everything we'd like to see in this sequel.

1) No bugs. If you have to put the game on two discs, do it. Switching a disc now and then never hurt anyone. Games have been doing it for years.

2) No slowdown. Why devs concentrate on graphics over framerate is beyond me. Lock it at 60fps, and I'm sure gamers will be more than happy.

3) Make Rangers actually have pets this time. In Champions, Rangers are nothing more than archers. Giving them permanent animal pets and possibly some actual ranger-like abilities would help.

4) Eliminate or totally redesign every cheesey feat. Those critical auras just don't work. Well, they work TOO well, actually.

5) Give classes more pets than one simple one. As in, for every few levels, allow a different familiar to take the place of the previous one. It keeps the feat fresh.

6) Give more pets than charm spells. Helper spells are nice, but they don't last. Make pets or pet-like spells last until the thing is killed. Timed help is really isn't that great because you always have to keep track of casting the thing.

7) Create spells and feats that shy away from elemental things. There are far too many of them. Try some very creative things with spells and feats. Too many in Champions were very generic and cliche. The Giant Growth ability for the Iskar Shaman is a great start. Keep thinking along those lines.

8.) Make the Dual Wield feat useful. Dark Alliance 2 did the skill pretty good.

9) Reduce the random drops dramatically. If you want lots of drops, make it gold.

10) If random drops are the culprit behind so many items worth nothing compared to what you already have, get rid of it. Rare items are fine, but if they suck balls, there's no point in having them.

11) I liked the initial concept behind the rotating inventory of item shops, but if you wanted something there that you are just shy of being able to afford, it'll be gone by the time you get back. If you keep the rotating inventories, why not include a "layaway" system that characters can put an item on hold by making a payment on it. That way, the inventory can rotate, but the item players really want won't disappear.

12) Include towns and villages if possible. It makes the world seem more alive. Personal taste really, but just like Dark Alliance 1, Champions had fewer and fewer people being a part of the game the longer it went on.

13) Split shops up into different parts of a village. Why buy healing potions at the same place you buy weapons? Yeah, yeah, some players will complain that they want everything in one place, but it's likely those players don't care about story and interaction either; just the hack and slash bits. If you want to add depth, little things like this go a long way.

14) We can now import our characters from the first game? Nice.

15) Head-to-head multiplayer levels too? Interesting. I'm anxious to see how they turn out.

16) We can play to the good or EVIL sides? Veeeery nice.

17) Have unlockable feats and spells, a la Dark Alliance 2. It gave the right amount of addictiveness back just when the game started feeling repetitive.

18.) Also have some buy-able spells and training feats... things that can only be bought. That gives players something to really look forward to. All-new feats/spells to learn every few levels, mixed with one or two per class that can be bought at some point adds an incredible amount of depth.

19) Make sure every skill is balanced. Uber-skills ruin the game, and skills that are too weak to be useful are ignored.

20) Use Dark Alliance II's shift feat system over the Champions one. In Champions, I still found myself struggling to juggle through spells in combat. In DA II, the system allows you to pre-program five total abilities for instant use, and can be done without stopping movement because it's that easy to use. In addition, since spellcasters are... well, spellcasters, they need quick and easy access to multiple spells. Don't think about it. Do it.

21) Allow some kind of storage system for characters who somehow find an item they can't use until they are 95 levels ahead of their current status. Make it only a few spaces for storage though. Bottomless pits for storage space ruins strategic play because players can easily just keep everything they find. Make them think a little.

22) Do what you can to eliminate duping. If there are some features you want to include that requires duping to exist, maybe reconsider how it's designed. Also pay attention to the easy level-gaining tricks. They are sincerely stupid.

23) Make sure when you release this thing, don't release cheat codes with the review code to the media. Black Isle did that with DA II, and when we received the code, some editors used them to get them quickly through the game. If you read GameSpy's review very closely, the reviewer in question basically admits that he used codes to get through the game for the first time... and then CRITICIZED the game for it. Don't make the same mistake.

24) Take a cue from DA II's magical weapon-crafting system. Addictive as hell, and much more rewarding when you have to pay for it. Also, have more reactions than cold, flame, shock, etc. Again, it almost gets too cliche for its own good. Look for some unique things in the EverQuest world that can be taken advantage of when crafting weapons.



Mods: Please stick this thread if possible. And can we delete any posts that have nothing to do with the thread? No pissing contests, please. Let's have this thread as easy to read through as possible. Thanks.
Post Sat May 29, 2004 9:36 pm
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Shifty Geezer



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 207
Re: Return to Arms Wishlist  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Brendon
2) No slowdown. Why devs concentrate on graphics over framerate is beyond me. Lock it at 60fps, and I'm sure gamers will be more than happy.
Here here! Frame rate is more important than number of particles.
quote:
7) Create spells and feats that shy away from elemental things. There are far too many of them. Try some very creative things with spells and feats. Too many in Champions were very generic and cliche. The Giant Growth ability for the Iskar Shaman is a great start. Keep thinking along those lines.
Definitely. Provide lots more non-direct-combat spells that don't deal damage, such as Cripple/Slow enemy, stop spell-casters, buffs.
quote:
17) Have unlockable feats and spells,
18.) Also have some buy-able spells and training feats...
For maximum replayability, limit the amount of money the player gets so they CAN'T see and own every weapon and feat. They have to choose how to focus their character. That means next time the game's replayed thay can try the other feats and get a different experience.
quote:
20) Use Dark Alliance II's shift feat system over the Champions one. In Champions,
Improve on DA2's system. DA2 allowed Shift and four buttons+1. It wouldn't be hard to allow two or three different shifts (L1, R1, L1+R1 together). But only if you've got the variety of spells to make this worthwhile.
quote:
24) Take a cue from DA II's magical weapon-crafting system. Addictive as hell, and much more rewarding when you have to pay for it. Also, have more reactions than cold, flame, shock, etc.
There were few weapon combinations of any worth in DA2, so the same old enchantments were used. Give the choice to vary fighting styles. eg. Embue a weapon to increase chance to stun or slow enemy, and make sure the long-damage effects are worthwhile. Doing 2 points of damage for 3 seconds is worthless when the same level of enchantment can cause 24 points of fire damage!! And make sure ranged weapons can get ALL the same enchantments as melee weapons.

25) Make sure there are lots of strategic chances to kill enemies. Allows enemies to be pushed off cliffs/into fire pits, and give powder kegs and similar to position and detonate as wanted.

26) Have well thought out spell/feat combinations. Eg. Freezing an enemy and then torching them gives extra damage, or 'Piercing Strike'ing a stunned enemy causes extra damage. Give the player lots of different play strategies instead of JUST hack, hack, hack, and lots of chance to experiment and find new tactics.

Snowblind OWN the action RPG and they need to stay on top!

Shifty Geezer
...
Post Sun May 30, 2004 10:55 am
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Attalus



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 87
Location: UK
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Snowblind don't own the action RPG genre Blizzard do. Haven't you played any of their games?

Hopefully they will earn that title in time though.
Post Sun May 30, 2004 7:02 pm
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Shifty Geezer



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 207
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quote:
Originally posted by Attalus
Snowblind don't own the action RPG genre Blizzard do. Haven't you played any of their games?

Hopefully they will earn that title in time though.
Like which?

Shifty Geezer
...
Post Sun May 30, 2004 9:41 pm
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Billy



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 172
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quote:
Originally posted by Attalus
Snowblind don't own the action RPG genre Blizzard do. Haven't you played any of their games?

Hopefully they will earn that title in time though.


Any of their games? You mean their one game, Diablo.
Honestly, that's the only action RPG they have and yes it's a damn good one, but it's time is over.
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Post Sun May 30, 2004 11:12 pm
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Attalus



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 87
Location: UK
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They did another oriental themed one.

Really though untill Diablo 2 + LOD expansion gets surpassed it's time will never be up unless you've already played it to death in which case you would need to move on to something else.

I can't speak for CON having not played it but the DA games can't even begin to compare. You can just run circles around the enemy and hit them in the back without taking any damage for a start.

Then theres Record of Lodoss War by Kadokawa for the DC, very much like a PC game for it's size (60hrs +) and depth. I think that could be there only game in the genre but despite that it had some amazing ideas and in some ways it actually managed to top Diablo 2.
Post Mon May 31, 2004 12:28 am
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Shifty Geezer



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 207
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Okay, I wasn't thinking Diablo because it's a different style. I guess though it is an action RPG in a sense, the interface isn't what I would consider an actiongame style - wiggling a stick and button mashing. Though Diablo has depth DA doesn't have, it doesn't fill that Guantlet genre. Maybe SB should be considered King of the Arcade RPGs?

Shifty Geezer
...
Post Mon May 31, 2004 8:25 am
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Brendon



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 33
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quote:
Originally posted by Attalus
They did another oriental themed one.

Really though untill Diablo 2 + LOD expansion gets surpassed it's time will never be up unless you've already played it to death in which case you would need to move on to something else.

I can't speak for CON having not played it but the DA games can't even begin to compare. You can just run circles around the enemy and hit them in the back without taking any damage for a start.

Then theres Record of Lodoss War by Kadokawa for the DC, very much like a PC game for it's size (60hrs +) and depth. I think that could be there only game in the genre but despite that it had some amazing ideas and in some ways it actually managed to top Diablo 2.


Could we stay on topic here? No offense, I'd just like it if Snowblind can look through this without having to page through the arguing. We have enough of those as it is. Thanks.

27) Make each character's feats as unique as possible. There's no point having new playables if they are just different versions of the same character. In an article, it says the two new characters were chosen simply because they look cool. Please do what you can to differentiate each character as much as possible.

28.) The cleric sucks. They can't use edged weapons, which is fine, but then they don't have much for ranged abilities either. Their magic isn't very useful either. Despite being the party buffer, almost every buff is a timed one, which is normally more of a pain than it's worth. Either make the buffs last much longer, or create buffs that stay until killed or the end of a level, etc. Boosting resistance to poison for ten seconds is hardly a reason to take a cleric.

Last edited by Brendon on Mon May 31, 2004 7:01 pm; edited 3 times in total
Post Mon May 31, 2004 1:08 pm
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Shifty Geezer



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 207
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quote:
28.) The cleric sucks. Despite being the party buffer, almost every buff is a timed one, which is normally more of a pain than it's worth.
29) Have a party variation dynamic. Change the enemies and pickups based on who's playing. eg. If you have multiplayer with a Cleric, reduce the number of health potions available to increase the worth of the Cleric's abilities to the party.

30) Full PvP and Spell/collateral damage PvP as options. I want this to play like the real thing, and a wizard hurling fireballs can do just as much damage to his allies as his enemies!! Make powerful magic powerful but trickier to wield in party combat situations.

31) Equal XP share. If your fighting is buffed by another player, or you would be dead save for the Cleric healing you, they deserve as much XP as you. Otherwise cooperative play becomes competitive play.

Shifty Geezer
...
Post Mon May 31, 2004 4:49 pm
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Brendon



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 33
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32) But don't share gold. I should never have to ask permission to make purchases. Though some really like this method, so better yet, have an option to do so. Smile

33) Allow customizable controls. I personally don't need them, but others want them, and I hear it only takes a few days of coding to implement. Offering setups A, B, and C is a bad idea too. Many devs in the past (and still do) offer their own control setups as substitutes and insist they are the best layouts. But no one knows what the "best" layout is. It's better in my opinion, to give the choice to the player.

34) If you adopt the DA II shift feat system, there will be room for the Jump button again. That'd be nice to have. Don't ask me why, but for some reason, I feel I have more control over my character when there is a Jump button. Jumping is cool.

35) Tell SOE to relax and never put any pressure on you to rush the product. The water cannon on the lava riders were supposed to work, and it's said that you didn't "have enough time" to finish it. That's nonsense. If it makes the game better, implement the idea, wheteher it takes extra time or not.
Post Mon May 31, 2004 6:58 pm
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Brendon



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 33
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quote:
Originally posted by Shifty Geezer

31) Equal XP share. If your fighting is buffed by another player, or you would be dead save for the Cleric healing you, they deserve as much XP as you. Otherwise cooperative play becomes competitive play.

Shifty Geezer
...


Right. Instead of gaining exp. by hacking and slashing, characters should gain exp. by doing what their character does. Spellcasters should gain more exp. from spellcasting than by hacking things to bits. But from what I read in OPM's cover story for the game, they want these types of games to be more streamlined, which can be taken in a variety of ways. I prefer a deep experience over a shallow one. One of the things I liked about DAII better was that each class had abilities tailored specifically after their character. Morrowind did things like this well too. A thief gained exp. by thiefing, not hacking and slashing. If exp. is gained by hacking things more than anything else, fighters automatically have an advantage because that's what they're made for.
Post Mon May 31, 2004 7:06 pm
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 223
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

I agree Brendon, but we have to remember that this is a sequel not a whole new game. Some things will have to remain pretty much the same based on the importing feature of first game characters. One thing that's a must is a PVP system though. Hopefully they'll do it right... i have faith.

I like all your ideas though.
Post Mon May 31, 2004 11:41 pm
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Brendon



Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 33
Re: ...  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Mindcircus
I agree Brendon, but we have to remember that this is a sequel not a whole new game. Some things will have to remain pretty much the same based on the importing feature of first game characters. One thing that's a must is a PVP system though. Hopefully they'll do it right... i have faith.

I like all your ideas though.


Aye, but I believe what needs to be done is to totally redesign how some of the feats and skills work (like critical aura, for example), even though the same skills were in the first game. Word has it that the two new races have virtually the same skills as the barbarian and wizard, with only a few minor skills/spells and their look to differentiate them. I vote thumbs down to that.

Another rumor I'm hearing is there are only one or two added skills to the existing characters, when there should actually be loads more. Twice as many if you ask me. When our site interviewed the dev team for the first game, there was supposed to be 20 skills each that can be upgraded 20 times. None of the classes have 20 skills as it is, and if they add only one or two more, they'd still be under twenty.

Basically, I say that they should completely overhaul the game. And that one-year development cycle makes me nervous.
Post Mon May 31, 2004 11:56 pm
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 223
Location: Garden Grove, CA
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There was a write up i read where it said two extra skills for each race. Yeah we'd all like more skills, i mean who wouldn't, but the problem lies in the 80 level cap. If you have like 20-30 skills there's no way you'll even be close to maxing all of them out. Of course you can say give more skill points at the start so you end up getting like 10-15 or so every level at say... 40 or 50. This i think would make the game way too easy way too fast. You can play one night and be somewhat Godly. Now you can say make the level cap even higher like 100 or so. Well that's great and all but are most people really going to make a level 100 character? Sounds like a lot of play just for one character. Then you'd have to worry about keeping the character worth playing which is a whole new monster in itself.

In the end i'd rather have less but more effective skills than a lot of skills in which most i don't even care to use. Someone before mentioned anti poison and disease spells. My question is why? Did anyone here actually use resistance jewelry here? I'd much rather have a +29 strength, dexterity, intelligence, and stamina rings on.

Basically if you change something drastically, chances are you'll have to change something else drastically to accomidate it. I agree though, there needs to be more than 2 new skills per character. I'd say no more than 5 however...

Also i don't think the one year development cycle should make you nervous. They're using the same engine and know how to make the environments pretty easy. They already look way better than the first one at this early stage. Basically they have about a half year to add content. Doesn't sound too rushed to me but what do i know?...
Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 1:02 am
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Shifty Geezer



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 207
Re: ...  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Mindcircus
If you have like 20-30 skills there's no way you'll even be close to maxing all of them out.
Why do you need to max them all by the end of the game? Have it so you CAN'T max them all and have to choose how to play the character, then play it differently two years later.

quote:
Did anyone here actually use resistance jewelry here? I'd much rather have a +29 strength, dexterity, intelligence, and stamina rings on.
In pretty much every RPG no matter who you play you only need add increased strength/intelligence to cruise through the game. It'd be nice to have a game where maxing Str was compensated by other limits. Usually it means you kill everything before it can hurt you.

Perhaps instead of independant elemental/magical resistances, you just have a flat elemental/magical resistance value that works for all magics? Then 50% resistance is worthwhile against all magical attacks, instead of good against fire but not against everything else.
quote:
Also i don't think the one year development cycle should make you nervous. They're using the same engine and know how to make the environments pretty easy. They already look way better than the first one at this early stage. Basically they have about a half year to add content. Doesn't sound too rushed to me but what do i know?...
I imagine it will just be CoN with different graphics. I doubt there'll be any game-play tweaking at all. It's more a cash-in, with bug fixes to offer the trouble-free gameplay that CoN was supposed to be. Any changes to engine will be for PS3 based CoN.

Shifty Geezer
...
Post Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:44 am
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