DL2 Alpha Impressions and Recommendations

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DL2 Alpha Impressions and Recommendations

Postby Sentinel » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:18 pm

First, let me say I love DL1.

Second, I'll confess that while I tried HOD, and stuck with it for a couple of months, it ultimately became a grind for me.

We know HOD was not a success; my first suggestion therefore is to strip DL2 of everything HOD-like. In fact "DL2" plays far more like HOD than DL1, in my opinion. Grafting HOD onto DL does nothing for the former and only sours the latter.

Quests? Axe em. Scrolling messages for study/explore? Axe em. These are things for adaptations of board games or tabletop RPGs.

What keeps me coming back to DL1? Two things. Teamwork and real time tension. Anything that gets in the way of those reduces appeal. Game picking units for me on defense? Interesting idea, except that it reduces the need for player presence, and the algorithm for picking units had better be good, instead of deciding 400 mercs are better than 4000 soldiers. (Or you'll end up with, again, unused units.) Templates, if you have them, should be followed.

Templates in theory could reduce the number of button clicks in switching from offense to defense and back, but one may still have to do the same level of micromanagement to ensure the template is filled. In the end it's a wash, or perhaps worse, given the greater variety of units available. More variety in the template means more micromanagement.

The biggest turnoff for DL1 noobs is r&b. r&b should take a long long time to be meaningful, or its just a nuisance. The new tech tree variations have some interest for me, but feel oddly misplaced, out-of-genre. Is this a civ city with some wars thrown in on the side?

The complexity of war and selection of units and their tiers reminds me of old tabletop wargames. Complexity in both individual build and war is more suitable for single or several player strategy games, rather than MMO games. Complexity in alliance build, if it were present, would be a different matter, since most players wouldn't need to worry about it.

The battle mechanic, as we all know, needs a lot of work; clearly a setup with a single armored wagon wasn't tested under MATLAB.

The battles are essentially set piece battles with vertical topology only (no sense of a flank.) There's an audience for set piece battles, but the nature of such battles is to be slower, which is at odds with asynchronous turns. It would be interesting if champion(s) were also war units, and didn't affect the battle unless on the field.

Best wishes on the remainder of the alpha.

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Re: DL2 Alpha Impressions and Recommendations

Postby Admin » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:58 pm

Thank you for the valuable feedback and for being with us through at least two games! :-)

About the issues you pointed out:
We know what did not go well with HoD, so I'm not going to go into details.

I will say a word on DL2 elements you referred to: quests are meant to be completely different than in HoD. This part of the game is not done and very far on our list of priorities, but the general idea we have for them is akin to daily "quests" you have in Hearthstone "Win X games" / "Kill Y minions". It's a small thing, but it keeps players coming back to see "what's up today?"

I can see that Study and Exploration scrolling text presentation is not for everyone, that's why there is a "Skip" button. In the grand scheme of things though, we thought that it would be better than clickfest currently employed in Dragon Lords. If it turns out that majority of players are more annoyed than amused by this feature we will be willing to remove/replace it with something else.


Templates are one of the things we are very curious how will turn out in reality. You are correct, making a hard limit on army power plus refilling template from reserve units reduces the need for player to be there ALL the time, however this is exactly what we have planned. This is one factor people who were burned out repeated, it was just too exhausting to take part in war competitively. We are trading this necessity to be online at all time for more teamwork. In DL2 your alliance mates will have the ability to send troops your way, revive your champion after he's been killed, save your kingdom from falling when you are currently away.

Going back to the Templates, we are going to try and make them less complicated than they seem right now (no help, no tutorial, UI not finished). The general rule of a thumb is: whatever units you have and have placed in the template will be used. The remaining free power will be assigned between the other units you have while keeping the ratio of melee/ranged/special. It *should* be intuitive enough, but I guess time will tell.

I agree that R&B might be a turnoff for some players, but at the same time it's also something that is getting others hooked. The question is whether the players are turned off by it are actually players who would enjoy complexity of Dragon Lords wars? We are aware that DL is a niche game and we are fine with that. We don't intend to compete with Clash of Clans, we don't want to appeal to broad audience.

The point about shifting some of the R&B to alliance is definitely something we will discuss. We already talked about an alliance development other than guilds present in DL1, but did not finalize anything yet.

Finally, you are absolutely correct, battle does require a lot of work. I hope it will turn out to be interesting enough for players to enjoy and not so complex and difficult it discourages them. :-)
'I'll have it up in no time.' is an official term of the United Blood Elf Engineers' Union. It should not be interpreted as a reasonable estimation of the actual time it will take to complete a task in any way, shape, or form.

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Re: DL2 Alpha Impressions and Recommendations

Postby Elion » Sun May 29, 2016 10:54 pm

R&B gets anybody hooked ? That's a surprise. I thought everybody hated it, just some people were more patient to get through the boring part than others. It would be interesting to know how many people quit because of it before getting to war.
It's not a bug, it's a feature ! ;)

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Re: DL2 Alpha Impressions and Recommendations

Postby Elion » Sun May 29, 2016 11:00 pm

The Study messages can be entertaining for 5 seconds the first time we see them - but after that, nobody will want to see the same messages over and over.
Just like DL1 explore notes.
It would be different if "I found xxx" actually meant finding something useful, we all like surprise gifts.
It's not a bug, it's a feature ! ;)

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Re: DL2 Alpha Impressions and Recommendations

Postby Admin » Mon May 30, 2016 1:11 pm

It's called "One More Turn Syndrome".
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... 20Syndrome

As for Studying and Exploration we will find a formula that will be entertaining for people who like this kind of thing and remove its tediousness for those who don't.
'I'll have it up in no time.' is an official term of the United Blood Elf Engineers' Union. It should not be interpreted as a reasonable estimation of the actual time it will take to complete a task in any way, shape, or form.


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