What we’ve learned from CBT1

Greetings, Tacticians!

A few weeks ago, we shared our initial impressions from some of the most popular player feedbacks from CBT1. Today, we wanted to share a more comprehensive list of things that our team is working on thanks to your ideas and suggestions.

Many of these adjustments may not have happened without players bringing them up, so our team is duly grateful of the comprehensive feedback that our community provided. Many of the changes to be made improved storytelling, more enjoyable combat, and better controls as well as UI/UX.

Given the volume of such improvements, we’ll need to adjust the development schedule. Once we have a concrete timeline, we’ll share this with the community right away.

For now, please take pride in the fact that your voices have greatly affected the direction of several aspects of the game, from storytelling pace to combat to outgame, and more! As a caveat, please note that plans to develop each of these features may differ slightly from the original proposition in the actual implementation.

Topics Player Feedback Dev Plan
Advancement Ceremony The screen where you pick your advancement class could use some improvements when it comes to visual clarity. We’ll improve the UI as a whole so that the structure of the class hierarchy can more easily be understood at a glance.
Combat Balance Is it possible to make different weapons have different attack ranges? A spear and a halberd should have 1 more attack range compared to a shortsword. The spear needs something else to make it unique over a sword but it’ll need some careful balancing with bows which also have a very short range in early game. We’re currently reviewing ways we can differentiate the various weapon types to make each of them feel more unique. We’ll get back to everyone when we have a more concrete idea how we plan to do this.
Combat Options Would be nice to just have an option to restart the fight from the very start. We’re adding this. No more running your units to their death just to restart the fight.
Combat Options Quit to Main Menu option from in battle. Just like the ability to restart the battle instantly, we’ll add this to the combat options.
Combat Options Can we add a feature that I can save mid-battle? Yes, we realize not everyone can commit half an hour or more to a single battle and want to be able to put the game down and pick it up where they left off.
Combat Formation The whole main camp menu should be accessible during battle preparations, so you can take a look at the map before you decide what items, equipment skills, etc. Likewise as above, we realize it would be much more convenient to be able to set everything up right before a big fight. We’ll overhaul the planning phase of a scenario to include this.
Combat Animations The sped-up animations are really weird to watch – they work, as they are very fast, but it’s a bit unsettling to watch. It might work better if it just skips the animations to speed it up instead. We’re going to add 1.5x, 2.0x speed up functions as well as the ability to completely skip animations. But, we will need to review this first due to technical hurdles, so it may take some extra time to implement.
Combat Graphics Fights taking place with one of the characters in a thicket often only shows the thicket, with the character and their animation etc. being invisible. Maybe the thickets should only be knee high during the animations or just modeled differently so they don’t break the battle cutscenes. We’ll fix that. It’s a little jarring to have a bush in your face when charging down an enemy unit.
Combat Controls When moving into position in combat, the attack/defend buttons appear a bit away on the screen from the character. To increase efficiency (plus general accessibility), I suggest hotkeys for each battle command. We’ll add hotkeys to make choosing your action much more seamless.
Combat Controls If player character is within range to attack an enemy, I want to be able to select that enemy and click attack instead of selecting attack then the enemy. Quality of life issue. I don’t know if it’s possible to select a player character and select an enemy that you want to attack and have the character move to attack the enemy? It’s a common feature and one that we’re planning on putting in as well. Now, if something is within range, you can just click it to immediately launch a basic attack.
Combat Controls You are supposed to be able to pan the camera with WASD but it doesn’t work. Also smooth panning is preferred over using WASD to move one grid space at a time from the cursor. We’ll add the ability to move the tile cursor by using WASD.
Combat Controls When clicking [LShift] to view detailed info on a character, my instinct is to click on the playable area to close the Detailed Info but the player can’t do anything until they hit [LShift] again. We’ll organize the controls in general and implement this to make it more seamless.
Combat Controls I would like to move my mouse to the border of screen and then the camara moves and that direction. We’ll add this functionality to the settings to do this as well as adding click and drag for the battle screen.
Combat Guest AI Combat guests don’t always go for the weak point even if it’s accessible. We’ll adjust their AI so that they optimize their targeting to prioritize weak points.
Spell UI/UX Show a spell’s range when assigning in the grimoire. Currently the range is not shown, which is a vital piece of information when selecting spells. We’ll implement this. A spell’s range is pretty important to know after all.
Camp UI/UX Could there be highlights when moving around the camp so I could see relevant people? Make names appear when at a distance too and not at point-blank range. We’ll have to review exactly how we plan on doing this, but we’ll improve it so that there’s much clearer visibility on what can and cannot be interacted with, with highlights accordingly.
Combat UI/UX Taunted allies should indicate which enemy they are forced to attack, and vice versa for taunted enemies. When you select a unit that has been afflicted by taunt, we’ll make it so you can see which enemy unit they are currently bound to.
Combat UI/UX It can be a bit hard to see characters, especially enemies near the edge of the screen, when they’re standing directly beside a bush or in a dark area. A glowing outline, or some other change for clarity, would help to make sure we can always see them. We’ll fix this by making it so that units on the battlefield are given a distinct glowing outline, perhaps similar to the one that we’ll use in the camp.
Combat UI/UX During the pause screen or in battle, show the player what armors are weak to act as a reminder. We’ll add a toggle UI so that you can quickly bring up weaknesses and strengths of weapons vs. armors. We’ll also add it during the combat forecast so you can see how much additional damage you’re dealing to an enemy that’s weak to the weapon you’re currently wielding.
Combat UI/UX Currently you are unable to see your own or the enemy’s battle statistics during the battle cutscene. This is especially problematic during the opponent’s turn because you will not know the impact of an enemy attack until the animation hits you. We’ll review adding this information at the top during the combat cutscene so that you can see it in the middle of the combat animation.
Combat UI/UX When you click the enemy in order to display his movement/attack range (or wheel click to display all) when you click your own unit, it’s movement range often overlaps with the enemy. Currently, when this happens, it “paints over” the enemy grid, forcing you to memorize the enemy range or to unclick your unit to see it again. A clearer indication of the overlapping squares would be nice. We’re going to have to take additional time for this one. It’ll be improved at a later phase, but it’s definitely on our to-do!
Combat UI/UX When you click on an ally, in the bottom left where it shows the health there should be a bar for the experience as well. This information will be added to the ally info UI.
Combat UI/UX Being able to hover over their name and see it, or through shift click. Not only for the character level ups, but also for the class level ups. A beginner won’t know what each symbol represents or why it is a good thing. We’ll add an additional tooltip so that when they hover over it, they have an idea of what’s improving.
Combat UI/UX Have both icons on the character at all times, one gold showing the weapon equipped, the other greyed out, but make it visible so one doesn’t have to select a character and swap weapons just to check. We’ll likely provide information somewhere within the weapon swap command. We’ll try out different ideas here so that people can gather this information quicker.
Combat UI/UX At the moment it’s difficult to tell which allied units have acted. Applying a dark shade to represent when a unit has acted would solve this issue. We’ll probably do a few things here. You’ll be able to cycle through your units with Q/E. Units who have acted will have a black and white portrait. And if sufficient time as has passed, the camera will automatically pan to a unit that hasn’t yet acted (this one could be contentious, so let’s get some feedback on it from you all).
Combat UI/UX It’s pretty weird this feature doesn’t exist, but I can’t do anything during enemy turns. I can’t even hit escape, and bring up the menu, the options – nothing works. That should definitely be added in, because it doubles as a pause, and you should never be prevented from accessing the menu. This should hopefully be resolved with the ability to skip the animations! However, if it continues to be a problem after implementation, we’ll review.
Dialogue UI/UX The characters; Francisco, Eden and Leon, are wearing shoddy towns clothes but their icons show them wearing very good armor. This is almost a spoiler for what is to come with the characters. As commoner class, the icon should represent this. We’re going to fix this by creating a splash for every single possible armor that each unit can use, so it accurately reflects what they’re wearing at the time.
Dialogue UI/UX Ability to pull up a conversation history for cutscene dialogue or combat dialogue. We’ll make improvements so that both camp AND combat scripts can be pulled up. As needed, we’ll have to polish the UI associated with these as well.
Game Options Add option to mute game when it is not the focused window. By default, this option will be turned off, but we’ll add it into the game as well.
Game Options Shortcut keybind remapping options. As with the remappable hotkeys we’re planning our intent is to offer a suite of hotkeys to remap to whatever you’re comfortable with!
Game Options Add information regarding the difficulty differences when selecting the difficulty at the start of a playthrough. It makes sense to know what you’re getting yourself into, so when you’re picking a difficulty, additional descriptions will be added to let you know the differences.
Game Options It’s possible to quit to desktop from the system menu in battle or camp. But at the moment, the only way to quit the game from the title screen is to hard exit via windows, e.g. alt+f4. I’d love to see a Quit Game feature added to the title screen. Duly noted! A button to exit to desktop will be added to the main menu.
Game Controls Keyboard shortcuts that open a menu or map should close it when pressed again. ie. when M is pressed it brings up the map in camp, but pressing M again does nothing presently. You have to hit escape to get rid of the map. If you press M to open the map, M should close the map. Every shortcut should act the same way. When we’re overhauling the shortcuts, we’ll make sure to keep this functionality in mind.

Lastly, in addition to these changes, we want to discuss our method of story-telling. As you saw during the beta period, there were fully rendered cutscenes, most of which were not present during the alpha. Based on our playtesters’ impressions, we’ve decided to adjust this part of Lost Eidolons as well.

Our plan is to remove some of the minor cutscenes and replace them with characters speaking to one another with blurred backgrounds of the environment they’re in. These will be dialogue-focused scenes without any complicated rendered actions.

We will then take the rendered cutscenes from the major moments of the game, and finely polish them so they can really impress all who see them. We want these particular scenes to be monumental parts of Lost Eidolons.

In addition to these two types of cutscenes, we’ll also have the illustrated cutscenes we mentioned in previous articles that will also assist with the storytelling during certain episodes of the campaign.

Once again, we’d like to thank the Benerio Grand Company for their comprehensive feedback. We’re looking forward to seeing your reactions to the changes you’ve made happen implemented into the game!

– The ODS Team

Pat

Lead Social & Community Manager at Ocean Drive Studio!

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