Long post incoming! I have not played the game since Echoes were released and wanted to check out the endgame. So I took the last week to level an Avalanche Shaman to 100. While doing so I wrote down everything that might be considered useful feedback for the game. Keep in mind it’s all just my opinions and I’m rather new/clueless about the game, so some things might be wrong or have a solution I don’t know about.
A list of radom UI related thing I came across:
Playing Avalanche with the node selected that it follows me around made me rage quite a bit early on because there are enemies that also use Avalanche and for some reason it looks exactly the same as the player skill. One of the skills should look different. Removing the ground target circles for the player skill might already be enough as you then know how to dodge the enemy Avalanche
The Blessing selection prompt being automatically opened and then being a forced top window does not seem good. First off all there is still stuff going on and I want to collect my loot but the game decides to block my screen with the prompt. Second I want to be able to look at my character sheet and inventory to decide what blessing to take, which is also blocked by the prompt.
While we are at the blessing prompt: The game ask for confirmation when clicking OK, but it does not show me the old and new Blessing, so that confirmation dialog might as well not exist. It should show the old blessing left with an arrow pointing at the new blessing on the right, both with modifier values. Yes/no Buttons below.
The name of affix shards should be unique and reflect exactly what the shard does. For example there are two shards with the name “Health”. I know that there is an extra column for the scaling, but thats not really a good solution. The name should tell me what it does (e.g. “Health” and “Increased Health” or "+ Health and “% Health” or something along those lines). Skill level shards should also show their secondary effect in their name (e.g. “Level of Maelstrom” should be “Level of Maelstrom and Spell Damage”).
When clicking a shard in the forge ‘crafting inventory’ menu, the menu closes and the shard is added for crafting. When clicking a rune it is also added, but the menu does not close. Why not?
- Sometimes it’s “armour” and sometimes “armor”.
The highlighting when searching in the stash could be a little bit more visible. I have a hard time seeing some highlighted items instantly without having to scan the entire page for highlights. Also the highlighting does not work when changing tabs via the quick view.
When comparing items, the game switches around which side the equipped item is on. This is sometimes very confusing. The equipped item should ALWAYS be on the same side, preferably right. Examples are when hovering an item in the stash or forge, the equipped item is right, when hovering an item in the inventory or ground, the equipped item is left.
Sometimes items don’t show a label. This happens for me with items that are emphasized and have red color. Picking it up and dropping it shows it correctly
- There should be some thought put into how different menus interact. It makes sense to always be able to have the character screen on top of everything so if I change something somewhere else I can see the changes. Most menus just close everything else when opening them except the passive tree, which does allow me to open the character sheet, but for some reason the charater sheet is always in the back. Imo you should be able to open either passives or skills (so these close each other) and then the character sheet and inventory can always be opened on top of those. When talking to a vendor while the stash, character sheet and/or inventory are open should close all menus or at least put the vendor dialog in front.
The level up buttons disappear after entering the menu once. I can see that some players might not want to constantly see the level up buttons if they deliberately choose to not level something up, but that seems more of an endge case to me. It happened many times to me that I played a long time without realizing I had unspent skillpoint because the buttons went away. While this might generally be an early game problem, there are items that grant levels to skills and everytime you unequip them, random skillpoints are removed and you do not get the buttons. I have played countless hours with 2 points unspent because I messed with my gear and then did not check the skill menu because I assumed everything is maxed.
I’m sometimes a lazy one handed gamer and use drag and drop to deposit items and craft. So it often happens that I’m standing in front of my stash and then open the forge. I drag and drop an item from my inventory into the forge or at least thats what I’m trying to do, because the stash lines up just in between the inventory and the forge and when you hover over the stash with an item, the stash opens. The stash has a huge hitbox for that feature that does not match the actual size at all. I’m not sure if anybody is opening the stash by dragging an item over it, but if that feature is here to stay, the stash hitbox should be adjusted to meet the actual size of the stash.
Most of the campaign was as I remembered. Not really hard and your build did not have to be very good to get through. I was cruising but then suddenly when I entered the last act I got my ass handed to me. All my resists were capped and I was at about 900 life but I died quite a few times, so maybe I did not have good enough defenses. While I could surely improve my char it felt kind of weird to go from having no problem at all to getting destroyed. I still made it through the act as most zones were ok but then came the final boss. Yeah, idk what kind of build check that fight is supposed to be, but after a couple of attempts I gave up because I clearly had no chance in the second phase. Like this boss is straight out of dark souls, even has the ‘call an ambulance, but not for me’ x4. I skipped the boss and started monoliths and weirdly enough, the diffiulty of the monoliths was way back down again and I could proceed without problem to the 90 monos. That last act felt like I was making a detour into a level 90 zone in between the rest of the campaign and the early monos. When I was around level 75 I decided that it’s now time for revenge on the final boss but as we know overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer. After getting my ass handed to me 2 more times I finally beat the boss but it felt more like I was lucky than anything. Either I’m one of the worst players ever or that boss needs some SERIOUS adjusting.
Monoliths seem really well balanced and are very fun to go through. The only noteable jump in difficulty is when going to empowered monos and I had to watch a youtube video on defenses to get more tanky. Thats totally fine and after adjusting my gear I had no issues.
T3 dungeons are ok, T4 seem very hard. Thats generally not an issue it just seems weird that T3 is only level 88 and T4 is level 100 but T4 is way harder than empowered monos. Going into a 88 zone when usually playing 100 feels weird.
This might be wrong but when playing I felt like the experience distribution between different monsters is really off. Basically there seem to be a few big, rare monsters that give a fuckton of xp, most noteably Scarabs, Siege Golems, Void Terrors and the tree stump dudes in the lightless arbor. You can literally see a huge chunk of xp being added to the xp bar when killing those. Other mobs on the other hand feel like they give very little xp. On top of that comes enemy spawn distribution in echos. Some echos seem to barely have monster, some have a lot of monsters, but none of the mentioned rares, some echos have a few of the mentioned rares and then from time to time there are echos that have a ton of the mentioned rare mobs. The result is that sometimes 10 echos in a row barely give any xp and then the 11th echo with 30 rare Scarabs gives me like 15% xp even at lv95. Again, I might be wrong and it’s just my perception, but if thats actually how it is, I think there should be a more even distribution of rare monsters and maybe even a shift of some of the xp to normal, small mobs.
OK, here comes the ‘get good’ comments, but bosses in this game are incredibly punishing. It all boils down to: Why are all bosses one try only? The final boss of the campaign would not even be as bad if I didn’t have to restart and do the whole sleeper first phase again just to get immediately killed in the second. Now campaign and mono bosses are not my main complaint here because I can basically try them infinite times. The real issue arises when combining one try bosses with loss of progress and badly done one shot mechanics.
Shade of Orobyss: Might be yet again a player issue, but the “Here it comes” ability is extremely hard to dodge if you are not already moving in the right direction and seems to be a guaranteed one shot. The reaction time you have is way too short for me (maybe there is a tell that he is casting it and from where it comes that I don’t know about?). And when dying you lose all gazes which is a major feels bad.
Dungeons: This is where one try is most frustrating because you lose the entire dungeon you just did. The soulfire bastion is the worst as the goal seems to be to full clear it although the boss seems ok as I have not died to it yet. But I imagine dying to the boss after full clearing is a major feelsbad.
My main beef in dungeons is with the lightless arbor boss. I did this guy like 10 times and watched a couple youtube vids and still don’t know how the fuck exactly you are supposed to do this. It seems most people just “cheese it” by standing in the small zones to the left and right that the nuke does not reach and have a build that can facetank everything else. But for doing the mechanic properly there is just no time to react and get out of the way when the nuke starts. It feels bad to do the dungeon and then get cheap shot at the end by a mechanic like this.
When doing echos I noticed that I only look at the reward icons and never read the mods. The only time I look at mods is if I suddenly take big chunks of damage (only to see like 100% increased void or ohys damage on mobs). My guess would be that most people will play like this and I’m not sure if thats intended. If it’s not intended some simple changes to the interface could help. The mods are very out of focus at the bottom right and kinda look like the quest tracker I’m ignoring the whole time. I suggest moving the mods to the middle when you hover over an echo or above the start button when you click the echo. Also color coding the newly added mod in red could help.
I’m not big into crafting and probably don’t know how to to create proper endgame gear in this game. Bearing that in mind it seems to me that the amount of crafting potential items get seems to be backwards. The base goal for arpgs usually is “easy to make good items, hard to make perfect items”.
If I find an exalted item with multiple useful mods it usually has 30-40 crafting potential. I often ended with a 4x T5 affix item that has potential left over.
If I find a magic item with a good affix it usually has 15-20 potential. I don’t even need to try to craft this item because I wont get far.
So it seems to me that if I find an already good item it’s really easy to perfect it because of the high potential. If I find a potentially good item I don’t even need to try because of the low potential.
Maybe I’m just no using the system correctly but it seems to me like it should be the other way around. Get low potential to perfect already good items, get high potential to turn magic items into decent rares.
Glyph of Despair
I found maybe 15-20 of these and had two of them succeed which were like the first two I used just to see what they do. Maybe I was unlucky here but I feel like making them more rare and in return increasing the chance of success would be a good move. Finding a rare item is not really that exciting if it then just disappears. Or maybe shift the RNG from failure to increased cost e.g. the glyph always succeeds but the used forging potential is doubled or the lower end potential value is increased by 10.
A list of stuff related to Skills/Passives/Classes I came across:
Where are the skill base damage numbers? This game is all numbers everywhere but it literally does not tell you the base values of skills, making all the other numbers kinda useless because you don’t know how good they are in relation. Looking at avalanche it does not even tell me the damage type. I can only go by the physical and cold tags and assume it deals both of these as base. Still leaves me wondering about the exact numbers and how much of the damage is physical and how much is cold. The ingame guide says the skills have the base damage in the tooltip so I must be blind. Talking about the guide and damage - it seems to be missing an explanation for adaptive damage.
Stun chance and freeze rate mutiplier are hard to understand and seem very abstract. The guide has the formulas for them but honestly that does not help me understand as I don’t have the required values like enemy life. I don’t really know how much I should invest in those stats or if I invested too much while I won’t be able to stun or freeze big bosses anyway. I started with maelstrom and put a lot of points and affixes in freeze rate, but didn’t really see many monsters freeze. I removed all the freeze rate stuff an didn’t notice a difference in the amount of frozen monsters. Stun seems to work better as I was able to stun all enemies in echos including the small echo bosses but I was still left wondering if it’s worth to get more stun chance to eventually stun mono bosses or if I could actually remove a lot of my stun chance as I wont be able to stun mono bosses anyway and for normal enemies I’m already way overcapped.
There is too much minion related stuff in my opinion. It feels like every single class and skill is supposed to somehow be played at least hybrid with some sort of minion. I don’t like minion playstyles and try to mostly avoid them but in this game it seems like you are locking yourself out of a lot of stuff and gimp your damage by not using minions. With Shaman I felt forced to use totems because the “per totem” nodes are just too good and many non totem related skills have a “more damage if you have a totem/per totem” spec for some reason. I don’t know if I would have played my char to level 100 if it wasn’t for the idols that auto summon thorn totems on hit so I could mostly ignore them.
“When you are hit” effects. There are SO many effects/passives/mods that trigger when you are hit and they just seem bad/useless to me. I have not tried a build in this direction yet, so it might be good? Generally the goal is always to be hit a little as possible and the main problem with on hit effects is always bosses that simply don’t trigger on hit effects reliably and have one shot mechanics you don’t want to get hit by. I have also looked if theres a way to hit yourself but did not find anything. Just seems odd to me that there are so many.
Movement feels janky sometimes. If you go around sharp corners or in between enemies or run circles around enemies with huge hitboxes (e.g. dragon) it always feels like you are half stuck where you character doesn’t stop moving entirely but rather moves with reduced speed.
When using Fury Leap it seems rather random over which gaps I can and can’t jump.
Sorry for the long post. I hope it helps a bit with the future development of the game.
PS: The person who came up with the loot filter deserves an award