Sorcerer King Developer to Beta Team Q&A

By on December 13, 2014 12:05:55 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

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We’ve got questions for the beta team:

  1. Some people have said that Sorcerer King looks a lot like Legendary Heroes.  What do you think people mean by this and what would be the most effective way to make sure the two games are visually distinct?
  2. We are debating a lot about camera rotation.  The game supports it and we plan to have an option for it.  The question is, what would you like to see as the default and why?
  3. We have the Magic slider in the game setup.  Right now, the plan for this was to have it determine how fast the Doomsday Counter goes up along with how much magic you receive from shards.  But we would like to hear from the beta team how they would like to see this slider used.
  4. So far, what is your FAVORITE part of the game?
  5. Similarly, what is your least favorite part of the game?
  6. For those of you playing heavily, what types of spells would you like to see in the game that we don’t currently have?
  7. Which Sovereign so far is your favorite and why?
  8. Which Sovereign is your least favorite?
  9. Which types of quests do you enjoy going on the most?
  10. Which types of quests do you enjoy the least?

Thanks!

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December 13, 2014 1:00:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Some people have said that Sorcerer King looks a lot like Legendary Heroes.  What do you think people mean by this and what would be the most effective way to make sure the two games are visually distinct?

A big part of this is how armies are displayed. The OP pic is good example. I have never really been a big fan of the current system so I think you should look into making some changes. Some ideas are:

-Make the units slightly smaller so they don't tower over everything else so much.

-Show units in groups as groups in the strategic view, taking advantage of the smaller unit sizes. 

-Emphasize champion's leading armies more. Put them out front in the center and maybe make them larger in comparison to other units. In general make armies look like actual armies instead of blobs of units. 

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December 13, 2014 1:52:55 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

What the guy above me said about the look is spot on.

 

What I like most about the game is how differently the sovereigns are gameplay-wise, but I'd like to see it go further. More unique units and even unique city looks for each sovereign. More distinctiveness and assymetry between each sovereign.

What I like least is how empty the world currently feels. The minor factions are still seemingly mindless. I'm also not a big fan of how each playthrough feels very familiar, unlike Endless Legend where each faction feels unique. There's not enough uniqueness in each playthrough...(continuation of my suggestion above).

 

To to that effect, the tyrant is my favorite sovereign as he has the most unique gameplay right now. 

The Mage is my least favorite as it is extremely familiar and after everything that SK does to me unfamiliar, that just feels disappointing. 

I like quests that feature unique enemies and that provide unique items if completed.

my least favorite by a country mile is all the quests that just provode some boring crafting ingredient, i.e. All of the pretty much. Please fix that. Such awesome writing and yet their rewards bore me.

Im still a big fan of what you're doing and have faith that it can be a fantastic game.

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December 13, 2014 3:34:48 PM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

Some people have said that Sorcerer King looks a lot like Legendary Heroes. What do you think people mean by this and what would be the most effective way to make sure the two games are visually distinct?

I don't really think they need to be visually distinct to be honest. I really enjoy the current art style however. The Improved terrain (dem mountains) and animations are very nice. I like how visually distinct the softness is of the land compared to the harsh corruption that spreads.

We are debating a lot about camera rotation. The game supports it and we plan to have an option for it. The question is, what would you like to see as the default and why?

I think the default for now is fine that is a good starting point for the camera.

We have the Magic slider in the game setup. Right now, the plan for this was to have it determine how fast the Doomsday Counter goes up along with how much magic you receive from shards. But we would like to hear from the beta team how they would like to see this slider used.

I think having two sliders for this is really key. While I can see the reasoning behind tying them together, having them separate just allows your players to have more options when customizing their game.

So far, what is your FAVORITE part of the game?

Just as in Fallen Enchantress I really enjoy the initial start of the game, the sense of adventure and the exploration. Setting up a new frontier. You don't have a ton to micro manage yet so it plays more RPG than TBS at this point and I really enjoy that.

Similarly, what is your least favorite part of the game?

I don't really have a least favorite part yet, I tend to enjoy all the phases of the game end game is always exciting as it is the end game, but it can drag or end very quickly and is in my opinion the hardest part of any game to balance.

For those of you playing heavily, what types of spells would you like to see in the game that we don’t currently have?

Oh just more spells. So many more. I love having a ton of spell option, and making them visually distinct is very cool too. I want to play 3 games and still not have seen all the spells yet. Dig out some classic spells, look to D&D, Pathfinder and Masters of Magic for influence.

Which Sovereign so far is your favorite and why?

I actually really like the Guardian I favor a slower cautious more defense orientated approach and she lets me play like that. I think she could use more "naturey and summony" Magic though.

Which Sovereign is your least favorite?

The Warlock, he sounds cool and looks cool but I can never get into those aggressive, fast paced, red lined, based civilizations.

Which types of quests do you enjoy going on the most?

I tend to like the larger multi-part quests ones I might pick up at the beginning and not be able to finish until much later in the game. The sense of scope for that is awesome.

Which types of quests do you enjoy the least?

I guess the typical go here and collect 10 of these quests. Read: Any quests found in MMOs.

 

I do miss finding cool loot as a reward like in Fallen Enchantress. A lot of the music from Fallen Enchantress was also pretty good bring some of that back (I already recognized some music).

Keep up the good work! 

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December 16, 2014 12:10:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Some people have said that Sorcerer King looks a lot like Legendary Heroes.  What do you think people mean by this and what would be the most effective way to make sure the two games are visually distinct?

I think it's 2 things, maybe 3:

1) The art style, specifically the cell shaded style is very distinctive..  Not really many (any?) other 4x games with that kind of look.  This is probably the main factor.

2) The engine.  You can see a lot of similarities... the square tiled map, the city and army info in the lower left of the UI, the initiative order thing in tactical.  There is also quite a lot that is different... but if you are familiar with LH you can pick up some of these commonalities.

3) The use of some icons from LH.

 

1 and 2 obviously not much you can (or should) do.  

You could get rid of any LH icons, eg, ability and spell icons.... and/or change the styling of them.

 

 

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December 17, 2014 3:37:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We’ve got questions for the beta team:

and weve got answers..

 

  • Some people have said that Sorcerer King looks a lot like Legendary Heroes.  What do you think people mean by this and what would be the most effective way to make sure the two games are visually distinct?

the cartoon look - it looks wonderful, just add detail.  the ui layout is pretty similar too.  also, the relative size of units and structures; and the distance between units.

 

  • We are debating a lot about camera rotation.  The game supports it and we plan to have an option for it.  The question is, what would you like to see as the default and why?

completely top down, up=north; tilted back 5%.

 

  • We have the Magic slider in the game setup.  Right now, the plan for this was to have it determine how fast the Doomsday Counter goes up along with how much magic you receive from shards.  But we would like to hear from the beta team how they would like to see this slider used.

i think separate sliders are in order.  how fast the doomsday counter goes up feels like it should be part of the difficulty setting.

 

  • So far, what is your FAVORITE part of the game?

allocating magic WOULD BE my favorite, if it werent for the fiddly control.. all i really want is to be able to pick 1, mana, lore, or skill, have half of my magic allocated to that 1, and a quarter to the other two.  or pick 2 and have all of my magic split between them.  or all of 1, none of the other 2.  or right smack dab in the center of all 3.  10 "stances", or 'nodes/notches' on the magic wheel.  this way it would be extremely simple for me to further customize my play style, and at the same time quick and easy to "stance dance", if you will.  or i wish that the control was at least granular to the integer, and/or that we could manually input and lock the variables.

honestly even though it is my favorite feature of the game im not even using it because i got tired of fiddling with the control to try and narrow in on the ratio i wanted, always ending up with some weird fraction of mana points coming in.  its really sad because the coolest thing to do every turn is "stance dance".

 

  • Similarly, what is your least favorite part of the game?

the ui.  although leagues better than fe/lh'es, it still irks me in many ways that culminate in a bumpy gameplay experience.  like crafting, equipment, army management, and city details for instance.  to be blunt, in general i feel like window layouts allocate space poorly and drive emphasis improperly, and that some decision controls utilize the wrong user input methods.  if i can make the time ill bloody up a screenshot or two.

the "doomsday counter" and "reduce doomsday" spells and such as they currently are feel extremely gamey.  they insinuate that i am a nerd sitting in a chair playing a computer game, and not a sovereign manning the kingdom of the forge.  major immersion break.  conceptually they are wonderful, they just need to be represented more indirectly and oriented towards the perspective of the sovereign, instead of the nerd.  how about a skull hourglass instead of a doomsday "counter"?  or "delay doomsday" instead of "reduce doomsday"?  i actually just saw the new graphic for the "reduce doomsday" spell.. a little arrow demonstrating a bar decreasing... seriously?  is the sovereign following the sk's facebook page on their iphone?

even more circles in ui, tile and terrain design, and map generation please - they go a long way towards alleviating the square board feel.

and the squares that cities expand into on the map when they level up REALLY need some enhanced graphical representation - even if its just generic city grain (dominant) square, city production square, or city essence square... at least expand the city walls around the newly acquired land like in fe/lh, and/or populate the tile with lil houses like in aow3.  as it is, just lighting up another square on a city screen feels unfinished, gamey, and not very rewarding for leveling up a city.  actually seeing the spreadsheet, ahem, world, gradually change over time is one of the greatest rewards in a strategy game; and the current city expansion graphics feel like a very big missed opportunity.

mario and peaches villa simply cannot compete with this:

"kingdom of isoth", see below

 

  • For those of you playing heavily, what types of spells would you like to see in the game that we don’t currently have?

weather: strategic aoe enchantments.

also, play a few quick games of "demons and wizards"i am currently having more fun with it than sk or aow3 or any other tbs game.  it really brings out a cohesive polish to fe/lh, and unique flavors to its factions.  i especially recommend trying out the new factions 'dominion of urns', 'kingdom of isoth', and 'empire of xaroch'... or at least reading through the factions and gameplay sections of the wiki.  fe/lh truly shines now.

op

 

  • Which Sovereign so far is your favorite and why?

guardian: terraforming + summons.

 

  • Which Sovereign is your least favorite?

i havent tried em all yet.

 

  • Which types of quests do you enjoy going on the most?

ok so heres how quests should work... there should be quest nodes on the map that when visited by a champion present an option of quests, that are proportionate in difficulty to how far into the game we are (or the doomsday counter, or w/e).  ie.. visit the local inn and accept a job offer.  if we're within the first 25 turns of the game, 2 very easy quests and 1 easy quest are presented.  turns 26 - 50 (next tier): 1 very easy, 1 easy, and 1 medium; 51-100 (next tier): 1 easy, 2 medium; 101-200: 2 medium and 1 hard, and so on.  which quest is chosen and how difficult it is determines which quest location is spawned and how far away it is.

different types of nodes could pull from different pools of quests: ie. inns and markets offer certain quests, settlements and encampments offer certain quests, different guilds offer certain quests, etc.

different types of quests could pull from different pools of rewards.. for another layer of strategy for players to consider - who goes on which quests after which rewards and when.

while a node is active with a quest, and for some time after a quest has been completed, the node will 'return empty' when visited.

quest locations should definitely daisy chain - spawn subsequent locations.. ie. visit inn > accept quest to find missing child > 'last known location' is spawned > visit 'last known location' & defeat monster > learn of 'monsters den' (is spawned) > visit 'monsters den' & defeat boss > receive child unit > return to inn.  upon returning to the inn and completing the quest a reward is received (proportionate with how long it took to complete the quest and how difficult it was), then the node STAYS THERE, just 'returning empty' for a while when visited.  after some time it 'refills' with a few new quests appropriate for when we are in the game (or how full the doomsday counter is, or w/e).  this way the world actually feels like a persistent growing place rather than a spreadsheet table full of variables with little figurines on top.

then aside from nodes, there should also be one-off quests, that disappear upon completion (like they do currently) - ie.. visit 'lost traveler' quest > receive lost traveler unit & 'first destination' is spawned > visit 'first destination' and "do something" > 'final destination' is spawned > visit 'final destination' & complete quest.

once a quest has been completed it is removed from the pool of potential quests for the rest of the game.

^this is how quests should work.

there should also be persistent, re-visitable locations on the map: that grant boons (enchantments that last x amount of time), or teleporters, or shops, etc.  so the life of a champion is actually an rpg adventure story in a 4x world with notable locations, that can be visited along the journey again, or by others, instead of turn based pac-man devouring the next-nearest goodie.  persistent locations like this also act as great strategic hot-spots.  this is why heroes of might and magic is so good.  travel locations.  boons.  other ideas.

 

  • Which types of quests do you enjoy the least?

those from locations that for some mysterious reason vanish after i visit them.  i never really cared for pac-man.

 

Thanks!

you too!



oh, and for the earl of preston and the duke of ted.


edit: also went back up and elaborated on my favorite part of the game.

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December 17, 2014 7:17:20 AM from Sorcerer King Forums Sorcerer King Forums

1) I don't see this.  The two games look distinct to me.

 

2) I'm fine with it the way it is.  It's not something that bothers me.

 

3) I think the slider is fine the way it is now.  I would like to see sliders for more things like enemies/terrain types/etc.  Think the random map generator options in Kohan.

 

4) I really enjoy that this game is about building one stack of doom and going forth.  I love the random maps now and getting new toys. 

 

5) Least favorite: lack of variety in regular units.  I also miss some of the powerful weapons/armor/items from LH.  I know that it would diminish crafting, but I'd love to see them as rare drops.  I wish you could "tech up" with building to get more powerful mundane units.

 

6) I'm satisfied with things here. 

 

7)  Haven't messed with the newest two sovereigns much, but I liked the Guardian the most so far.   Mostly because I love powerful archery units and the more defensive style.

 

8) Tyrant is my least favorite- don't really like playing evil.

 

9) I enjoy the quests that give me something unique, or a chance at it.

 

10) I dislike fetch quests

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