[Immortal Empire]A rant from a sort-of experienced player

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This game is really fun at the beginning, but it starts to get a bit annoying in the late game (Note: LATE GAME). And before people yell at me and say it’s because I’m not strategic enough it is definitely not my fault.

The major problem with later levels is triggering enemies. In the beginning, there are just lone enemies, one or two save for a boss encounter at the end. In later levels, enemies are much farther spaced out, but they come in packs of 6 or 7 and pose serious threats. When you see one of them, almost all of them come out and start to whale on you. There are several times when I’ve been able to pull just one or two, but I can’t figure out how to reproduce it. It seems like sometimes they all rush out and sometimes they stay put. If someone could tell me how this works that would be nice.

So given this, your only option is to inch across the map at a very slow pace unless you want lots of deaths. I’m literally moving across these maps 2 or 3 squares at a time to make sure I see an enemy with lots of time to spare. There’s no other way. Going very fast only causes me to trigger enemies to early and get completely destroyed. This is extremely annoying. Please, let me see farther ahead of me, I don’t care if it’s unfair, it just eliminates the very long inching across the map I currently do. Or give me a skill to see like 10 squares ahead. I don’t care, this has to be fixed.

So this is what I do. All my fights end up the same. I inch across the map and discover an enemy, usually having lots of time to spare. Then I cast all my buffs on my tanks, like Protection, Whirlwind, summon my Razor Spikes, etc. Then, using the Dryad, nuke the area with Pixie Dust. This forces enemies to get up close and not cast spells to hurt you.

This usually works. Then if you start losing (which sometimes happens), use Druid to summon a wall to block most people and use him to summon people over it and whale on them until they die, one by one.

For me, this isn’t very enjoyable. And it’s especially annoying that it is almost impossible for me to prevent a death in a map. I try to be exceedingly careful and not to make any mistakes, but it always comes back to bite me. And I can’t ever find someone who’s playing at the same time I am to team up.

So basically: key problems in late game: forcing you to inch across the map and in order to just stay alive, and repetitive gameplay, it’s just buff, cast AoE to kill any nasty responses and whack whack whack. Also, lack of gold in late game/ item shop is too expensive, literally you will be forced to live on whatever drops from enemies, enemies at level 30 and beyond are still dropping paltry sums of like 50 gold.

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The summoner (which is a premium character, yeah) has this skill where it can summon a floating eye which is used for the purposes of scouting ahead without having to risk hell bearing down on you.

I think this can also be done with dryad totems.

The main issue of course is the pretty long cooldown time for summoning spells, plus of course wasting levels on the eyeball spell :P

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You should be able to walk one character forward, they will automatically stop when an enemy is seen. No enemies will attack you unless you see them. This will let you position the rest of your immortals accordingly. Hopefully this will help ‘inching across the map’.

Reading your description it sounds like you are using a lot of strategy to win your fights, which is the intended gameplay. The strategy will change depending on the immortals / skills you choose and the enemies you are facing.

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It might be helpful if u added a threat detection thing. Something like a skull appearing above your character when enemies are 2-3 tiles away from his line of sight.

I undestand chesshawk’s concern because moving fast has very big risks for your team cause you cant buff your party up or position them in the right place. And moving 2-4 tiles a turn is just simply BORING and FRUSTRATING.

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Originally posted by Karma000:

You should be able to walk one character forward, they will automatically stop when an enemy is seen. No enemies will attack you unless you see them. This will let you position the rest of your immortals accordingly. Hopefully this will help ‘inching across the map’.

Reading your description it sounds like you are using a lot of strategy to win your fights, which is the intended gameplay. The strategy will change depending on the immortals / skills you choose and the enemies you are facing.

But the thing is if I move at 6 squares at a time, I’ll stop, but I’ll be dangerously close to the enemy, and I won’t have any time to cast buffs, which will definitely cause that character who discovered them to get shredded, so I have to walk 1-3 steps at a time to make sure I have plenty of time when I discover an enemy.

And maybe it took strategy the first time, but literally all I do is buff, wait, and then kill them all. Casting every single buff you have isn’t strategic in my definition.

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Fair enough. Do you have any suggestions chesshawk?

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Well currently, enemies have no strategy, they just deal lots of damage and have lots of health, and one or two skills. It would be nice if enemies had a strategy, even just a simple combo, rather than just casting their one buff spell/attack and just rushing in and attacking the closest person you shove in front of them. Sometimes they might focus on the weakest character, but that’s rarely, they usually prefer to just attack the nearest person. It’s fine to have enemies like that, but really after a while all the enemies become the same, just that they look different. Really, Siren/Dire Wolf was the same thing as Viper/Scorpion, one was just casting from afar and the other rushed at you. There was very little change in what I did.

Simple strategies that I can think of is:

Slow + Knockback (I know this isn’t a skill, but you could make it one.), keeping distance while attacking long range, so you can’t reach them. or you could just have them keep a set distance away each turn so that they would waste time getting next to you.

Wall + Wisps + Pixie Dust (optional for silence), cuts 3/5 of the characters from dealing damage, and reduces damage from the people that attack over the wall.

The thing is that there aren’t many strategies because the types of skills in the game are fairly basic, they’re just increase/lower stats, deal damage, and some unique ones like Stone Prison. There aren’t any unique effects that can pair up with other skills, unless buffing attack while lowering defense is a strategy.

This would probably change up gameplay a bit and stop to repetitiveness.

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The whole pulling feels wrong – vision, resource pools, cooldowns, buffs, durations…

Mechanics promote idling, inching forward, which is not fun and having fun is punished.

Suggestion? That should have been done 2 years ago when designing the game. Today I would say:

- make regular encounters rather easy, small pulls, frequent, many of them trigger at short range (so they can be packed more closely and visual contact does not give aggro)
- make bigger pulls be preceded by cinematics, aka you see what is where ahead of time, reset chars to full after cinematics (short! cinematics please)

If you want to be original instead of taking what the industry refined over decades and I just reinvented (lol), do it, but then I would suggest forcing semi-permanent combat via wandering monsters, ambushes etc.

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The ideas of buffs/vision/cooldowns/duration isn’t anything different from what the industry has refined over decades.

I was going to add something to not drain time units while enemies are offscreen. I think this would fix your ‘inching forward’ problem as any time you encounter someone you would have full time units.

In terms of the battle differentiation, I don’t agree that each battle feels the same but I do feel there is room for more AI types.

Anyways, thanks for the suggestions.

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Karma, what you completely missed is, since this thread is mostly about pulls, the reply regarding industry standards was also about pulls, not something patently obvious.

Your latest suggestion is very raw – what happens when your scout makes contact with a mob while your support is still parked in the spot of latest encounter, even further back than it is today?

There are two issues to pulls:
- turn based = one-rounding
- map contains two play modes, scout and fight

And again, the second part was assessed by industry long time ago as indeed being two modes, even when the transition is seamless. The first part is something you mention yourself in hints, but seem not willing to fully realize it is valid for both sides, and the implications of it.

Edit: Now it should be clearer what I suggested above: if you cannot make the transition, get rid of one mode.

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Sorry Dagbog I don’t understand at all what you are saying. Aggroing creeps in this game is the same as hundreds of RTS, RPG, MMO

The idea would be that you can move your group as one, and have full TU’s when you arrive at an encounter. If you put one unit way out ahead of the rest, then yes that unit is going to be vulnerable.

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Basically, what Dagbog says (I think) is that the current game is just two modes, one while you’re fighting and one when you’re not. Basically, the transition between the modes is really poor, because as said before, you have to inch along the maps until you get to another fight to make sure you have enough time. So his suggestion of getting rid of one mode, the one where you’re waiting, means that he wants basically semi-permanent combat with wandering monsters and ambushes, as he mentioned in his previous post.

I think that would be fine. In the first few levels, enemies came in around packs of 1-2 constantly and disposing of them was enjoyable and you could rush through. I also wouldn’t mind ambushes, that would keep you more on your toes as well. Currently, if you rush in and trigger some battle with allied NPCs in trouble (like in Kwanjun and Nethir’s Camp) you are almost always going to lose an ally/player character.

I think though, that not draining time units while there are no enemies is a great idea, though, or having lots of scattered enemies with ambushes. If you think scattering enemies makes it easier for us, you could also make enemies run away at low health, so then they might pull some extra people into the fight as well, which would make it more difficult to dispose of them.

I realize though that since it seems like it’s already done or in open beta it might be a little late to make major changes though.

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I support the idea of having parties moving around as one in a sort of formation, as that would be a lot faster. Right now you have to move each individual unit while scouting, making sure that your backline units don’t get caught out of position at every scouting turn. It’s annoying.

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Why not reduce number of mobs in groups, while buffing remaining. Make it feel like 10 mini bosses, instead of 100 monsters. Give resistances to silence ofc ;P

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On formation moving: Because units can move simultaneously, it really doesn’t take much effort to move 3-4 immortals towards the same destination (ie 1 click tab 2 click tab 3 click tab…)

On scouting: I don’t mean to be rude but, if your scout isn’t within moving distance of your main party, you’re… well you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Scouting isn’t hard once you know how monsters attack, which Karma has mentioned. Here’s how you scout in a completely safe way:
-Move till you have 2 moves left with one unit
-Move back 2 tiles
-Bring the rest of the team behind the (hopefully) tanky scout

Anything that may spot you will use up all of its moves to get to you. Sometimes even leaving its group behind ’’-_-.

Also, the reason there are many monsters is because you have many immortals some of which are tanky some of which aren’t. IE this adds the whole ’’positioning’’ element to gameplay ex: spotting tight passages, covering flanks, funneling enemies.

Maybe I’m crazy, but the gameplay feels exactly like what a tactics game should be. The only difference being there’s fog of war which makes ambushes possible. And what’s nice about the ambushes is they are TOTALLY your fault.

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I completely agree with zephyrim. Maneuvering out of a mob of monsters you aggroed is part of fun. @chess try using your razorbacks as scouts, it sounds like you only summon them when a fight is inevitable. That’s something I did for a while, then I realized that with their movespeed and their duration they work great at scouting and luring. I don’t inch across the map, though I certainly don’t use all of my movement at once. However, in the worst case scenario I’ve died once (two character party) while running with the other to keep him alive. It’s paramount to work out a system for buffs between your characters so you don’t have to use them all at once, otherwise you will have to keep inching just to get up your time units. And if we got rid of time units until an enemy is seen, what happens to pvp? There are huge implications in your suggestions that, to me, don’t seem worth all the effort for issues that can be remedied with adjustments to gaming style.