Author Topic: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2  (Read 1770 times)

Offline Mylon

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General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« on: March 03, 2013, 12:07:13 PM »
I played a bit of Valley 1 and recently got around to trying Valley 2.  I'm going to be brutally honest here, but I don't want to bash, I hope that the developers can take what I say to heart and improve.

First off, I really like the strategic side of the game.  It does a good job at forcing tough choices and there always seems to be a multiple possibilities when choosing where to go comes up.  My biggest gripe might be that the starting purified area feels too small and that it really feels like you're just running survivors down corridors until you hit one of those purification towers.  I think the game might benefit by tweaking it to make the purification area 2 squares instead of one and reducing the number of perk tokens required to unlock traits.  This would cut down a bit on the repetitive portion of the platform and give more time to the strategic side, as well as fixing the corridor situation of early game.  Naturally, Demonaice would likely need an extra point of movement or to come out earlier to counter this.

The platforming side could use a lot of work though.  The overall game design seems to be at odds with itself.  The game rewards avoiding hits with mechanics like caliber and concentration, but other mechanics favor ablative HP like enemies with very large attack patterns, fast moving attack patterns, a VERY large library of attack pattern to anticipate, and rapid moving projectiles.  The large hitbox relative to the viewable area also makes it very easy to outrun your headlights, so to speak, and take lots of hits.  The classes also seem very, very strange.  A lot of the difficulty seems to stem from player attacks being extraordinarily obtuse.  I played my first hour as the tier 1 fire mage and just being able to shoot stuff directly was nice and simple.  Then I tried the tier 2 plant mage and while shots that mimic the player's movement seem interesting, it was extremely difficult to make use of in the largely variable terrain with lots of high caliber shots incoming.

Some notes that I think would improve the platforming:
  • Make the character stouter.  A lot of popular platformers keep the character within a 1x1 to 1x2 ratio.  From Super Mario to Super Meat Boy.  This makes it easier to keep track of dodging attacks, specially during jumps.  This also makes animation easier.  My character seems to rapidly shift from 1x5 to 1x1 during an attack animation, which is disorienting.
  • Make facing follow the mouse cursor.  It's very frustrating to need to shoot behind me and my character not turning automatically with the mouse.
  • Give the camera more leeway when looking down.  It's very easy to fall down onto an ememy or thorn bush because they can't be seen.
  • Lava.  When I ran into this it totally threw me by surprise.  Up until this point there was nothing to fear from falling except for a bit of damage.  Perhaps a simple shallow pool before the unescapable pit in the evil overload tower is needed to introduce this feature.
  • "You need to be closer."  No, just no.  This feels like a very, very shoehorned mechanic to make monsters that might otherwise be sniped more relevant.
  • Streamline goals.  Usually the goal is to go right.  Sometimes to goal is to go up.  Caves break this mold, which is fine, but sometimes caves mix in needing to go horizontally, even going left!  This can cause confusion.

There, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 12:34:13 PM »
One thing I will say is that the game is not explicitly designed for mouse support. Any kind of special concessions made to mouse aimers probably aren't going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I do prefer mouse aiming, but I understand the fact that the game was designed for gamepad or keyboard-only controls, and that's how it's probably going to function for a long time. So, making facing match where the mouse is pointing is probably not going to happen.
I agree with some other stuff aside from like streamlining goals. I never really got lost. You always just go where the walls aren't.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 01:03:12 PM »
One thing I will say is that the game is not explicitly designed for mouse support. Any kind of special concessions made to mouse aimers probably aren't going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I do prefer mouse aiming, but I understand the fact that the game was designed for gamepad or keyboard-only controls, and that's how it's probably going to function for a long time. So, making facing match where the mouse is pointing is probably not going to happen.
I agree with some other stuff aside from like streamlining goals. I never really got lost. You always just go where the walls aren't.

While I understand that this game was not meant for mouse control, I find that the camera with the mouse to be an very overwhelming degree of complaints. Fixing this issue would not be that intensive, yet would silence this very complaint

tl;dr Mouse camera control is an easy to fix solution to a very common problem for new players. If mouse support wasn't to be supported, why introduce it to attract more players?
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 01:04:07 PM »
I haven't been following the community opinions, so you might well be right on that one. I was just relaying what I knew.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 01:06:25 PM »
I haven't been following the community opinions, so you might well be right on that one. I was just relaying what I knew.

This is partially from personal experience. I can play 3D space games that some consider vomit-inducing OK, yet with the mouse in AVWW2 I quite slightly quiesy: While I know from a design perspective it is almost tact on, just in gameplay it feels VERY tacted on, as if it was a mod: It doesn't feel professional and downright nauseating in some ways. Smoothing out the camera would go a long way.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 01:08:32 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 01:48:55 PM »
I'm not so sensitive to stuff like that I guess. Although, I am an absolute supporter for more accessible gaming, so that it makes fewer people sick or so that it's just more functional and professional. I've been able to manage, but if others can't, then it's probably a problem.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: General Feedback on Valley Without Wind 2
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 08:13:37 PM »
Polishing up the camera some is something I think is indeed high-ish priority on the things that need attention. It isn't game breaking, but it is annoying enough not being able to look around like you want, and it has caused be to take some damage I could of avoided if I could see just a bit further down. 10050: Looking up/down

For the "too far away" thing, I sort of agree. Maybe some enemies can have a mechanic where if the projectile was fired >N range (where N is dependent on the enemy), then you get a damage reduction, proportional to how far over N you fired from. Call it armor plating or whatever that can partially block shots that have lost "momentum" or "power" from being "exposed" to long. Again, not all enemies will have it, just the ones that have the "too far" mechanic currently. A more gradual damage decay would feel more natural, and still accomplish the goal of pressuring the player to get closer to some types of enemies. Mantis this?


EDIT: And I know this game isn't about the exploration, but could you increase the "branching factor" and the "average number of sidepaths factor" a bit, to make the world feel a bit more substancial? Nowhere near the level of Valley 1 of course, but enough so such that 75% or so of the regions don't feel like "hallways", like it does now.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 08:16:31 PM by TechSY730 »