Author Topic: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam  (Read 4842 times)

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2016, 11:17:32 PM »
Huh, a TD game that actually looks like it has real depth and strategy.  Here I'd thought that the Creeper World series was the only one.  Not to mention replay value, these often don't have all that much.

Gemcraft definitely has that.  It eventually got too complicated for me to really do well at it (I could manage about 15 or 20 levels, then hit a wall).

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2016, 11:55:10 PM »
Gemcraft is (arguable) the best TD game you will ever find. At least it is for me. People tend to praise Creeper World and (for some reason) Defense Grid but THIS was always my top game among the TD games. Simply because you can play it YOUR way.
There are trillions of ways to play this game and like Mánagarmr (I had to correct the name multiple times, lol) said in his video, some are better ways to play than others. It is simply in games with multiple playstyles that there are some that can be considered the "best" playstyles however, you are not forced to follow them just because some pros swear they are the best way to play the game.
If you are willing enough to put a decent amount of time in the game your own playstyle will eventually succeed. You may take longer than other playstyles but no matter how you apporach, eventually you will win with it. That is, because the game is also to a big part a rpg game, you can level up your character and that affects directly your tower. Do mind that most skills have NO skill cap, so you can really put all the effort you want into the game and reach new heights with it.

About towers and what not else: The game oes (sadly) not introduce you how to use specific mechanics or towers, it is the best to find yourself out what everything does. the description of course tells you the abilities but since the game has such a big open world there is no real tutorial for specific towers/gems. Given the fact that you create your own towers anyway, that is kind of excepted. Also there are actually three different tower types that make the function of gems different. Towers simply shoot, thats it. Traps work only when something steps over them but they boos special abilities a lot. And amplifiers simply work as boost towers and the boost is related to the gem it holds.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2016, 12:52:13 AM »
Gemcraft is (arguable) the best TD game you will ever find. At least it is for me.

(Creeper World for me is pretty much a "play it once, I'm done" with no specific attraction to challenges or replaying).

IMO the best TD game I've ever experienced was Immortal Defense.  The mechanics are exactly as much as it needs to be in order for the game to work.  Its the story that's hands down the best thing in a game ever.  And its literally told through very short segments, and only about eight of them.

Offline Misery

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2016, 01:31:34 AM »

(Creeper World for me is pretty much a "play it once, I'm done" with no specific attraction to challenges or replaying).


Eh?  Did you not mess with any of the stuff beyond the campaign, then?   The campaign is almost just an extended tutorial that teaches you about each game element... which is why it's not all that hard.  The game's real content is everything AFTER that, which is where players sometimes get AI War levels of replay hours out of it.  Particle Fleet is similar in this respect but isn't quite as robust yet.

Immortal Defense looks interesting.  Bloody strange, but interesting.   Be nice if this genre had more games like these... there's WAY too many of them that are effectively Defense Grid except slightly different.  Developers just copy each other WAY too much in this genre, which is a shame, as it has the potential to be so interesting.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2016, 02:06:50 AM »
Immortal Defense might be my second most favourite TD game. However, it remains second for a good reason: Little replay value. Except the survival levels there is no big reason why you want to play it again. From time to tiem you may pick it up again and play it again because it is a fun game but the thing is, afert you are done, you are done.
Gemcraft on the other hand still offers a lot more to do even after you've finished the game. Even if you beat all levels. there is the New game+ mode (Iron wizard) to challenge yourself.

However, Immortal defense is a pretty good game. However, it is also very emotional and some people might turn this off.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2016, 02:49:52 AM »
Creeper World and it's spiritual successor Particle Fleet: Emergence both look like very interesting takes on the TD genre to me. I'll likely pick them up sometime in the future, even though I personally despise the TD genre and everything it stands for. (Mostly because of TD games being all around mazing, which is dull and boring)

GemCraft speaks to me mostly because of it's complexity and depth. If you want to beat Endurance mode (999 waves rapidly increasing in power) you really have to understand the deep mechanics of gem crafting (pun not intended) and how gems progress in strength, how to maximize mana gains, exploit shrines and whatnot. That's what really fascinates me about the game. To beat the normal story mode, you really don't need many of these deep mechanics as the game is relatively easy.

For challenge you have the nine traits, three different difficulty levels and once you think you're good, you also have the Vision Fields. Vision Fields remove the concept of skills, talismans and spells. You are presented with a challenge, a limited set of gem types and spells and are expected to figure the puzzle out. I still have yet to beat even a quarter of the Vision Fields. They're really challenging.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2016, 03:28:55 AM »
Creeper World and it's spiritual successor Particle Fleet: Emergence both look like very interesting takes on the TD genre to me. I'll likely pick them up sometime in the future, even though I personally despise the TD genre and everything it stands for. (Mostly because of TD games being all around mazing, which is dull and boring)

GemCraft speaks to me mostly because of it's complexity and depth. If you want to beat Endurance mode (999 waves rapidly increasing in power) you really have to understand the deep mechanics of gem crafting (pun not intended) and how gems progress in strength, how to maximize mana gains, exploit shrines and whatnot. That's what really fascinates me about the game. To beat the normal story mode, you really don't need many of these deep mechanics as the game is relatively easy.

For challenge you have the nine traits, three different difficulty levels and once you think you're good, you also have the Vision Fields. Vision Fields remove the concept of skills, talismans and spells. You are presented with a challenge, a limited set of gem types and spells and are expected to figure the puzzle out. I still have yet to beat even a quarter of the Vision Fields. They're really challenging.

Yeah, those two games don't play even remotely like normal TD games.  There's no mazing at all, for instance.  I mean, one game has liquid as your main enemy (which can get *anywhere*), and the other has a bazillion swarming particles that bounce and float all over the place and generally cover the universe in red doom.   Not to mention a total lack of restrictions on where you can build things in CW (Particle Fleet has restrictions, gotta build ships within range of an energy mine, but they're not "turrets" and are more like RTS units COVERED in turrets, so they can be sent all over the place), and the fact that you have to actually PUSH BACK; you cant just sit and kill "waves", because the stuff never ever stops coming.  You have to drill through it and take out the emitters (and other things) in both games. 

And those restrictions on building, that's another thing that often bugs me about TD games, is that in most of them, no matter what, you are absolutely not able to build things in places other than the exact spots the devs want you to.  I've always thought that was a little dumb.  So it ends up being all about these towers, but you don't get to do that many interesting things with them.  They're very static in so many games, and that's boring.  You just place them and sometimes do extremely direct upgrades.  Dull!   Gemcraft's mechanics look a heck of a lot more interesting when it comes to tower types and upgrades and such.

As it is, I've started watching through some of your tutorial videos there to get an idea as to what it's like (excellent narration, by the way).  I might pick it up in the next day or so.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2016, 05:49:06 AM »
And those restrictions on building, that's another thing that often bugs me about TD games, is that in most of them, no matter what, you are absolutely not able to build things in places other than the exact spots the devs want you to.  I've always thought that was a little dumb.  So it ends up being all about these towers, but you don't get to do that many interesting things with them.  They're very static in so many games, and that's boring.  You just place them and sometimes do extremely direct upgrades.  Dull!   Gemcraft's mechanics look a heck of a lot more interesting when it comes to tower types and upgrades and such.
Gemcraft has some measure of this as some fields (levels) have very restricted building areas. Like some levels are designed so that you can not build any towers anywhere, as all the area outside the path is unbuildable. So you're forced to use traps. This varies A LOT between levels though. Some levels are almost entirely buildable. It depends.

As it is, I've started watching through some of your tutorial videos there to get an idea as to what it's like (excellent narration, by the way).  I might pick it up in the next day or so.
Hope you enjoy! Both the videos and the games. Thanks!
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2016, 11:57:25 AM »
Eh?  Did you not mess with any of the stuff beyond the campaign, then?   The campaign is almost just an extended tutorial that teaches you about each game element... which is why it's not all that hard.  The game's real content is everything AFTER that, which is where players sometimes get AI War levels of replay hours out of it.  Particle Fleet is similar in this respect but isn't quite as robust yet.

But that's my point. The mechanics aren't satisfying enough for me to want to do that.

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2016, 05:29:31 PM »
To be honest I also consider GemCraft to be one of the best TD games, followed by Immortal Defense (which has, that much is true, 0 replayability) while in Gemcraft you have so many choices and approaches that it is really fun to experiment even on maps you already finished.

My personal "favorite" exploration map is by the way C1 where I even got to a billion points, (this 1 run put me from mage level 321 to 2400 ) and to this day I can't replicate that on any other map. Though I regularly get to wave level 300, in reality if you want to really push for a good run you have enrage waves and that always and to the extend that your defense can handle. At no point should your kill counter stop counting and this creates some really intense moments ;P

This idea of enraging waves is not found in any other TD as far as I know.

Also there is the infinite ongoing debate whether to use bloodbound or poolbound gems...  bloodbound scale quite extremely up in the later levels, where your gems have a million hits or more.. but poolbound scale much faster and heavier earlier on only to patter out late game... and "more damage" isn't what you want late game, since your crit traps and tower are the one thing that kills enemies, if you don't have special bonus boost you end up with low damage no matter what.. so yeah; gemcraft.. awesome TD ;) But sadly really bad engine.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 05:32:06 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2016, 03:58:45 AM »
I am Wizard Level 9400 ish at this point and you're right. Poolbound gems are much better early, but once you start getting into waves beyond 400 the bloodbound gem takes over due to its power curve. The Poolbound stagnates pretty hard rather quickly.

As for XP well... After a good run I'll usually scrape together at least 40 to 60 billion XP. But that does take like an entire day.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2016, 04:01:41 AM by Mánagarmr »
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Offline tombik

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2016, 06:22:54 AM »
You may take longer than other playstyles but no matter how you apporach, eventually you will win with it.

Do you mean that if you grind hard enough, every strategy is valid. This sounds like a negative to me since it will make the game similr to clicker games.

I don't think it is a good thing if my experience can be summarized as "Lose enough times to win finally". Can you elaborate more? I am about to be done with Kingdom Rush, and I would like to pick new TD I will play.

Offline Misery

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2016, 07:22:23 AM »
Hm, the whole "runs that take 10 squillion hours" bit is my own main concern with this one.  It almost sounds like this hits a position of being grindy as all hell instead of strategic after a certain point in a Disgaea-ish way.  Like, "do this dull thing for the next 20 years to advance, so that you can do it again except bigger" sort of thing.   If I'm sitting there waiting for something to happen for long periods of time (even with things sped up), something's a bit off.

If a "really long" run was like an hour or so?  That'd be very different.  But... a whole day?  That seems wonky to me.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2016, 07:46:38 AM »
Hm, the whole "runs that take 10 squillion hours" bit is my own main concern with this one.  It almost sounds like this hits a position of being grindy as all hell instead of strategic after a certain point in a Disgaea-ish way.  Like, "do this dull thing for the next 20 years to advance, so that you can do it again except bigger" sort of thing.   If I'm sitting there waiting for something to happen for long periods of time (even with things sped up), something's a bit off.

If a "really long" run was like an hour or so?  That'd be very different.  But... a whole day?  That seems wonky to me.
Depends on what you're after with the game itself. If you're simply interested in beating the story mode, or beating all levels on the hardest difficulty, playing Vision fields and whatnot, you'll be fine with an hour or two most of the time.

It's when you decided to do things the game was never designed to do that it explodes into ridiculousness. Such as beating endurance mode. Or just seeing how far you can really go. That's why I'm playing those insane length games. Though to be fair, they're mostly that long because of the horrendous lag, not really because the game really is slow.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Gemcraft Chasing Shadows has been released on Steam
« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2016, 08:29:39 AM »
Ah, I see.

Sounds more like the idea of someone getting *really* grindy with Disgaea just to power up so much that they can hit some poor peon with a 70 kersquillion damage punch.  No POINT in doing it and there's non-grind replay elsewhere but they just do it because they can and to see if they can manage it.

That makes more sense, then.  Sort of.