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Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Map Feedback
Story isn't grabbing me that much. "evil empire does EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL things for 0 reason"
Dude: "hey you know how human labour is extremely inefficient and resource intensive"
Dude 2: "yea"
Dude: "let's make labour that can't use tools so they're even more inefficient"
Dude 2: "but why"
Dude: "well they need slightly less food so we save there rather than trying to create an efficient operation"
Dude 2: "whew it's a good thing we're not a high-tech sci-fi empire that can create efficient digging tools"
Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Map Feedback
"like Hephaestus the flame of he's forge" needs a bit of tweaking
"to pretend interest" ->
a) to pretend to be interested
b) to feign interest
"impulse the creation of a workforce that was not a loss to the people and to the morale of the empire" I think this sentence needs a few extra words for clarity, it's missing something.
Pious and Phalanx are used interchangably, stick to 1 term.
The plural of Lyote should be Lyotes, right? Not entirely sure
M3: Miner hall has no cancel button
Given no reason to attack the empires base? Objective hasn't moved on from "find a resource location". Why do I need to destroy the gate?
Miner grunts don't get armour upgrades
"these guys are too big for maria" is repeated twice
Not sure about the gold jager and the "tank". The "tank" requires constant micromanagement to keep in front of marines, and the jagers are slow moving units that melt to any sort of sustained fire.
M2 isn't much of a mission, and M3 gives you so many resources you can lose hundreds of men to rescue 36 mutants.
Sep 24, 2018Posted in: Map Feedback
A great little map with a lot of charm. It does everything well. Especially love the variety in enemy defenses, too many maps it just feels like you're just going through harder varients of the same thing.
Minor gameplay improvements: the defending the objective enemies do need to get upgrades. The second section is just a bit too easy to steamroll, even on brutal.
Minor English improvements are still needed.
Aug 18, 2018Posted in: Map Review
The Ghost Crew is a micro campaign meant to test your skills in a restart until you succeed format. Part 1 consists of 3 well done missions and you can certainly tell a lot of effort was put into these.
Of course, there will be gameplay and minor story spoilers ahead.
- Gameplay for missions 1 and 2 is simple but fun. It's like a series of puzzle/action levels where you have to figure out the right actions in a certain amount of time. They're not massive missions and you have a good idea of how much there is left in the mission, making restarting a section feel less of a chore.
- The gameplay has reasonable breaks. Despite missions 1 and 2 on a fairly set time limit, there are plenty of lulls in the action where you can quickly make a save or start a game from replay, which is of course very helpful giving how punishing mistakes can be.
- There's a lot of minor details that improve the experience. As an example, whenever you paint a target for your mission 2 escort to attack, he'll speak one of a few voice lines before bombarding it. Bits of polish like these go a long way.
- The terrain is well made and has plenty of detail.
- The difficulty curve is well done, except for one or two places covered in the next section. You'll have casual sections that introduce you to stuff with a minor penalty for failing, then later on you'll have to do that trick again but it's harder to pull off and more devastating to fail. To again state an example, in M2 there's an area after the first objective where you're encouraged to bodyblock. There'll be a narrow area and a stream of light melee units that won't deal much damage. Later on though there'll be a place where you have to bodyblock some very deadly units, along with a minor twist to the blocking that I won't spoil.
- The 2 achievements for each mission is a great way to encourage players to challenge themselves, adding a 3rd difficulty without having to physically change the mission.
The cons. Despite it being only a little shorter than the pros list, each one of these is a lot more minor.
- Despite the project page claiming that you need to "manage your resources", all you end up doing is getting through as much as possible without using anything then blow all your charges on the hardest puzzle/a puzzle that requires charges.
- Mission 2's 7-ultras puzzles is just frustrating for achievement hunters and requires aggro drawing, something that you'll never use outside this puzzle, making it rather jarring on top of it's already hard difficulty.
- The 2 infested egg clusters feel like a Simon game except you have a second to memorize the order, and a second to destroy the eggs in the right order.
- Mission 3 pace is a little slow and the puzzles tend to be a bit duller, boiling down to "do the 3 ghosketeers go first or the 3 rays". There's not enough boundary pushing in the puzzles, I feel. Being able to "pass" the rays would have allowed for some more interesting puzzles. Felt like too much effort was put into the aesthetic rather than the gameplay.
Is The Ghost Crew worth playing?
If you want to try, try, try again and enjoy a well done map, then yes! Play this! Hopefully a 2nd part to this comes soon.
Jul 24, 2018Posted in: Map Feedback
It's a solid entry for someone starting to dip their toes into the campaign pool, but it needs some work.
The various units are cool. The attack animations/design on some of them are just mind-blowing (The Silent in particular wows me).
Think that staying at 1 unit is a bit boring. In fights you spam your abilities at the start, and just watch him autoattack. Defense was the highest note of the map because of you had to be constantly on the lookout with a number of units.
Terraining could use a bit of work as well. Flat, open terrain is useful, but provides no interesting tactical characteristics or adds any character to the map.
You've set up this mixture of Khalai/Tal'darim culture, but it's only touched upon in the f12 menu and load screen. The characters dialogue doesn't help with this, fluttering confusingly between terran-speak ("we need backup" is more terran than the classic zealot line "WE CANNOT HOLD") and generic angry-zealot-toss. Also, your lines don't need "" around them.
Boss may need an indicator for phase change, you can be bursted down if you don't expect the purification novas. Boss also needs to do more (1 easily dodgable small area doesn't cut it) and have less shield uptime.
Jun 6, 2018Posted in: Map Review
I certainly respect your preferences, but there's not much reflective of design critique.
Level design (which difficulty is a part of) is design. Heck, in some games, their design synergizes with how difficult (or easy) the game is.
Rather, here was just a bloated comment about how things were too easy for you except for that one time that they weren't because you didn't predict a hold out mission ending in quite a predictable flood-of-units kind of way like they usually do.
I feel like there's a difference between "not ending in flood of units" and "sudden tech switch" and it's kind of dishonest to brush it off like that. Watching your walkthrough, you made much of the same mistake and lost your left flank, putting yourself at 8.7k lost (and would have failed the bonus objective given an extra 30 seconds). To put it in perspective with my playthrough, I went from a loss in my first playthrough to losing 4.5k, both of which having the majority of my losses at the end. If a small amount of information (yo you need goliaths for the carriers at the end) leads to such a giant swing in outcome, there's a problem. As Starcraft is a game about imperfect information, part of designing a SC2 mission is to make sure the player gets enough information to make the right decisions (or give them time to breathe if they're expected to make the wrong ones).
WoL casual has enemy units with halved health, that's major hyperbole.
I mean I beat "The Grey" with 6 dragoons. I doubt I could do that with mid-campaign WoL missions. The Glory of Scion mission, i pushed with an incredibly small force (maybe 40 supply at most) and rushed to the end. Defenses and attack waves outside of Too Greedy and Eye to Eye are generally low.
Anyway, saying most of the gameplay is not engaging is entirely subjective at best, blatantly dishonest at worst. Easy and Interesting are not mutually exclusive of each other.
I agree that in many cases, Easy and Interesting aren't mutually exclusive. I did enjoy the Moloch puzzles, simple as they were. However, the core of Starcraft is such that you do generally need some difficulty in order to make a macro game interesting (or, at the very least, the ability to lose the mission). And the missions themselves indicates that the team wanted gameplay with some attrition with the amount of resources it gives you. Momento Mori gives you 5 expansions, for example. 2 expansions is basically lategame, and they give you more than twice that. Does that mission require that much? Not even close. Look at your 5k mineral bank and 2k vespene bank in your walkthrough.
You may also want to avoid saying stuff like "this was good, but I have low standards" when trying to sell your viewpoint.
I don't think I'm very good at recognizing a good story and want to avoid overpraising something I don't have skill with.
That being said, I'm not blindly tone policing. I do agree with the point you made that bosses having too much health. To followup on that, the stakes could be higher such that the player can't take as many hits, especially on higher difficulties, and/or removing the tips explaining what all the enemy abilities do. I do recall a bit of backtracking in the first Terran mission to collect bonus objectives, but otherwise am not sure where else.
I also liked the puzzles during the Moloch mission, that was easily the majority of the playtime.
The puzzles were certainly one of the better parts of TiC.
Avoiding detectors was easy and they could probably just move a bit faster to compensate, but that was just to bridge small gaps between stuff, like you mentioned.
The hotkey UI changes could be underappreciated, but they outright change the way heroes are used in a simple, concise way that reduces garbage clicks, which most RTS's suffer from. There's a lot of potential there for any other creators to consider using this system with multiple spellcasters.
The downside of TiC's hero system is you get rid of 3-4 ability heroes for 1-2 abilities per hero, which can take away from a hero's theme.
In closing (TL;DR): DO NOT PLAY Thoughts in Chaos if you are TChosenOne, I wish I could have written this before it was too late! The man knows what he likes and that is a wonderful thing; I genuinely hope he finds more of what he is looking for because more and different stuff is good stuff. DO PLAY Thoughts in Chaos if being maximally challenged is not your top/only priority as an RTS player because practically every other aspect is quite polished - the quality is multifaceted from many angles - and you will likely enjoy the ride.I absolutely agree with a lot being polished. I just wish the gameplay outside of the "new" stuff got the same attention everything else did.
May 25, 2018Posted in: Map Feedback
In reply to TChosenOne:Lol.Here's the thing: I wanted it to feel like an accomplishment when you destroy the hives, so I might have overdone it with the attack waves.Idea on how to fix this?well, it wasn't really much of an accomplishment to snipe hives, as you can run your mutas around most of their defenses.
May 10, 2018Posted in: Map Review
Thoughts of Chaos is the epic conclusion to The Antioch Chronicles, a large-scale custom campaign. TiC weaves together a narrative made by many different characters from different faction and have them slowly converge until the finale. It features acceptable voice acting (the protoss voices will grow on you, and it gets better in later missions), and quality editor work (terraining, models, etc), as well as a well done and entertaining story (despite the ending being too cliche) by my admittedly low standards.
However, any fun that one would normally get from the story is instead leeched away by 110% mediocre gameplay, which mostly seems like a way to pass the time between story segments rather than engaging and enjoyable.
The gameplay, first and foremost, suffers from slow pacing. There's plenty of long winded backtracking through empty and very weakly defended areas in both macro and micro missions. Here's an example: TiC has a stealth mission, reminiscent of HotS' ship infiltration mission. However, instead of combat, you're greeted with (admittedly well-thought out) puzzles, halfhearted enemy detection patrols (you don't interact with the guards other than just walking out of their zones), and halfhearted kill defenseless, undefended structure to progress. It got to a point where I tried to break the monotony by attacking some random guards and escaping the detectors gaze. This gets back to what I previously said about "waiting x minutes", you're moving through the ship for a certain duration to get to the next puzzle, enjoyable gameplay be damned.
Difficulty, like many aspects of gameplay, didn't seem to get much thought either. "Hard" in TiC means "WoL casual". Many hero units are broken, and with minimal micro they can multiply a small force's effectiveness by tenfold. Many missions can be beat by getting 10-20 units and just steadily rolling across the map. But in two missions it's very, very, hard, unless you understand the correct choices you need to beat the mission (which would require editor diving or some really lucky guesses). Of course, such information is only going to come to you once you lose the mission once. As an example, there's a holdout that features extremely high tech ground units (archons, reavers, ultralisks) with a few air superiority fighters and dropships. Suddenly, on the last few waves, the mission throws the curveball of 2 carriers (capital ships) per wave. Hopefully you built enough anti-air that you couldn't know that you'd ever use. If there had been any hint in an earlier wave, I would have enjoyed the mission. It was on my skill level, a nice terran holdout with some interesting twists. Due to not seeing any indication, I fortified my tank line and suffered, and lost a lot of .
Bosses have HUMONGOUS HP bars, backed up by tiny amounts of damage so that phase transitions, many of which are accompanied a cutscenes or "action pauses", are played a significant duration apart (have to have SOME space between emotional moments). Combine this with high cooldown abilities, and I had trouble staying alert during boss battles, as rarely they did anything cool, interesting, or required effort to dodge.
In closing (TL;DR): DO NOT PLAY Thoughts in Chaos if you're looking for a campaign that gives you something to do. If you must see the story because you've seen the first two (and you should see TiC in that case), use cheats (i.e."move" or "god") or watch Jayborino's videos to avoid interacting with the gameplay as much as possible.
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