Sins of a Dark Age > Archive 2 > Topic Details
Mr. Bator Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:01pm
Some feedback
*SODA(How I say it in my derp brain) = SOADA = Sins of a Dark Age*

Hey, I like the game and though it seems development is mostly over I have some feedback on gameplay and an example of balance issues. I tend to be long winded so I was planning on splitting it up into bitesize sections. (sorry)

The reason I play and quit all moba games: The only reason I saw and bought this game was because its been too long since league released a new champion. I quit dota because of the limited champion pool. I don't play dawngate because of limited shapers (though I watch for updates daily). I can honestly say I have played every character and have a intermediate or above understanding in all their kits in every moba I have played. Grax was the most interesting characters of any game and alas they failed and no longer exist. This game feels like a direct upgrade to that game.

If you have a limited champion pool it does not make your game "easier to get into" it makes your game "boring" MOBA games shouldnt be about leagues and pros, should be about fun.

You want my constant undivided money?
Make interesting non-cookie cutter characters. But never stop, crank them out of a realistic pace.

^Do that, You have all my money^

Background:
While I was late into the MOBA genre (I was playing starcraft back in dota 1 days) Once I caught on I made up for lost time. League, Battle for Graxia, Prime World, Dota, Dota2, Dawngate, Smite, a TON of large half-made mods. I feel like each game has a specific appeal to them. I love them all in a way and feel very little bias for one over another.

Soda:I wanted to start with a pro and con list of my favorite features and least favorite aspects.

The Good (Greatest to least):

-Skillsets, I love the fact that everyone feels unique, I couldnt care less if there is a dota or league cloned hero/champion. If its fun and balanced it should be here but they should ALWAYS be unique. The only big issue I had with dota is how similar gameplay goals are between almost all heroes.Example: I love how Lord Dekain can miss a Q and still use it to harass via minion swapping (Which is feel is a nod to Malzhars E, very interesting ability) and then have additional harass with a non-skillshot damage spell.

-THE ART! I love how Medieval and basic the art is (While detailed it is also clear and concise). War machines, Tons of Stone, Soldiers. It feels like you took the more relatable approach smite did with their minion/god theme and made it feel even more natural to an RTS player and second nature to a RPG player.

- I feel like soda takes the preplanning from league, having stratgems and tactics outside of battle is a perk for me, as I love to think about games while I am at work or not at the computer. Levels, Items, "runes" or "masteries" are all great fun.

- Night/day system was great in dota, so much complexity can be added and it just has great value.

-Laning phase is long (at least in the games I play), This puts more value in learning individual...I hesitate to use the word "dueling" or "skill" but it puts more emphasis on working to get your goals while giving your team plenty of time to rescue you if your lane is going bad.

-Steam market, being able to make some money off the game via the market increases my will to invest in the game. If I know I can drop ten bucks on the game and be able to recoup 25% of that it is much easier to reason shelling out money (Unlike league or smite where you buy a skin and your out)

The Cons:
- Restrictions. This is very sensitive to me and I almost quit playing when I discovered the numerous restrictions on vamp items and ratios...Item builds are something we can have a hand in, a way we can control and be a part of the game. Limiting AP to 500 is a TERRIBLE choice, the player should decide not to stack pure AP items because there are more interesting item choices. Balance should be played on your ratios not by restricting your items,

-Quests are a mess. There have been quite a few games I have lost because my team ran off to do a quest when we were ahead and just needed to push a rune. Quest rewards should have a more direct impact on the lanes to give a reason to do them.

Having them push a lane, or add new units, make an earthquake under enemy towers, make walls the enemy has to break. Adding a new item (even something like Aegis) might win a teamfight but kills dont win and leaving that to a team to decide mid game causes more conflict than fun.

-Teamfight confusion. Learning the game its really hard to figure out who is doing what, and looking at tooltips takes time. More interesting looking abilities would fix that, I swear there are like 4 ultimates that look waay too similar.
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Slight balance issues:

Examples:
Mages are all similar in ratios, yet some abilities are more difficult to hit, some are damage over time.

1. My favorite example is always Dekain because he is such an interesting character but almost personifies SODA as a game. He has a ton of great abilities that share little synergy.

-His Q has 100% ratio, its difficult to hit and is DoT which justifies its ratio. Adds a mark.
-His W Silences, does similar base damage with a lower ap ratio, adds a mark.
-His E travels to everyone who is marked. Every several auto attacks adds a mark.

His passive, slows and does damage over time at 3 marks. This seems tacked on, its repetitive you already have a Q that does DoT and the slow is not helpful being to hit your passive you need an AA, a Q, and a W, which leaves you your Q off CD and non plague autoattack.

Passive would be so much more interesting if you took the DoT off and added a small slow that increases with every stack, and then used your E to CONSUME the marks for extra damage therby bringing the entire kit into synergy and serving a purpose.

Instead of a DoT mage mixed with a Utility abilities but AA damage. You now have a DoT disruptor that is a huge threat to a teamfight, but easily countered with a healer/shield and bad dueling potential. A little focus goes a long way.


Skala <-> Khagas

As it stands, in my opinion: Skal is a DoT carry and Khagas is a burst-bonus carry.

Endgame they (carries) are mostly the same, but laning should be a bit more interesting. Skala sounds awesome but in lane her skills are secretly bland.

Skala sounds like she should be hunting the enemy down coming up with advanced tactics to get an enemy to commit and then be able to walk away while the enemy doesnt even know they have died. Isnt the the sole appeal in DoT?

However I feel like she could be perfected with just a few changes bleed damage reduced but on every hit (Does [bonus] every [#th} hit. Is overused in SODA anyway) and when they are bleeding they should leave a trail so if they run into the jungle you can hunt them down. These hits provide item synergy and though slight make the coveted "Minigame status" And as mentioned earlier these two ultimates are VERY similar in appearance.The itemization here should be an on-hit and an AS carry but the reality feels much different. Interesting Character Resource I would love tons of unique character mechanics,(I would love for people to say: Dota was first, league is more cartoony, Smite was 3D, but Soda has deep and interesting skillsets) A few examples in other games being: Mordekaiser (from league: No mobility, the more damage you do the more shield you get. The shield being limited and time sensitive so you have to use all your AoE abilities to build shield and use your ultimate to focus down a strong AD champion. Lord Dekains Q/ Malzhar E, using minion hopping to harass the enemy safely almost feels like a minigame in itself and opens a lot of tactics and strategy. Bounty Hunter R (Dota2), Being a ganker who rewards his team through an additional bounty system, makes you feel like your hunting someone down, tracking them, going in for the kill. again it feels like a little minigame in itself. Mina (dawngate)/Lifestealer(dota), Mina as a support that can actually enter an ally it allows for a lot of options and allows for quite a bit of counter play in a lane. While not adding any sort of "minigame mechanic" it does allow for a completely different feeling in lane. Closing: While this is long winded and terribly long I feel like its incomplete, these are all kind of the most potent and relevant of my thoughts though it feels fragmented here. I hope the points I was trying to make reach through and I really hope to see some of these main points continued/addressed. If character development increases and they are as fun and interesting as the current pool I will be switching to SODA as my main moba and encouraging all my friends to give it a fair chance. Thanks for the time, MB
Last edited by Mr. Bator; Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:07pm
Showing 1-11 of 11 comments
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Mr. Bator Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:03pm 
Eh for some reason steam is ignoring my editing tags and spacing at the end, Even steam thinks I need to stfu. Sorry!
Last edited by Mr. Bator; Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:04pm
Ekko Tek Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:29pm 
"-Quests are a mess. There have been quite a few games I have lost because my team ran off to do a quest when we were ahead and just needed to push a rune. Quest rewards should have a more direct impact on the lanes to give a reason to do them."

Quests aren't a mess, just new players don't understand how they fit into the flow of the game or when to do them and when to skip them or which heros to best use, how to coordinate, etc. There are plenty of quest rewards that do have a direct impact on the lanes. Tower Siege, Divine Lost Army, Raise your Gryphon, and Necromancer's Bargain all have direct impacts on lanes and help your team to push the lane.

On the carries part, Khagas has more of an anti-carry skillset over Skalla and Torrace - with his Blind and ultimate he usually comes out on top, everything else being equal. Skalla also functions pretty much as you described already, with increased move speed to chase down bleeding targets - I can't remember at the moment if there is a visual of blood on the ground to track down as well - that would be a cool touch, although it might be dependent on people's graphics settings as well.
Mr. Bator Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:41pm 
On the subject of quests, thats exactly what I mean in a game where most communication is done via typing people just ping and do random stuff or have conflict over it. Unless of course you are premade which I dislike. I like to meet and enjoy new people and creating an environment that doesnt permeate toxic behavior through confusion. MOBA games already have stress factor adding freedom AND confusion is a bad combo.

Though I can see your point on the lane perks of doing certain quests, I did not really think of those in that regard.

Perhaps the quest system should be a little more clear or perhaps its just going to be a skill cliff, but as a game trying to bust into a saturated market those should be avoided I would think.

Mostly these features for the carries are about fun factor more than balance and they are tweaks more than gameplay changes. The blood trail while yeah would be cool, also adds a lot of tactical elements.
Rygel  [developer] Jul 2, 2014 @ 11:26pm 
Thank you for the feedback Mr. Bator, this post has been passed along to the design team.

I would like to let you know, however, in response to your comment about wanting to have more heroes be released. We are definitely planning on having a large number of heroes for our game, we have some new heroes currently in development, and a lot of our released heroes are still not fully locked down in terms of design and their kits and there may be some balance passes as well as some kit tweaks to make them better. So be sure to keep an eye out for those changes (we've already taken a lot of the feedback we've received from players and considered them when making changes to various things such as some of our heroes, quests, and even the entirety of our User Interface)

As we're still in Early Access however, we are focusing on making the game as a whole as solid as possible so that we have as great a foundation to build upon as possible. So that may be one reason you might feel our hero development is slower than you would like it to be.

We are also wanting to make sure that any new heroes we release are as well designed, fun to play and well balanced as possible, so it takes a while to ensure their quality is as high as possible. This also goes for other aspects of our game design, such as quests, maps and game modes, we will be putting in a lot of effort to make sure that when we go out of Early Access, all aspects of our game is as fun and interesting as possible and is of the highest quality.

As for your other concern about restrictions in our game, I am not sure where you saw any restrictions on things like hero attributes, but I would like you to know that almost every single one of our hero attributes (such as Attack Power which you mentioned above) has no maximum set on it (the only limiting factor is your inventory space). The only exceptions to this is Cooldown Reduction for your abilities, and your Attack Speed, (and these were introduced mainly for game balance purposes to keep the game as fun as possible for everyone playing). We actually highly encourage our players to experiment with heroes, roles and item builds, and seeing what people come up with.

This is one of the main reasons we have the Hero Kit system, as it allows players to customize their favorite heroes to better fit into their prefered playstyles. This customizability and adaptability to your prefered playstyle is one of the many things that I feel will keep players (myself included) having fun and enjoying SOADA for a really long time.
Overmind29 Jul 2, 2014 @ 11:45pm 
I have to disagree with one thing : Pace of releasing new heroes.

First of all - this is early acess beta so you cannot expect to get a new hero every week.

Also if you left League with a reason : "they havent released a new champion in too long" i dont think you will ever find a ARTS (MOBA) for you since the newest champion is only couple of weeks old there O.o
For DotA - yes you willl eventually learn all heroes, but that is the point of a game - to learn and get better, not to be caught in never-ending learning circle because they are throwing new heroes to the pool every few weeks => they did this in HoN back in its days - they had a fixed time (i think it was 3 weeks) and after that they always released a new hero - it lead to massive confussion and extremely bland and unoriginal heroes + various balance issues so they had to stop eventually. Which is a main reason why DotA is taking so much time before adding new heroes... with the amount already in game it is quite hard to add original ones to the game while keeping them balanced as well.
Last edited by Overmind29; Jul 2, 2014 @ 11:47pm
Mr. Bator Jul 3, 2014 @ 5:34am 
Thanks for the response!
Thats great news, I was very scared of having a limiting pool of Characters. Take your time, I am in no rush as long as there is no end in sight.

There may be a bug then, as in no item combination can I get my AP higher than 500 exception being buffs/consumables. I will spend some time working on this to see if it is still true or if I can reproduce the issue.

@Overmind My leaving is not the same as quitting, its more of a rotation. When I learn the new league champion and a play a hundred or so games playing different champions then I move on to dota for a few token matches and kind of do a circuit.

To me Dota is like a linear RPG where as league is more of a mmo. Dota you come in and play, its great, its reliable, its fun. League is always new, sometimes more fun sometimes less, but always a new and interesting challenge.


Thanks again for your feedback everyone, thanks for your time Rygel and any of the dev team that got dragged over here :-D
manny the veric king Jul 3, 2014 @ 6:13am 
I'm sort of a Lol noob, so I get confused about AP/AD/SP/ etc.

Regardless, I did some testing for fun:

Items: Onslaught Blade, Heartseeker, Shatterstorm, Axe of Oblivion, Hungering Blade, Rageborn Claws (+335 Attack Power)

On some of the heavy hitters, the max attack power at level 15 (not including temp buffs):

Drengar: 460
Khagas: 433
Grugg: 461
Torrace: 433
Vallamere: 442
Bataar: 438
Slivus: 446
Skalla:433

Basically, it's 335+the hero's base attack power plus attack power from being level 15.

There are just literally not enough inventory spots to get more than 335 Attack Power through items alone (might be a bit higher with the Adventurer's Bow with quest wins and the Essence of Savagery. Maybe Drengar has an edge with his E or Grugg with his passive as well.)

That being said, even a caster like Atasha with the same items has an attack power of 430.

With Special power:

Items: Tulaan's Arcane Gambit, Orza's Soul net (full charge), Rush of Insight, Demonic Pact, Arcane Reaver, Wizard Scepter (+ 826 special power)

Whether it's Atasha, Dekain, or Drengar or Skalla. Each hero has 826 Special power with the above items since special power is gained from items and buffs only. (748 or so with no Orza Soul charge.)

As for vamp and lifesteal, there are no literal caps, just a limited amount of items.

Max lifesteal I think is 87%.

Max spell vamp is I think 60%.

Armor pen has a hard cap of 100%, but all the armor pen items in game amount up to 40% scalar armor pen and 35 flat armor pen.

40%/45 for magic pen.

Fancy super items are limited to 1 for balance. Having 6 Axe of Oblivions would be . . . nuts heh.

(Just for fun: 6 Axes of Oblivion would hypotheticallly be 100% crit chance on every hit dealing 380% damage and +270 attack power. In other words, each time Skalla would hit with a basic attack would cause something like 1500 damage. The game just isn't balanced for something crazy like this. In actuality, only one Critical hit damage item[soada.wikia.com] can be equipped at a time)

(Note: It is possible I may have added wrong. Also, I used the wiki to add up all the hypothetical damage numbers, so they might also be wrong)
Last edited by manny the veric king; Jul 3, 2014 @ 6:34am
ChibiCthulhu Jul 3, 2014 @ 7:36am 
Originally posted by Mr. Bator:
-Quests are a mess. There have been quite a few games I have lost because my team ran off to do a quest when we were ahead and just needed to push a rune. Quest rewards should have a more direct impact on the lanes to give a reason to do them.

Currently pushing lanes and killing enemies that split away from their team gives you more advantage then doing quests. I already talked with devs and told them that, and they said they'll keep improving quests and make them worth doing. They used to be great when you would get a huge damage buff if you win 2 quests, but sadly they removed that.

Originally posted by Mr. Bator:
-Teamfight confusion. Learning the game its really hard to figure out who is doing what, and looking at tooltips takes time. More interesting looking abilities would fix that, I swear there are like 4 ultimates that look waay too similar.

I don't agree with anything you said here. It's quite easy to learn all the skills enemies have and how does each of them look like. I weren't confused about anything when I was new to the game, and I'm not confused now.

Originally posted by Mr. Bator:
As it stands, in my opinion: Skal is a DoT carry and Khagas is a burst-bonus carry.

Endgame they (carries) are mostly the same, but laning should be a bit more interesting. Skala sounds awesome but in lane her skills are secretly bland.

Skala sounds like she should be hunting the enemy down coming up with advanced tactics to get an enemy to commit and then be able to walk away while the enemy doesnt even know they have died. Isnt the the sole appeal in DoT?

However I feel like she could be perfected with just a few changes bleed damage reduced but on every hit (Does bonus every hit. Is overused in SODA anyway) and when they are bleeding they should leave a trail so if they run into the jungle you can hunt them down. These hits provide item synergy and though slight make the coveted "Minigame status"

And as mentioned earlier these two ultimates are VERY similar in appearance.The itemization here should be an on-hit and an AS carry but the reality feels much different.

Skalla is burst (nuke) ranged ADC with DoT as a bonus. Khagas is anti-carry ADC.

Skalla already feels like a bloodthirsty hunter. If you read her skills you'd know that she gets a bonus movement speed when moving towards bleeding targets, plus if she activates her E she can see enemies even when they go into bushes or stealth. Making it impossible to hide from her and hard to escape.

And their ultimates aren't "VERY" similar. She throws a javelin with a rope that she uses to pull enemy back, Khagas shoots an arrow. They look different, effects are different. You can't possibly get confused there.
Last edited by ChibiCthulhu; Jul 3, 2014 @ 7:43am
Overmind29 Jul 3, 2014 @ 8:54am 
Originally posted by Mr. Bator:
Thanks for the response!
To me Dota is like a linear RPG where as league is more of a mmo. Dota you come in and play, its great, its reliable, its fun. League is always new, sometimes more fun sometimes less, but always a new and interesting challenge.

Heh its interesting how we are doing exactly the opposite thing xD iam occasionally playing LoL when i get tired of DotA xD And it feels exactly the way you described but vice-versa xD for me LoL is always the same. Especially in ranked when you are forced by your team to pick same champions over and over or risk being reported as troll and flamed whole game. Also the setup : safe lane - carry+supp, mid - mage, solo - tank, jungle - bruiser / assasin, gets really boring after few games and its mandatory since your team will go nuts if you try breaking it or will just leave. (iam sorry i cannot say if it gets better after Gold rank but i seriously doubt it)
Mr. Bator Jul 3, 2014 @ 12:42pm 
Ah thank you manny! It was either operator error or just a bug I encountered, I am beyond happy about this information. Please disregard any of that drivel I said about limits, that is fantastic news.

-Chibi What I suggested was a blood trail effect on bleeding targets and getting rid of the every Nth attack passive with the exact same balance doing it on every hit. Every Nth attack seems very over used. I never said her kit was not geared that way, I said these simple additions would be a direct and balanced improvment.

As for their ultimates, when you have 9 other people doing things at once a thin line moving over the screen looks similar. There has been many a patch note about making abilities look different in the top mobas its a win win all across the board. Maybe you just have a way bigger monitor than me :-D

-Overmind I understand what you mean, that is one of the reasons I dont play ranked anymore. I have nothing to prove, I am good if someone plays against me they will notice that win or lose. So ranked holds little appeal to me.

Lately since the Yasou release youll get an AD Regen Tank top, AD yasou mid, AD jungle, ADC. The support meta is evolving with the new support items so burst mages are being accepted into the fold, I say this to explain a bit of the mentality of their community.

In this AP Tristana (who is known as an ADC) is my favorite support for this meta. She has insane AP ratios (1.0(100%) on her E, 1.45(145%) on her ultimate, her escape/intiation goes off CD as soon as she gets a kill.

The new support item gives gold ever tick with her DoT 100% AP E, Every time she uses it she gets max gold every time its off CD. She can jump behind enemy carry ultimate her (which pushes the enemy) into your carry/tower and it allows your carry to either get the kill or your E to finish her if she gets away from your carry.

Every single game I get leavers and flamers, yet people will come in with outdated and nearly useless S1 supports. Its all about following the pro scene and the NA pros are safe. Its a damn shame, and the reason I am SUPER excited about SODA!


In this sense I understand what you mean, but I play MOBAs with my wife, so in dota we have had litterally almost every lane combo so either the loose meta mentality loses its appeal fast. (Out of all my combos, the Disruptor/Axe combo is insanely good if your premade so you can win early) I agree with you so hard!
Overmind29 Jul 3, 2014 @ 4:36pm 
its kind of refreshing to see even a mainly LoL player to admit such thing :-)
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Date Posted: Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:01pm
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