*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^
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)
- 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.
Slight balance issues:
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.
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,
Last edited by Mr. Bator
Jul 2, 2014 @ 5:07pm