Lords of Xulima
 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
Numantian Games  [developer] Mar 21, 2016 @ 10:42am
The Sequel: Lords of Xulima II - Feedback
Greetings!

We are starting to sketch very slowly what the sequel of Lords of Xulima will be. We are exploring new ideas and taking all the feedback possible from the forum comments and reviews.

In this forum we would like to gather all the feedback related to Lords of Xulima. We would love to hear all your thoughts answering these three questions:

  1. Which are the elements or parts of the game you have enjoyed the most?
  2. Which have been the worst or weakest ones in your opinion? What would you change?
  3. Which new gameplay features or new ideas would you like have in the sequel?

We will update periodically this topic to summarize the more important feedback.

Please, avoid commenting or discussing other topics here as they will be deleted.

Thanks again for your help!
Last edited by Numantian Games; Mar 21, 2016 @ 10:58am
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Showing 1-15 of 343 comments
rempsv Mar 21, 2016 @ 10:56am 
Well for me the best part was the party turn based combat with the free exploration of the world.
What i missed more then anything else was item hunting.
What i mean is the fact that the loot throughout the game was essentally the same with higher numbers. No legendary loot items with story attached to them.
After boss fight i usually was disappointed with the items i found.
When i spent so many hours exploring a world , i want to be able to hunt for special items that complement a build. For me thats a huge part of the fun playing any rpg.

That being said i am very pleased with the fact that xulima 2 is in the works !
Last edited by rempsv; Mar 21, 2016 @ 10:57am
rempsv Mar 21, 2016 @ 11:05am 
One more thing i am hoping for is the complete freedom of party building.
What i mean by that is the fact that while gaulen was essential ofcourse for the story, he had so many skills that were essential for the game and only he had access to.
That he became the most boring person in the combat section. that is something that i hope will be avoided in the second installment.
I am kinda hoping that in Xulima2 the party building is more open for me to decide and experiment in.
Let's see...

I really enjoyed the early and mid game. The combat was reasonably difficult, and the exploration and other non combat mechanics were relevant and non gimmicky. The game really lost its pacing after this, mostly as a result of enemy life spiking while not being that much of a threat (particularly given the existence of Mass Regen). Also, enemy skills did not pose much of a threat past the early game, an effect that's most pronounced with elemental attacks because you could become immune and later near immune. I understand why that is, someone on Casual won't understand the defense and resistance mechanics, die in one hit then ragequit but that could be solved by making enemy skill levels and skillsets a part of the rulesets for each difficulty. Aside from scaling problems and a few overpowered skills though there is very little that I would complain about, about the only other thing is that it isn't always apparent where collision is, so looking for paths through the trees often involves running your character against the treeline until you find the openings you can walk through that look like the openings you cannot walk through.

Pretty much everything else I didn't mention is good or better. The aforementioned exploration and other non combat mechanics require you strike a balance in character building and get a wide array of abilities instead of just focusing on what does the most damage, and even the combat isn't just a damage spam fest as the various status effects are all useful both by and against you (barring resistances, of course). I liked the idea that various regions have different themes. You have the castles, mostly with humanoid soldier enemies, you have the towers with little combat but heavy on the traps and puzzles, you have the temples which are somewhere in between and loaded with undead and then you have the various outdoor areas.

As for stuff I'd be interested in seeing, let's start with the list of stuff I added, or would add if I could in Deepest Dark:

The prince's soldiers are out and actively hunting for your party as described in the game's lore, not just standing around waiting passively for you. Being humans, they only really travel during the daytime and are not active at night.
The Cursed Hounds likewise live in the forests of Xulima, and come out at night.
More day/night specific encounters in general, mostly creating an element of added risk because the night is dangerous but some dangerous enemies are diurnal as well.
More advanced/custom AI. The AI as it exists now is fairly good as long as you're not wanting it for something specific. If say, enemies could do x but only after y turns, or do x but couldn't do it again for y turns, or would do x and then powerful attack y you could make combat significantly more tactical.
Optional mini bosses in every region, significantly harder than the normal fare there, but also more rewarding.
Rare/unique/custom items (the current Xulima items being the equivilent of magic and white items).
A broader modding tool, allowing for such things as new area creation and modifing existing areas and the placement of chests/traps/fixed encounters...
Randomized traps. Say a trap that can be in one of several different places, so you don't immediately know where they all are after one run.
Mobile field enemies, think FOEs from Etrian Odyssey. They can patrol around or stand guard in a particular region or whatever, and then chase you around when they see you. Works great with the optional mini bosses, as well as the soldiers, and anyone guarding anything in general.
santi.ontanon Mar 21, 2016 @ 11:20am 
I concur with rempsv, I also missed legendary loot items. Other than that, a few things:
- speed: I missed a way to make playing faster: there was a "2x" button to make combats faster, but even that was way too slow. So, I hope for a "4x" or even "8x" button in a sequel. Most of the gameplay time was spent waiting for enemy animations to play...
- towns: all the towns were basically the same, so a bit of variety there would be nice.

But other than that, LoX was a great game! looking forward to a sequel! :)

ps: perhaps a chance to play outside Steam? (not a big fan of having to use Steam to play games...)
santi.ontanon Mar 21, 2016 @ 11:25am 
I just read Celerity's comments. I'm not sure that "moving enemies" would go along with this game genre. I'm all for keeping enemies static. The problem is that if you introduce moving enemies, then time mechanics are messed up:
- first, it would turn too much into an action game
- second, as of right now, time only passes in the game if your character moves, which is great, since you can always just stand up and go to the kitchen or anything without having to pause the game. If there are NPCs/enemies walking around, then time will have to run continuously (including consumption of food, etc.).
So, basically, I'd be careful with making the environment dynamic...
Stormfox Mar 21, 2016 @ 11:27am 
The game was generally pretty well done, but it had a few significant flaws:

Early game and general tediousness

- The early game is unneccessarily hard and tedious, with lots of backtracking and retrying at first, especially if you did not pick an optimized party. Concrete example: would it have killed you to make it so you gain a level before you enter the rat cave and roughly gain another one after completing that quest (or at the very least, after the first mushroom groups)? I have never, ever, had difficulty reaching level 2 in an RPG, not in 25 years - until this game. Oh, and the tier 2 rats have too much initiative and/or damage to be encountered at level 1.

- The food mechanic was not a bad idea in itself, but somehow, the implementation made it tedious instead of interesting. I remember you already recognizing the corn flakes field was a bad idea - but simply making food MUCH less expensive would have easily solved the problem. The "the more you buy at once, the more expensive it gets" was a cute try to make people not hoard, but it simply made it completely unattractive to buy more than one days worth of food in the early game.

- Cleansing of sticking debuffs was too problematic, too - no, going to the cleric and have yourself healed for (lots of) money is not a good solution if its possible to get the same disease again in the next combat. Also, backtracking.


Pacing

- The moment your party finally starts to become good and stops having to rest after each combat and use any exploit to feel like you can advance (grinding the guard posts before killing their princes), the moment the map finally really opened up - the game starts to drag on a bit. This fits with the general feeling of tediousness that is there from the beginning. I have nothing against a game requiring a bit of "go grind there first before you come back here", but this game feels like a steep mountain ending in an endless plateau - first you struggle to advance anywhere, then suddenly all pressure is gone and fights are simply work to be done.

- The hidden pseudorandom encounters. The concept is allright, but it should have been restricted to some "hazard zones" where it made sense, like inside the castles or deep in the wilderness. Place some more visibile mob groups instead. Additionally, the reward at the end in tandem with the stingyness of the game in the first dozen hours makes it almost mandatory to grind them out (or at the very least feels like you need to), and it takes too long (and too much senseless running in circles). Less hidden groups, less perfectly timed, more actual encounters on the map please.


Puzzles and navigation

- Navigation could be improved slightly. Including a more usable map and slightly better vision radius (alternatively, make the vision buffs of Gaulen strong and cheap to aquire). Sometimes very exact movements were required, but hard to do. In general I got a bit of a "console port" feeling when I first started the game, in that overland movement would likely have felt good with a controller, but was a bit clunky with keyboard and mouse.

- Most puzzles where allright, but a few more hints or a bit better visibility of the buttons etc. could have helped alot.

Concrete example:
The statues in the desert were extremely unclear - in both my playthroughs, I tried to solve it with the scroll clues, and had to resort to an internet walkthrough (or in the second case, my own notes) to finetune some. The colors were needlessly subtle, too. This puzzle could have been really great, and it was not hard to find out what was the game expected the player to do in general - it was just very hard to figure out HOW and what exactly to do.

Concrete example 2:
The teleporting puzzle where you have to find the name of the skull. I liked the concept of having to read the map - but that still left room for error since you could not know wether to read in rows, columns or what, and the general teleport maze was simply tedious - especially since the player very likely does not know what he is actually looking for for quite a while in there.


Mechanics

- Speed as an attribute is too powerful and almost mandatory. On the other hand, the other attributes do almost nothing besides letting you wear better equip. Energy in particular is extremely underpowered (1-2 mana is nothing AND most spells suck), but the other three are so-so, too.

- Skill balance is not good. I played with a selfmade mod most of the time that remedied that (and tweaked those modded stats a few more times while playing until they felt right). Most spells are far too expensive and wimpy at the same time compared to the mostly solid basic attacks.

- There is almost no reason to diversify skill points unless forced to (like with the offensive spells only having 5 levels and getting slowly outclassed, forcing you to level higher ones). You actually have a good basic system that lets you diversify spells and tried to use it pretty well - multiple secondary effect types, targeting restrictions, and so on. But skillpoints are too precious and a character can only use one skill on any given turn, making jacks of all trades into masters of nothing, fading into suck.
Imho, slightly less different spells that all have clear niches and not as much overlap would make this more interesting.

- Stun and Freeze are too similar. Perhaps make stuns debuff defenses instead (the enemy is tumbling around dazed from the strike and cannot concentrate on defending much).

- In the same vein, Bleed, Poison and Fire are basically the same, just with different opponents being immune to one or the other. If bleed stays roughly the same, perhaps poison could debuff in some way (weakening attacks would fit well thematically) and fire could do something similar to wounds in regards to ability use? That way, poison would basically be half dot half wound, while fire would be half dot and the other half component of wound?
Enor Mar 21, 2016 @ 11:28am 
1. To me I love party building and theorycrafting ( min/max )

2. Things I thought were bad were the following.

Items need complexity. Unique items or items with more modifiers. Effects like life/mana leech on hit. +skills. Simply put the current items were boring and dull like the guy above said.

Also skill complexity and/or balance. Some skills become obsolete in late game. Skills should scale as levels go. They should use percentages rather than flat values. No need to add stronger variants of the skills. Add more complex stuff like taunts, counters and the like for warriors. Thieves need evasive maneuver abilities like dodge or parry or setup moves that temporarily boost their critical rate. Mages need sustains. Things that they can do when they are out of mana or are conserving. Simply put they were useless 90% of the game.

3. Can't really think of any new features at the moment. Just work on what you guys already made and make it more complex I guess.


Stormfox Mar 21, 2016 @ 11:30am 
Originally posted by santi.ontanon:
I just read Celerity's comments. I'm not sure that "moving enemies" would go along with this game genre. I'm all for keeping enemies static. The problem is that if you introduce moving enemies, then time mechanics are messed up:
- first, it would turn too much into an action game
- second, as of right now, time only passes in the game if your character moves, which is great, since you can always just stand up and go to the kitchen or anything without having to pause the game. If there are NPCs/enemies walking around, then time will have to run continuously (including consumption of food, etc.).
So, basically, I'd be careful with making the environment dynamic...

I can see your concern, but I actually like that suggestion. Look to the King's Bounty series to see how to do that without it feeling "actiony". As for the time passes when you move - Legends of Eisenwald solved that pretty well, too.
Have you played EO? It is a turn based game. The FOEs do move around, but they only move when you move. That's not actionish at all. (They also move around while you're fighting, and can potentially join in combats in progress if they're close enough. That's still turn based as they get a turn every turn of combat, which could easily be global turns or their turns here.)
ukdouble1 Mar 21, 2016 @ 12:48pm 
I complete subj twice (on the highest difficulty) with different party.
1. Turn-based battles, not autoleveling open world, several original classes. Puzzlеs. Combat organized perfectly. Cursed hounds. Blesses system. Accumulated debuffs.
2. The primary stats have different priorities (gamer always must up speed at level-up, and never - constitution). Each level-up one point must be put in speed, and other - in class-profile stat (or agility, if to-hit is lower, then 80%). There is no need to think or to select.
3. Too many battles. There should be less, but they have to be more difficult and more diverse. It would be good if the player had to look for the skills and spells all over the world, but not guaranteed to get at a certain level.
In some skills can put a lot of points (20-30). Its bad motivation for gamer. It is better if the points will be less, but the value of each of the next points will be more.
Changes in the type of strike or spell at a certain level of skill.
It would be great if every class had a pair of branched promotions (such m&m9).
Items with special properties (do not allow the enemy to be treated, to move, to cast).
Brother In Arms Mar 21, 2016 @ 1:04pm 
Xulima provided a story which gave me a sense of tragedy that I had not been able to enjoy in a video game in quite some time. The chararactization may have felt a little cartoony at times (which might have been intended) but the points that the story did make about the ruthlessness of the Gods were sound and in my opinion should serve as a framework for the sequel.

As far as systems go, I thought that party progression felt just right. In the sequel I would like to see my party members interact with the world a little more and perhaps even have skills/perks based on their personalities.

Lastly, in the spirit of remaining critical I think that boss fights in this game would be far more climactic if they offered mechanics that are special to this type of encounter. I would suggest consolidating party composition a little bit then designing bosses around the tools which players have at their disposal but tend to use less. Defeating a boss should feel a bit like solving a puzzle... all the while guarding against a volley of poison-tipped arrows, naturally ;)
Stormfox Mar 21, 2016 @ 1:45pm 
Originally posted by ukdouble1:
In some skills can put a lot of points (20-30). Its bad motivation for gamer. It is better if the points will be less, but the value of each of the next points will be more.

Completely forgot to mention that during my comment further up. You are absolutely right - with a skill point influx like Xulima's, about 10 levels per skill seems a good number - no more, no less.

Enemy Unknown Mar 21, 2016 @ 2:26pm 
Lords of Xulima gave mme a rare feeling i was missing since the Masterpieces of old times. Wizardry, Die Dunkle Dimension, Ultima etc..

I would like to dive much deeper into characters creation. Skills, Talents, Traits, Perks, etc.
Best example in my life where i played almost any RPg in over 30 years, was Wizardry 7. It was already a Masterpiece for hours to create characters itself. Maybe take a look at youtube. Then you know what im swarming about. ;O)

Also i would like to thank a great Developer. Brilliant job. Realy Hard to impress me after so many years.

Also i would like to find more secrets, riddles with special items, hard to find.
A much huger map, free to explore.
And i liked somehow the food system. Just wished we could do more complex mechanism. But i doubt many woul like that.

Anyway, keep on, so or so i will blindly buy Lords of Xulima II. *bows*
??? Mar 21, 2016 @ 3:07pm 
Don't be afraid of making a shorter game. 40 hours would be perfectly fine.
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