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12TailsOnline
Devious Malefactor Dec 10, 2013 @ 8:15am
My Thoughts After Playing
For those who are wondering how to sign up, I played following this guide: http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/discussion/143741206/846955554659464020/

I'm on Mepiea
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I really like this game. It's simple, easy to learn, hard to master, and incredibly difficult.

The game is heavily focused on cooperative play. I think playing solo is nearly impossible. At the same time, I cannot read Thai so that makes it harder to form plans with the team. So if anyone wants to hop into this game head first, be prepared to be roadblocked as early as the 3rd mission (1-3).

Combat varies between characters and is hard to master for each one. Things get better as you progress to level 10 and start unlocking better gear. However, the game is punishingly difficult. Often enemies will do as much damage, if not more, to you than you do to them. This is one of few MMOs where you are just as fragile as the enemies you fight, which is why cooperation and planning is such a big deal. Figuring out the lockon system is a big importance, as skills will strike way off target and leave you open if not properly aimed. Most, if not all, skills are like this and are dependent on manual aim or lock.

Speaking of skills, skills are cast using MP, SP, or both and are followed by a cooldown. MP restores over time and SP restores as you attack. The costs are rather merciful as you start, but become more extensive as you use higher ranked versions of the skill.

All good things aside, I'm going to mention some things that really made playing this game difficult - Not including the language barrier because that's just the price you pay for early access. There's only 2 small things, aside from the brutal difficulty and getting roadblocked every other mission.

First off, I dislike the softlock system. Instead of being based on character or camera facing direction, it's based of cursor position. I normally keep my camera constantly scrolling so I can see around me and lock onto targets quickly - which makes the cursor disappear and softlocking a blind endeavour.

Second, you cannot switch servers after entering in the game. You'll have to close the game and boot it back up to switch servers or create new characters. Note: Characters are stored only on the server you created them on.

Last, hits knock characters back - Sometimes out of or into attack range. This is a HUGE issue for me while playing Panda especially when you consider the unreliable locking system. I'd often end up pushing the enemy outside of my combo, leaving myself exposed. On the other hand, sometimes the enemy ends up pushing me into their combo because the first hit knocked me back into the attack range that I was stepping out of.
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KablamoBoom Dec 20, 2013 @ 1:02pm 
The locking system has always been somewhat of an issue, though after enough play you start to understand it better and use it less. It doesn't sound like you've played a Chameleon yet - they were hit the hardest by the flaws, as they actively can't hit things they're locked onto if the target is moving to the left or right. To be fair, the devs have changed this quite a bit since the game first came out. If this really is too much of a bother, the Rabbit's Headshot skill is virtually instantaneous, and almost never misses a moving target, provided you can aim.

Panda is considered one of the most obnoxious classes to play for the reason you described. The common strategy is to build mostly VIT and actively stand inside enemies when attacking them. Yes, this horrifies me to as far as collisions go, but let's keep in mind this game was made by four people. The wolf's forward-slicing skill is just as bad, and it will often cause him to dash through or past enemies, meaning you only hit them with one or two of the four swings. The best solution I know is to simply not use it except on bosses.

Server switching becomes an issue only when you start getting into guilds. With such a sparse collection of English-speaking players spread out over all the servers, this became impossible. However, simply joining the international server seems like it'd make the most sense. Why join multiple?

MP and SP are perhaps the most brilliant aspect of the game. Because you can still use skills of a lower level, and can still map them to hotkeys, if your stats haven't raised your minSP or maxMP high enough for certain skills to be worthwhile you can still cast lower levels of any skill.

Glad you enjoyed the better parts of the game though! The biggest challenge, and the reason most of us EARLY early access people stopped playing years ago was the difference in time zones. Understanding Thai isn't a must, but you'll pick up a lot rather quickly in my experience. The biggest issue is the game population doesn't start kicking until super early in the morning, and as you pointed out many of the missions REQUIRE multiple people.

A friend and I found that with certain characters, builds, and exploits, you can actually solo missions up until about the third or fourth set. It simply requires a disgusting amount of grinding and knowing all the cheapest exploits for each mission. The english 12Tails wiki can help with this, but I'd say wait for the game to hit steam then start searching for other players in your country. Also note, the game is freakishly difficult, and many enemies are designed to kill you before you can kill them. Often the point of a mission is simply to get through without a fight. WHAT? Whose nut-brained idea was this!? Missions that don't require killing something - unheard of! Then you grind through the "protect the X" missions for lots of experience until you can get through the next challenging mission. I believe the wiki also highlights which missions are best for EXP, potion, and resource grinding.

Enjoy!
Last edited by KablamoBoom; Dec 20, 2013 @ 1:07pm
Devious Malefactor Dec 20, 2013 @ 2:02pm 
That's pretty much what I came to find out through playing the game and browsing the wiki. I even found myself grinding 1-1 with friends until we got to level 13. As you said, the combat system becomes less of a burden as you use it.
Sprinko Ringo Jan 25 @ 3:28pm 
I'll use this discussion thread to talk about my own experiences with this game as well, since I just completed the story. I played using a Rabbit, with assists from a Penguin in later parts of the game. Meawhile, a friend tagged along with me, with a Rabbit/Sheep/Mole until he stopped playing at the end of the 7th chapter.

At this point, I got used to all of the targetting and controls. I can echo the complaint about using combos too much to the point of dashing past an enemy; it happens a lot with my Cat, and as a result I just make sure I deal out the right number of hits before running back (I'm fragile anyway). The targetting (and the overall general weak state for which your character starts off with) definitely convinced me to switch to Rabbit and aim my shots with range rather than put myself in front of another Fatbug and get maimed. I can also echo the statement that regular shots with the Rabbit flat out don't work if your enemy is moving anywhere to the side, so I relied on aimshot for much of the early game.

When it comes to soloing, I've found ranged classes in general to be great for early-game. Fences are everywhere, enemies do nothing but walk to you or throw projectiles at you, and HP is a very tight resource. All this amounts to you running behind cover to ensure they don't get to you. Instead of putting yourself in harm's way to attack them, just sniping them one by one past the fence/cliff. This will work for pretty much half the game. After that, enemies start packing spells, fences start disappearing, and goals start becoming less straightforward.


It should be noted that towards the end of the game, I've seen every class do well in the team situations I've been in. Some classes start worse off than others (having to wait 2 seconds to cast a 24-damage Frozen Blast with Penguin at level 5 was one of the most discouraging things I ever experienced in this game), but they all get to a playable, and entertainingly abusable state eventually (Penguin at level 25 can now cast Frozen blast in half a second, does around a hundred damage, for less cool-down, and can do it THREE TIMES AT ONCE thanks to Triple Cast).

I'd say things start becoming manageable for every class at the mid 10's. Some classes will still have to depend on a partner or group, but at least won't feel like deadweight. At around the mid 30's, people start getting the notion of a combo here or there. Most notably, a mission in that level range is a common grinding spot, where you'll see some ultimate skills just pop out.

In that sense, progression is very satisfying if not partially attributed to the fact that your character starts off so weak, slow, and skill-less. Even so, the game does not let up on its difficulty. I knew this game was going to be hard from the moment I died at the tutorial, but it's another thing when I find myself feeling the same amounts of fear/danger/frustration in 12/5 as I did in 3/6. I've played numerous games that I would call "hard" that would thrash you at the beginning but get softer later on simply because you caught on and could exploit the game mechanics more effectively. In this game, it felt like the reverse, with exploitable methods slowly eroding away the farther you got in the game (I miss my fences...), and you're constantly pressed to find new methods of coping. The only thing that really solves all problems is teamwork. This really becomes important the farther in you go.

At about the 6th chapter onwards, people start cluing in to the game's flow, and missions get separated into two distinct groups: training missions, and "passage" missions. What this amounts to is that tons of people will gravitate to specific missions that give high amounts of EXP. Even though most of these missions involve hordes of enemies, they randomly make or join rooms anyway because they know there's enough other people online to find a pickup group with. Even when they know they CAN'T win, they'll probably still start a mission because the EXP they get from killing what they can will still be substantial. For example, you will see TONS of people on 7/3, and people usually train on that mission until diminishing EXP returns kick in, at which point they move on to 8/6. Whenever I stay up late on weekends, I can count on other people being there to team up with.

However, other missions that everyone isn't spending all their time on grinding are known as "passage missions". People usually complete them once, and then just leave them alone. When you get to the higher chapters where all missions require teamwork to get through (or at least an overleveled tag-along), you can find yourself stuck on certain missions even though your level allows you to missions as far ahead as the next chapter. Finding someone that will help you in these situations is tricky. Especially since everyone else is in a different timezone. Especially since everyone else speaks Thai. Especially since there are naturally less people on the higher chapters than there are on lower ones. And very much especially if the level in question is so notoriously hard that the very utterance of the word makes people flee in terror (I'm looking at you, 9/6). It helps if you're a support class like Sheep, though. Those garner so much attention as the ones that need help passing because they're so reliant on teams. :P

That being said, there have been times where people who knew enough english would just ask you if you wanted some levels (e.g., take you along to level with) or if you "want me to pass this level for you". The community can be very kind. That's how I eventually got through stages all the way up to the final boss. The final boss itself, in fact, was passed for me. The party members tagging along with me also ended up dying in the first few minutes and ended up leaving it up to the pro to pass it for them. I personally feel that something is wrong here, though, when the game makes it ideal for people to skip its content in this way.

Despite a number of missions being essentially skipped for me because they were too hard to complete alone (and too trivial when you got the right overleveled player to do it for you), I still had many memorable experiences with the missions that I did go through "legitly". You may be surprised to hear that in the late-game, I had the most fun in the group grinding missions I did with random others. The reason is that at this point, teamwork is a straight necessity by which the right actions will depend on which animals you're working with, and by which making the right choice gives a result as different as night and day. It may be connected to the fact that I ran all these missions as a Doctor (buff allies as a primary role, heal/debuff/distract enemies as a secondary role, with a TF2-style medic gun), but through repeated plays, I came to understand the needs and advantages of other classes I was playing with. I would know to always keeping my eyes on the Sheep, to make sure they don't get chased to death, resulting in us losing our reviver. I would know to prioritize my SP buffs on the Bats and Cats of the group, so they'd be able to open with their ultimate skills. I would know to activate my potion-spamming skill in situations where no healer joined up, as despite that resulting in me burning out on MP, it would prevent other players from dying and us losing momentum.

I would also see other classes progressively get smarter with each grinding mission I stepped up on. Sheeps that know what they're doing will cast Illuminate on me consistently to ensure I don't burn out my MP. Cats whom I give all my boosts to will know to use their often-useless skill "Two-Pair" to spread their buffs to other allies. I think I even saw etiquette arise to letting Doctors know they want a buff (they sit down). It's amazing how much you learn about cooperation without having to type in a single word. And that's good, for an english player. You could say that these "training" missions actually helped your skill rather than solely increasing your level. I enjoyed that very much.

And so, that's my experience with 12 tails online in a nutshell. My final notes would be that they really did a good job with the experience formed from their art and music. It has a very welcome, kid-friendly tone to it like a story you'd read at bedtime. Even so, I'd only call this a "kids game" if we're talking about the kids that sat on a single NES game and learned from death after death before gaining enough skill to pull off a victory.
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