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Gheeyom  [developer] Sep 28, 2012 @ 9:04am
Improvements you would like to see
All right everyone, I would like to make a lists of things that you would like to see improved in the game. Please comment only if you actually played the game, either from the version available on Xbox Live or Desura/IndieCity/Indievania. I can't guarantee that we will implement fixes and additions to everything you ask, but if we ever see a strong support and do get greenlit, we'll definitely see what we can do.

Please keep it precise, constructive and respectful of the team working on the game.
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Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
Kletian999 Oct 23, 2012 @ 10:14pm 
As a rockethub backer, I've had the game for a while.

First I would recommend increased transparency of numbers: there's no indictation of monster HP or the damage you deal other than red flashes on hits. Seeing your attack does 10 damage to start makes "adds 10% more damage" meaningful. Transparency of "how long is demon's blood safe to block for" would make it more palatable to take.

Second, some sort of knockback/combostun mechanic to make weak attack worth using- or even meleeing in general. I've found range abusing with firewall attacks (and dashing through manticores) to be the only reliable tactics to battle without serious injury. Perfect blocking isn't easy but demanded often by level 3 of a given power.

Third, life restores should be temporary pickups usable on command- having them instantly and randomly granted tends to result in getting them when not needed and starved of them in crisis.

Fourth, mention that it's possible to get max hp upgrades by hitting all the yellow switches in the zone. It's a good goal to aspire to but you might never wander past the locked gates to figure out what it's good for (took me third playthrough). It seems impossible to get the necropolis bonus without being able to hit heavy switches which I think is a disservice to flexibility.

Fifth, having the map get less helpful for quests as the levels get higher is a cruel joke.

Sixth, floating platforms are awkwardly placed in some areas- too close together making ridicoulously narrow dash jumps required to thread and/or easy to overshoot. Flames getting stopped by walk thru-able ceiling decoarations also bothers me.

Seventh power synergy: since powers are so isolated from each other (Fire strong only, poison weak only, Sundust sword hits only) it makes little sense to mix them and reinforces "One trick ponism"
Gheeyom  [developer] Oct 24, 2012 @ 7:04am 
Thanks a lot for your suggestions Kletian. We'll take all of these valid suggestions into consideration.
Kletian999 Oct 25, 2012 @ 8:54pm 
A couple more in mind, these are more subjective in nature so I'll understand if you don't agree.
A. It's possible for a blockable chewter shot approaching from the front to bypass player block when it has a high arc. You may intend this but man is it annoying!
B. I like using the Dash attack so I raised shapen to lower the cooldown, only to find it became too long at level 5 to use without plummeting into danger! Likewise small ledges that have an enemy on them tends to lead to airdashes past them- would like an option or button command (maybe hold down arrow) that ends the dash immediately behind the last enemy in range/stops at ledge when used on ground/etc. instead of going full length.
C. Back on the topic of making meleeing with weak attacks more rewarding, some kind of backdodging move would be easier for me to use over mastering perfect blocks (you can reused the "knockback on hit" motion.
D. I liked the idea of Backwards shadow blades, but they are only useful when surrounded, and being surrounded is dangerous enough to avoid/escape immediately rather than fight. Maybe have them spin around the hero starting from behind so they can assist in frontal and vertical attacks? Likewise, Sundust was a really cool concept I wanted for my first sword (the goal was a "normal sword, pure blacksmithing and Sundust") but found the rate and effect disappointing. Synergies with other powers might help this, or maybe a different take entirely (increase melee range?) since random criticals aren't really a gamechanger compared to the consist damage increase of heavying.
Kletian999 Oct 25, 2012 @ 8:57pm 
And to echo a request I've seen in professional reviews: some way to retry the level without returning to map on death (which wastes time loading).
Gheeyom  [developer] Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:02am 
Kletian, your suggestions are really helpful for me. I can't guarantee that it will make it to the current project, sadly, for budget reasons (unless we are greenlit). However, the quality of your suggestions makes me consider you as a playtester for our next project, GoD Factory. If you like space combat sims, we have a game that might benefit from your feedback. If you're interested, just send me an email :)
Kletian999 Nov 10, 2012 @ 6:01pm 
Space combat sim isn't my usual genre. Closest I got was playing Tie Fighter with the god mode on when I was much younger. Even so, it can't hurt to try.

I recently decided to bite my fears and make a Demon Blood/Poison sword (will make a shadow/time sword later to see what the other combo does as well). That's what brought me back to the thread. I now understand how Demonblood works, so while the description could have been better at getting me to try it, the mechanics explained themselves quickly enough.

It took me longer to understand how the combo lifedrain worked- I got it now but it's a shame the combo effects are never explained beyond the unlocking description (you can't even see them on the sword except via Armory). I hope I can increase the potentency of the heal with enough poison/demon levels, the extension melee effect from Sharpen/Sundust is also really useful with Poison and I would love to extend it further if I could.

Using the poision with quick attacks has been somewhat successful with lots of evasion, but low ceiling block smashers and manticores are wrecking me.

Part of me thinks your game would really benefit from a wiki (there's like no gamefaqs or anything for Brand I can find), while another notes such a thing might discourage the exploration, physical and swordpowers, that's the prime theme of your game. Such are tradeoffs.

Gheeyom  [developer] Nov 11, 2012 @ 6:30pm 
I'll admit that I didn't want to give too much info in the game, to promote exploring on your own, especially for combo effects, but maybe you are right and it is too obscure. Maybe there would be a way to be more consistent in what info we give away and which is to be found on your own.
Kletian999 Nov 12, 2012 @ 6:43pm 
Yeah, we're on the same page. I think my previous comments about "This attack is doing this much damage right now; adding this will do this much more to it" is a pretty safe bet to have out there.
Ironically, Refine, Weighten, and Sundust give exact percantages of the gain, but without the base value the numbers aren't helpful. Keeping the combos secret makes them a pleasent surprise, but once you have them, the powers that made them should tell you if they effect the potency of their combo.
Saying that "there are three secret gems that when added to a sword increases one's life" in a tip somewhere would be enough to get people searching every map square without having to spell out that's what it takes.

I'm thinking about writing something for Gamefaqs or similiar when I complete a few more swords. I could send you a draft when that time comes if you'd like.
Gheeyom  [developer] Nov 13, 2012 @ 7:55am 
That would be utterly awesomesauce. I'll answer any technical question you have about the game to make this faq a reality.
Inumo Dec 28, 2012 @ 2:24am 
I also backed Brand on RocketHub, so I've had the game for a while too. I'll admit, I haven't played in some time, but according to IndieCity no patch has been released so it should still be the same. One thing I noticed is that a sampler sword (one with a bit of every tree) doesn't work very well. It took me multiple tries to get a passing grade on the final dungeon run. A pure blacksmith sword, on the other hand, is absolutely amazing, so long as you don't get the dash ability from the magic tree for upgrade 15 (it severely messes up your tactics since it increases the dash cooldown so much). I also tried to make a pure magic sword, but since it doesn't have the weight to activate the huge switches, some of the quests (I noticed it in I think one of the fire quests through the Necropolis) are nearly impossible to complete. I notice the power synergies have been mentioned a couple times, I noticed, but with the sampler sword I never noticed them taking effect and completely forgot about them in short order.

As to the other bits of gameplay, I didn't really have a problem with the platforming. The variable jump size was frustrating, I won't deny, especially since it doesn't follow a pattern, but I was able to work around it with patience. Made restarting levels a royal pain, though, especially when I was in the upper reaches of the tower in the castle or somewhere similarly platform-y. The lack of numbers didn't bother me too much, since I got a feel for each iteration the sword went through as it progressed and was able to work just off that. I'll admit, the shadow sword thing that stabbed behind me? I exploited the fact that it reaches a couple pixels farther than the normal attack so hard. Same with the heavy attack; more than one manticore fell to heavy attacks through the wall instead of any sort of legitimate fight. I didn't have much use for the basic swing since I can do about the same amount of damage in the same amount of time as a heavy swing, and I rarely used the blocking mechanics, instead learning how the monsters attacked and exploiting their openings. I'm guessing that as a result, the health powerups were rarely wasted, so I didn't mind the fact that they'd show up unneeded.

Honestly, I like the game overall. However, I won't deny I lost interest pretty quickly when the magic sword turned out to be so weak; I didn't bother starting an alchemy sword since I figured I would run into the same problem of having to trek through a horde of extremely powerful monsters with a relatively weak sword to take down the enemy I needed. I second the clarification of synergy powers, and would suggest looking at each upgrade tree compared to the other two and make sure they all are roughly equal in power, since presently the blacksmith tree is pretty much required to do any sort of satisfactory damage.

Hope this helps!
Gheeyom  [developer] Dec 30, 2012 @ 7:51am 
Thanks for your feedback Inumo! Without a few levels in refine, it is true that damage from the magic trees may be lacking in power comparatively to a sword that doesn't have a maxed out refine. Refine is the power you need when you really want to max out the potential efficiency of any power and is in the blacksmith tree, I'm sure it has something to do with the gap you perceived between the blacksmith and the mage.

I knew that in some instances you could fight off enemies through walls, but didn't think it was that common. One of the thing I'd want to do most with the game would be a major overhaul of the level design.

Thanks for taking your time explaining your experience!
Kletian999 Feb 27, 2013 @ 4:19pm 
My Guide has found its way to Gamefaqs for those curious.
kalirion Mar 8, 2013 @ 7:26am 
I agree that more transparency would be nice, and floating numbers for damage.

I've beaten the game 4 times and still have no clue if the "bonus/combination" abilities can be improved by leveling the powers they are based on or not. Also would be nice for those abilities to show up in your Power Log, with numbers and descriptions of what base powers they consist of.

Some numbers on how much damage the basic attacks (light, heavy, dash) do.

How does Efficiency work? Which numbers does it raise by X%? Is there any kind of rounding? Does efficiency affect ALL powers, including Strengthen and the critical hit one (Sundust or something?) Would be great if, after getting efficiency its effects showed up as "+" bonus numbers in the upgrade huts and/or power log. As in "Fire Wave - Damage 5 (+2) Range 8 (+3) or something similar.

Jump height is extremely inconsistent. Sometimes a jump goes twice as high as the previous one, and I can't find any reason for it - I'm holding the jump button down the whole time, so that's not a factor.

How about multiple active quests at a time? Areas on the map could have multiple colors.

The combination power where holding down the weak attack button causes blades to attack nearby foes seems to be effectively useless. It is extremely weak, and if I'm that close to an enemy more damage can be done by explicitly swinging the blade. Unless the power increases when increasing other powers?

Also, I know it would probably be a LOT of work, but randomized maps would be really cool :)

Also a bug report - In one of my playthroughs, the large blue switches stopped working. Small blue switches and yellow switches functioned as normal, but the large blue ones become mere decoration, the doors they controlled locked forever. This was the only playthrough where I leveled the Poison power, so perhaps the quest where the green switches needed to be activated triggered the bug?

Anyway, this is a great game, thank you for having it as a bonus in the Indie Royale bundle!

Edit: just read from Kletian's FAQ that the above is not a "Bug" but is Strength power related. I had absolutely no clue that Strength was useful in flipping large switches - did I miss a note somewhere? Otherwise this is something that needs to be explained better.
Last edited by kalirion; Mar 8, 2013 @ 11:21am
Gheeyom  [developer] Mar 11, 2013 @ 10:23am 
Hi Kalirion and thanks for your feedback!

The combo powers do increase if you raise the powers that constitute the combo, but only if you raise both powers. So if you add 5 in one and 1 in the other, the combo will only be level 1, if both are level 5, the combo will be level 5. The Ghost Blade combo (Time Bend + Shadow) is indeed useless at lvl1, but I invite you to see how devastating it can be when maxed out ;-)

The jumping issue you describe is a bug that, from our understanding, only affects player who have two monitors plugged to their computer. We are working on a bug fix for this. Until then, you'll have to play with a single monitor on if you want to have a more constant jump height and it will also reduce the "jerkiness" of the hero's movement.

We've debated for a long time the multiple quests active but opted out since it meant that making a sword would be doable in a very short time.

Thanks again for your time and we'll definitely consider adding more transparency if the game were to make it to Steam.
Kletian999 Apr 19, 2013 @ 9:45am 
Glad you found my guide: your questions on damage numbers of attacks and the effect of Refine on damage is explictly spelt out therein. Monster Hp ranges from 20-400 depending on the monster.
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