DOS EE is one of the absolute best games I have ever played and DOS 2 is shaping up to be another classic. I have never played a game as rewarding, clever, fun, addictive as these games. Your art direction, gameplay mechanics and HARD push for creative problem solving allowing many varied solutions should serve as examples to all other game developers.
With that love comes criticism. These are the things that either bothered me in DOS EE, DOS 2 or both that I would like to see changed.
I understand the game is in Alpha and many of these points might be in relation to that fact. Some of these points might even have to be ignored in favor of a certain aesthetic, these are just my off the cuff notes that I made while playing through DOS 2.
I haven't read all the other notes or suggestions so if these have been addressed before disregard.
The "Path is Interrupted" phrase should cancel out hit percentages and everything else, don't say 99% chance to hit if path is interrupted.
DOS EE delved into the hero story way too quick with the pyramids and the portal and the end of time. I love that DOS 2 is going slower and grimmer. (Just talked to some Gods so not as slow as I thought but still better pacing than the first)
I think you guys might want to consider a different button layout for the keyboard default. Make camera rotation Q and E by default. I for inventory just like every other game. We don't really need separate keys to look at inv and char screen, that can all just be one thing and one button.
Don't care for the "Narrator" title, that doesn't need to be announced, it ruins immersion, I don't want to be reminded that there is a Narrator, it's a given...Just use some hyphens or something to denote that no one in particular said it.
Chaining and unchaining should be a button between portraits not a click and drag feature. Should be a re-chain all button that could also unchain all.
My biggest complaint from DOS EE is the inventory system. I really like the direction being taken so far to revamp the inv and the new inv screen is much better. I do still have some suggestions though.
Change the sound when in inv screen or bartering, the ambiance sounds get really annoying when I'm strategizing my gear choices in a noisy spot and was especially present in the first game near the markets, makes me avoid certain areas of the game. As I type this there is someone running back and forth, back and forth while I have the inv screen up trying to decide what gear I need.
Inv items should be sort-able on pickup. Like all arrows that I pick up go to X person even if another character picked it up. Typically you have all craftables with one person, all weapons with another person because they have high str etc. It would be nice to see some kind of inv party AI, or could just be a button in the inv screen that allows you to move all items of a particular type to one char.
I don't think things like keys or notes should show up in the inv or maybe they should be stored in a special "bag" type item. A key ring to hold all keys and a ledger to hold all notes. There is just entirely too much clutter in the inv that could be minimized with better organization.
Items that would be stealing should have red text along with red hand icon.
Would be nice to easily see magic and physical armor in the inv screen when deciding what to equip. Could make some space right above vitality, it just makes sense to have all armor and vitality in the same spot. I found them in their own tab but it would be better outside of the tab I think.
Right clicking to combine items should give me options from the same char the first item came from, not from the selected char on the left in the inv screen, or maybe it could give me a party crafting screen so I have access to all crafting materials.
I'd like to be able to send items to other chars in the merchant screen.
Miss the sort feature for inv, I assume it is missing because this is Alpha still.
When selling I'd like to see a hard line in the vendors screen that separates things I have sold vs what they originally had so I'm not tempted to accidentally buy things I already sold again.
Would be nice if equipment had other uses other than selling. Maybe equipping an army or village or individual NPCs that has some benefit.
Junk system looks very promising, I'd suggest a way to mark things positively as well, items you want to make sure you don't accidentally sell but you want to keep an eye on. I suppose the backpacks would serve that purpose but because of inv clutter I use the backpacks to hold grenades and arrows so they end up being used to store things I don't want to look at all the time.
Why is fuse sorted under magic? Also should grenades be magical? Should my nail bomb that does physical dam show up under magical items? Maybe the tabs for inventory sorting need to be reworked or maybe we need more tabs.
Its not always clear what I got if I got an item from dialogue, at lot of things in this game just happen too fast to process what exactly happened. I just had to use str on a coffin lid, I bumped my str up because it wasn't high enough, the interaction worked and I got something from it but I can't celebrate the cleverness because I'm not sure what I got, just went into the inv and now I have to search for something that looks new. (looks like it was on the ground but I think that process should be more clear and there have been other similar situations.)
What do the stars mean in the inv screen? They don't correlate to the better prices so why are they there at all?
Bartering should be a party skill along with persuasion and lucky charm. The way it is now I have one char talk to everyone and look in all chests and one char carry all the sell-able items, there is just no reason for that and it incentivizes me to manipulate the mechanics of the game more than is incentivizes me to adventure with a party. (If I am wrong about these mechanics then I think I'd change my critique to "Make these mechanics more clear to the player, experimentation is what makes this game great but I don't want to experiment to understand the basic mechanics.)
I think removing insta way point teleportation is okay, but then there needs to be more overall way points OR implement the ability to use the map to order movement.
Directional camera controls should also work on the map, click and drag is inferior.
Dynamic camera doesn't work well with how zoomed in the camera is, if the camera was zoomed out just a little more I wouldn't turn it off.
I'd like the camera to zoom out just bit further, its easy to get lost with the camera so zoomed in all the time. I find myself moving the camera over a mountain just so I can get a better view of my surroundings. I think the intent is to make the player focus on a limited field of view and better simulate limited information that you might have in tabletop but it's just too close I think.
Edge screen panning needs to activate at the actual edge of the screen and not before that, right now I have had to turn edge panning off to avoid the map going crazy when I want to use a skill or X out of a menu.
Damage needs to be color coded better, I'd like to have a clear understanding of what armor was damaged, how much health was lost and what kinds of dam is taking place.
Combat log is broken in first game and second still, if I scroll up a tiny bit it shoots to the top of the log and then I have to scroll all the way back down. I'd like to see a more innovative combat log that was split between chars possibly. This would help give more feedback to the player on a per battle basis and allows the player to see if their "programming" of their chars is working out or what can be tweaked. Part of the reason I think this is needed is because a lot of the animations or elemental effects just take place too fast and I sometimes am not totally sure what happened.
Better feedback on skill use when distinguishing between skills that need a target and those that don't, also consistency between skills that can never be applied to another person like adrenaline vs armor recovery, they only apply to self yet one requires a target and the other does not.
Have magic armor represent status resistance % instead of all or nothing. Right now magic armor of 1/20 protects me from all status effects but maybe that should be a percentage of total magic armor instead so 1/20 might be 5% resistance.
I'd like to see loremaster used in the world more often. So for example wits can be used to detect secret buttons on some statues etc, str can be used to attempt to break down some weak walls, maybe loremaster can be used to read some forgotten languages or otherwise gather information about your surroundings. Basically force the player to use ALL the chars to interact with the environment because they should all have something unique to bring to the table...both good and bad. Maybe finesse gives me a chance to dodge environmental effects or traps or has some dialogue options. (I wrote this before I saw some of these things happen, but I'm leaving this note because I want more of that.)
I've noticed that when a fight starts the chars want to spread out to keep formation. I think a superior way to handle that might be giving the player some tactical move points to position the chars how they like instead of the game trying to figure that out. As it is the chars will sacrifice good tactical positioning in favor of spreading out. So sometimes I'll have a fighter move away from the bad guys or an archer move behind a wall at the start of battle for no good reason. I hate it because the AI isn't taking everything into consideration and typically just puts me in a bad spot.
Crafted items should always be better than that base item somehow. I crafted an ax on the beach and it had the exact same stats as the gear I already had, not exciting. An argument can be made that base level crafting should suck and I agree to a point but there should be better incentive for crafting from the get go otherwise someone not familiar with how crafting can scale will think crafting sucks from the start.
In a single player game having all companions talk to each other without consequence means nothing to me without the character traits from the first game, I assume that is the intention but in case it wasn't I wanted to point that out.
Repairing should have more of a consequence, maybe the repair hammers run out or break down and you need to find more or maybe once a weapon reaches less than 10% of durability is permanently loses stats or maybe both. Without choices or consequence the repair feature is just boring. I love that you guys want to simulate fantasy adventuring in a "realistic" way but don't simulate monotony for no reason.
I like the memory mechanic a lot actually. I think that the memory book should have one occurrence of skills though. So for instance if I have a skill equipped on the right then that same skill should be grey or even disappear completely from the left. This way I have a better understanding of my utilization of skills. So as I am deciding what new skills I want memorized I can skip over all the ones I already memorized.