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Author Topic: first impressions and some negative feedback  (Read 3594 times)

ujk

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first impressions and some negative feedback
« on: May 26, 2012, 02:06 »

My first several characters died quickly, while I was still learning the ropes. Then one character survived an unpleasantly long time.
Honestly, I am amazed at how boring the game becomes. I know that busywork is common in roguelikes, but AliensRL takes it a notch further. The levels are huge and the difficulty between towers is about the same. Going through the complex room-by-room is a rote affair. Even after considering critical hits and range modifiers, combat is very predictable. Most of the time, I feel like I’m following an algorithm for clearing rooms. The vibe is less sci-fi horror and more under-equipped pest control. By the way, that is a huge departure from the marine campaigns in AvP games, where I constantly fling my character around, praying to actually see an alien and jumping when I do.
Why does the map not memorize anything besides barrels, floors, walls, and corpses? I can’t form stashes, so I have to leave many supplies lying all over the place, to be picked up later. I can’t keep track of them all! Plus you might have to swap weapons if you e.g. run out of .44 ammo, and after you gradually fill up on that ammo, the original weapon can be hard to find. This is not realism, this is just unpleasantness.
Do want: A macro that reloads all weapons and switches to the primary weapon.
Do want: An option to walk around unless an alien is in view. Pressing coma+direction is very uncomfortable, plus you cannot control the number of spaces you move. The cramped environments of AliensRL make me press direction keys in quick succession, and in familiar territory, an alien can sneak up unbeknownst to me.
The grenade system is well-implemented IMHO.
One odd quirk I found is that meat-shields do not really exist. Take #aA @# as an example: if I burst-fire at ‘a’, then ‘a’ will take most of the damage. Should I interpret this as aliens being very small compared to grid squares?
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2012, 08:03 »

AliensRL is pretty much unfinished, especially from the point of view of the content. The levels are big but there is not much to fill them with. The initial idea is that you should not go exploring, but rather go immedately for the objective as soon as you have found decent armor/weapons.

That said, there'll be more content coming, and even now the generators for the towers are a lot more interesting than in the public version.

Thank you for your feedback!
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ujk

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 00:13 »

Ohh really, so the challenge of the game is supposed to be a balance between powerleveling your character and finishing the game as soon as possible. Then there should be insentives to keep your butt moving - such as aliens spawning at an increasing rate, or eggs that set off a facehugger-spawning countdown when approached (rendering the level too hazardous), or crazed personnel running around from the ground up and trying to weld doors or blow up sectors (which can be forewarned via sirens and a countdown just like in the movies.) Deranged people can be as fun to kill as aliens!
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Game Hunter

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 08:34 »

Then there should be incentives to keep your butt moving - such as aliens spawning at an increasing rate...
This is more or less what happens, although I believe right now it's just difficulty of the enemy.  Early on you'll find hunters out of nowhere, but they'll change to warriors, stalkers and eventually praetorians. It's more of a balance issue if it's not significant enough.

While I'm here, though:
I can’t form stashes, so I have to leave many supplies lying all over the place, to be picked up later. I can’t keep track of them all! Plus you might have to swap weapons if you e.g. run out of .44 ammo, and after you gradually fill up on that ammo, the original weapon can be hard to find. This is not realism, this is just unpleasantness.
I'd argue that AliensRL, in its current state, isn't a game that is meant to induce heavy backtracking. Sometimes it IS necessary, although it's a gamble all by itself since it takes time, which makes the random spawns all the more dangerous. (This does become significant if you dawdle without making progress.) Oftentimes if you're handling each situation effectively, you only rarely worry about ammo issues past the beginning stages of the game. Granted, if you totally deck yourself out, you can easily wipe out even the nastiest random spawns, although it's only if you want to spend that much time.

A part of what I like about AliensRL is the apparent lack of piecewise objectives. Your mission is to kill the queen (which is vague at best) and it's up to you to explore until you understand what that actually entails. I imagine for a lot of people that this comes across as padding or unnecessary information-gathering, but it's the want to know that gets me going in the first place. Over time you'll figure out what you should do.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 07:37 by Game Hunter »
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skarczew

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 14:27 »

By the way, that is a huge departure from the marine campaigns in AvP games, where I constantly fling my character around, praying to actually see an alien and jumping when I do.
Have you ever played pre-gold versions of AvP 1, on Director's Cut difficulty? Mission: Orbital, Tyrargo or Waterfall? I assume you there are so many Aliens there, that praying for an additional one is the last thing you would do.

Why does the map not memorize anything besides barrels, floors, walls, and corpses? I can’t form stashes, so I have to leave many supplies lying all over the place, to be picked up later. I can’t keep track of them all!
This roguelike is as it was meant: simple. Regarding supplies: it reminds the real life: there are so many things in it, that you have to choose the things that you would concentrate on.
But I agree to a certain point that a basic map tracking could be interesting (especially with the less attractive classes like Engineer/Technician).

Plus you might have to swap weapons if you e.g. run out of .44 ammo, and after you gradually fill up on that ammo, the original weapon can be hard to find. This is not realism, this is just unpleasantness.
Do want: A macro that reloads all weapons and switches to the primary weapon.
Well, DoomRL doesn't have such an option (to reload everything), so it is not as bad as it may seem. ;)
And there is a possibility to carry weapons from a place to a place, and drop them there. In the end, you can combine backtracking, pickup&drop strategy to carry more than 3 weapons with you.
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ujk

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 04:30 »

Have you ever played pre-gold versions of AvP 1, on Director's Cut difficulty? Mission: Orbital, Tyrargo or Waterfall? I assume you there are so many Aliens there, that praying for an additional one is the last thing you would do.
First I'm scared because I know aliens are around but I have no target to shoot, and then I'm scared of the aliens when I finally do see them.
This roguelike is as it was meant: simple. Regarding supplies: it reminds the real life: there are so many things in it, that you have to choose the things that you would concentrate on.
But I agree to a certain point that a basic map tracking could be interesting (especially with the less attractive classes like Engineer/Technician).
Well look at it this way: two levels of the supply tower can easily contain 300 .44 rounds. In real life, I would collect it all into a neat pile, if I could not carry it around everywhere. In AliensRL I have to leave a mess. Say I leave 150 .44 ammo on a floor. After finding a colt shooting my other 150+ .44 ammo elsewhere, I would return and check every single room on the level for those 150 rounds of .44 ammo. Wouldn't you?
Well, DoomRL doesn't have such an option (to reload everything), so it is not as bad as it may seem. ;)
DoomRL is not simple as you say AliensRL is. Unlike AliensRL, DoomRL rarely lets you feel safe, so allocating a big chunk of time carelessly is inadvisable. Even after clearing out a level, you would be interested in most effectively using the level's resources to enter the next level berserking and with supercharged health. Plus DoomRL can use a breather now and then, when you calmly reload all your weapons.
And there is a possibility to carry weapons from a place to a place, and drop them there. In the end, you can combine backtracking, pickup&drop strategy to carry more than 3 weapons with you.
Yes but it's so easy to forget in which tower, level, and corridor you left a weapon, like medical-3-north. Anyway it's true only for weapons, false for ammo, grenades, medkits, and clothing.
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skarczew

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 17:18 »

In real life, I would collect it all into a neat pile, if I could not carry it around everywhere. In AliensRL I have to leave a mess. Say I leave 150 .44 ammo on a floor. After finding a colt shooting my other 150+ .44 ammo elsewhere, I would return and check every single room on the level for those 150 rounds of .44 ammo. Wouldn't you?
In AliensRL I was just making my own notes about placement of some stuff (paper, notepad, etc).
Anyway, the idea to make piles of ammo is neat. With the introduction of a better AI Aliens could destroy such ones - or at least guard it with a bigger swarms ;) .

DoomRL is not simple as you say AliensRL is. Unlike AliensRL, DoomRL rarely lets you feel safe, so allocating a big chunk of time carelessly is inadvisable. Even after clearing out a level, you would be interested in most effectively using the level's resources to enter the next level berserking and with supercharged health. Plus DoomRL can use a breather now and then, when you calmly reload all your weapons.
Do not run into a swarm of Aliens when you have a weapon that cannot kill them all, would you? Thats the part of a game - know when to shoot and when to reload. And at this point - the boring part where you have Aliens after every corner is a part of game, too. Small mistake, few Hunters around you - and you are dead.
DoomRL have its moments when you are actually safe (except for Nightmare!). In AliensRL such thing does not exist. Moreover, in non-public new alpha version (the one Kornel released year ago, or sth) it got to the point that you will die anyway after few levels :P .

Yes but it's so easy to forget in which tower, level, and corridor you left a weapon, like medical-3-north. Anyway it's true only for weapons, false for ammo, grenades, medkits, and clothing.
I was very rarely forgetting about the weapons. I always left weapons in specific places, that allowed me to find them later easily (main corridors, for example).
Second thing is, you can as well forget about localization of your weapons in such games like AvP.

I believe the game should show the harsh reality of human thrown into Alien territory. There may be few nice features that should be implemented now. But implementing full-blown map that shows you everything and leads you through entire game may be make it too easy ...
And I do not remember any kind of such stuff in the original Alien movies. So may be limited to Engineer class :P .
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zchris13

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Re: first impressions and some negative feedback
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 14:19 »

You can drop armor. Hit shift-D. It'll drop your current armor on the floor. there is a completely useless bug regarding this, actually. You can drop a gyro-stabilizer or *SPOILERS* on the ground while carrying a heavy weapon.
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