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  • About the Game Flow of TQ; how it might be improved in GD

    As I said in the Customization thread, there were a few things that kept me from hailing TQ as a personal favorite over Diablo. The difficulty at different points of the game was pretty sporadic. I think for the most part, I didn't feel very challenged; I only felt a sense of danger when I knew a boss monster could kill me in a matter of milliseconds with a special attack. Talos and the giant snapping turtle come to mind. And even then, the penalty for dying was negligible.

    I felt like the challenge of collecting specific items could have been overcompensated by the fact that I could turn to third-party programs like TQvault and just grab any item I wanted. I never did that, and I know TQ was made to be modded, but I feel like it was too easy for people to hack. For that reason I never played online and only on LAN connections. I suppose I wanted Titan Quest to be too much like Diablo in terms of the multiplayer experience.

    I never felt like I really wanted to avoid death in TQ. I just found it annoying that after an hour or so of wandering the countryside with little to no danger, I would end up facing a creature that could easily kill both my friend and I multiple times, almost instantly. I think that overall, there wasn't a very good flow between action and difficulty. There was an improvement in this flow in Immortal Throne, but I have higher expectations for Grim Dawn!

    Another thing I would like to see in Grim Dawn is the implementation of Hub-style gameplay. Titan Quest felt a bit too linear for me, and some of the towns felt more like breaks in the action rather than hubs that I wanted to consistently revisit.

    Does anybody else have suggestions on game flow for Grim Dawn?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jophilli View Post

    I felt like the challenge of collecting specific items could have been overcompensated by the fact that I could turn to third-party programs like TQvault and just grab any item I wanted. I never did that, and I know TQ was made to be modded, but I feel like it was too easy for people to hack. For that reason I never played online and only on LAN connections. I suppose I wanted Titan Quest to be too much like Diablo in terms of the multiplayer experience.
    Yea TQ wasn't going to come close to Diablo for multiplayer because they didn't have their own servers. However, I enjoyed using TQVault simply for hording items I couldn't bear to throw away. I don't actually twink my characters I just like having these items stashed away. It can be exploited and make the game easier but that comes down to individual preference.


    I never felt like I really wanted to avoid death in TQ. I just found it annoying that after an hour or so of wandering the countryside with little to no danger, I would end up facing a creature that could easily kill both my friend and I multiple times, almost instantly. I think that overall, there wasn't a very good flow between action and difficulty. There was an improvement in this flow in Immortal Throne, but I have higher expectations for Grim Dawn!
    This just comes down to personal play style. There is little penalty, even a reward for dying (the tombstone clicking can be exploited). However, some people just try avoid death at all cost because they like to see the nice, tidy "0" under the deaths heading. It's just fun and makes the game more interesting if played like that.

    Another thing I would like to see in Grim Dawn is the implementation of Hub-style gameplay. Titan Quest felt a bit too linear for me, and some of the towns felt more like breaks in the action rather than hubs that I wanted to consistently revisit.
    Yea this is fair enough. They really weree just breaks in the action. I'm sure the devs are working on a more expansive world this time around
    My Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/klo0ga

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    • #3
      I thought the difficulty of TQ was a bit pathetic. Legendary, things get tough, but it's still a joke for some classes. SO, I always challenge myself to keep the 0 deaths thing at 0. I've always failed, but it's fun to keep my deaths low. Also, there are several difficulty mods which sorta enhance the gameplay. (I don't see mob increases as a difficulty increase anymore, but it's fun to shoot 20 satyrs with a single fireball...) I feel like the difficulty ramp from TQ to Hades, was a STEEP ramp. If the gameplay had continuous difficulty similar to that of the Hades region, the difficulty overall would've been perfect.

      The multiplayer yes... it was garbage. I still enjoy playing with people rather than myself.

      I personally enjoyed the linear aspect, but the hub design would definitely increase the playability. I'd probably love that even more than the linear.

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      • #4
        What I think would be good for gameflow;
        More enemies; less empty areas, more challenging difficulties, better visual rewards for chopping through enemies (i.e. gore),

        Coming back to central areas would work nicely too (village, base, camp, town, shelter, etc..). It's a shame really, they made a bunch of beautiful ancient cities, where you just rush through..

        Just having a hardcore mode would perhaps work as well - than you can go like 'luckily I wasn't stupid enough to start a hardcore character, else I'd have lost all my progress because of that little critter...'

        And well, more attractive loot. Visually it looked amazing, but the loot options just didn't feel varied enough.. usually just an added statbonus, or damage bonus - and only having 1-2 boni for MI's and magic items made the choices for gear rather simple.

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        • #5
          Sigh...

          For diplomatic reasons I don't often venture to say things like this but after reading this thread I can't help it. Almost everything listed above were things that the core development team at ILE wanted to do on TQ but were not allowed to due to decisions made by various people higher up the chain.

          So yes, a lot of it will be done on GD. I think part of the problem that TQ suffered from was this vision that it could not only capture the D2 audience but also appeal to the mass-market of ultra casual gamers. The only problem is that sometimes you end up having to design for one audience to the exclusion of another. It isn't always possible to satisfy both, at least, not with limited time, money, and man-power. When faced with such decisions things on TQ often went the way of ensuring accessibility for casual gamers. Even for Epic and Legendary difficulty which are almost exclusively played by hardcore gamers we were at one point forced to reduce the difficulty.

          Similarly, a decision was handed to the design team that the player should always be traveling forward through the world and never have to go back. This greatly diminished our ability to build familiarity and nostalgia with towns and NPCs.

          I think a lack of danger comes partially from the lack of difficulty but also due to the fact that you're fighting in a bright sunny world most of the time. Other than the fact that there are beastmen running around, you'd think you were in park enjoying a nice summer day. Now, before people think the wrong thing, I'm not proposing the world be a burnt out wasteland, just that there needs to be more some more ominous environmental elements to properly set the mood.

          We won't get everything perfect with Grim Dawn but I think you will see a quite a lot of improvement in what we build.

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          • #6
            Medierra, your post reveals a lot about your feelings about TQ, and I appreciate that. I do understand the design decisions behind TQ more fully now and they make sense. THQ wanted to make money, not heroes (out of the development team). I would hope that some at THQ might feel a little differently about that, now that they had to see Iron Lore shut down.

            Based on this, you've made it very clear to me that Grim Dawn will suit my fancies as a PC gamer. I am so glad I bought a Legendary account! SOOO EXCRRTED.

            Still though, continue the feedback people! Let's hear what people didn't like about TQ so that Grim Dawn can be even better. (Haha, I don't mean to beat up the team, TQ is still a wonderful game!)

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            • #7
              Actually many of those decisions I mentioned were made internally at ILE, not by THQ. Like I said, I generally try to keep things diplomatic and I'm not trying to place blame on anyone, so I definitely don't want to unfairly leave people assuming THQ was the source of all these decisions. The project managers at THQ were actually very good to work with.

              I think many of the notions about accessibility and thinking of the casual audience were good. They were just sometimes taken to an extreme and ultimately, I think it is paramount to first design for the core audience you know will buy the game, assuming you do a good job, and then worry about extending it to a wider audience.

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              • #8
                Yeah, I think it's always a good idea to explore things you did or didn't like about TQ, or any ARPG, because it does help the developer's see what people are thinking and possibly helps them further their own thoughts on the matter.
                _______
                Legendary Fan & KickStart Supporter

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scryer View Post
                  Yeah, I think it's always a good idea to explore things you did or didn't like about TQ, or any ARPG, because it does help the developer's see what people are thinking and possibly helps them further their own thoughts on the matter.
                  We certainly don't mind criticism at all; we welcome it so long as it is constructive. I've actually spent a lot of time hunting around on other forums to find out what things people didn't like about the game, especially from people who liked D2 but tried TQ but didn't like it enough to keep playing. There are some people who just cannot play a game without secure servers and unfortunately there isn't much we can do about that at this point. There are also a lot of complains I've seen about the combat missing that magic feeling, the setting being too mundane, and the pacing being too slow. Those seem to be some of the biggest complaints. Those are things we can fix and are high on our list.

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                  • #10
                    Well, I can't wait to test the game out in Alpha for you guys Medierra. I hope everyone who participates can give you good enough feedback so that balancing it will be a fun process.

                    I know I have a lot of different ideas about what's fun but I think these forums would be too similar if we all just agreed with each other.

                    When it comes to game flow I never liked 1-hit kills, the thing is that there are supposed to be many enemies in an ARPG so 1 enemy should not have that kind of destructive power.

                    Encounters that are fun, fast and maybe require the player to think a little is always better then low-balling it and dying out-right to an over-powered enemy.
                    Last edited by Scryer; 01-25-2010, 06:13 AM. Reason: wording
                    _______
                    Legendary Fan & KickStart Supporter

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                    • #11
                      I'm not trying to brown-nose or anything, but I actually liked the pacing of Titan Quest & the immortal Throne expansion. Sure, it kept you moving forward, but that's okay by me. Having to back-track a little is fine, but having to back-track a lot becomes tedious in my book.
                      I thought the difficulty was fine too. Yes it was a bit easy at first, but I like that as it allows me to get accustomed to the game. Epic & Legendary wasn't that easy, as I got pwned by quite a few of the bosses. I for one didn't like the way Typhon got way difficult in later patches by making the statues indestructable. He became way too hard to kill & frustrated me greatly.

                      I agree with the comment about adding blood & gore. It would just make the combat & the slaying of enemies feel more satisfying.

                      But TQ was nearly perfect in my opinion. Just the lack of blood & the way skeletons moved so fluid instead of walking all gimpy like the zombies are my only complaints about TQ. I much prefered TQ to D2 in just about every way except for the lack of gore. If you ask me, the pacing in D2 wasn't that great. Everything was just one giant maze & patch-work levels, which limited my immersion into the game.

                      I honestly have the utmost faith in Grim Dawn to be a spectacular game because TQ was so awesome.

                      BTW
                      I never once felt bored while playing through TQ multiple times & leveling up in the process, like I did with Diablo 2. Leveling up was fine in D2 at first, but once I got in the 60's (out of 100) leveling up became so tedious that it was frustrating. I never had this problem in TQ because I was always leveling up at a good & repectable pace.

                      D2 is a good game, but it had so many flaws in my opinion. < I just know that statement is going to get me in trouble, as it does on other message boards when I make it.
                      I just didn't like the level design in D2 at all, & feel that the maze like levels were monotonous & boring. TQ may have kept us moving forward, but the levels felt real & varied.

                      Anyway, that is my opinion.

                      also...
                      I am a single player kind of guy, & don't personally care much about On-line multiplayer.
                      Last edited by shawnmck; 01-25-2010, 05:29 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I stand corrected. Anyways, I understand the "higher-up" decisions that were made. It's just the way the industry works nowadays. More accessibility, or less accessibility? Brilliant concept. However, I think that marketing strategy works better for consoles like the Wii and 360, and not for PC audiences. Shouldn't publishers know this by now?

                        I don't expect exclusive servers for Grim Dawn. I accepted that back when Titan Quest came out.

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                        • #13
                          just as shawnmck posted, I too feel as though the pace of Titan Quest was near perfect.

                          I would like to see more creatures on the field though. TQ had a good amount of creatures when it came to the more difficult sections. Retrospectively, the pockets of enemies made me feel more in control of the situation. I only wish that the pockets of creatures could be...increased or closer together on a certain level.

                          At the beginning of the game, camps were really the only place to find some real nonstop combat. I really enjoyed slashing through walls of enemies with my friends using every skill in their arsenal (so many things happening at once). Sure most creature camps were extremely easy to slash through, not even a challenge really, but it was always fun and relaxing to just know everyone could just go wild. Places like the huge camp in TQ where the quest-line reads "Source of the Monsters" [the satyr camp just before the clash against the 3 gorgons]; and the fortified camp just outside Athen's walls, were my favorite places to cut through.

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                          • #14
                            I think the difficulty in Normal was good. Epic was almost easier than Normal though, which is pretty pathetic. Some of the bosses, particularly Typhon, got a lot more difficult, maybe even more than they should have (totally my fault - I'm the bastard that changed the way Typhon worked), but the common enemies didn't scale up right.

                            I don't think this is as much the case in Immortal Throne.

                            In terms of pacing, I think we put the vast majority of the unique items too late in Epic and Legendary. A lot of people got the impression that there wasn't much unique item art in TQ when, in reality, there is far more than D2.

                            I also think Greece really drags in places. There was a time towards the end of the project when there started to be concern that the game wasn't long enough. About this time we decided to re-do a lot of Greece since the first version had been done early and we felt like we needed to bring it up to par with Egypt and China. I did some of the level work on it and I think we stretched out certain places longer than they should have been. So you end up with kind of mundane stretches that are just sort of like filler wilderness without much going on. When I play the game now I always start to lose interest in that long stretch through the highlands and down the coastal area. Then again on my way to Athens.

                            I might just be looking at it too hard. I've heard complaints about people losing interest in the first part of the game though and this is what I think about when I hear that.

                            Anyway, for people who liked the pacing, I think you'll like just the same if not more. For those who didn't, maybe we'll win you over.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by medierra View Post
                              So you end up with kind of mundane stretches that are just sort of like filler wilderness without much going on. When I play the game now I always start to lose interest in that long stretch through the highlands and down the coastal area. Then again on my way to Athens.
                              I think you're right about that area. I've beaten TQ god knows how many times, and that bit always has to be the most boring part of the game for me. :/ I love the greek theme, but you know, the whole hour trek to get to the next town ruins the feel...

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