Hey! New player here, been playing for ~2 weeks
Before I get started, let me just say that I love the game. You will see from my review that I think there's enormous space for basic improvements, but I enjoy the game nonetheless.
- Put the emphasis on joining a guild when you get to Skypoint
- Guild management should be possible entirely in game
- Balance the Skypoint map, all the villages are around the Earth gate
- Put numbers on skills, "Restore some life" or "Increase your critical strike" is useless information. It could be 1, or 10k, who knows.
- Explain the game mechanics, in game. What does support power do and how do my heals scale with it, what does armor do, etc.
- Clarify which profession crafts the parts you need
- Opening the map, and other things, lag the game. Super annoying.
- And much more (Read on!) Let's get started!
I remember my first thoughts when entering the game. I created a character, a cool centaur cleric. Going heals, as I always do in MMO if I start with friend. But then I didn't know what to do. It didn't take me that long to click on "Select World" and get into God's Reach, but I think some directions would be good there.
The tutorial, or new player experience (NPE) I think is fun. Me and my friends went through it with ease. The talent tree I really like and gear wasn't hard to get along the way.
However, we got to level 30 and into Skypoint and we had no clue what to do next. As it is advertised as a PvP game, we engaged with the mechanics and went outpost capping in Skypoint. That felt really pointless since you get no reward. As a side note, it was very frustrating to fights the archer guards as melee characters. Getting onto the platform, while possible even without a movement ability, is incredibly hard for what seems no reason, and the two archers are by far the strongest guards. I think it should be clearer how to get onto the platforms or at least allow knocking back the guards or allow pulling them.
We then tried to capture a fort, and got wrecked by the guards. At that point, I should mention, we didn't even have all our disciplines equipped and had not chosen any domain. Reasons are it's super hard to understand that you can remove a discipline by destroying it in the temple since when you try to move them in your inventory or override them it just does nothing. Also, without re-specs, choosing a domain is a risky business when there's so many options and you don't know the game. That being said, I really like the domains and disciplines now that I know how they work.
After getting wrecked by the fort guards, we went camp farming. As a healer I couldn't get any loot since I was always staying back. I was playing with friends, so it wasn't really an issue because we'd call out the gear we found and split the gold, but it really doesn't incentivize playing with people you don't know.
Then, we got killed by high level players several times, even when we outnumbered them. Sure, our skill level was probably low and our builds were terrible. But the fights did not even feel close. 3v1, with a healer on our side and we barely dropped our opponent's health. It felt really bad and left us with so many questions. Are we just bad? Are our builds bad? Is our gear bad? How are they even over level 30??? Now, the level thing has been addressed, it now says on your experience bar that you can unlock level 31 with a common vessel, which is nice. Now figuring out how to craft a vessel is another thing, but I suppose you can find the vendor and buy a bad one.
All this to say that at the end of our second night, we were quite disappointed, feeling like we were powerless and also not really knowing what to do to progress.
Our group disbanded, two went offline, one went leveling another character since that was fun, and I tried to learn how gathering and crafting works.
So here was the second hurdle. Gathering. I had a common discipline and it's written on it that you can now craft intermediate tools. So I did just that. Then on the tool it says I can find an uncommon discipline by gathering with it. Nice! And so I go back to Skypoint and start skinning. And skinning. And skinning. The material drops are terrible, I quickly go through my 2-3 tools and still no uncommon discipline. I gathered for at least an hour. I thought maybe I was just unlucky, I'd give it another try later but I was bored with gathering for now. With the few materials I had, I decided I'd craft myself a leather set. Did not have nearly enough for the set and to my great disappointment, the crafted chest piece was a lot worse then the one I had. Also, it took me so long to find how to craft each piece, figuring how to make buckles and rivets (which are from armorsmithing, not leathersmithing) since it's not explained anywhere. To me that was the end of night two. Having spent an hour skinning deers for a few materials without improving my discipline and then spending another hours figuring out how to craft a chest piece that's a lot worse than the one I wore.
(Story is getting long and I have so much to say so I'll cut short)
I ended up looking on the web, finding the Crowfall Discord. I read the gathering guide, which explained the node ranks and why you should not gather high rank nodes at first even if you can if you want to find more disciplines (which I find very unintuitive)
I asked around and everyone just told me to find a guild, that the game would be a lot better with a guild, etc, etc. To my surprise, no guild UI in game, you have to apply through the website. That I think is a very important aspect to fix since as the people on the Discord mentioned, you'll do nothing without a guild. The game simply stalls without one, it's pointless.
So I join a guild they set me up with some better crafted gear and I hop into the new dregs (Synestra)! Ahhhhh. Now the game is fun. Capping outposts makes a lot more sense now that the score actually moves! In Skypoint, the score just doesn't move, which leaves you wondering what is going on. Also the season doesn't change, and it took me until Dregs to understand the UI for seasons. I thought it was a class thing. We do forts, we do sieges, now I'm hooked!
In the end it took me a week to learn the game, get a guild, hop into dregs and start having real fun. In that time, my friends did not play because the game just felt bad. I brought them back to the game with my newly accumulated knowledge, but had I not been stubborn, we would've stopped playing on day 2.
Now that I know the game, I want to make a build. However, I find that the game doesn't help you understand what is good and what is not. Some skills don't even have numbers on them! The Cleric's Crusader promotion says that "Flash of light heals allies adjacent to the enemy target". How much does it heal for? How close must you be to be considered adjacent? This to me is terrible and must be addressed. The vocabulary must be fixed, and numbers must be put. For example, Magic the Gathering has a very solid terminology. The words "destroy" and "exile" are distinct, and always used properly. When your read "target", you know that you chose a target. "Scry" is not the same as "look at the top card", "put a card in your hand" is not the same as "draw a card", and all those mechanics are explained and have their use. In a game like Crowfall, damage and heals should always have numbers associated with them CCs should clearly state their duration, distances should be in a common unit (like meters), etc.
How Support and Attack power interact with heals and damage should be stated, because otherwise you can't compare % damage increase and weapon damage with attack power increase and it becomes very hard to make good choices.
And that's true not only for combat. For instance, the intermediate pickaxes should state the % chance of dropping a discipline when fully harvesting a node and the the node rank does not affect that number.
Other miscellaneous suggestions because this post is already way too long:
- When you get to Skypoint, please put the emphasis on joining a guild
- Minimap, please!
- Fix the tooltips not showing while moving bug
- Re-spec for gold, alleluja!
- When crafting, state which profession produces the parts that you need
- Allow swapping disciplines (and maybe also domains) for free. The could be soulbound/restricted so that we can't abuse it during a fight, but toying around different options would be very nice.
- Some reward for capturing outposts in God's Reach, maybe? And a clarification that Faction vs Faction is not really a fight since the scores and seasons don't move?
- A balance of Skypoint. I find that most villages are around the Earth Portal, while Sun and Moon get 1 each. Also right north to the Earth portal, you find an incredible spot for mining, and I haven't found a better spot so I run for 15 minutes through the map (which is boring) just to mine over there.
- Some kind of in game wiki, so that you can come back to the information you haven't read in the tutorial because you spammed 'Y' like your life depended on it. (I never understood how to mine a motherlode until a guildmate showed me)
- Being able to search in vendor stalls. Finding a specific discipline is hard (although I realized that they were ordered alphabetically. Helps, but still annoying.)
- Being able to search in the dregs bank from the keeps and castle
- Explaining what import and export tokens are
- Explaining what "unlock" does. All those red buttons make it look like you're deleting your character, while in fact all it does is strip you naked and allows you to get out of dregs.
- Opening the map, moving items into the bank, hovering an item and other things lag the game. Very annoying.
Let me finish with: Good job on the game! I really like it, there's great potential, I don't think you're ready to launch, but I hope it goes well!