Wolcen: The good, the bad, and the super pretty

Hey everyone,

I've tried posting this over on the r/Wolcen subreddit but it seems to have been auto-blocked into oblivion for some reason. At least, it doesn't seem to be showing up in the subreddit's feed. I'm still pretty new to the whole thing and I may well have done something wrong. Feel free to give it a try if you so fancy:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Wolcen/comments/fa9u1m/wolcen_the_good_the_bad_and_the_super_pretty/
I also didn't really know under which category to submit this on the forums, but I figured Community/Showcase was the closest fit.
Anyway, on with the actual post.

So this all started out as a reply to someone's post asking whether they should buy the game or play something else. Since I can't seem to shut up about this stuff and ended up with something way too long for a comment, I decided to make a fresh post instead. Then this whole thing basically spiralled waaaay out of control and turned into a long-form essay. Oops.
At this point I've actually sunk several hours of my very limited free time and writing skills into throwing my two cents on this game (i.e. this very post) and the potential surrounding it out into the void. If that doesn't tell you how passionate and hopeful I am for Wolcen and our budding little community, I don't know what will.
Attention: I'll try to make it clear which topics different parts of this post are addressing so that you can choose what to read and what to skip at your leisure; I'll even include individual TL,DRs at the end of each one. Still though, this will likely be a needlessly long wall of text, since brevity is not my strong suit.
Either grab a drink and strap in or run for the hills right now!
Also, there will be some profanity; if you are prone to fainting spells at such outragery, please have a seat before reading on.
Consider yourself warned.

And off we go!

First of all, who am I and why should you care what I have to say?

Well to be fair, you probably shouldn't. Or you don't have to, at least. Completely up to you.
If you do decide to give it a shot, I'm hoping I can in some small way inform you, provoke some fresh ideas, or at the very least keep you entertained for a bit.
I'm getting ever closer to 30 and I've been an avid consumer of video games for over 20 years now. When I was just a wee lad of about 6 years old, one of my older brothers couldn't stand seeing me play shitty point-and-click games designed for children anymore, so he taught me to play StarCraft. The original one. The one where you can't really tell if Kerrigan is supposed to be hot or creepy or both or neither because everything is just a mess of pixels.
After a long, drawn-out campaign of incessant, whiny nagging, my other brother finally caved and let me play Diablo with him. The three of us had barely anything in common - except for a shared love of video games. These games were like my first real taste of candy as a kid, and boy was I hooked! Many of my fondest childhood memories revolve around playing with my brothers, with some friends, or even just by myself. I've greatly enjoyed games of every genre, on every platform, in every state of development, and made by all kinds of studios with vastly different budgets.
Fast forward to today: I'm now a software developer who spends way too much of his free time either playing games or studying how they're made, in hopes of one day creating some games of his very own. I still love trying out new things constantly and I value variety and originality above all else when it comes to entertainment in general.

As for ARPGs, the percentage of my lifetime I've sunk into those bad boys is... obscene, at best.
Everything from well-known hits like Diablo 1-3, Grim Dawn, and Path of Exile to fringe stuff like The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, Victor Vran, or Pagan Online has at one point (to varying degrees) been enjoyed by me. Heck, I'm still foaming at the mouth hoping for a western release of Lost Ark, despite its heavy MMO elements.
Yeah, I think it's safe to say I'm a fan of the genre.
I've also been following the whole Wolcen project since the way back times of 2015, before they were denied the right to call the thing Umbra. I've seen all the ups and downs the dev team went through and played the game throughout various stages of development. I'm now looking at roughly 70 hours spent in v1.0.x. Not a lot compared to some of our most dedicated, hardcore end-game pushers, but hopefully enough to represent the experience of a large portion of the player-base. Unfortunately, I just don't have as much time as I used to for endless gaming sessions.
Damn you, real-life obligations!!

As for my attitude concerning games and their discussion/reviews, I'd like to get something out of the way early: almost no one gets into game development because they think it will make them rich! Striking gold with an indie game and being set for life is basically like winning the lottery. For every Minecraft or Stardew Valley of the world, there are thousands upon thousands of abandoned, failed, or simply unknown indie games out there.
If instead you're working at a bigger studio, you're still shit outta luck, because chances are you'll never see a dime of sales and you're contractually locked into a steady salary; meanwhile, actual profits are divided amongst the highest tiers of management and/or shareholders. Also, you generally don't just get to develop whatever you want, but are instead assigned very specific tasks, often by people who have no business telling creative types what to do.
Despite knowing this, many developers choose to do what they do out of sheer passion for their craft. Many seem to think of game developers as the hedge-fund-manager-type when in reality, most are far more akin to the starving artist. In fact, what the average game developer earns is still well below nearly every other IT-centric occupation.
When judging the work of other developers, of the people who work so hard to supply all of us with our favourite toys despite the ever-present risk of financial ruin, ridicule, or even outright hatred by a small yet noticeable number of very loud and hostile individuals, I try to consider all aspects of the product as well as its development. The overall process and well-being of dev teams is just as important to me as the value of the product they churn out. If you think that makes me a bad consumer or whatever, feel free. Just know that I strongly disagree with that sentiment, because I seek to support creators towards making better products, rather than tear them down at the first sign of failure.
Constructive criticism is great, shitting all over someone else's hard work while understanding very little about it absolutely is not!
Furthermore, if you're the kind of soulless shitbird who not only likes to spew toxic rhetoric everywhere, but even goes so far as to tell people they should die or send direct death threats to game developers because you're in some way unhappy with an entertainment product... bruh. Seriously. Kindly remove yourself from any and all reasonable discussion, since you clearly have nothing productive to contribute.
It seems ridiculous that I even have to mention this, but yes, this exact type of disgusting behaviour has been running rampant for a long time now, even within the Wolcen community. This is likely a major reason why there is now very little communication from the Wolcen team/community manager Calistaen in most major outlets. Personally, I wouldn't want to openly discuss possible balancing or changes either if it meant I had to go through something like that every time.

So there you go. That's the kind of person whose overly long opinion piece you're about to dig into. Again: If you're turned off by what you've seen so far, run away now! Things will only get more passionate and long-winded from here on out. If you do stick around, I'd love to hear absolutely everyone's opinions and perspectives, formulated in a civil and reasonable manner like decent human beings. I want to know and understand what I may have missed, why you may factually disagree, or how you simply feel differently about all of this, since I strongly believe that proper discussions are the only way to move forward and evolve!

TL,DR for the intro: I really, really, really like games. Bigly. ARPGs especially! I also have some small insight into the world of software development and some even smaller insight into the game dev industry. I've been anticipating Wolcen for a long time.Also, be reasonable and fair to each other and to development staff; don't bite the hand that feeds.


Let's address the big fat elephant in the room: the state of Wolcen's "full launch".

Even if you can forgive the typical growing pains of every ambitious game (or heck, of every major software project for that matter), there are a ton of bugs ranging from amusing to frustrating to outright game-breaking, along with poor implementations of seemingly cool ideas. It seems that the Wolcen team is hard at work trying to fix the worst of this stuff, but I fully understand that many people are disappointed with the technical state of the game, or rather with how it was presented as a finished product, rather than something that's still very much in need of fixing and tuning. There has been a lot of speculation as to why the dev team chose to go down this route, but I believe the most likely scenario to be that they were simply unable to finish the game before running out of funds.
Bad management?
Yep.
Disingenuous towards customers?
Very much so, I'm afraid.
A devious cash grab aimed toward pulling our hard-earned moneys out of our respective pockets without having to work for it?...come on guys. Seriously?
With the massive amount of examples of ACTUAL cash grabs out there in the gaming market nowadays (or even the many atrocious licensed games of yore, attempting to scrape more profit out of movie releases with minimal effort), I should think it's easy to tell them apart from somewhat failed attempts at making something cool, which the creators genuinely wanted to make.
What I consider obvious cash grabs are those simplistic "games", especially in the mobile space, which rely heavily on well-known IP or flashy effects to draw people in while ignoring what makes for good gameplay. Even worse is when those same "games" try extremely hard to keep players addicted, often more to the experience of purchasing random nonsense than actually playing the game they're sinking money into. Something like Nintendo's recent forays into the mobile market comes to mind, as well as many pretty-looking but ultimately hollow freemium asian MMOs.
Some notable defining characteristics are:
1. Low effort put into developing the actual gaming aspects of these supposed games.
2. Strong incentives to keep players hooked on purchases, often by making gameplay tedious without it. Drug-dealer-esque tactics like giving you a taste of something fun for free, then taking away the fun unless you continuously invest either ludicrous amounts of time or money.
3. Catering strongly to a very small amount of consistently overpaying players who make up a big part of the company's income - aka wale hunting. AVAST, MATEYS!
Having followed the development of Wolcen(/Umbra) for years now, I can confidently say that no, the developers were not trying to make a quick buck. In fact, I'm guessing most of them have been working for extremely little pay for a very long time now because they're passionate about their work. They probably just bit off way more than they could chew and ended up nearly choking to death because of it. While it sucks that many paying customers were lead to believe they were getting a fully working product when this clearly isn't the case, it was probably either that or just shut down the entire studio completely. This would have resulted not only in a bunch of very talented creators being out of a job, but also in everyone who had already invested into the game ending up with something that would never be finished.

Honestly? I prefer things this way. I admit this may be a bit selfish, but hear me out.If you're new to the party and you're unsatisfied with what you paid for, that's understandable. Requesting a refund if you don't feel like you're getting your money's worth is totally fine. Yes, even constantly grumbling about the bad state of a game you otherwise really like, or the unclear direction in which it is headed, all the while calling it paid early access... that's still something I consider within reason.
In the end though, and I cannot stress this enough, I'd much rather have a somewhat unfinished product now that's on its way to greatness than end up with yet another dead indie project that could have been amazing.

TL,DR for the technical state/financial stuff: The Wolcen team tried to create something better than the big established AAA studios with a fraction of their funds, staff, and experience. The less-than-desirable outcome of their super long term project (5 years since kickstarter funding, several years of development before that) is not a cash-grab but the result of a team of talented dreamers shooting for the stars and falling flat on their faces during take-off.


Is Wolcen a good game?

Yes.

- roll credits -

...in all seriousness though, I do think what's already there and what it's shaping up to be in the long run is excellent, and here's why:

  1. Visual design.
    Probably the easiest aspect to spot at a glance, even the people who aren't into whatever else Wolcen has to offer tend to agree that this game is fucking GORGEOUS! Environments, enemy design, characters, equipment, skill effects... Everything looks incredibly well put-together and polished to a gleam. I'm endlessly impressed by how they've managed to nail the atmosphere of the lush, vibrant forest drowning in sunlight just as much as the dark, musty, suffocating crypts and caves.
    Some aspects, like the often mocked proportions of female characters (more reminiscent of extremely busty storks than actual human beings (you're welcome for that particular image (yes, I put parentheses inside parentheses, you should try it - it's really fun))), could definitely use some tweaking. A few designs here and there seem rather uninspired or derivative. All in all though, I haven't enjoyed just looking at a game this much in a very, very long time.
    And yes, many people care about graphics and that's okay! Not everyone wants to do maths on a spreadsheet all day or run around in bland, grimy pixels while hitting other bland, grimy pixels in what you think might be the face, possibly.
    I'm looking at you, PoE/Eve Online nerds!
    I've decided I'm allowed to say that because I'm one of you and I do it with love :)

  2. Audio design.
    When you fire a massive rail gun, you want to hear that bad boy going off. When you smack some rando zombie dude upside the noggin with your massive warhammer because he looked at you funny, you need that satisfying thonk to really hit your earholes. When you.... well, you see what I'm getting at.Good sound design is often overlooked, even though it contributes massively to a game's overall aesthetic, and especially to how visceral interactions and combat feel. All that being said, I think the sound team on Wolcen's staff has absolutely nailed this part. The music, while not particularly amazing, is really nice to listen to; the sound effects... oof, what a fucking eargasm!
    If you have any sort of appreciation for this stuff, you owe it to yourself to play this game with some proper speakers at least, or even better with headphones. Good ones. Not the shitty little earbuds you got for a buck fifty at the supermarket because your last ones didn't work anymore and you never quite got around to replacing them with something decent because who has the time nowadays to go out and browse through an electronics store but also you don't feel like supporting amazon anymore because daddy Bezos is basically the Merchant-Prince of Earth at this point plus you just kind of can't be bothered right now because reasons... GREG!


    Anyway:

  3. Gameplay and system design.
    Fuuuuun on a bun. This is another aspect that's been frequently praised even in largely negative reviews, and once you feel it for yourself you'll likely see why. Annoying bug-centric hiccups aside (like those goddamned projectile-dodging bloodsuckers), hitting stuff feels AMAZING! It's like you can feel aforementioned warhammer actually crunch into the bones of your feeble enemies, or your protoss-zealot infinity blades warp-slice through the very fabric of reality as you tear... okay, again, you get the picture. Combat is fun.Heck, I'll even sink the occasional arrow into a hapless barrel, just because I can and everything I do Feels. So. Damn. SATISFYING!
    Nonetheless, I am aware that some people are not satisfied with the current direction of combat design.
    Being locked into attacks once you initiate them.
    Having an overall slower feel (provided you're not abusing overtuned mechanics) and longer individual engagements.
    Actually dying to bosses now and then because you weren't paying enough attention.
    Not having a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card in the form of an animation cancelling movement skill.
    All of these are rather atypical design choices for a traditional ARPG and many players, especially those who don't really partake of other genres, are clearly unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the concept. This is perfectly understandable and voicing your concerns is fine as well. You should be aware though that these are not bugs or balancing issues. Well, for the most part; the latter is a bit iffy. Generally speaking though, these are intended features which a vast majority of players enjoy and have been begging for in the genre for a looooong time. We can and should absolutely discuss their potential merit, or lack thereof, but no, this is not something which "obviously needs fixing and devs have no idea what they're doing" just because it's not the same as every other ARPG out there.But more on that in the upcoming genre section.
    I personally find the moment to moment gameplay to be the most enjoyable out of every single isometric looter game I've had the pleasure of playing. Throw in the staggering amount of build variety enabled by the passive and active skill tree stuff (you know, once it's all actually working and balanced properly), the part that I always loved most about PoE or Grim Dawn, and you have an absolute winner in my book. The steady increase in power and customization options of active skills is also hands-down the best system I've seen so far. PoE is a close second due to its excellent skill gem combination system, unique jewels, etc.; it simply lacks the intuitive nature of Wolcen's approach and will therefore always turn off more casual players - who, despite what we like to tell ourselves, generally make up a much larger portion of any game's player base than we, the more dedicated hardcore nerds :) .
    On the other hand, I do agree with the people saying unique and legendary loot needs to be more interesting. Seeing and hearing it drop is already a real treat, but then you often look at the awesome twirly beamy thing you just picked up and it's just... disappointing. Either just another slightly better stat stick or, even worse, completely pointless.
    Luckily though, this part is very fixable and something to which we the players can actively contribute with cool ideas and suggestions. Perhaps they can even hire a new gameplay/system designer specifically for this area, now that they've had a decent influx of cash. It won't happen overnight, but problems with uninteresting uniques in particular have already been acknowledged by the dev team and are apparently something they're working on, in addition to the many bug fixes they're currently banging out. The same goes for properly incorporating uniques into the crafting system, which they're seemingly aware is a much beloved "feature" within the community. It has been taken out temporarily, as it was clearly a bug at this point and player power kept spiralling even further out of control, but they are working on an actual implementation!

  4. Content variety.
    This is a big one for me and for most fans of the genre and this passage will consequently be pretty long. As it stands now, there are dozens of hours of fun and variety to be experienced in the game. Depending on how you approach this type of game, I'd even say hundreds. Every time I find a piece of gear with great stats that's not suited for my current character, or I discover a new set of skill modifiers and passive nodes I hadn't yet thought about combining, I'm not annoyed or sad that I can't use it right this minute. Instead, I can't wait to make a new character and try doing something completely different, working toward creating a fresh experience for myself. The toys are all there for you to play with should you choose to have some casual fun and experiment with them, rather than competing for who can get the fastest top-level expedition clear with clearly overtuned singular skills.
    I realize that this may sound judgy, so I want to make it very clear: If that's the kind of gameplay you enjoy, that's perfectly fine! No judgement here, you do you mate! Just please be aware that you're likely to get a lot less variety out of your games and... well, pretty much everything in life, if you lock yourself into enjoying nothing beyond that competitive drive. Also, it's not how most people tend to enjoy most games, so demanding that everything be balanced around this singular experience for only a small part of the overall playerbase is highly unreasonable, no matter how dedicated those few people are.
    Despite all this, compared to most other ARPGs, Wolcen is obviously still far behind the curve when it comes to long-term engagement. To some extent, this is to be expected at the very start of a new game's life-cycle, especially one made by very few people with very few resources. However, Wolcen really is sorely lacking in the kind of endless loop older entries in the genre have perfected over the years by randomly/procedurally tossing together all kinds of different enemies and environments to keep things from feeling too stale, providing a larger amount of possible compositions and situations. Having hand-crafted environments for the story bits is something I greatly appreciate and I'm aware that this creates a lot of opportunities for more deliberate, streamlined game design. Ultimately though, as many have already pointed out, players don't enjoy running through the same layouts and environments over and over. This does diminish the incentive to go back and try out different builds as well, so I'd say it needs to be worked on asap.
    Let's also not forget that this is all stuff with which pretty much every now highly successful ARPG struggled for a long, long time. D3 didn't get adventure mode until Reaper of Souls came out, two years into its life cycle after full release, and that game was also in development for many, many years before it even came out - made by far more experienced and well-funded development staff. As far as I know, PoE STILL makes you slog through the same campaign every time, rather than providing a more randomized and varied experience like mapping early on.
    So yeah, the absence of decent algorithmically generated areas notwithstanding, I'd say Wolcen's Champion of Stormfall mode is an excellent approach to end-game content and keeping things fresh with new characters. I'm also cautiously optimistic that the type of content referred to above is likely already underway, especially since it was present during various alpha/beta stages, and it willl help make the most of every single asset they throw into the existing pool. The same goes for other content: New skills, more interesting skill modifiers, more build-defining uniques, large variety of equipment in general - all of this can be easily worked on and implemented once the core of the game is firmly in place. As for the amount of different builds with which you can experience those environments, it seems to me that the groundwork is already there and we're only a few balance updates and bug fixes away from being able to really dig into all of the more interesting node combinations.

TL,DR for the gameplay stuff: Wolcen looks, sounds, and feels excellent. There are some truly talented artists of all disciplines within the team, as well as some very cool ideas regarding gameplay systems, whose proper issue-free implementation I am eagerly awaiting. Despite the many issues waiting to be fixed, what's already there is great and what it can become in the long run seems incredible. If you feel like there's not enough to do, I suggest rethinking your approach to the game.



How does Wolcen compare to other ARPGs?

Here's where it gets tricky. Hack and Slash, isometric Action RPG, Dungeon Crawler - whatever you want to call it, this genre is old. It's been around the block so many times at this point, it's got legs like Terry Crews.
With the many excellent entries currently out there which have perfected their formula over the last several years (Diablo 3, PoE, etc.), many players have very specific expectations of what the genre is supposed to be and what makes it fun.
What most of us seem to agree makes for a good ARPG includes the ability to make interesting personal builds, regularly finding meaningful loot, and maintaining a satisfying feedback loop/sense of progression. I would argue that these points are being partially met and well on their way to true fulfillment. Beyond this, opinions vary wildly and yet everybody seems certain that their perception of what works in one game is how every other game should also be.

u/a_random_gay_001 has actually done an excellent write-up of some fundamental differences between Wolcen's feel and its more traditional genre counterparts, so I won't go into too much detail about all that and will instead recommend you check out their post: https://www.reddit.com/r/Wolcen/comments/f9hnao/wolcen_some_arpg_habits_you_should_break/

While I feel there are some important factors missing there, it's a great starting point for a discussion about how this game can and (in my humble opinion) absolutely should set itself apart from its competition by changing up a lot of the common and worn-out tropes. What I honestly don't like about traditional ARPGs, despite my overall love for this genre, is how the ultimate goal is basically to skip through as much of the experience as possible in order to most efficiently turn time invested into power gains. I get that optimizing your itemization more and more, thus being able to take on ever stronger enemies, is essentially the core tenet of any loot-based game.
HOWEVER!
I have wished for a long, long time to be able to combine those systems of growth and slapping together crazy skill and gear combinations with some truly challenging, engaging combat. Actually having fun while fighting stuff is at least important to me as finding cool stuff and making the numbers go up. Rushing through every map as quickly as possible, only stopping to right-click the occasional group of monsters actually worthy of your attention... that just doesn't do it for me anymore. It's something which I've realized I managed to tolerate all these years, not something I actively enjoyed.
The most fun I typically had was always starting new characters and actually having to think about what I was doing rather than mashing my overtuned single attack skill while maybe maintaining an active buff or two. What I really love about other, more challenging games is active mechanical complexity. Having to be on your guard constantly, anticipating what your enemies could do at any moment, reacting quickly and forming new tactics on the spot - that's the kind of gameplay I can really sink my teeth into.
Think somewhere along the lines of Sekiro, Soulsborne stuff in general, even traditional fighting games like Street Fighter or something more zaney like Smash Bros, 2D platformer stuff with varied combat like Dead Cells. Heck, it doesn't even need to be real-time; Divinity: Original Sin 2 has some of the most difficult and fun combat I've experienced in years! Let's go even further and take Rocket League as an example, a game that doesn't even involve combat in a traditional sense but still manages to make confrontations and the gameplay experience in general feel very active and tense at all times (depending on how even the matches turn out, but that's a whole other rant).
As I've mentioned several times now, I'm someone who truly values variety and constantly facing new challenges; systems in which I can see my own progress just as much as my character's because I'm learning to approach tough situations in a smarter way, managing to pre-empt my opponent's actions more efficiently, or even just managing to hit the right buttons in the right order at the right time.This is exactly the kind of experience I want to combine with loot-based progression and build diversity. More than any other looter game I've tried, with the possible exception of Destiny raids, Wolcen delivers that exact feeling to me.
You're telling me that I could die at any moment because I fucked up, got greedy with the numbers of attacks I thought I could throw at my enemies before they did their own thing and now I'm staring at certain death because I can't just cancel out of the attacks I commited to at any time?
THANK. GOD.
Seriously, give me more of this. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy in gaming, I want this experience so badly. There are already tons of other looter ARPGs out there which cater to the whole cycle of running around and one-shotting anything in sight because you followed the most popular current build to a T after googling "how do I win Path of Exile". You can enjoy idle cookie-clicker type games all you want, but I sure as hell don't want every potential gameplay experience to be watered down this way!
Again, no real judgement here, just exhaggerating a bit for dramatic and comedic effect :)
I get it, this can be really fun and I enjoyed (and to some extent still enjoy) many parts of this kind of gameplay. As it turns out though, there are many of us who would absolutely love something fresh and new, something to shake up our notions of what an isometric hack and slash can be and forces us to take a more active, conscious role in the games we're playing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I actually wish the Wolcen team would lean into this idea even further! Being time-efficient will always be a major goal, sure. But why does every monster need to die in a single hit for us to feel like we've made a decent build? Do we really need every gameplay loop to be focused around charging through all the meticulously crafted, visually stunning environments like complete maniacs? How about more end-game activities that requires little actual movement around a map and instead tasks you solely with fighting tough, mechanically complex enemies or even defending certain objectives against unpredictable enemy formations? Get creative with it, find some ways to allow builds without 0 cd movement abilities to excel, just go nuts!. Encourage more cooperation and coordination amongst team mates. It seems like that's what you're going for anyway, so just... go harder, I guess.

There is obviously going to be a lot of backlash from people who like the status quo and just want a prettier version of the thing they're already into, that's just how it is. However, I believe we're all ready for a real next step in this genre and that many of us have been yearning for just such an experience for a very long time now.

TL, DR for the genre stuff: Diablo is still pretty enjoyable, Path of Exile is consistently excellent, and there are tons more cool games of this type already out or even being developed right now (looking good there, Last Epoch ;)). If that's the kind of experience you're looking for, where stats are always more important than conscious displays of player skill, more power to ya! Go and enjoy those games all you want, no judgement whatsoever. Please just let the rest of us have this one. If, like me, you want something slower, more methodical and tactically challenging, let's make sure the dev team knows it!


Closing thoughts

Whew. What a ride. I definitely got way too invested in what will likely be interesting to a very small number of people, but I'm hoping it'll at least pay off in some small way.
If your only takeaway from all my babbling is that it's perfectly fine to criticize something you enjoy and to enjoy something worthy of criticizm, I'll be happy.
If I can get even a handful of people to give Wolcen a real shot at fulfilling its potential, I'll be super happy.
If I can contribute to an even slightly more positive overall environment within our small but growing community, and the community of online gamers in general, I'll be super duper happy!
And if, by some miracle, you actually trundled through everything I had to say and are still sticking around even now, I have only one thing to say to you:

Seek help.



Also, thank you for your time and attention.
So... yeah. Two things.


I'll close all this out with one final (set of) appeal(s):

To everyone enjoying Wolcen despite the many, many issues it currently has:

Keep doing what you do. In fact, do even more of it! It's so awesome to see everyone sharing their excitement over a hard-earned piece of gear, a cool new combination of abilities, or meticulously crafted transmog sets cough r/WolcenLordsofFashion cough. We NEED more positivity here, more people who are actually satisfied to speak up and make themselves heard. I promise you that the developers do see this stuff as well and will be way more motivated to keep coming up with more awesome, creative content for us to enjoy; that's just how these people typically operate.
At the same time, please be respectful and understanding towards those of us who are disappointed with the current state of the game or who disagree with your opinions on aspects of the game you really like. Keep in mind that it's a good thing to criticize imperfections in something you love, provided it's done in a reasonable tone.

To everyone who's bummed out about the state in which the game was sold to the general public:

You have every right to be. This entire situation is about as far from ideal as you can get before it actually becomes irreparable. Voice your concerns, vent your anger, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do so in a reasonable way!
No, this game is not a pointless scam.
No, the developers are not greedy money-whores out to get you.
No, people who enjoy something despite its flaws are not blind sheeple deluding themselves into complacency... GREG!!!
But yes, the sheer amount of issues still present in a supposedly finished game like this is worrisome and worth discussing!

To everyone who really doesn't like what the game is trying to do:

Your opinion is just as valid as everyone else's, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If this game ain't your cup of tea and you're looking for something different, that's perfectly fine! All we ask is that you don't try to bring down the rest of us. Let us have our fun with the shiny new toy we've finally been provided and move on to something you actually enjoy. There are a lot of great alternatives out there for you to pour your energy into; just look how excellent that new PoE league is shaping up to be!

To absolutely everyone in general:

Criticism of something you like is not automatically criticism towards you!
The same goes for other people liking things that you actively dislike. We can all have fun with our own stuff without judging one another. Others are allowed to enjoy whatever they enjoy just as much as you are.
Also, as long as it's constructive, it's always good to talk about the flaws in something you think is already great so that it can be improved even further!
Also also, just because a few very noticeable people who don't share your point of view behave like complete assholes does NOT mean everybody else is like that and ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT give you license to approach every argument with the same shitty attitude. Treat others the way you yourself want to be treated.
We have the potential to forge a great, positive, long-lasting community.
How it turns out is entirely up to what we put in.

And since I seriously can't stress this enough:

Aways be respectful, be civil, and be supportive toward your fellow gamers, toward your fellow humans, and especially toward the developers working hard to enable all of our shared hobby.

A reasonable level of cynicism can help keep everyone honest, but what contributes most to our collective progress and happiness is doing something positive with your time!




And Remember:
You're all breathtaking!

Replies: 2

Created: 2 years, 3 months ago

Category: Community

It took me >30 minutes to read the whole thing so I can only guess how much dedication and time you've spent to write it. It's refreshing to see a positive thread instead of the usual "I want refund because you nerfed the only build that I play/ the only build viable" kind of stuff (mind you, I'm running gunslinger and doing fine at 160+).

As you have mentioned, the game designed around learning attack pattern and mechanism of the enemies as well as managing resource and dodging attack instead of killing a boss in one shot without even look at his tough modifier. I like the idea of "we'll give you an S+ reward if you don't die" in contrast to "we don't care if you die. You must finish this rift within this amount of time" in Diablo.

I'm a positive person, the moment I confirmed the transaction, I know I'll follow it till the end, "no matter the odds". After all, it's my decision. It look promising. Not every sail is smooth. It's up to the sailor to turn back or see it through. If anyone think this game isn't worth of their time then just leave to other games, no need to go to the forum to declare it.

I used to work in coding and scripting program, so I know that some problem is very tricky to solve, range from a simple incompatible window version to problematic engine that just refuse to work even though you did everything right. Some people, not sure if they have any experiences in programming or not, seem to think that the developers have wrong priority, nerfing instead of fixing broken things first. Maybe they never thought adjusting a working thing is always easier than fixing a broken one? Given the developers inexperience (this is their first game), things might take a while to be fixed, but I can totally understand them here. It's up to people to tolerate it or not.

If people pay more attention to the atmosphere and environment of the game, they can clearly notice the dedication the developers have put into. From the sound of arrow bounce off wall, the engraving on Anankis floor to the conversations of the people of Stormfall following the event at the end of chapter I. I bet half of you don't know that Sandor still alive or how Damaskus no longer the city leader in champion of Stormfall mode (Spoiler: because he allowed the refugees go into the city to take cover)

With all that , the game still has some matters that need improvement:
+ Fixing what need to be fixed
+ Unique items
+ More meaningful skill modifier. Balancing (Why does Infinity blade has a rune that give +2 force shield on hit, or rune that give 2% chance to spawn a ghost?)
+ Revisit, expand passive skill tree. The no class restriction and rotated ring is cool, but there're problems in it:

  • The early nodes merely the stepping stones before reaching the more valuable nodes in tier 3. Once you hit the outer ring, you just follow the link between two sub-class in tier 2 and then take as many tier 3 nodes as possible. This ruin the purpose of rotating rings, less build variety (because people will follow the same path that benefit them most and then get as many tier 3 nodes as they can) and more about how to position the rings most efficient.

  • You can't cut the link between them because that will lead to everyone taking all the path required in the inner rings even if they don't need it in order to get to their desired nodes. So make those more impactful and granting them special effect when combine certain class with each other. Example:
    . If you pick Sentinel and follow with Ranger, your attack has x% chance to impair target's movement for x second scaling with your level. If Alastor was picked after that, impaired target will take x shock ailment stacks and chain to nearby enemies. If you also link to Oracle of the Trinity, target will take x% more damage as shock and trigger any shock effect of Oracle of the Trinity if you have them.
    . If you link Assassin to Sentinel instead, your attack will ignore x% target resistance, if follow by Alastor, each attack reduce x% of target resistance until a maximum cap is reach and reset after x second. If linked to Oracle of the Trinity, whenever a target reach maximum resistance reduction cap, you grant x% bonus damage as fire, frost and lighting.
    . Only have special effects if the class have a certain amount of points invested in (4 for example)
    . Guys, the possibility is endless. I can already see the complexity here with just 3 rings. Imagine a skill tree like PoE but more simple outside while also more complex inside. Less = more. No need for the absurd amount of >1500 nodes. You still have the value of rotating rings while also adding more depth to the passive tree. It's "choice that matters"

To the developers, this is your firstborn in the game industry. It doesn't matter if people tell you it's ugly or not, it's still your most beautiful child. I hope in time you will overcome the difficulties you're facing and prove them they're wrong. Don't give up on your dream.

Best of luck to you.

(Edited 2 years, 3 months ago)

Created: 2 years, 3 months ago

Y'all got too much time on your hands.

Created: 2 years, 3 months ago

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