[Feedback] DrakenSang Impressions Feb 2016

Discussion in 'General Archive' started by jcdenton007, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. jcdenton007

    jcdenton007 Forum Apprentice

    Used to play before, forgot info, not worried about it. Played about ~3 years ago. How times have changed.

    Meandering Thoughts & Impressions

    -So the extra window thing is still a thing. Two DSO icons in my taskbar instead of one. I guess ~6 years of massive revenue generation and they still can't take care of that in the thin client. What a shame.

    -4 player slots! How generous! I guess this will cut down on duplicate accounts and multiboxing a bit by others.

    -These graphics look absolutely terrible; noticeable downgrade from previous versions years ago. Even with everything maxed on the thin client, it seems character and item models took a very sharp and noticeable downgrade in quality with no way to restore them.

    -This new newbie starting zone (why another one!?) is bland, lifeless, colorless, and absolutely terrible to me.
    The aesthetic is lazy, poor, and a terribly haphazard arrangement compared to the previous versions. I miss the colorful and exciting prologue from before, why was it changed to this garbage!?
    The game design in this section is also lazy and uninspired. Nothing from the sky falling around you, no explosions, drab generic music. BLEH!

    -The popup tutorials are VERY annoying; luckily I can turn them off and I did so very quickly. This is not how you do a proper tutorial; the prior-version newbie starting area was awesome!

    -And all the talents are changed including the entire method of obtaining cloaks, bank access, and other things. I hope they haven't put everything behind a paywall.

    -Instead of meaningful talent choices, everything is just 'check the box' like a mindless drone. Yawn and disappointment.

    -You aren't allowed to use essences in PvP? Better late than never; I guess after ~6 years they were bound to lose enough players to bother implementing this change so the 'whales' would stick around. They sure as hell aren't gonna stay for the PvE. This change reminds me of *competing game* implementing a 'quest items bag' after ~7 years running and touting it as a new feature of their latest expansion. I chuckle and shake my head.

    -Potions still seem to be allowed in PvP...well I guess it is progress? >_>

    -They unlocked the Steampunk class from the start. Awesome! No more arbitrary level restrictions to unlock!

    Notable Downsides & Issues

    Temporary Directory for Files
    Wait wait wait wait WAIT WHAT!?
    "%localappdata%\Temp\DSOClient" is where you store your data and user settings? IN THE TEMPORARY DIRECTORY!? Are you kidding me!?

    The game used to store settings in the "%localappdata%\DrakenSang" folder. What changed!? What idiot programmer thought it would ever be a good idea to store ALL the files/settings in a TEMPORARY directory!? The same one that Windows Disk Cleanup will happily wipe out as part of routine maintenance?

    I don't usually say this but I'll say it in this case: The person/people responsible for this change need to be fired and replaced as soon as possible if for nothing else than they are actively and detrimentally messing up the game for everyone (and causing more Support headaches than needed) and negatively impacting BP's bottom line profits.

    No HTTPS
    So we're in the year 2016 and there is STILL no HTTPS on the games, forums, game login, or website at all. BP seems too cheap/ignorant to get a 'wildcard' SSL certificate for pocket change (compared to the income they receive) that would cover all their various domains. Nope, who needs SSL in the era of rampant targeted game account compromises and cyberattacks?

    Reminds me of *competing game company* waiting until people started quitting en-masse before updating their RC4-only security system so that everyone wasn't locked out of their accounts.

    UPDATE: Apparently when you login to the website and then click 'Change Data' THEN it switches to HTTPS for modifying the information. Sooo....what!? And why isn't HTTPS used all the time then? Beats me.

    Whale-First Monetization
    I get that BP needs to make money because screw the consumer and F2P gougefest, but this 'whales-first' mentality on pricing still remains after 6 years despite a great deal of additional competition on the market. Might wanna look into how other places monetize and adapt to the market. Just a thought.

    Of course I haven't forgotten the instant-bans from the forums & game for anyone who even so much as mentions a competitor here. Also not sure if the Drakensang in-game word filter is still as overreaching (censoring the words 'homosexual' and 'gay') and discriminatory as it used to be.

    Invisible Walls & Flowers
    I hit an invisible wall in the second 'area' of the tutorial starting zone in the border between the area & the dungeon. No way to actually just put a physical wall there, just make it invisible because that makes sense. :p

    I was a bit harsh about the aesthetic but it is still significantly darker-toned and blander/subdued colors compared to the bright & colorful tutorial areas of previous DrakenSang Online tutorial areas. I do appreciate what the art dept did despite their limitations. Brief bits of colorful flowers & green parts among all the disdain and gloom.

    A dark & dreary/rainy area to make things more 'edgy' is played out. That isn't what this game should be about compared to any other Action-RPG on the market. Toning down the aesthetic so heavily (and replacing the tutorial that was already awesome) was a terrible move.

    Quest Items & Inventory Space
    After 6 years....SIX YEARS and there is still no dedicated Quest Items bag despite tons of possible ways to do it by now. I guess BP decided that pushing monetization was more important than a very useful Quality of Life feature for newbies.

    Some of these (like money) are now auto-obtained when you run over them. Six years later but about time. No yellow outline on coin (money) drops makes me a sad panda. Why was that removed?

    Tutorial Tips
    Why isn't there a 'Tutorial Tips' or 'Tutorial Help' item in the menu where I can re-view the tips or skip to ones that I want to know about or re-learn? Why place such important content in the game and have it be a one-time thing only? If a player decides later they want tutorial tips then why not let them have that option to view the 'missed' ones?

    Tutorial Area Redux
    My goodness. They actually made the tutorial more boring than before. I'm struggling with the desire to keep going at this rate. How yawn-worthy. The previous tutorial got me excited to play, this one makes me fall asleep.

    Here we go...at the grave; NOW the music picks up and it seems interesting. Took a while to get here, hmm?

    Tutorial NPC
    I feel disempowered/useless when this guy is running around one-shotting everything. Why am I even here? Why is this guy wanting to steal my (potential) drops and XP?

    "I've been hit, it is pretty bad" while the NPC continues to stand fully upright rather than in an 'injured' pose.
    Seems BP is doing something worse than SNES games from the 1990s. Go figure.

    First Town & Open Area
    So seems BP has revamped a lot more than just the tutorial. All has to be gritty & dark now. What a shame.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    Darwarren likes this.
  2. Darwarren

    Darwarren Count Count

    BigPoint hired some cast-offs from other games, so they could use old, exhausted selling points, no longer in demand. They chase other games, and they are terrible at it.
    There are several empty positions, because they won't pay for talent, and because management reeks.
    There are also a lot of noob programmers working alone. They sabotage each other, because they don't know the big picture.

    As you've noticed, the only thing predictable now is their failure.
    Troneck86 likes this.
  3. jcdenton007

    jcdenton007 Forum Apprentice

    I appreciate the heads up. I'm going on a 'bad games' spree as part of my training into becoming a good games designer. We often learn more from terrible games than from good ones and providing valuable feedback to the devs would be something that might (possibly) be archived along with the forums by someone somewhere somehow to chronicle the downfall of an MMO. Similar to how people went through forum archives after the fall of Star Wars: Galaxies. That's how investigators were able to piece together the reasoning behind the players staging an in-game revolt before they all just up and quit and caused the servers to shut down.

    But again what I don't get is why they would fix what isn't broken and just redo all the things that are already there and working. I don't get it. >_>
    They aren't Blizzard here with the money and manpower to revamp the entire world. They should've focused on newer content + bugfixes.

    At minimum I hope my impressions are seen by new players so they know what to expect. Maybe for veterans who are planning to return and want an idea of some changes from what they knew.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    Darwarren likes this.
  4. Troneck86

    Troneck86 Forum Great Master

    People with decision-making power making bad decisions usually is the start of the process of why things go wrong.
  5. jcdenton007

    jcdenton007 Forum Apprentice

    Commas and Periods, how we love to use both. However when I see 13, 59 it confuses me as someone residing in the USA (especially with the wierd spacing involved). After 6+ years can we get a region-specific option on how numbers/values are displayed? Finally? Please? >_>

    So the forums are much better than before, to the point where we can edit posts more than 5 mins after posting AND even delete our own posts! WOW! :)
    And yeah apparently this has to be seen as a positive rather than a standard feature of gaming forums. That's where we are at right now, go figure.


    So essences are only given once per account? What!? Why!?
    Inventory slots are per character. I don't see tons of people creating/deleting characters to get all the way to Kingshill just for some essences (that are only 100% boost instead of 200% boost like before). What a shame :(

    Items can be identified for free!? Am I dreaming? Is this something just in the tutorial area or is it for real? This would single-handedly be the best change BP has ever done for the game if identifying items has gone completely free now. WOW. Genuine applause here for recognizing and fixing a broken system.

    Female DragonKnight Feedback:

    NPCs acknowledge my female gender and class properly. Nice!

    Attack Speed nerfed to half of what it was before while damage was about doubled.

    Rageful Swing is better than Rage Attack in every way. Frontal attack that hits multiple enemies in a single swipe and the same attack speed despite Rage Attack saying it is a 'quick' attack. Odd design choices.

    Monetization ProTip:
    Reducing prices by anything less than 50% will not excite most players. Most customers (based on prevailing monetization data from a vast array of online games) prefer shorter-duration 'flash' sales of 50% or more off the usual price. THAT is what would excite me about your cash shop. You want me to be excited? DO IT. DO IT NOW! Please HURT my wallet BP!! :p

    Valve has been doing this for over a decade, why don't you get in on the action if you want to copy 'wings' of all things?

    Audio: Just noticed your audio channel on the first 'red circle enemy' is all off. Very much oriented to the right side almost exclusively (sound effects) while the music channel is properly on all channels and centered. I didn't notice this before.

    UI: Your UI is huge with no way to resize it. After 6+ years of development you think that this would've been done by now. Let us resize the UI (custom resizing for each element) and even hide parts of the UI completely if we don't need it. Here's an even more radical idea: let us move around parts of the UI to where WE want it to be shown! Amazing isn't it?

    (Optional) Gamepad Support: After 6+ years you think they'd put in gamepad support. I know it isn't common for browser games, however Chrome natively supports gamepads so it shouldn't be that difficult to implement XInput and DirectInput gamepad support. Even just XInput for the 360-style gamepads would work. If BP can spend the money to update their engine to support Mounts & Wings then this should be even better and differentiate this game from all the other browser-based games.

    Dialogue: Maybe the vast majority of players just click through and don't care about it, but that doesn't mean that dialogue isn't an important aspect of the game world. Paying someone to proofread the tutorial text would've been nice. It suffers from obvious text spacing issues and wierd grammar errors (the word 'Then' shouldn't even be there; a trivial fix yet completely ignored).

    Weather: The weather/rain effects are nicely done, I have to hand it to the devs for that. Now if it showed on my character/armor, on prominent objects in the environment (flowers), and on enemies, then THAT would be amazing. But browser game so meh :)

    Ranger Feedback:
    Holy cow. 250% base damage (spammable 5x in a row) with just a quick mark. The final boss fight of the tutorial area is so easy that it is done before I can get started. Just wow...Rangers seem ridiculously overpowered at this early stage. It might be worthwhile to cut their precise shot damage in half AND reduce the projectile speed/range. This is just too absurd. Wow. >_<
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
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