MY KotC Review

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MY KotC Review

Postby Coolio » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:43 pm

It's pretty rare nowadays that I enjoy a game enough to write a whole lot of words about it, but KotC has become one of those games. A quick note: my familiarity with 3.5 dnd is mostly from crpgs.

The two things I enjoyed most about this game were its implementation of 3.5 dnd combat and its difficulty ( long as that lasted. See below). The only other games with as good DnD implementation that I've played are probably ToEE and Icewind Dale 2, both made by far bigger studios. With the way games are nowadays with big quest markers and combat that doesn't even try to be a challenge so much as filler between overwrought cinematic cutscenes, I appreciated that most of the time my party was in very real danger and I was often put in situations where I was at a disadvantage and had to tough things out. Big props also for the intuitive and well explained in game help system, which helped a babby newbie like me a lot! :)

But I think the game does have problems that result from a few design decisions and also from some flaws inherit to 3.5 dnd. The biggest issue is the resting system which leads to other problems. Since dungeons are long and full of encounters, your options for healing and replenishing spells are to either abuse the crafting system or make long slow constant trecks back to fireplaces. Since often you are put in situations where you don't have access to a fireplace and there are flat out no consumables except wands and scrolls (which you will likely have to craft since I think I can count on both hands the amount I've found in stores and lying around), it seems like you're supposed to do the former. The problem is that crafting is outstandingly cheap; scribing a level 9 (the highest possible) spell costs a whopping 2104 gold (I have over a million from selling loot) and a staggering 164 xp (I can kill a random giant for like 500) and doesn't even consume a prepared spell. In other words, there's basically no limit to me crafting a million mass heals and never having to worry about healing again, or a million energy drains or dehydrates or whatever and never having to worry about an enemy again. Since "challenge" is I feel the biggest draw of the game this easy to break system is completely out of place. Normally I'd say it's your own fault for abusing a flaw in a game's design, but since your options for healing and being able to consistently cast spells through long dungeons full of encounters are to either craft a million scrolls/wands or make a million treks to a fireplace it's not your fault for being encouraged to do just that.

My other problem is probably due more to the nature of high level 3.5 dnd than the game. At this point I should admit that I actually haven't finished it and probably won't. I've gotten to the fire giant keep and it's stopped me in my tracks due to one thing: to many trash mobs. I'm sick of opening doors and finding 2-6 fire giants and maybe some other appropriately themed enemies behind them. This is after the ice giant keep, which was full of rooms with 2-6 ice giants and some appropriately themed enemies, and the hill giant keep, which was... full of rooms with 2-6 hill giants and some appropriately themed enemies. They pose no challenge to my party of two clerics and two mages who even without having to constantly rest or use scrolls are more than capable of blasting them to smithereens. Part of this is how broken casters are in 3.5 dnd (to be fair, a huge amount of these enemies are themselves casters) in contrast to how useless fighters are. But part of this is also just due to lazy level design. It's a lot easier to just make a bunch of rooms full of trash giants for players to wade through than individually craft enough encounters to fill a game. It's also super boring for the player. My most memorable encounter in the game is when you fall down a trap into a pit of sand which hampers you surrounded by enemy archers and casters. That was a tough fight and it was super rewarding to beat it. It also probably took a lot more effort to make then stuffing six giants into a monster box and calling it a day.

It might seem like I'm being harsh, but honestly I wouldn't have devoted so much thought and effort into writing this if I didn't otherwise really enjoy the game. If the rest of the game was a turd, I wouldn't care! I'd just like to submit my thoughts so others can see them and in my arrogance maybe whoever's working in the next game will notice them :) Thank you for reading.
Kobold (CR 1/4)
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MY KotC Review


Re: MY KotC Review

Postby Waterd103 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:16 pm

I did a review at some point pointing exactly all the problems you pointed out!.

1. Lazy design:
Clearly the Giant fortress was made in a more lazy way that the game before that. I had this little exchange with the game designer. And yes he wanted to make the game longer, and carefull design battles require time.
As I said to him, I would prefer a shorter game , than a longer game filled with meaningless fights. I think the game is amazing up to the giants, and then starts to fall off considerably. The Lich king quest is good though.

2. Crafting is godlike powered and make the game a breeze, I only played Ironman mode so far, and the first 2 runs I died pretty fast, then I decided that craft was neccesary. (I will later explain that craft isnt neccesary to reach far into the game though). The third run I decided to go craft heavy. The game was a breeze from start to end. Crafting destroys any challenge the game may have, I agree.

3. Challenge. You will see in the forums a Challenge I set to myself to beat the game in ironman mode with only 1 use per campfire and no crafting, and the game is challenging and fun. You may feel it's too hard since i have 15 runs and didnt achieve it. But if you notice 4 runs I ended for some reson or another, and like 6 ended in the first fight of the game (which is among the hardest in the game without scribe scroll).
My point is It would be cool if he would have added a challenging mode from the start, instead of forcing us to restrict ourselves to have challenges.

4. I don't agree Casters are that powerful without scribe scroll. Sure with scribe scroll when you have infinite spell slots, you can cast every fight your most powerful spells. Then, they are gods. But when you have to fight without scribe scroll or resting 4 or 5 fights in a row. You start wondering if they are worth to have in the team.
Marilith (CR 17)
Knights of the Chalice
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Re: MY KotC Review

Postby BlueSalamander » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:56 pm

Hi Coolio, thank you for the review. I agree that challenge is a big draw and that it is reduced by easy crafting and filler encounters.
You may want to continue playing just for the few difficult battles that remain.
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: MY KotC Review

Postby puffdaddy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:49 am

lol,so long review.I recently reviewed two anime style browser games: pokomon styled web gaming experience Pocamon and Japanese style serenia fantasy based on anime combic book.
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