I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

This is the place to provide bug reports and suggestions about KotC 2 Augury of Chaos.

I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby Mr_Vandal » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:46 pm

"KotC 2 Augury of Chaos already exists as a full game for Windows and Mac OS, so there isn't any risk in that respect." ~KS page

I look at this line on the KS page and I know now this is lie.
Initially I didn't download the game, since I saw the comments on the KS page that it's a little rough, so I decided to wait. It's a small indie game so this wouldn't be anything terrible or unusual. I've waited until 4 patches were released. I guessed with 4 the game should be in a decent shape.
I was wrong.

I look at this forum and i can see a whole list of bugs, some heavily impacting gameplay. I myself found out that the game can crash often without explanation in combat, or during loading a save game.
But you know what, if a game is fun I can pull through it, sometimes it's just worth it if a game is really fun.
But then I found how difficult the game is.

Game balance is an important issue in game design. A good game will have a learning curve, the gamer will be given time to learn the game mechanics. Even Dark Souls as hard as it is will slowly scale up in difficulty, the first enemies and first boss aren't totally easy, but they have simple attack patterns and no weird abilities, so the player can learn and be better.

This is not the case in KotC 2.
I've played DnD both with pen and paper, and in multiple PC games. I'm not a genius that knows all of the rules and tricks, but I'm not someone who doesn't know how the game works.
I've created a balanced regular 6 PC party, and seeing that people are posting that the game is very hard I decided to have some fun and I gave all of my characters max HP on level up and MAX abilities scores on creation. This second thing is a joke, impossible in IRL DnD, and my Human Wizard would make any Dungeon Master laugh with his perfect STR CON scores - better then some of the fighters people play.
The first big room fight was a bit rough with enemy spellcasters, but it couldn't stop me. Both fire and pool guardians were possible to defeat, I just needed some good rolls. The first lieutenant was a good fighter, but Grease spell gave my guys enough time to kill his friends and then gang on him.
The second lieutenant was nasty, specially because of the slime & ghoul combo they would summon at start of the fight and multiple enemy casters that would make this fight hell. Luckily after 10 tries my spellacaster had high initiative and he was able to use the one scroll of fireball to wipe 50% of the enemies there, and send the casters into chaos. Still 2 of my guys laid on the floor with 1 HP after that.

So now I've decided to dive into the pool. I'm sending my Dwarf Fighter and 3 LVL Half-Giant Samurai, a total of 90 HP killing machines, both LVL 3, both with water breathing, both with the good armor i found, and a +1 frost sword .
What do I have to fight with two of those guys:
- 2 giant frogs - they are annoying with their reach attack and reach grapple, but once i can get close they have low AC and HP
- 2 sharkman - again those guys are low HP, they can do a nasty charge for ~15 HP dmg but I can take them down both
- 1 sharkman druid - WHAT THE HELL!?!? This guy is a 36 HP caster, that can cast Entangle and Quicksand making my fighters almost useless, multiple Magic Stones, and Flaming Sphere AoE spell with burning, AND HE CAN SUMMON A 40 HP CROCODILE WITH GRAPPLE, AND HE CAN DO THAT TWICE.
WOW! That caster changes that fight from an OK combat to an absolute massacre, where with over 20 tries I managed to take this fight to an 1v1 once. Those summon spells acre something that simply break the fight, almost doubling the total enemy HP in that fight. Not mentioning that the crocodiles will grapple me while im already entangled the moment im summoned.
The only items i can take that will help me are cure light dmg potions, useless with the dmg the enemy is doing.

Of course I can always skip this and go for the main fight.
With multiple enemy casters higher LVL then me.
With enemy casters that again will use summon spells .
Including a Tentacle Horror that can rip apart my fighters like they were CR 1 goblins.
I foresee again reloading this fight 20 times, just hoping that my casters are fast enough to nuke the tentacle summoner before she casts the spell.
Of course i can skip this fight and get teleported out of there, but that's just because I have that option because of the skills my team has. If it was a different team I might be forced to fight.

This is the first hour of the game. Those fights aren't fun, they aren't challenging. This a junior Dungeon Master throwing a ridiculous number of enemies at the party, with less then 10% chances some of them will survive that fight, with no option to retreat, level up on weaker enemies, or get better loot.

KotC 1 was a fun game, I enjoyed it.
This game isn't balanced, it's broken both as a design and as software.
And that is why I feel cheated by what the Kickstarter promised me.
Mr_Vandal
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I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby Mr_Vandal » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:17 pm

I tried the underwater fights another 20 times and the Sharkman Druid is a joke.
A CR 3 level 6 Druid that has 20 AC, 3 attacks per turn or he can cast both magic stones and summon a crocodile in a single turn.
He would be annoying even If he hadn't had those 4 bodyguards.
And Easy mode isn't a great help when he has 3 attacks per turn, vs 2 of mine (and thats if my guys aren't stunned by Quicksand).
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby tdunaj » Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:51 pm

I agree with you on the bugs, but those are getting addressed and fixed. As for the difficulty - yes the game is a lot harder than most other games but some players like that kind of a challenge and in my opinion there is no fixing that needs to be done. In the latest version there are plenty of configuration tools that make the game easier (you can start with a level 2 party, adjust your stats, hit points, and others).

Spoilers below:
To beat the Sharkman, take a wizard to get a surprise round and use those high level scrolls.
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby jms123 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:21 pm

Yeah, it is a very tough game and a lot of reloading is required. The new setting to lower enemy initiative that was added for 1.04 should help a lot with the reloading. You can also focus on improving initiative (e.g. improved initiative feat) to help a bit.

I enjoyed the game and managed to finish, but I do feel like the module could be improved. The addition of a new starting area that is in the works seems like a good start. I would have liked to see a different distribution of encounter difficulty. E.g. mix in some easier fights, that still serve as potential resource drains in limited rest areas, so they aren't totally trivial, with a smaller number of the really hard fights. To be fair, it isn't too far off from this in the high sewers and castle already, there were a decent number of very manageable fights in those areas. Maybe the earlier areas up through the 2nd Pizarra fight need some tweaking in this regard.

I would have also liked to see something between the sewers and the castle. E.g. the ability to travel a world map, with random encounters, a town where you can rest and shop, and maybe get a few side quests that are solved by traveling to small areas reached via the world map, etc. It would have made the module a bit more dynamic and given some respite from the constant hard encounter after hard encounter of the sewers. The sewers also then could have been a bit smaller, so there is more variety to the game areas, makes it feel more expansive.

However, I'm not sure it is worth putting a lot of work updating this module vs. working on the next 2 modules which are supposed to be less linear.

I enjoyed it and feel like I got my money's worth. but in a way, this module sort of feels like an extended combat demo for a larger game (the next 2 modules). I spent a lot of hours on it, but mainly because of reloading (some of that due to making some suboptimal character/party choices). I didn't really mind because I enjoyed the challenge and viewed it sort of like a puzzle to be solved.
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby LordSith » Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:12 pm

Since I personaly didn't pledge for additional modules, because i didn't want those dlcs like content before being sure i'd like the engine... i feel like this first module is a combat hack&slash run. Fun but too hard.
But certainly not a rpg.

No town. Too few npcs, no real choices, no real quests, no discussions with trees of interaction.
That feels like a good combat simulator with the D&d setting.
OS: windows 10, 64bits, family edition. Current version 10.0.19041

Playing KOTC v1.04 as of 17 augustus.
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby Yankee » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:14 pm

Well, early access is early access. The best games are ones which passed through a lengthy process of polishing and evolving.
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby jms123 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:32 pm

Yankee wrote:Well, early access is early access. The best games are ones which passed through a lengthy process of polishing and evolving.


Not that I disagree with what I think your intent/sentiment is, but I did want to point out that it was never advertised as "early access". It was advertised as the "full game" on the kickstarter campaign. This was already discussed in another thread (but it is buried on like page 4 or 5 so you probably didn't see it).
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby Yankee » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:10 am

Pragmatically, there are several ways how an indie project developed by 1-5 people can ensure sufficient product quality:

- hiring several QA ppl. That is very costly, so that's unrealistic for most indie projects, unless North Korean testers are hired for a bowl of rice per day.

- going through a loooong alpha and beta testing cycle within the fan community. That requires at least a year and an active and dedicated fan community that won't leak the game. The way of Age Of Decadence, 12 years in development, 6 years of alpha-beta versions tested by the community. And the latest patch was released in summer 2020.

- releasing a beta followed by years of patchnotes. That's the way most indie projects follow: dedicated fans can enjoy the game now, they don't care that much about bugs and will be reporting them actively, while those who want a finished polished product can support the project financially now and wait till it's finalized.
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Re: I feel cheated by the KS - this is not a ready product

Postby jms123 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:02 pm

Yep. IIRC in one of the KS updates shortly after release, in response to some complaints and refund requests, Pierre acknowledged he probably should have worded some things differently in the campaign to set the proper expectations of what the state of the game would be upon release.
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