I returned again to test and comment on the state of the game with the updates. It’s been a fair while, so I did what I always do: grab a weapon, hit the sewers, wander around, and take a little note here and there. The reason I go to the sewers is because it’s both familiar, and new things always seem to pop up there. It’s littered with mobs of all difficulties as things are tweaked and changed and added, and so seems a good place to gain some measure of the game.
The first thing I noted was that Hotkey (or ‘quick’ Key as it’s known) was missing. After some asking around, somebody told me how to get it back.
Issue 1: The Hotkey bar should be apparent in the menu, new players, if it’s not there, will do what I did: Look at the menu and assume it doesn’t exist at all. This does not help the game.
I suggest boosting the jump a bit. Jumping over the waterwheel things is kind of a chore when your character either jumps an inch off the ground, having become stuck on some random bit of geometry, or can’t get the requisite length to clear, what appears to be, a fairly simple obstacle of no more than two feet or so in height. Similarly, it’s very easy to be come stuck on random objects, a shoulder can lodge in a grate, or your foot can be impaled on a pipe, all while being chased by a mob you can’t take down and this becomes frustrating. You will die, but for all the wrong reasons.
Healing: It’s difficult to know where to stand on this one. I think natural healing of some kind could stand to be boosted a bit when you sit down. But then you can buy a fish, which heals a decent chunk of health, for five tria, so maybe not. It’s debateable.
AI behaviours still need implementing. It’s very strange, not to mention immersion breaking, being able to walk into rooms of mobs, seemingly representing colonies or packs, and have nothing happen. They sit gormless and invalid while you whack away at them. There is no aggression; the only difficulty is the difficulty spikes (and they really are spikes) for each type of mob. One type of Clacker or Compti may be easy, the next type invulnerable. The loot tables are still a little off. I killed the same claymore wielding cat-girl a tonne of times and received nothing but glass beads. The risk is minimal; the Reward is intangible or incredibly sporadic. There is absolutely no reason to group in this game, it seems. If you can stand amidst a boatload of things that can kill you without harm, but never attack, cherry-pick your targets, etc then there is no sense of danger, there no sense of adventure, there is no reason. It’s all just static.
One thing that grabbed me about the latest updates was the armour system: that’s interesting, sound similar to Dwarf Fortress’ armour system, except obviously without the in-depth physics involved. I wondered how my own armour was affecting the tide of battle while I hacked away at the Sewer denizens, and it was very strange, actually. I dual wielding axes, smithed, not very good (I made them simply so I would actually have some axes to use…) and found that I could chop Compti’s, clackers, rats and bugs, and a few of the fanatics, into pieces with no hassel at 10 axe skill, but Gobbos, Rogues, Weaver-spider-things and couple of other mobs, were utterly impervious. This was actually very strange because you would have thought an edged weapon would be less useful vs a hard shell, as opposed to what looks like leathery skin and basic clothing I the case of Gobbos and rogues and spider carapaces. Still, it’d be nice to see, in the future, armour and weaponry made from body parts like bones, teeth and claws, hides and carapaces, etc (likewise for other creatures in the world too), although I expect that’s already on the list and scheduled for the far future. On a side note: it was nice to see the gobbos run.
The major problem I encountered was death, or rather the curse at the end. I like to see penalties for death, but the way this curse works is not going to help. At all. As a Kran I had naturally high strength and could carry a lot of stuff. Dakkrus curse kicked in and I was forced to sit down. Fair enough. Ten minutes later I was getting tired and this curse had no end in sight. I could not move. I could not play the sodding game. That’s not the worst of it:
The little window that pops up to tell you are debuffed doesn’t give any information at all on what’s going on. You are stuck, for an unknown amount of time, with an affect that has you rooted to the spot, and obstructs your playing of the game. This is bad enough, I assume when mobs are given debuffs and DoTs etc, that if it is still in this form, without any indication of what’s going on, it will become more than the game breaker it is now. Let me make this very clear: it is game breaking. Nobody at all wants to die and be told they have no choice but to stare at a screen for a completely unknown amount of time and do absolutely nothing. It’s not fun, people will just do what I did, and quit. And most, if not all, will not return.
If you want to include a penalty in your game for death, and I’m very much in support of giving a player a reason not to die, then do something that is not an obstruction to your game itself. There is no point, nobody has the time for this type of crap, it’s frustrating, the lack of information is frustrating, and it’s just a plain awful mechanic. Change it or take it out. Or else any future community you hope to have will walk out.
I think at this point it feels like a continuation from other commentaries I’ve made every few updates or so: there seems to be a base here, but it’s a very sporadic, very incomplete, and in some places cracked, base. There are a bunch of ideas and things that seem half finished and half implemented, and all the while the team continues to throw in yet more content that, invariably, ends up in a similar situation. I think that at this point it would be a good idea to adding new things all together, and focus on what you have. There is a decently sized world for the small community available. There are plenty of foundation stones to build proper content on, to expand on and do whatever. Right now it’s like you’re attempted to build the great walls of china with a hundred different plans given to a hundred different people. Go section by section, complete something and move on.
Euh, why are you writing a complain rant about a game that is -fully- f2p and made by volenteers over that focuses heavy on roleplay over casual/general play.
If you want the game to improve, learn to code and help them out, or donate money or someting , feedback would also be far more usefull on their own forums.
its like a hobby project that a group of people love spending time on experimenting and learning giving the code that makes the game free to anyone who likes to use it under the openscource licence .
Because that 'game' already exists: it's called Second Life. Furthermore, there is only so much 'Oh but the roleplay" you can throw at anyone, while at the same time haveing gameplay mechanics added, continuously, before putting all your eggs in the same, shallow basket, fails to persuade anybody.
I've also posted this on their forums; I like to spread it to a wider userbase though, because that way I can hope to get a more general overview of reactions.
I follow many opensource games, and to be quite honest, as large a project in comparison as this is, the others seem to be somewhat more centered in their approach to what they're doing. Looking around, it seems that the planeshift Devs have entered a 'summer of code' or something, and the plans look very interesting, I simply hope that they can actually implement and finalise what they're pushing for this time, because, as stated, much of what exists as it is, feels half-finished.
Ok. I appreciate that this is all homebrew as far as games go but there is one thing that is really sad about it.
It sells itself on its roleplay focus, using this as an area to make it stand out from a crowd. Yet the people that play this tortuous example of a project gone awry cant seem to bring themselves to buy a few dice, a rule book of their choice and play a real rpg with people who are actually in the same room. I mean c'mon there are loads of rulebooks for every genre out there that are free for crying out loud. Ask Google.
I mean I count myself now amongst the people who have actually played this game and it baffles me as to why players continue. Gave it a chance... went and printed off Icar.
Credit where credit is due though. Devs have been at this for what must be coming up for a decade soon and that cant be looked down on. Heres to the future of Planeshift, its not for me by a long shot but all the best.
I completely disagree with your suggestions. I am super glad I found this review, as I have just found the game and was curious if any current reviews were floating around.
So thank you OP for writing the review. It really helped me a lot.
The criticism was harsh but if its all true, can only serve to be constructive. Useful info like this can be used to improve the game. I wasn't even aware that such large open-source game projects existed until i created a Desura account. I hope it becomes a great game over time.