Game reviews are well challanged to be nice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Olddog, May 22, 2018.

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  1. Olddog

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    Ive noticed the reviews for this game are mostly poorly recieved. Does the develpoment team have any plans to address these issues?

    Is there a place where I can see they are aware of these issues and have a plan to fix some of this stuff.
     
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  2. Baratan

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    I read a review in this month's Game Informer magazine. The criticism was aimed directly at roughness around the edges. This isn't my biggest complaint, but this is actively being addressed in each month's release.
     
  3. majoria70

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    Really no there is no system for you to know it. Perhaps to trust and keep providing your constructive feedback or to wait it out which never sets well with me. And I'd say yes they are aware as per this and hopefully they will get more focus on completing some uncompleted core systems as well:

    thank you very much for your very detailed and honest review. While we feel we have delivered far more than might be expected on such a modest budget, we know players can only judge if a game meets their desires as a player or not. We actually agree with many of your negative points and are working to address them. In the specific area of quests we are fixing bugs with the current quest task system each release but we realize that long term we need to replace the entire underlying architecture. However, as you might imagine that will be a longer term effort. We feel that much of the disconnect you describe in combat is related to the sound effects, especially with blades. We are focusing on polishing sound effects for those weapons in the next release. We continue to run double XP events each release to reduce the feel that players need to grind and are considering making this the new standard XP earn rate. We also agree that our current UI needs some love and we will be doing a major visual overhaul on the look in Release 55 (June). We believe that while we are feature rich and have many amazing systems, many aspects remain diamonds in the rough and we need to focus on smoothing out those rough edges. We release a patch every month and we hope you will give us a try later this summer when some of these issues have been improved! - Sincerely, Starr Long (Executive Producer)
     
  4. Aetrion

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    This game has a lot of issues that are driving down the review scores and general perception of it I think, some of which are simply "It's not for everyone" issues, and others are genuine problems that need fixing.

    1. Price point. The $1000+ bundles are going to drive a lot of people away, even if you don't actually have to buy them. There is simply a general sentiment against wealthy people and companies that charge a lot for entertainment these days, so the prices themselves draw the game into that realm of internet culture wars. Bottom line is, if you sell anything in a game that not everyone can afford there will be people that see it as a sign that the whole company making the game is immoral. This is probably not something that can still change about SOTA (and not necessarily something that should change), but I think it is by far the biggest thing that makes people want to share negative opinions of this game.

    2. Time investment. This game demands a lot of time from its players, and it demands constant commitment as well. For one, the game is pretty grindy. XP is a slow trickle unless you're already a demigod who can handle most content by themselves. Gold isn't exactly piled on you either. The upkeep for things like housing and the strong social element also make the game take a significant commitment. For people who want to play more than one game that quickly becomes a problem. This isn't going to drive negativity all by itself, but it is going to be a significant factor in making people quit playing.

    3. Visual boredom. The game doesn't really have a look that draws people in. Of course the graphics aren't that great in general, but that's something a lot of people will forgive. The issue is more that the game tends to look incredibly generic. There are a few elements where you see some artistic vision poking through, like the various teslapunk automatons or Obsidian architecture, but most of the things in the game just don't look interesting, so when you see pictures or videos of it it doesn't really draw you in. This isn't saying the game needs to be full of crazy armor with spinny things and glowy bits and stuff like that either. Games like The Witcher show that a fairly grounded medieval fantasy setting can be gorgeous and visually distinct. A good example of a place that looks awesome is the monastary in Highvale Outskirts. When I was walking back toward that from the valley and actually looked up and got a good look at it nested on the mountain up there was one of the few times where I really felt drawn into the beauty and mystery of the place.

    4. Bad balance. One of the primary appeals to a game like SOTA is "Be what you want to be". This game has a tendency to make a lot of things people might want to be very frustrating and weak. For example, let's say you character idea is "Elementalist mage", well, tough luck. Between attunement, specializations and relics being the biggest single source of added damage it's basically a losing proposition to not just focus on one or two spell schools. Let's say your character idea is "Platemail and shield tank", you'll very quickly find out that you simply can't hold aggro with how little damage you do, and you can also tank very well if you build for max damage and have death shield up. Want to be a conjurer? While there are a lot of conjuration spells in the game, there is no way to specialize in them at all, nor are any of them really all that good. Being a tamer is the best you can do. Skills that work alongside the teslapunk element of the game like engineering or gauss weapons don't exist at all. The melee trees being focused on weapon categories instead of fighting styles makes them weirdly exclusive to each other. If you want to be an archer who throws icefields on the ground you're in for a treat though. Point being, there are too many builds that should work that don't and that is going to frustrate a lot of people.

    5. Lacking polish. There are just too many things that don't work, feel awkward to use, cause annoying bugs, or otherwise just make the game feel unfinished. Between your map loading for 20 seconds every time you want to know where you're going (if it loads at all), your compass being a perpetual sparkle party of broken quest markers you can't get rid of, and the NPC dialog system being obtuse and annoying to navigate even with all the keywords at the bottom there is just no denying that if you play this game for a week you'll encounter a heap of stuff that just shouldn't be there. Like, if you try to use Alt+# as keybinds you find yourself unable to move while activating abilities because the game thinks you're trying to press Alt-WASD which has nothing bound to it. Stuff like that is just... no! If there is nothing bound to a key + modifier key then disregard the modifier.

    6. WTF is SOTA? People simply don't know what this game is even supposed to be. There are those of us who ended up with SOTA because we come from Ultima Online, but to the vast majority of people this game doesn't do a very good job explaining itself at all. It just goes: "Yea, this is like an MMORPG except without raids, and only very few quests, and it's really slow." and that requires a bit of explanation why that's a good thing and who that's a good thing for. This game will never be for everyone, so it becomes doubly important to let people know what they are getting into. Would be a shame if someone who would love the game never tries it because all they saw was bad reviews from people who didn't understand it wasn't for them.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  5. Smitty

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    Oh you sweet sweet summer child
     
  6. StrangerDiamond

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    Is that you Time Lord SMITH ? :D
     
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  7. Steevodeevo

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    It's weird to think @Aetrion actually likes SOTA :)
     
  8. Blackghost

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    The game was not ready for release. Simple as that.
    With around 1K of players, ( we are far from the 50 000 , right Darkstarr? ) they won't have enough money to complete the game as wanted.
    Also, the reviews doens't help the game at all because the game was not ready..
     
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  9. Kpopgurl

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    I think everyone with a clear mind realized the game isn't a success commercially in its current state. You just have to read the lists Portalarium released on the Seedinvest.

    Player numbers have dropped largely again and my guild decided to leave the game due to lack of PVP options and there are better alternatives coming this Summer. We transitioned from a sandbox game and didn't find anything UO/Ultima like here.

    To appeal to a bigger audience this game needs to emphasize Guild and group play. PoTs should be obtained by playing the game with your guild and not P2W in the important economy part of the game.

    Its competitors like Albion have more active players and seem to make money with a good gameplay concept. Portalarium overestimated the social aspect and forgot to develop a game.
     
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  10. Synergy Blaize

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    @Marjoria70 Thank you for posting this quote...
    I think that @DarkStarr has more than acknowledged many of of the points raised in reviews & has very eloquently addressed them here.
    It must be remembered that this is a small development team, not financed by a big corporation. That's a major difference with Sota as compared to many of its competitors.
    The team are working hard to address the current concerns as well as including new content with each release. That's a huge juggling act to maintain.

    I will concur that there are definitely "flaws" within the game, but what bothers me, may not be an issue/priority to other players & vice-versa.
    We all have had different gaming experiences & value different aspects in our online World experience.
    It is unfortunate the the "nay-sayers" are often more vocal than the supporters, but this is indicative of our current evolution of the real world.
    I support the current efforts of the dev team & will do until the day I feel that it really isn't the place I want to be anymore.
     
  11. Steevodeevo

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    I never played UO, I'm certainly not a SOTA fan boy, I play many different games. I play SOTA, enjoy it, and mainly solo, it's fun, I'm not in a Guild, I don't need one or want one.

    I think what's being said here is "I want SOTA to have more guild stuff and group stuff cos I'm a guild and group kind of player. I'm not and I don't need it.

    I should refrain from reading these forums as they're currently making me tetchy as they currently seem populated by people saying sota is bad because it doesn't have.... (insert personal game requirement here) or its bad because they haven't been around long enough or had the patience to learn and understand the deck or crafting system..

    Everyone also seems to be a game financial accounting expert or have access to funding and accounts data no one else has.
     
  12. Aetrion

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    I have to admit, I like the idea of SOTA more than the actual game, because there are just too many things that I think could be done better. There is a lot of potential in it, but the general feel of playing it just isn't all that great. It's not awful, but I completely understand why people want to just play something else after a while if they aren't into the whole building a village thing.

    There are a lot of these tiny issues that don't seem like a real problem but just add up to millions of lost opportunities to be better. Like, if you have a spell in your game that literally makes you shoot laser beams and you opt on making it sound like "pffffftz" instead of "woOO-KRATSHOOOM" something went wrong in the art direction. That spell gets fired thousands of times by your players every day, and instead of getting a deafening scream of burning air that makes you cackle with glee as it melts your enemies it's just a squirt of luke-warm weaksauce. That's not even a technical problem that takes serious time to fix, that's just someone not putting the mustard on it. That kind of thing is all over this game.
     
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  13. Greyhaven

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    What I hate are reviews that make statements that are just plain wrong. Most likely because the reviewer has put insufficient time or effort into the game to form a valid opinion.

    I was so aggravated by the review on heypoorplayer.com that I wrote a corrective response. That response was promptly censored despite it merely comprising facts about how to play the game!

    It was clear that the reviewer, some “Game Design” graduate called Beth Meadows, had not even bothered to look at the player instructions - if you are going to review a game that’s part of your job!!

    I think, therefore, “Heypoorplayer” is a most adequate description of the site which is not worth the megabytes it takes up.
     
  14. Kpopgurl

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    Everyone can obtain that information. The Seedinvest data can't be shared here though as Portalarium all the time says. The denial of facts is a big problem nowadays.

    What else should people say other than let Portalarium know what they are missing? Most people just left without letting them know. They should appreciate the feedback.

    It was very telling of the community that a guy constantly giving feedback here and giving SotA the best review score of all reviews according to metacritic, gets labeled a hater by this community. This is not what is perceived well outside of these forums.
     
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  15. Humbert_Humbert

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    My problem has always been there seems to be nothing to do but grind. Whenever I look at even the people with one hundred plus gms or any stream they are just grinding exp. I don't think grinding is bad at all but there seems to be nothing else.

    The nice thing about UO for me was once you got your character established it was time to have fun. PvP or adventure. That seems to be lacking for me. I think they really blew it not adding some sort of cap because then it's very difficult to balance any sort of PvP.
     
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  16. Preachyr

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    This is an incredibly well articulated summary of the main issues. Thank you
     
  17. fonsvitae

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    I am just glad they added words of power to spells...

    *casts spell of prognostication: Uh Toad Yew Sow.
     
  18. Gix

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    Well there's your problem: If you have to tell other people (especially gamers) HOW to play a game... then the game in question is a bad, un-intuitive one. A good designer will weave it into the core of the game itself.

    A lot of issues with SotA could be resolved by applying the simple "show, don't tell" mindset.

    -----

    @Aetrion I think a lot of people can ignore or forgive the first 3 points you list. #4 points out one of my main gripes with the game as a video game. #5 points out one of the game's biggest show-stopper as the dialogue/questing experience is easily the first thing that players get caught on... and the one thing that would make players ignore the issues listed in the first 3 points.

    But it's really #6 that highlights SotA's struggle:
    • Are we in Pre-Alpha? Alpha? Beta? Release? Everything's pretty wishy-washy.
    • Is this a single-player game that can be played online? Is this an MMO that can be played offline?
    • The game's incredibly grindy yet the devs are convinced that it isn't... but there's daily XP rewards to help out those who struggle gaining XP.
    • It's an Role-Playing Game with a class-less system yet only a few builds are viable and none actually supports role play (you point that out in #4).
    • It's a PvE game with a story/campaign and conscientious PvP yet the story shoves you in PvP zones.
    • The game is about making choices yet none of your own choices actually work.
    • The game is about collecting tons of items to decorate your house with but housing overall has a huge entry barrier.
    • The game has local economies but allows near-instant teleportation with anyone in your "friends" list.
    • It's designed to have you read dialogue instead of following an arrow but it has quest markers.
    • It has conscientious open-world PvP yet the PvPers can't clearly tell who may participate or not. So everyone (including PvEers) are potential threats.
    • Sieges are there to block players' path (and economies) in and out of cities but can be circumvented easily.
    • You can loot bodies in combat but you can't loot chests.
    • The game features a deck-building system yet you can put some skills that boosts your combat abilities on your non-combat bar to circumvent it.
    • It's an RPG that wants to be about role-play yet it has the most amount of stats imaginable (compared to other games) on gear and skills; forcing you to number-crunch to be able to do anything.
    • It offers all sorts of control schemes (auto-attack, charge-attack, tab-targeting, mouse-look, point-n-click) yet only a single control scheme will be compatible with all of different ways you can interact with the world. Example: you cannot right-click to toss a coin in a well or lock doors in mouse-look mode... nor can you correctly target something without breaking stealth in charge-attack mode.
    • The game has tons of little details to obverse in order to find/solve puzzles or just getting implied stories yet the game is constantly respawning enemies at you; forcing you to keep moving forward or focusing on combat.
    • It boasts a player-run economy that doesn't support the buyer's convenience and, thus, doesn't support the seller either. Mostly everybody is better off crafting their own items.
    • It's got GPS maps that points out everything and maps as items that tell you nothing.
    • Items glow so that PvPers can tell when an item is enchanted but transmogrifying the visual appearance of the items essentially negates the ability to identify the items stats based on their materials.
    • The Attunement system makes you weaker to the school of magic that you're technically supposed to be strong against? Or was this idea scrapped? I forget.
    • There are Tier indicators for nearly each zone and each mobs are labeled in a particular colour on their name tag to allow players to identify the zone's/enemy's difficulty rating based on your Adventurer Level yet your combat prowess is highly dependent on which skill you actually leveled up and (potentially) which skills the enemies are weak to.

    The list goes on... It's a collection of confusing, frustrating contradictions.
     
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  19. HoustonDragon

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    I'll be honest, this is the one that I want addressed the most. There is such a dearth of advertising and marketing for the game out there, that it's very difficult to "sell" to new folks who may be interested. Jack of all trades, master of none is not really the best approach to me when dealing with an already saturated MMO market for a niche game. I'd -love- to see more emphasis pushed towards story and roleplaying aspects in the lore, so people can get more excited getting into their characters.

    The game balance issue is definitely something I think needs to be worked on, and giving people more examples of gameplay. The recent videos have been a good start.
     
  20. Kpopgurl

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    Well in the gaming press the recent videos created the WTF moment.. Danceparties are in every game... none of it listed it as a feature. If they wanted to create something with that as a focus they shouldn't have made it a game with UO vibe at all. Sure social and RP elements are something that made UO great... but overall it was a great GAME. That is what SotA is missing, and what they are critized for. Sandbox and Story would suggest players take active parts in quests as givers, takers, characters and evil opposition etc. Developing a system like that would have been sth new and innovative. But like everything in SotA nothing has been designed and is developed on the fly. That why it is not deep and not well received in the sandbox community it attracted.

    Would SotA be marketed as spiritual successor of Ultima Collector with RPG aspects, they would have less disappointed people around, but surely not raised as much money as they did on nostalgia for UO and Ultima 7.
     
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