[POLL] How was the Pre-Alpha Release 1?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smack, Dec 13, 2013.

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What is your *overall* rating for this Pre-Alpha Release 1? (1=bad, 5=great)

  1. 1

    5.3%
  2. 2

    6.0%
  3. 3

    17.7%
  4. 4

    41.5%
  5. 5

    29.4%
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  1. smack

    smack Avatar

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    Ok everyone, for those of you who've had a chance to playtest this Pre-Alpha Release 1, what is your *overall* rating? Please remember again, this is not even Alpha and is only the first of four Pre-Alpha Releases over the next few months. Here is the full Early Release schedule.

    Just as a reminder, here are the core systems that they wanted us to playtest for Pre-Alpha Release 1.
    Install / Patching System
    Login / Registration
    Character Creation
    Single Player Online
    First Town (Owl's Head)
    Conversation
    Bag Inventory
    Equipment
    House Claiming
    House Decoration
    Metrics

    Feel free to break out your ratings to those categories above or whatever and elaborate in the comments below.

    BONUS QUESTION: If there is *one* feature that you'd like to see improved more for Pre-Alpha Release 2, what would it be?
     
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  2. jerger

    jerger Avatar

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    in the open minded context of this is pre-alpha: great!

    also genius doing it in phases rather than "here is everything. complain about it all and give us overwhelming feedback we will never be able to swim out of then release it as is anyway" that is how most betas I have been in go like d3.
     
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  3. NirAntae

    NirAntae Avatar

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    There were enough issues in systems/features that 'should' have been completed already (even given the 'very early pre-alpha' status) that I couldn't quite make myself give it a five. BUT, that's what this testing is for, to find the holes they missed, so after this testing period I am more confident than ever that it will be a solid five.
     
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  4. By Tor

    By Tor Avatar

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    It's hard to give a perfect score to any pre-pre-pre-pre-alpha release. But this is a solid 4 for me. Very promising and I like what I see. Everything except the highlighted keywords in npc chat. Kind of defeats the purpose of the free flow chat system. Hopefully that will be an option we can turn off in future releases.
     
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  5. Doppelganger [MGT]

    Doppelganger [MGT] Avatar

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    Improved character control and the inclusion of a mouse/camera sensitivity adjustment
     
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  6. Sir Frank

    Sir Frank Master of the Mint

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    Install / Patching System Worked great for me. 5
    Login / Registration Also worked great for me, 5
    Character Creation Well, it worked, but we need a lot more choices. I'd give functionality a 5, but content a 2.
    Single Player Online Also a 5
    First Town (Owl's Head) Bigger than I thought it would be. I like it. Navigating without a compass was difficult. A map would be nice. 4
    Conversation Works fine. Some bugs. Need a lot more content. I'll say 4 overall, and move on.
    Bag Inventory Fine, but I'd like a grid. I think they're working as advertised, so I ought to say 5, but I don't like them, so 4.
    Equipment I lost interest in looking for equipment, so I will not rate this.
    House Claiming I only played with this a little. It works fine. 5.
    House Decoration I didn't place a single item. I was exploring.
    Metrics I guess I didn't read what metrics are.

    Speaking of navigating town, I want a camera lock so I can run around town using one hand. Swinging my camera around with the right hand while steering the avatar with my left was so aggravating I lost interest in trying after about an hour and a half.
     
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  7. Umbrae

    Umbrae Avatar

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    I really like the Alpha. For the features that are available they work pretty good. I can't wait to watch this this polish up as time goes on.

    The one feature for me is customized keybinding. The WASD thing is killing me. And I keep hitting the "I" key to bring up my bags. Don't make me retrain my brain: there isn't enough room in there anymore. :)
     
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  8. Alexander

    Alexander Avatar

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    I have to agree with NirAntae on this one. Gave it a four because of the numerous terrain 'sinkholes'. Otherwise, I really liked the visuals in the game and found myself looking up at the night sky often at the shattered moon in the background of the tesla tower, and just the night sky in general with the stars. They also allowed us to 'test drive' the various houses, which was nice. Will make my decision to upgrade that much easier. I look forward to Phase 2.
     
  9. Alexander

    Alexander Avatar

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    Agreed concerning the WASD keys for movement. I've been accustomed to using a mouse to move my character around. I hope they will allow the option to chose in the future.
     
  10. sheetrock1

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    I explored to the limits , look over the houses, placed items , tried talking with npc's. Over all everything exceeded my expectations.
    My only disappointment, was not being able to use the mouse to walk. :] that wasn't a bug just not coded the way " I" would like to have it .
    We can hope they'll add in a few thing that a lot have ask for, like the mouse to walk , jump, but way to early to b----h about not being game ready.
    In opinion , everyone is so excited to have all the features found Ultima and we want it now . Never mind the fact there giving us so much more , as in 3d graphics , camera angle , and unique if not ground breaking, player interaction with the game.
    My hat is off to Richard G. and his team. I look forward to every chance to see it all unfold.
     
  11. PrimeRib

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    My expectations were really, really low so I thought it went well.

    Picking up stuff and inventory were more clunky than I imagined them to be. In general, I would have had no idea I could interact with anything in the game without reading the boards.

    I knew conversation would be tough. I don't know at this point whether there was basically no content or I really just didn't get it.

    I'm really surprised at all the threads / questions on movement. It's just not all that different from what most games have. (Other than the lack of a compass / map which is truly frustrating.)

    I've mentioned this before, but if player "housing" starts to become more like shops, taverns, guild halls, etc. it will change a lot of the feel and flow of the town. I've never actually played a game with player housing like this, but lineage2 did have clan halls which were persistent, non-instanced locations in the towns.
     
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  12. Vyrin

    Vyrin Avatar

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    Although many will not appreciate this, I have to say it.

    I felt the most difficult of all the features to appreciate was the bag inventory system. Taking items one by one - the frustration of precise clicking on some hard-to-click items - clutter only barely manageable with nested bags - the clear unreality of putting a crafting table in a small sack - every item an unusual size in the backpack (wedge of cheese larger than crafting table, etc.) - bugginess of items disappearing or chests staying open - and much more. I overall rated everything a 4, but this really almost pushed it down to a 3 for me.

    I know many people like this system as a nostalgia item but it really lowered the fun of collecting and decorating for me.
     
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  13. glambourine

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    Conversation for sure. I already love it--even in its present state, it's just ridiculously immersive--but the flaws in it are evident. I really feel like if this incredibly ambitious thing y'all are trying is going to work out, it needs to go through a few more major iterations of improvement before it becomes something that you don't kind of "work with" to this extent, more something that's actually compelling to people who aren't already, you know, (New) Britannia addicts.
     
  14. alexmreis

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    Before I make the comments I'm going to make, let me give you some background
    I'm an avid MMO player. I played Ultima Online from 1996 until 2002, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Ragnarok Online, World of Warcraft (still play), Guild Wars, RIFT, Guild Wars 2 and FF XIV.

    I love the Ultima series and have followed Richard Garriot's work ever since Ultima IV. Even Ultima VIII which many consider unfinished and plain was something I cherished immensely.

    The work that is going into Shroud of the Avatar is great, and I really love the sense of community we have going here.

    Now for the Early Alpha feedback, and sorry, you're not gonna like this. I understand what releasing early/often means, and having been a software engineer for 12 years now I understand this is alpha software and what that means, but there's no point in holding back on my comments as it is feedback from players who care and dare to criticize that you should seek to improve the game.

    === Graphics ===
    1 - The character models look horrible. They shine, they seem made of plastic, their hair is more plastickey than a Playmobil doll's. They also feel somewhat oversized.
    2 - All textures and models feel very much generic. They certainly have this generic 3D feel to them as if they came out of an architecture art package for 3DS or Maya. I think this is partially to blame on the Unity ecosystem, as you're probably using some readily available paid content as well as free and mixing it with your own stuff. THIS GAME NEEDS PERSONALITY and has tons of it to show in the mechanics, but the visuals just don't transpire that.
    3 - Animations are ridiculous - as they have always been throughout the Ultima series really, the UO and Ultima 8 combat animations are mocking material for my group of friends to this day - but if you're gonna do this in 3D it has to feel right. The characters are jogging instead of walking with a really weird arm movement - liked they used to do in UO3D back in the day. If at all possible with the budget you've got, I 'd think using motion capture would help improve on that. The animals move weirdly as well, and obviously the humanoid NPCs.

    === Sound ===
    The music is ANNOYING! Other than the "Stones" theme the Ultima series hasn't been exactly remembered for its sound track as much as, say, Final Fantasy is. Iolo is a good composer, but the keyboard-driven melodies gets on the nerves of anyone. IMO background music in towns and such needs to stay in the background and not jump in your neck and shake your head until you beg it to stop.

    I vote for a fully instrumental soundtrack without any vocal lines, the theme Iolo composed for the game is beautiful but the vocal line played on a keyboard ruins it.

    Some of the SFX are way off, took me forever to figure that the sound of chickens actually belonged to them. I honestly thought it was my dish washer making weird noises till I muted the computer.

    === Housing ===
    The decoration system seems to work quite well, no glitches on this one. Please don't forget the ability to lock/share chests as it was missing in UO and is a big deal.

    === Equipment ===
    Clothes and armor look way too tight on the female model. Poor girl looks like she could use a liposuction in the buttocks. Overall I think the sizes kinda fit both males and females. Weapons are a bit on the small side, especially the maces

    === Inventory ===
    Seriously, things on top of other things and things in bags inside bags AGAIN? Richard, this might have been cool in Ultima 7,8 and UO, but in this day and age it is just a CUMBERSOME UX pattern. Having to move stuff out of a chest one by one doesn't make the game more immersive for me, especially if the items are small (remember the ring nightmare in U7, U8, UO?) or not contrasting with the background like the braziers you find in the chest near the city walls.

    Give me a grid and auto loot, this is not taking anything away from my immersion. And honestly if I wanted immersion per se, I'd be playing Elder Scrolls on an Oculus Rift right now. I want to play a good game designed by my favorite designer that doesn't insult my intelligence and tells a non-linear story. I'm sure Richard can pull this off, but please leave the past behind and the 90s user interface back where it belongs.

    === Movement ===
    Pretty please ditch the mouse-based camera movement and use an over-the-shoulder camera that spins around with the character . First of all, the second button in my macbook' s touchpad doesn't work (but it works just fine in other games in windows), secondly as others said it is quite annoying having to do so every time you move around.

    JUMPING!!!! If you want the world to feel explorable, inviting and give players an immersive experience, we should be able to jump to/from anywhere we want, and fall to our deaths if we play stupid.

    Walking is painfully slow. Will there be mountable horses (and llamas?) in SotA?

    === Summary ===

    Really looking forward to crafting and the combat, especially magic.

    No offense intended on any of my points here, just wanted to highlight what I feel are the areas that need the most work from what has been shown so far. Great work guys, amazing to see such a stable build this early. No engine glitches whatsoever, camera seems well behaved and doesn't go behind walls, under floors, etc, which is a huge benefit you get from working with Unity.

    Would love to see the art taking a new direction and gaining personality. It reminds me lots of Dark Age of Camelot and how generic everything looked in that game.

    Best regards,

    Alex
    @alexmreis on twitter
     
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  15. By Tor

    By Tor Avatar

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    It's hard to believe that doing the things that used to work and draw players into a world is now considered "ambitious". You're right though, glambourine. A sad commentary on games today.
     
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  16. FireLotus

    FireLotus Royal Bard & Master Dabbler

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    Thank you so much for ALL you're feedback, the good AND the bad. We get a lot of naysayers that try and say we don't appreciate constructive criticism, but the truth is, without it, Shroud would never be as great a game as it can be. Your post was well thought out, organized, and well spoken. Thank you!
     
  17. Balkin

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    Of course it's not worthy of a perfect score because there are issues but I gave it a 4, it needs some work. Overall I thought they did well given the list of test items.
     
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  18. Ned888

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    I had expectations going in and I have to say, they were met and then some. Of course there were oddities and bugs, but hey, this is waaayyyy early in the game. I'm impressed with what I got so far. Good on you guys!
     
  19. Pendragon

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    Didn't take your poll, but if this is any indication of what we'll see, I am overall happy.
    Once things get smoothed out , I'll feel more comfortable judging it. I had no problems for what it currently is.
     
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  20. Dermott

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    Considering how early it is in the process AND the fact that we've been given repeated statements on what to expect, I'm giving Release 1 a 5 rating. That's by no means a "perfect" score in my book, but to highlight the fact that the Release exceeds the expectations laid out by the devs.

    Yes there's no real "game" yet, it's about as sandbox as you can get right now, there's no plot (only hints of a few things to come, some of which we've seen in the preview videos), nothing to put you in danger, and really not a whole lot to do... and yet, despite that lack, I spent last night (and about to spend tonight) blissfully running around Owl's Head and environs.

    I plan on providing my own long-winded rundown/review with my own likes, dislikes, and suggestions Saturday evening once the Release ends. For now, I'm happy with so much that I have seen both ingame and with the style of development put forward by Portalarium. It's a huge breath of fresh air after the past few years in UO. Many older UO players probably remember the days of GM's basically sending out the "I cannot help thee with that" macro... well, that's what UO Dev Chats (when they were held) had turned in to.
     
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