Aspide wrote:1)The HUB level's execution is questionable, the idea behind a HUB level is that there's a center map that you can leave and come back with all changes saved and you can go to any level in any order you want giving players the freedom to explore the level at their own pace, however The One's HUB level only gives you two options (Town or underground level) to add insult to injury both of them are close to each other (and that also includes the monastery which is the "third" option) so the majority of the HUB gets wasted except for killing enemies and finding items. Another issue is that when you are given the freedom to explore the HUB you already found two beacons (out of four), which means you don't have that much to do when you are exploring the big map. Another problem is that the game punishes you for exploring the HUB map the first time you visit it, because after you beat the Town level NPCs appear all over the HUB level that allow you to get the Good Ending, so that means you have to explore the map twice or even three times (NPCs also appear after you finish the underground level and monastery). Personally what I would do is first remove the beacon at the beginning of the game, instead you go to the first underground map, get the first beacon and then you are sent to the town so you unlock all NPCs from the very start and THEN you are given the freedom to explore the HUB map, this means three beacons need to be found giving you plenty of things to do in the HUB level, the first beacon is now in the level that gets unlocked after you have all four beacons (that level becomes a normal level that can be accessed at any time in the HUB level), also the monastery should be at the opposite side of the map (where the abandoned tower is) so there are access points scattered all over the HUB map.
I agree with all the issues you mentioned about the hub system, It mostly has to do with the tumultuous development of the hub maps. Rather than having a cohesive plan from the beginning it all kind of grew into the current setup over time, to keep a long story short, the hub was once much larger, at least two additional underground maps were cut, while others were shuffled around a bit. As a result I pretty much dumped the remaining beacons in places such as the first underground and under the monastery. Perhaps it's development is a backstory that I might share later some time.
In hindsight I should have introduced the town earlier before the first underground, it would have been much better if the player meets the npc's (passing that trigger that opens all sidequests), rather than letting the player stumble around aimlessly before walking into town way too late.
Also regaring the ending and completing all quests: in an earlier version the "final" ending would only play if you completed all quests, but I later decided to have a single ending for the whole pack. So while doing quests affects the outcome of certain events in the world (the town gets more populated, you get more free guns/loot), they don't affect the ending at all.
Aspide wrote:2)The HUB level needs some kind of map (like signs telling you where all the important landmarks are), the first time I played this campaign I couldn't find the monastery so I had to cheat by opening the map in the editor (I spent hours trying to find where I'm suppose to go to continue the campaign).
This is probably the most requested feature during beta testing. I did implement two types of maps after several requests from testers, but regretfully I ended up removing them at some point as it was far from done and there wasn’t much time for me to "get it right".
Aspide wrote:3)This sp campaign needs a custom soundtrack, the songs from Unreal are well used for the most part but this campaign is different from a typical custom mappack so new music would complement the experience very well.
That would have been nice, though I’ve been talking to people about providing a custom soundtrack, and after receiving some draft samples, people had other commitments to pursue so I decided to leave it at the original soundtrack.
Aspide wrote:4)I found two glitches: after beating the level that you unlock when all beacons are activated you lose your dispersion pistol. The other glitch is that when a Nali tells you about chests hidden underground (with the red cross) the first one cannot be dug unless you go to another map and then come back.
Thank you for reporting these, The dispersion pistol is a pretty dumb oversight of mine as when the map loads after all beacons it puts you back in the state you arrived in from the ship. And I fixed an issue with the nali treasure the moment before release, guess I missed one detail lol.
Aspide wrote:5)The Blade-Star is too reliable, you can use that weapon all the time and never use any other weapon unless you are fighting boss fights, maybe the weapon can be changed so it's destructible or it has a cooldown before you can use it again.
This was a difficult weapon to balance, it used to be, In the opinion of some testers, quite cumbersome to use at some point. I’ve adjusted it a slight bit so it homes and cuts into enemies better, guess that resulted in the complete opposite effect.
Aspide wrote:6)The Eightball is introduced a little too late so I never ended up using it, also there's no ammo for this gun in the HUB level.
Originally I wanted to pass on the Eightball + rifle + flakcannon entirely. Earlier in development I wanted to reduce the amount of unreal weapons to focus more on the newly introduced ones. So I hoped people would use the magbow + flare attack as an alternative, but then I figured out that taking away weapons might hurt the experience some. I reintroduced it perhaps indeed a bit late, in relation with the stronger enemies you face near the end.
Aspide wrote:7)I love the final boss however it's cryptic because you're never told directly or indirectly that you have to use the Mag-bow to pull the purple sphere, maybe add a puzzle before the fight that introduces the idea of using the Mag-bow to pull a similar sphere.
Aspide wrote:8]My final complain is Unreal difficulty, besides the first underground map I didn't noticed any difficulty filtering, the rest of the campaign is the same independent of the difficulty you're playing. The only difference is that some enemies become almost unbeatable: WarDogs are too fast and deal to much damage, they can be managed but they are very annoying. The Acolyte are too fast and their projectiles stun you in place which means if you get hit by one of them you're already dead. And finally the spaceship boss fight, this one is almost imposible in Unreal difficulty, too much health, missiles deal to much damage, the arena where you fight it isn't the best and there's an attack where the ship launches bombs that follow you, if the ship does that attack in Unreal difficulty you're already dead.
I am aware of how hard the final maps can be on the >hard difficulties, perhaps 227J's new difficulty/ai balance makes it even harder. Regarding each individual enemy, from my testers I found some nice ways to counter them.
a. The Acolytes can be countered effectively if you have a magbow with flares or an amplifier, these attacks stuns them almost entirely.
b. The Wardogs are a lot harder to deal with I agree, magbow+flares can slow them down but what usually helps is picking high ground or a nook to hide at so they can’t reach me with their jump attack.
c. As for the ship, that one can be pretty brutal I admit, personally I almost never leave cover until it “transitions” between attacks. Then for the bombing attack, it usually carpet bombs one side of the arena at the time, which I imagine in harder difficulties would mean, don’t stay anywhere near that side
. The ship was subject to a few changes mere hours before release though, turns out this threw the balance a bit off in the harder difficulties :\