August 24, 2009 8 Comments
It’s amazing how many different variations the character creator in this game has. More amazing are the results that this beast of an interface can spew out behind capable, and not so capable hands. I’ve seen amazing outfits that range from sinewy demons, incredibly armored mecha (anime style), Anubis, and a fully realized Alien (of movie fame). Every time I think I have a good costume for a character, I see someone who has done a costume with a better concept, more original useage of items, and just a stronger design on the whole.
And then, we have the morons. People who can’t seem to tell two complimentary colors from a donkey and an elephant. I see costumes with people who have completely out of proportion body parts, and a ten-color palette. Each nook and cranny jammed with haphazard and reckless abandon. I get that sometimes you’re going for an insane, crazy-odd look, to exemplify…whatever. But this can be done stylishly. Subtly. Don’t assume that, in design, chaos means clutter. There is a huge difference between them, and one that needs to be rightly examined. Of course, this doesn’t help the people who think that it actually looks good. They’re helpless.
To deviate from the topic, and move onto a portion of the game I think is moronic. I wanted to shine a lot on the power selection process. This is probably my biggest gripe of the game. The interface for choosing powers does not provide nearly enough information for the player. Maybe the handbook will have some of the info I’m looking for available on release, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to not have it in game. The specific problem, is that power selection works on limited visibility option. To clarify, if you don’t meet the pre-reqs for a power, you have no idea of it’s existence.
For instance, on my Telekinetic hero, I’ve been bouncing around a lot between power choice, trying to get a good feel for the bredth of his options. At first, I didn’t bother taking some powers, because it didn’t fit into my concept of what I was going to do with him. However, in my experimentation, I took the one power, just to see how it worked/looked (I ❤ you Powerhouse). After taking it, I had a bevy of new options suddenly pop up for my next power, summoning powers to bring out telekinetic ghosts, a telepathic “worm” and all sorts of other crazy stuff. I never knew they were there until I played around.
If this type of limited information is going to be the standard by which Cryptic has us build our characters, they need to explore a couple of alternative solutions.
- Greater flexibility in respeccing. Even after leaving the Powerhouse, you can come back and respec to a certain point, for increased cost. They just need to increase that upper limit. I understand you don’t want a person playing a TK from level 1 to 39, then swapping to power armor at 40. Perhaps make it only powers/ranks.
- Complete respec options. Similar to what was in CoX games, allowing you to completely repick all of your powers. Perhaps, make it JUST powers/ranks, and not talents. This would compell the players to stay with the stat increases they have, which will be more suited to their pre-existing power set.
- SHOW ALL FUTURE POWERS. This is the one I prefer. It’s similar to how CoX games didn’t give statistical information on powers until YEARS into it. Let us see what we have on the road ahead of us depending on what we choose. MMOers love to plan, and theorycraft, and plot out their gaming when we can’t be in-game. Let us do this!
So, yeah. That’s my biggest gripe so far. I’ve made it to level 21 with my TK, and am having a blast still. I’ve also got my Power Armor character up to level 14. He feels less powerful for sure, but he can take a hell of a lot more beating. I imagine power armor is going to be incredibly powerful at the end game with a really high intelligence that will let them fire off four different systems at once to drop some devestation on any enemy they run into. Oh, and I got a great screencap last night, that is now my desktop!