Characters / Gameplay Feedback
After spending the weekend playing Breakaway, here's feedback on these two obviously important aspects of the game. I'll start with the Gameplay first, then the Characters themselves as I'll be giving feedback on stuff that isn't necessarily a pure gameplay aspect on that front.
4 minute rounds is a good number
I never found that rounds were taking too long even if they went the distance. Either because both teams were contesting the relic. Even assuming all rounds go the distance, at most a game will last 25 minutes if we count the staging time and the in-between rounds time. I feel that's a good length for a game. It doesn't require that much of a time commitment from people, encouraging them to try for more than one game.
Maps were enjoyable, with different strategies unique to each
How I played differed in El Dorado to Atlantis, as well as when and where I deploy buildables. Each map I'd say has its share of refinement - I find offering Health/Damage on one and Gold/Armor on the other was just a way to test all currently implemented buffs and that when the game hits beta, buffs will be different each round or something else will be implemented. Another problem I have is that map choice is determined after teams have selected their Warriors.
Passing/Shooting feels useless
Without going over the Curse voice communications fiasco, I still feel that shooting/passing the relic is not as crispy as it should be. Relic throws take way too long to plan, and are too easily interrupted. The only time I've found shooting to be useful is when performing lay-ups to the relic area as some people do not aim/attack up. Passing is another issue entirely where I just don't see the point of it. I can see passing to a faster teammate who built himself for ball carry, but other than paint a giant target on him for getting ganked, I don't see how that can help.
Relic physics are too simple and slow
When fumbling, the relic does not follow the character's trajectory or anything of the sort. It always flies up, often causing random melees where skill barely comes into play in order to see who gets the relic. I'd certainly like it if it didn't always bounce immediately up upon fumbling an opponent. In the same vein, the relic traverses the environment extremely slow where I feel a faster pace on the relic could make for some interesting strategies.
Goals are too cluttered
There are currently three ways to score a round - Scoring a relic, pushing the relic in opponent territory on time over, and team kill. I propose eliminating Team Kills. Knowing you can win that way removes the whole goal of the game which is carrying the relic into the goal. Yes, a team kill should grant a significant bonus to the team that gets it, but already if a team gets the team kill, they're running the relic unopposed - so they can take the fight to the enemies or figure out a good strategy to push the relic forward. I've seen more matches devolve into forcing Team Kills, leading to 3-0s or 0-3 (teams who ignored the relic were easily deceived by having one person sneak around to score the relic, and more experienced teams would just deathball from one person to another) blowouts that just weren't fun.
Some items are either too impactful, or just serve no purpose
Others have mentioned various items, but the buildable health one is certainly one. Also, people may not realize this but the item that lowers Respawn rate is extremely powerful to counter and enhance team kills since you tack on 30% extra respawn time once you hit Legendary on the item, and getting the killing blow on certain characters is entirely too easy. In general, Items were my least favorite aspect of the game.
Primary attacks need more variety
I can understand why the shooters don't have much variety in their attacks, but on many characters I was wondering why their attacks weren't auto-attacks due to how boring and uninteresting they were. There was no difference between that and, say, a Smite god autoattack. I feel the game would be more interesting with at least Hold LMB and Click LMB attacks.
Ultimates were just souped up regular abilities
Rawlins just pulled out a second gun that doesn't exist (no really, look up his second holster), Black Knight just makes more random electricity. Visually, ultimates just aren't that appealing. I feel they're really called ultimates just because that's what people would call them that in other games.
- LMB LMB combo is ridiculously good perhaps too much so, especially seeing as it's cancelable.
- Character was ridiculously popular due to him being the only melee fighter.
- Easy to learn, too much so. Did not feel there was anything under the hood after two games with him.
- Buildables are impactful, especially the ramp. I love that one.
- Character seems boring, also refers to Sparta with the name Spartacus? Sketch.
- Single LMB is boring, did not feel impactful in both visual, audio and gameplay feedback. Felt Spartacus was King of LMB for melee Warriors.
- No real idea how his RMB worked, even after reading description. Bunch of shields block things?
- The fact that he has ram horns and no charge attacks to ram people off the map is questionable. Felt his E should be a charge in a direction resulting in the current E if it connects with someone. Thorgrim is the most mobile of both Tanks and yet I did not feel much different mobility than Black Knight.
- Visually kind of boring. Generic viking character. Buildables in the same vein.
- Visually and conceptually my favorite character. Kudos on digging into stuff for her.
- Range feedback was completely out of the question apparently - Eyeballing range is also an issue with Rawlins but with her I felt I should be able to shoot further than him.
- Immobility while shooting is conceptually good, and the stuff people found to enable her to move while shooting is pretty good. Leaving that in the game would be crucial in enjoyment of playing the character.
- RMB may as well be renamed "Dodge roll" across all of the gun-wielding characters. Find something else, please.
- Trampoline buildable was really only gold fodder for opponents.
- Support felt extremely weak in the Alpha in general. I can stack more damage or more tanks, with minimal use of support.
- Healing was also unintuitive. I get a + sign to show they're in range of my Q, but my Q being channelled also means I have to shadow them for quite some time.
- Her E was not immediately intuitive as well.
- Boring, generic sun priestess character we've seen a thousand times before. Yawn.
- As allegedly the easiest to play support (Morgan was 3 stars, she was 2 I believe but I could very well be wrong on that one), she felt harder to gauge than Morgan. At least with Morgan I knew what was my role in the team (slow opposing team down, cause them to deal less damage)
- I like the visual design.
- Buildables are... eh. Jail is easily spotted (but I found too many people ran into them with no regards to consequence) and the TNT barrel spawner is
- He does what he does well - Had no problems playing him, though I could do without his boring Q. "Do more damage than" buttons are not interesting - If it came with a side effect, sure.
- I especially have to call out his ultimate because it is the ultimate unfun ultimate when used. Either being able to cancel it but biggest damage is on the tail end or something else has to be done.
Morgan le Fay
- Goth chick sorceress. Double yawn. And she uses ravens, too!?
- That being said, I like her kit. Support doesn't have to mean healing and I dig that she doesn't.
- Buildables need an overhaul - The tome is good and fairly straightforward, but what's the use of the stone structure, really?
- Best ultimate in the game, imo.
The Black Knight
- What did I say about the game's visually uninteresting characters beyond Anne Bonny? He exemplifies all that.
- Armor feels like papier-mâché in later stages of the game and armor breaking equipment is commonplace.
- RMB has definite input latency issues. Brought up by other people but I checked it myself and in the middle of a team fight it definitely feels like it takes some time to trigger.
- Worst LMB in the game bar none.
- His Q suffers from the same problems as Rawlins', it just has "moar damage" stacked to it. Even the knockdown doesn't save it when straight LMBs also do hitstun.
- Walk of Iron looks like a larger RMB and that is boring.
- The Siege Engine is an interesting idea but more often than not dies to the same buildables it's trying to destroy.
- I'm unsure if I like him or not visually but the stereotypical "lol i'm crazy scientist" is kind of overplayed. Seriously, a "Stand back, I'm about to do SCIENCE!" in 2016? In a game that won't release 'till 2017 at best? Doubly so if he's addressing the other characters, who all come from backgrounds where they'd ask what in the El Dorado hills is this consarned science thing anyway.
- Kit wise, I'm not a fan. Describing him as a ranged nuker is definitely a good way to describe him because he literally does nothing else. His RMB is the most interesting thing because it's different than "dodge roll lol" which is already too prevalent.
- In my opinion, he has the most interesting buildables. They interact with one another nicely, lead to good strats, etc. Problems with buildables aside, I think Victor is where buildables should go in the future.
That'll be it because I'm being kicked out. I was rushed for the characters part. I definitely feel the game has potential, but as it currently stands I'd find myself hard-pressed to play it. Good thing this is an alpha!