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Thread: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

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    Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    I've mentioned it before on a few occasions, but I think Wolcen has a real possibility of competing with the big 2 ARPGs when it finally comes out. It has pretty much everything that POE and Diablo have, but adds an actually unique skill/power system that is unlike anything I have ever played before. It's all a matter of how much innovation the market really wants, versus how much they will play simply to continue to expand a well known universe.

    While that latter is perfectly understandable, I will definitely play D4 and POE expansion, there is a lot to love about the Wolcen model..

    While much has changed during development of Wolcen, the root combat system remains a balance between magic and martial combat that is rather unique.

    Magic in this game functions much like magic in other ARPGs, with "Willpower" taking the role of "Mana". It differs slightly because you can burn "willpower" casting spells faster than it drains, allowing you to build a willpower deficit that persists and has to clear before you can start regaining willpower. There are items that will actually decrease the rate at which you lose "willpower" while casting which, as a result, increase how large that deficit can build before you officially run out of willpower.

    That deficit doesn't necessarily mean you have to start chugging potions, though. Draining willpower builds a secondary "casting" resource called "rage", and rage transfers over time back to willpower. But while you have rage you can start using special martial skills (melee, missile weapons, etc.) that allow you to keep pressing the attack. Moreover, if you run enough of a Willpower deficit, that deficit can keep fueling your rage as the deficit clears.

    The system allows for a lot of tinkering with skills and timing to create your own combo attacks, and "rage" potions will allow the more martial-minded to open with martial attacks if they want. Quite frankly I think they missed a great opportunity... just rename the different potent levels of rage potion to "beer", "wine" and "whiskey".

    Essentially you can make whatever class you want in the game with the right mix of skills.

    Skills themselves gain levels, and earn skill points to spend on them to buy skill improvements that range from basic to substantial, adding another layer of variability.

    As an example, I am playing a ranged mage who swaps between electrical attacks and ranged martial attacks with a pistol. Granted, I would rather martial attacks be more weapon dependent, as in ranged attacks the weirdness is most apparent. You need a ranged weapon to, for instance, fire a barrage.. but whether you have a pistol or bow equipped the animation is a bow and arrows. Likewise, my primary martial attack is placing turrets which seems weird to require a bow or pistol.

    But, the quirks aside, this game has everything you might want in a new ARPG property. Color coded gear drops, huge variability in character customization, difficult and multi-phased boss fights... and so on.

    I mean, it may be a beta-only function, but you can fully change your character from a magic-focused character to a sword-and-board character with a respec if you find some really good melee gear. Just reassign your stats and skill points and level a few new skills and you are up and running. In late game, when you have a boatload of various skills already leveled you can alter, say, half of your combo to match a great new weapon you want to try, like using a pistol as your martial weapon rather than a pistol.

    Also, as of writing this the game is still in early Beta with only Act 1 available. The full game, at this pace, should be out just before POE/D4 hit the market.
    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    Wolcen: Lords of Destruction is going full release tomorrow. If you like loot-based ARPGs, take a look.

    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    It looks the same as POE and Diablo... whats the appeal of this game?

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    Quote Originally Posted by PoS View Post
    It looks the same as POE and Diablo... whats the appeal of this game?
    Well, for me the appeal is that it has a non-class-based character system and an innovative combat system that rewards you for developing both magic and martial skills in combination.

    It's also cool that you level skills by using them, making every character tend to evolve naturally based on how you choose to play them rather than just dumping generic points into skills.

    Also, based on recent developments, it's also nice that it's not a phone game.

    All that said, it is certainly a derivative of the good ARPGs that came before it, so it certainly looks the same in game play footage... kind of a cross between Diablo, Dungeon Siege and PoE with a Warhammer art style.
    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    There have been some pretty major combat system changes since the Beta that make it not quite as I described playing the late game beta.

    The one massive change is that it appears they have made the magic and melee resources opposing, rather than synergizing, at least in the early game. Now the game plays more like a traditional combat system... which isn't the best news.

    There is also new bug with small, flying mobs that make them hard to target...

    Other than that, I think my only other complaint is that the writing blows.. but it might be a translation thing. The script is confusing at that seems to confuse the actors who get all the lines delivered awkwardly.

    But it's still fun, and the combat is meaty. It needs some more polish.
    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    So I completed the campaign. This game has about the same launch aches and pains of Diablo III, except that as a small indi company they hadn't anticipated the launch day response.

    During beta the most traffic they had seen on a given day was 1600 connections simultaneously. On launch day they hit 61,000 simultaneous connections which killed the online play.

    Luckily, they offer offline-only mode as well, which is how I played it.

    This game is a ball buster. 3 days in and the forums are still full of people complaining about the boss at the end of act 1. As a long time beta tester I knew what to expect, so was able to beat him first try. Not so much the Act 2 boss that kicked my ass a few dozen times. These boss fights, more than any other ARPG, feel like raid-level MMORPG bosses. They don't really dumb them down for solo play, either, just give them less health.

    After knocking the game for bad writing, I must say that it seems to have gotten better as the game went on, but the acting never really did. The actors certainly had the voice for voice acting, but I found myself cocking my head sideways a lot because they failed miserably to deliver a line with the necessary emotion. Not overly dramatic, just no emotion but doom and anger through the whole thing. But you can skip the cut scenes..

    The game is fun, at they took their time to create the visuals you'd expect for a game with the tag "Lords of Destruction". But there, again, the audio fails. One particular spell that sends flashes of lighting arcing through crowds is particularly annoying for its "piew piew!" sound rather than the sharp crack of electricity that everyone would expect.

    Also, like Diablo 3 at launch, there is no end game, but the one huge oversight is that, unlike Diablo 3, they don't even give you the option of farming game bosses. Just two game modes, one an endless roguelike, another a small, random mission based grind. Meh.

    That being said, their launch showed there is a substantial market for a good ARPG, and with Torchlight and Diablo faltering, maybe this one can get moving on added content and fill the hole.
    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    Also, I fogot to mention that the late game has you run endless missions to build resources to rebuild your castle. I just realized that one of those rebuilding projects might be to unlock the map again. At least I hope so.

    It's a more interesting end game than I gave it credit for.
    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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    Re: Wolcen: Lords of Destruction

    All of the major game breaking bugs that I have encountered appear to have been cleared up with the patch today. Game is stable, and online play is rock solid.

    Really liking this game because, if for no other reason, it allows for some really over powered builds if you put your mind to it.

    I think the only thing I lean on heavily, but will likely get nerfed, is how the game calculates bonus damage. You have 4 stats on your character, and each one effects melee and magic somewhat equally (Agility effects casting and attack speed, for example) and all stats contribute to a derived stat called "Bonus Damage" which is a flat multiplier of all damage you do. In order to make all builds viable, the way they calculate it is that the highest two stats of the 4 for your character contribute +0.5% bonus damage, the two lowest contribute 0.3%. Because of this system, and the fact that the stat "Toughness" determines your health and magic shield multiplier, there is really no reason I have seen to not dump all of your stat points each level into Toughness. The other stats don't have nearly the same pay off in DPS, and none of them make you live longer.. and if all your points are spent on Toughness then every point you spend gets the +0.5% versus +0.3%.

    I decided to use this tactic with my second character, along with some nice gear I handed down to him, and he ran the entire campaign without dying once. That achievement has been accomplished by less than 1% of all players in game.. though it is bound to go up when people start new characters with all Toughness builds.

    Granted, this game allows your player to self resurrect 3 times before you officially die and get sent back to camp, but usually such knock downs are followed quickly by two more since you are usually stuck right where you were overpowered the first time. Either way, with the toughness build I was only knocked down once in the whole campaign and it was on the final boss because I needed to get going and tried to just tank him and burn him down. I did, but I got knocked down once in the process.

    It's a fun game, though, for all of it's quirky, exploitable mechanics... or maybe because of them.
    The only path to truth is paved with skepticism.

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