[SPOILERS] Several pain points I feel need to be addressed

Hi, I’ve clocked in about 24 hours in the game so far and while my impressions are overall positive, there are several baffling design choices that I feel like need an explanation or a rework. In no particular order:

  1. The spike in difficulty after The Riven Twins is insane to me. I went from being able to first-try all the bosses and mini bosses with no problem to not even being able to make it to the first Echo Knight reliably. By the time I finished the Nameless Pass, I had done every other quest, did several rounds of bounties and challenges, and did a couple of plain old farming runs for mats. I was level 17 when I cleared the twins. Next thing I know, all of the gear that drops is 42 single stat/26-26 split stat/level 21 in requirements. I could not use a single thing for the next couple of hours of gameplay for the 4 miserably long levels as enemies turned into sponges that could 3 tap me in fully upgraded full plate. The encounters inside the first trial (can’t speak for the other ones of course) feel incredibly unfair and overtuned. All the knights hit for bucketloads of damage, and there are always 2 or 3 of them + the occasional giant or a fire witch pestering you from a distance.

  2. Multi enemy encounters do not flow well. The game falls apart the moment there are 3 or more enemies that you have to fight against. Often times you’ll get perma’d by their staggered attack timings. They have infinite stamina (seemingly) and often have shoves/charges that knock you prone if they hit you (which they will). Specifically, axe wielders have a shove that knocks you down and does not give you enough time to roll out of the way of the follow up attack. Shield bearers can parry you, but if you’re quick you can roll away from the retaliatory attack. So whenever there are multiple enemies to contend with, it’s optimal to just facetank everything and kill before you’re killed, all the while you’re burning through your resources.

  3. To add onto the topic of upgrades, has anyone seen bears in the game? No? Where am I supposed to get bear paws from, then? Boar tusks? Not a single boar to be seen. I have not seen a single bear paw the entire time, and I’ve been through the Nameless Pass top to bottom at least 5 times during mat runs, opening every single chest I could find. I don’t think I need to press the point of just how infuriating it is to be stopped because of RNG like this. This, I feel, begs a deeper question of the game’s identity, what it wants to be. It’s deterministic VS RNG and if I had to choose, I will always pick the former. RNG does NOT feel good in a souls-y adventure game.

    • Some may dismiss this with a “git gud” comment and while I agree to an extent, this also applies to city building. It’s no coincidence that one of the biggest memes surrounding the game right now is clay. Clay. Why is it random which hole I get clay out of? Either some specific holes will always give clay and others never will, or all holes will always give clay as holes can only appear on clay soil.
  4. Divorcing equip load from Vitality or Endurance is on almost par with Dark Souls 2’s Adaptability. You will always have to level this to a certain degree due to the overtuned weight most gear has, unless you’re content with cloth/leather armor. I want to see flipping Havelmoms about as much as the next guy (which is to say, not at all), but either weight gets reduced across the board, the stat gives more per point, or is merged with Endurance for example.

  5. The :b:/:o2:button on a controller is completely unused aside from the contextual actions of casting runes or exiting out of menus. So why isn’t dash/roll bound to B by default, and A to jump? Why are developers so terrified of giving players manual jumps? Why am I more surprised when a game HAS a jump button than when it doesn’t? I promise I can hold sprint and jump at the same time, Elden Ring has trained me for it.

    • Alternatively, dash could be toggled with clicking the left stick, and :b:/:o2: could purely be used for rolling. That way we can toggle sprint and jump without having to hold one button down while pressing another, which I can see being clunky.
  6. Why can’t we block with two handed weapons or one single handed weapon? We can parry, but we can’t block? I can’t think of a single game in this pseudo-genre that doesn’t allow for blocking with a weapon. If I have a two-hander equipped, or one single handed weapon, then obviously I have no runes to pick from if I hold LB/L1. There is no point in both LB/L1 and RB/R1 to give you the same rune wheel.

    • Also, you can’t parry with your fists for some reason?

Those are my two cents on the topic. Obviously I’m not the protagonist of reality so feel free to push back on these and/or discuss in further detail. Thanks for reading!