The good, the bad and the ugly

I want to start off by saying I find the game fantastic and that the core and foundation of the game is great, I love both the gameplay, the visual and the world the game is set in. I’ve put abit over 20 hours into the game, with a level 24 and a level 4 character.

My intention with this list is to give the devs some constructive criticism and thoughts on what the games strong points are that just need refining, and weak points that I think could use more work or require an overhaul.

To others reading this, there will be spoilers for all of act one and the endgame content such as story beats and bosses, so don’t read this maybe if you haven’t beaten the game up to its endpoint yet and you want to remain spoiler free.

The Good

These things are good and require little to no changes

Feels responsive, chunky and overall fantastic. Extremely satisfying system that, once you get the hang of the controls and the feel of your chosen weapon etc, is extremely fun and intense that rewards patience and good management of resources with the stamina and focus bars. Love the feel and sound of weapons, be it rapid strikes with knives, heavy slow blows with a claymore or the slinging of fireballs burning enemies alive. Only criticism would be UI related, it would be nice for at least an optional stamina metre below the health bar or a way to make the stamina bar brighter, as in certain situations it can be hard to read.

Build variety and viability
The levelling system and gear system feel well thought out and implemented and from what I could tell from my own and others experience, there is no bad build so long as you commit to a specific playstyle (meaning you put in your points in one or two specialisations instead of spreading out on all stats). I also love that abilities are not necessarily tied to one weapon but can be swapped around, allowing you to customize your kit even more. Only thing that would be neat is to allow weapons to cast spells like fireball, maybe a weaker version of it than staffs but still. It would also be nice for some way to respec your character somehow or at least redistribute a few stats here and there through either level up or items etc.

The bossfights
All bosses so far feel tough but fair and I’ve beaten them with a reasonable amount of tries and all have fun and interesting moveset. Only one I would argue could leave for slightly longer opening windows between attacks or retaliations would be Darak as he at times feels very overwhelming compared to everything else in the game so far. However this may just of course have been my experience and others find him easy, so take that with a grain of salt. The Echo Knight also has a similar problem, though there I would argue its more of a issue of its difficulty not being the biggest problem but rather the extensive time required each time to reach it. Maybe once you reach it you have 3 tries to beat it before the crucible resets?

The Visuals & Audio
The game looks Gorgeous, both in game and the various cutscenes. The games artstyle is a treat to look at and I cant wait to see more designs for armour, weapons, creatures and environments! So many awesome designs such as the personal guard of Seline, good stuff! Additionally, the sound design and music are great, you can practically hear the heavy impact of many attacks and the music that starts playing in certain areas are fantastic (such as climbing the peak in nameless pass as you look down on everything below you).

The setting & worldbuilding
I love the world we find ourselves in, the story seems very interesting from the getgo and the characters all have interesting personalities that can be explored further, with certain dialogues already pointing in interesting directions things could go in for individual characters and the greater story. The world also feels lived in with NPC’s walking about and talking, alternating weather and many gorgeous locations with many nice details. Literally the only thing I can think of off the top of my head is to add a few more voice lines for some NPCs as you walk past them. Yes I get captain Randolph, you want me to trade my silly outfit for a uniform, now give me my dailies!

And many more smaller things and details!

The Bad

These things detract from the experience and need to be removed or overhauled

The inventory/Ichor system
This system is the only genuinely bad thing in the game imo.

Thematically, I dont understand why slurping corrupted blood infected by the turbo rabies black death zombie plague gives me the ability to…carry more herbs or swords in my pocket? No cool new powers? Maybe unique abilities or stats boosts? Why does drinking some liquid allow me to wear more rings on my hands or have a second dagger in my pocket?

Mechanically, it’s just frustrating. With the amount of varying resources you gather over your journey it detracts a lot from the fun by having to sort through loot constantly and run up and down to the rookery to deposit all the things you gather back and forth, especially since that space should be reserved for the actual juicy loot you find. The problem is somewhat alleviated once you unlock housing, but even then its not very fun to sacrifice more weapon, secondary and ring slots in favour of more inventory space, or have a small inventory space until much later.

Here’s my suggestion that I think thematically and mechanically would make things a lot better:

Keep the Ichor system, but completely get rid of it, increasing your inventory in any way. Instead, make it so when you ingest ichor you either get a stat boost of some kind or, more interestingly, some sort of unique abilities or traits only unlockable by consuming ichor. Be this some sort of corrupted spells like raising enemies you slay under your control temporarily as you control the plague somehow or inflicting damage over time on non-infected enemies, or empowering your existing abilities, such as when you fire a firebolt it detonates in an area or your greatsword heavy attacks create a shockwave, an ability of your choice gets a second free charge after you activate it etc etc. there’s a lot you can do. Would allow even more for specialising into a custom created class, which is one of the games main selling points from a gameplay standpoint.

For the inventory system, increase the base size of at least the resource inventory, then allow the player to equip various backpacks. Gear and backpacks will allow you to either carry more consumables, equipment, tools, resources etcetc. That way the small things you find over your journey you can keep collecting without worry, remedying the fact that you have to discard resources that you need to make space for other resources you need, while making you have to choose what you want to prioritise as you head out of sacrament: do you want more tools to harvest more? Are you going to the crucible and want to be able to carry more equipment back? That adds decision making and makes the system more interesting and interactive without being nearly as frustrating. You could gear yourself for what type of adventure youre about to head out for, be it a resource gathering run, continuing the main story and gearing up for combat, or prepping yourself to get a ton of juicy loot through the crucible.

The Ugly

These things are conceptually fine but require further work and tuning to fit the game better. NOTE: Ive added a “in short” section at the end of each of these, for those wanting to just glance through and to summarize these less serious “problems” than the one above.

Keyboard implementation (unrelated to keybind remapping, which I know is being worked on)
A big problem that requires addressing is how keyboard players interact with the world, specifically platforming sections. Unlike a controller where you can fine tune your turns and movement, with WASD it’s only possible to move in 8 directions, up down right left and the diagonals between. Additionally, midair, you cannot adjust your direction. This leads to certain sections where platforming is required to be a NIGHTMARE for keyboard players. If a section of platform is not aligned with by 45 degrees but lets say 20 or 30 degrees from another platform, you have to now perfectly pre align the jump with minimal room for error.

This would be fine in a platformer, but this game is a ARPG combined with darksouls, where upon death you are teleported at times a good section away and have some sort of penalty for dying (that being equipment durability in this case). This leads to certain sections being incredibly unfun and frustrating, not because its even a matter of skill, but that because of the camera angle and lack of precision movement you at times have to find the precise spot to jump from through trial and error, leading to dying many, many times and having to redo large sections of the area.

The issue could be fixed either by adjusting certain platform locations and sizes in the world itself, or allowing players that, upon pressing a certain key, allows for stationary, precise turning.

A second problem is that switching foods or consumables mid fight is very difficult when using the keyboard and mouse. Once button remapping becomes available, please add hotkeys for swapping one item to the left or right, similar to how weaponry can be swapped with Z and X.

In short: The game was clearly designed with controller in mind, some quality of life improvements for keyboard would be nice to make the game feel smoother in terms of movement and combat

Equipment durability
While conceptually fine and much more soft after the recent hotfixes, equipment durability does need to have something more to it in its current state. It works on a basic level, but I just don’t see what it’s supposed to bring to the table that would provide interest or depth to the game. Early game it feels a bit rough maybe if at all, but late game it becomes practically trivial and non-existent when selling a single piece of equipment covers for all my equipment repairs.

My recommendation would be to reverse the mechanic: instead of punishing a player on death, have it be a sharpening mechanic similar to other games like monster hunter, where the player can choose to invest into improving their equipment performance for a certain number of deaths/time for a high cost. Alternatively, make it so equipment below a certain threshold loses some stats or special perks in return for having degradation be based off of for example damage taken (or time worn maybe?), with armor value reducing the degradation so tank builds dont have to constantly repair their equipment. Maybe weather/environment could be tied to degradation even?

There’s many ways to go about it, but as is right now, it just doesn’t do anything that would be interesting or beneficial to the game. It’s just…there.

In short: Durability feels lackluster and pointless, needs more incentive for it to exist in the game

Parrying as a mechanic is fine, however it feels a bit lacklustre at the moment. What I mean is that while it is a strong mechanic, especially if you have some parrying enhancements, I just dont see a reason to use it over dodging. You risk a lot, especially against certain higher damage enemies, for a brief window to damage them that you would have regardless if you just dodged their attacks. One could argue that it’s more stamina efficient, but frankly that isnt a problem once you get a few levels into stamina and have stamina potions etc. If you have a shield, with certain perks youre again just better off blocking with it instead of risking taking full damage.

I would suggest parrying having either a slightly bigger window of time during attacks when it can be done or making the stagger onto enemies stronger. Alternatively, maybe have it so if you fail a parry, you take partially (10-20%?) reduced damage.

In short: Parrying feels somewhat pointless for the risk/reward compared to simply dodging or shield blocking, make it slightly easier/less punishing/more rewarding.

Lesser uglys

These things are things that do not necessarily require as much looking at as the previously mentioned things, but are still features i felt were on some occasions frustrating/lacking

Resource gathering
While I know this is supposed to be partially alleviated by playing with a group, I still feel like this system overall is a bit of a hit and a miss simultaneously. But things do feel slow if not outright boring to run from one end of the map to the other back and forth to get some wood and ore.

Maybe having certain small areas with tough enemies that then has plentiful of a resource, so maybe a cave in the quarry that has 5-10 ore deposits but is protected by a miniboss like a giant golem or having a section of woodland with plenty of trees protected by a treant. Basically areas with bountiful resources that require some work to get to, instead of running all around the map repeatedly to gain one resource at a time.

Now admittedly this may not be necessary as more areas get added and more areas to gather resources become available, as well as the mentioned farming system coming into the game. And using higher tier tools on lower tier resources gathering faster also somewhat alleviates this. But resource gathering still feels a bit of a boring process that is conceptually good but just needs that extra something to really tie things together. If things stay as they are, it’s fine, but I do think more could be done with it.

In short: resource gathering is fine but feels tedious and not very interesting at times, this is made worse with the current incarnation of the inventory system

Suicidal Tendencies?
This one is pretty simple. The amount of times that I’ve tried to move/run onto ladders and vines or a lower platform and the character decides to instead leap off the ledge to their demise is infuriating. Please make it so even a running character moving up to a ladder, vine or ledge at least halts for a moment, at least when in combat. Or at least reduce the jump distance in such cases, so the character leaps onto the platform right below them, instead of trying to mario stomp the grass 200 metres below them

In short: Characters near ledges need to be less jumpy

In game information
Lastly, the game lacks a lot of information. Runes should describe more precisely what they do when hovered in the shop, and show some more concrete damage numbers. When hovering over a weapon or equipment trait or stat, have a tooltip explain more thoroughly what exactly it does and by how much. I can tell my armour is high, but how much damage does it reduce? What are the different poise thresholds? What exactly does the shield breaking icon on weapons mean? Etcetc.

In short: Add more details and information in the game so that one doesnt have to look into a wiki on what things do and how things work

That is all. I love the game and am going to keep playing it for hopefully many years to come and am excited to follow its development for up to and after release. Hope this list of feedback helps! If any of you fellow players have any thoughts on my suggestions let me know what you think and what you agree/disagree with.



I wanna agree with the need for a slightly more forgiving parry window but the truth is I just clearly need to get good.

Basic level enemy telegraphs are pretty easy for me to parry, it’s only natural that more advanced enemies will take more practice.

I assume that some of the negative punishments of failing the “risk” like stagger or big health depletion can be offset with better gear, and maybe there could be some enchantments that make parrying a bit easier.

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Completely fair, I will definitely admit that I’m not the best at parrying advanced enemies either and you’re right that late game very tanky builds can offset the damage by just being very durable.

I guess my problem is more that WHY would I parry instead of dodging and instantly retaliating or just outright blocking it, since those two options carry no risk and are far easier to execute compared to parry.

Idk I have quite mixed feelings on it, I like it as a mechanic, but again, don’t see why I would master it in its current state. Maybe I need to try some crazy super parry intense build or something lol.

I dig the idea of making parrying easier as an enhancement tho, could be fun.

I totally agree with you in terms of wanting the “why” to be more fleshed out.

Currently they grant you a lot of focus. One of the co creators said they wanted to avoid a traditional riposte because it funneled players into doing the same thing over again. By instead rewarding focus, the idea is that it allows the player to choose how to punish accordingly. And I’ve definitely taken advantage of it, usually by following up a parry with an immediate charge attack and then a rune attack.

I think that one easy answer is to simply lengthen the time an enemy is staggered after a parry. It’s super quick right now and I think giving more time, plus maybe a bonus damage modifiers to your first attack after a parry, could really round the system out.

Of course, again, it’s possible there are gear items that already exist (or will soon) that will give these sorts of bonuses. I guess for the devs it’s always a question of what power should be given to players as a baseline, and what should be reserved for gear. I anticipate that balance will be continually tweaked during EA

Oh good point actually on gaining focus, I had forgotten about that. Its somewhat offset if you take the gain focus on hit infusion with your weapon, which is what I did, but yeah it is a good way of generating focus if you can parry consistently.

Also the latest hotfix made parrying cost stamina as well, so the devs seemingly find parrying to be quite strong in contrast to many players.

Regarding balancing base power and item power, maybe parry is intentionally meant to be a bit weaker at its base and then become a superior option via gear. Hard to say.