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My soft criticism of Underrail.

Discussion in 'Underrail' started by roshan, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    Hello everyone. I really liked most of what I played of Underrail, but at this point I'm just totally bored of it and more or less had my fill of the game. I had realized more or less early on that this was a game that I wouldn't want to replay anytime soon, but thought I'd be interested enough to finish my playthrough. The following are the reasons why I have had enough:

    1. There's not much meat to the story, plot and world. There aren't enough characters to interact with, not enough quests, and not enough motivation in the central plot to drive you forward. Some areas like the Foundry and Camp Hathor are somewhat wasted. The game is more or less a long dungeon crawl. Factions like Ironheads or Lurkers are just mobs to kill rather than forces you can interact with like the Slavers and Raiders in Fallout. There's not much CNC in the sense that you can complete quests but it doesn't seem to have much impact on the game world.

    2. The game is just ridiculously and stupidly easy, and the difficulty curve is whack. It was most tough when I was fighting beetles and rathounds early on. Then there was the bots challenge and the now-nerfed mutants challenge, but other than that it was easy going despite my gimped pistol build. And when exploring further on I found enemies like Lurkers to be significantly difficult. But then I found a good tactical vest, built a crafted hammerer, and that unique SMG (later upgraded to crafted steel cat), and basically ROFLstomped the whole of lower Underrail, including Balrog and Carnifex.

    The "normal" difficulty setting really should be renamed to "moron". And this is given that I spent most of the game using an SMG as a pistol.

    3. Respawning trash mobs everywhere. I appreciate that enemies like rathounds, crawlers, siphoners, psi beetles and warthogs have unique abilities that you need to watch out for early on, but they quickly turn into trash enemies and they keep respawning in lots of areas, so it gets really tiresome to click through them after a while. Thank the heavens for rat king armor.

    4. Too much of the game is spent slowly trudging through isometric space. First of all movement speed is a crawl (I got 10 DEX and 7 AGI, nimble + rat king armor + tabi boots, and it's still bloody slow). Then areas are designed in such a way that key parts are as inaccessible as possible. It's annoying having to open that gate to SGS all the time. It's annoying having to make my way all the way to the merchants in Core City. And so on and so forth. This stuff doesn't even make sense from a realism standpoint. Commerce, business should cluster around central and easily accessible locations, that's more or less how it works in the real world.

    5. Too much of the game is spent waiting for stupid bars to fill up. You want to pickpocket someone, or lockpick, or hack, or open a vent, and you need to wait for that ridiculous bar. What in the world is the point? I mean there are some times (like if you are infiltrating a compound, or dodging guards) that the bar actually fulfills some sort of gameplay function (for locking/hacking), but a lot of the time, specially for pickpocket, it's just a huge time sink.

    6. Cooldowns suck and are lazy design. Yeah, I'm one of those people now. I didn't mind it at first when those abilities seemed really important and I actually had to think about whether or not to use them or keep them for the next turn. But when combat got easy, spamming knee cap, aimed shot and so on became a no brainer. In effect the game devolved into Shadowrun where you just fire off an ability as soon as it's ready. The game further encourages this because of smart modules and goggles that increase special attack damage. So you are basically pushed to spam those attacks over and over again because it's the optimal way to play.... and again, wait for stupid bars to fill up. And the bars don't even make sense - why in fuck's sake does an ability named "RAPID FIRE" involve a bar slowly filling up? It's pretty retarded. And the alternative option is click click click click click to kill which is just as banal.

    7. I don't mind the lack of a world map but the way that Lower Underrail fits into the caves and tunnels is just whack, areas are more or less connected at random and there seems to have been no effort (or early on planning/vision/foresight) into building a logically connected world.

    8. Itemization totally sucks, and the crafting system lacks meat. Most of the unique pistols I found were not even worth a second glance. And there are not enough options for attachments to really add variety to crafted weapons. I mean, if I were to craft another pistol, it would be another .44 hammerer with smart module and laser sight - but with higher quality parts. But I don't actually need to craft such a weapon because everything is just too fucking easy anyway and I don't need to make it any easier. Same thing with SMG - my next crafted weapon would be another steel cat with smart module and laser sight. BORING. Then you roam around and keep finding the same items like bolt of black cloth or circular wave amplifier over and over again, and it's the same items in the shops all the time. Again, BORING.

    And each weapon comes in exactly four varieties that are more or less equally banalced against each other at the same quality point. I can't bloody understand what was the point behind such insipid design. Really seems that the king of banalce himself took a pass at this game. :balance: There's really a difference between games that were beautifully hand crafted and designed like the IE games of old and Fallout 2 versus Underrail which relies on simplistic and random systems.

    9. Underrail is like TOEE in that it is too bloody easy for you to even bother making use of the systems in place, so most of them are totally wasted. Take my character. I have the option to craft and use some powerful energy weapons. And my character is basically built for that. But I'm wondering - what's the fucking point? Energy ammo is expensive, and I can one shot most enemies with a critical from my hammerer anyway. And I'm almost at the end of the game (Upper Underrail). So there's no impetus to make use of the systems because there is no real challenge being offered to players.

    Verdict: Good not great, with some of it being mediocre or boring. Still enjoyed what I played of it, but changing my GOTY vote to Serpent in the Staglands. And I didn't even make it to the deep caverns.

    But still looking forward to whatever Styg and co does next. :D
     
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  2. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    This is true up to a point, underrail has tons of well defined characters, it just doesnt do much with them, which is a shame.
    Also yeah, the bandit factions are basically a name for an enemy type.


    Yup, the assholish difficulty of unerfed depot A is how the entire game should have been.

    They are all more or less the same.

    <3 siphoners, wish they respawned moar and in more places.
    Other than that, just murder them bro, a lot of underrail is about abstraction because if it wasnt the scope would be insane. Fallout featured respawning enemies during the mayority of the game and no one complained because they were hidden under the guise of "random encounters".


    Yeah i guess, wouldnt mind finding a bazzar in front of the elevator and bigger stores around it. At the end of the day tho, its just about you wanting to make sell rounds for whatever reason, they are not needed.

    I agree.


    Cooldowns arent lazy design, cooldowns that dont work are.


    Nonsense, while a lot of the travelling is abstracted, its very easy to know where you are at all times if you are paying attention. The world is build in a logical way.

    Sure, deeper crafting system would be cool, its an amazing system and i also wish it had more depth and complexity after the first couple hours when you are still familiarizing yourself with it. Itemization is good, but its not meant to replace crafting, just be a viable, but inferior, alternative.


    They arent exactly balanced, and some models are clearly superior to others, i dont even know where this comes from.


    Sure, game is easy when you get to understand all of its systems, this is true for every rpg tho.


    To me it was great, far from perfect. And yeah, i just hope he actually makes the god damn thing harder instead of easier. deep caverns is a huge difficulty spike tho, and you get there with an "end game" mentaility and thats not what DC is, DC is just another big part of the game focused on survival with the tools you got earlier in the game, and odds are youll find one or two enemies especially tailored against you that you will struggle to beat and will probably have to face many many times.
     
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  3. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    True, but a good game should be able to anticipate the point at which a player is familiar and then provide appropriate challenges. You learned all those systems, now is the time to apply that learning. In Underrail this just doesn't happen. I've been waiting for the encounter that tells me "now is the fucking time to use that plasma pistol, or craft that uber laser pistol you have been dreaming of" but no such thing is even taking place. What a total fucking waste. I'm not even making use of the uber powers I already have, like taser+execute with the hammerer. I've only used execute maybe 3 or 4 times thus far. It's all so dull, underwhelming and disappointing.

    The single good encounter in the game, Depot A (probably now nerfed into just another trash encounter) actually happens when you are not so familiar with the systems and don't have the good abilities. The funny thing is even if Depot A was not nerfed, it would still be a cakewalk on my second playthrough because I will know exactly what I need to do to beat it. And I'm complaining despite going into the game pretty much blind, with very wrong stat distribution and a poor choice of weapon and feats. I can't imagine how much more boring and easy the game would be if I did things right.

    It even takes out the fun or challenge of a replay, because for everything, it's basically "what's the point"? There is no joy in creating a character, accumulating useless skill points, psi abilities, feats and stat points if the game does not have the balls to throw at you encounters where you need to use them. It's pathetic.
     
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  4. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    Also I am playing a 3 CON character and have never even turned on an energy shield. Seriously I don't even know how that shit works or what it does. And I realized here I am looking for high quality ingredients to craft an item that has so far been of completely no use to me. The game seriously needs a decent challenge upgrade. As it is, it's just too damn boring. It just devolves into another TOEE where you have tons of useless options and systems but there's no point to any of it because you are never required to use them.

    But if there is any upcoming challenging mission (I just started with Upper Underrail and working for the protectorate), I'd like to know about it... Because I need something to look forward to. Right now it feels like nothing I am doing has any purpose.
     
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  5. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    You put shield in over the shoulder slot on your character doll, click icon on hotbar and it works.
    To recharge hold [shift] and click on shield on hotbar and your char would automatically recharge it with batteries like reloading a weapon.

    What it does, um, well it makes game even easier :M
    Final mission for Protectorate
    Show Spoiler
    (waste libruls)
    is fun and challenging somewhat.
     
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  6. oneself Prophet Shitposter

    oneself
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    Is this an argument against cooldown? It sounds like an argument against repetitive play, which is a consequence of optimal play.

    You sound like a guy that didn't hit DC yet. Actually, scratch that. You are only on Upper Underrail.

    Maybe you will like DC. You might hate it because while hard, it is not the level of difficulty you wanted. Damned if you do damned if you don't.
     
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  7. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    Not really - it's just that the system design in general which is entirely based on cooldowns combined with the easy encounters itself leads to repetition. I wouldn't be playing in a repetitive manner if the encounters were more challenging and I actually had to think of which enemy to knee cap, and so on. And as a result of the design (smart modules make special attacks do more damage), it makes sense to use these abilities all the time, since there's no drawback to using them.

    Yeah dude, I could have certainly worked that out myself. What I am pointing at is that up to this point I have not found anything that has actually made me go "oh shit, let me turn on my energy shield".
     
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  8. oneself Prophet Shitposter

    oneself
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    A lack of cooldowns combined with easy encounters will still lead to repetition, suppose you are still seeking optimal solution.
     
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  9. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Cryo psionics? Pyros? Tier IV grenade throwers? Endgame level snipers? Electric spiders?
    Even burrowers in the beginning if you're not wearing specific armor.
    I call BS. There are a lot of enemies that can 1-round you without shield, unless you're wearing UR's version of power armor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
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  10. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    This is absolutely not my experience. I can kill two people in one round easily with aimed shot from hammerer and special attacks using SMG. So usually combat will start with the toughest two enemies having been eliminated. Electric spiders never posed any sort of challenge and burrowers are weak as fuck at this point (they were tougher early on though).
     
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  11. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    Like I pointed out in my post, I could also just "click click click to kill" but that isn't any less banal or repetitive than spamming the abilities.
     
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  12. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Cant help but agree. Still, there are a few difficulty spikes even before DC, and shields are probably mandatory against enemies like coil spiders.
     
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  13. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Did you finish first mission for Institute? (Vanga fight)
    Just killing first 2 enemies is not enough there.

    It may be Roshan just went through game at different pace. I personally fucked around lower underrail at level 10 including Lurker's base and it was very hard. (After that not so much, until some rare fights like defending warehouse & Vanga fight).

    Btw, combatwise DC is not hard at all (well maybe if you antagonize all factions there especially Faceless). Only tchortling scanners are hard but not as "hard" but they just kinda can 1-round you and respawn all the time.

    I also didn't find Depot A hard at all, just too long and monotonous. I did have hight tailoring however, so after first encounter I was almost immune to acid.
     
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  14. roshan Arcane

    roshan
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    I did defending warehouse on my 3rd try, just had to play more conservatively, retreating into warehouse and ambushing the enemies. That was a fun battle. But even before I got killed and reloaded, I knew that this wasn't a big deal, that I would be able to crack the battle in a couple of tries. I found the lurker's in the undertunnels not much of a problem, but when I got to the bigger groups in the base, that was a challenge and I wasn't able to beat it. But at that point I was still using some kind of leather armor and really mundane pistols. When I started using a tactical vest and switched to SMG + hammerer, I cleared the bases, nice and easy.

    Coil spiders are also too easy, aimed shot with hammerer, problem solved, combat over. It might be different if the game had balls to throw them at you in larger groups of more than 2 but I don't even take damage from them.

    Take note I only played on normal, I really should go for hard if I were to replay the game.
     
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  15. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    I assume you have good Stealth?

    They gang up on you if you touch the webs, so it's also a matter of having high PER too.
    Game throws them in larger numbers on you later + mines and other stuff, but that ceases to be a novelty at that point.
     
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  16. Commissar Draco KKKodex WCDS Commissar Patron

    Commissar Draco
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Base of Libruls was hard in fun way; my char pretty much relied on shield for defense... and they throwed grenade to strip it from me the first turn; this and the gas timer made it into the best and most intense fight in whole game... I do agree game had impression of being half cooked though especially at story and quests part; the throw faceless captive to pit/set him free choice for example; no option to incacipate him and turn to authorities for civic duty/bounty? And why should I care about SGS after becoming the Bonzo in Core City? I was not even raised here and people treated me like pawn/guy to do dirty and dangerous work whole time... Also the fact that Dreadnaught armor you found sucked so much and was one mission only... Come on Doors prevents me to drive it out? This thing has Diamont covered adamantium drill for throne sake... And so on but the clue Underrail was never even advertised as storyfag game and the exploration part was still superb.
     
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  17. Mystary! Arcane

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    Werent you the one complaining how awful and gimped pistols were? And now suddenly they kill everything in one shot?
     
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  18. hell bovine Arcane

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    I can understand getting bored by UR, because what is interesting for some people is boring for others, but... Having killed her way through a lot of the game, I'd say the toughest fights for my mage were (not counting the final one, because I didn't like it): the tchortist institute and the faceless in the terrible place down below. The anarchist base wasn't even that difficult by comparison. Whether your character would find the tough is another question (I played on hard), but upper Underrail isn't almost at the end of the game. edit: Also, the final robot battle (which is also optional) in the terrible place down below. That's the thing about UR, a lot of the tough fights are optional, so it's easy to miss them.

    They do come in groups, in deep caverns, including a place with zapping floorboards.

    Try attacking the cultist base then (by which I mean the university), it's much more fun than the drones.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
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  19. Lord Andre Arcane

    Lord Andre
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    Shouldn't have played on normal OP. I restarted the game on hard after Depot A and it kept things more dangerous. Much of the challenge later on is fighting a group of enemies where at least 3 can one shot you while you can only one shot 2 in the first round. Usually 1 crossbow with special bolts, 1 hammer dude and 1 electro-shock knife guy. Also the noise you make brings on a second group which has one-shotters of their own while you're own one-shotting stuff is on cooldown. Add some psionicists or MK3+ grenade throwers to the mix and you have a decent challenge.

    Of course being half-way through the game, you're not gonna' piss your pants as you know the system and have a variety of tools by then but still you will have to consider your actions.

    Anyway, playing on hard is key.
     
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  20. oneself Prophet Shitposter

    oneself
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    Most games are like click-press-kill. Underrail is just another game.
     
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  21. ArchAngel Magister

    ArchAngel
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    DC is not hard, it is just stupid repetitive design.
    Hard(and fun) was clearing Lunatics base for my crossbow/stealth specialist.
    DC is just punching rocks with a fist, rocks that cannot hit you back just so you can do the same thing over and over and over.
    Instead of deep worms in every fucking room there should be a special encounter with them like Lunatics base.
    DC is just c/p same boring encounters 200 times and since everyone has lots of HP/resistance they take way too long to kill.

    At least lower and upper underrail c/p enemies die fast and don't waste your time and are not immune to stealth.
     
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  22. Doctor Sbaitso SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS. Patron

    Doctor Sbaitso
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands
    Some valid gripes but tell me, have you been using cheatengine speedhack? It solves a LOT of gripes with the game. You may also be experiencing fatigue having played many hours. Given sufficient exposure, every facet of a piece of software will come into question.
     
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  23. blamzooie Educated

    blamzooie
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    Seconded. Got it configured and never looked back.
     
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  24. Ludo Lense Self-Ejected

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    The Gleichschaltung must no be disturbed brethren.

    Show Spoiler
    For the record I found the game competent but lacking soul, it simply didn't suck me in. It is deeply mired in Old School RPG Orthodoxy.
    You are a psionic! 5 minutes in you take a red pill and then suddenly you start talking to people about mind control and stuff...it is just so by the numbers.
     
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  25. Poos Arcane

    Poos
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    id hate to hear the OP's hard criticism
     
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