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Incline Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty

Suicidal

Arcane
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
2,233
I think I've squeezed all the entertainment I could out of the game. Beat all the missions, DLCs, dabbled a bit in NG+ and the 1000 Mile Journey mode.

Things I liked:

Combat against humans and smaller monsters. I think the game's combat system works best in these situations. It's fast, deadly, they get staggered so you have more openings to use martial arts, deflecting works properly (they hit you, you deflect, you push them to the side and stop their attack). Even against stagger-immune bosses and smaller monsters it still works fine, because even though you don't stop their attack animation by deflecting, their weapons are small enough and move quickly enough that you don't have time to notice any animation inconsistencies. Also, this game has really good hitboxes, to the point where if you use an attack that makes your character slightly jump up, an enemy ground sweep with a small weapon will miss you. I don't remember any instances of something hitting me when I thought it shouldn't have had. Some of my favorite experiences playing through the levels were accidentally running into a big group of human enemies and then running around trying to separate them, deflecting their attacks coming from all sides and slowly thinning their numbers.

Most bosses, especially human ones. Wo Long features some of the best bosses Team Ninja has ever made. They’re very flashy and spectacular, have very large movesets (you can fight some bosses 5 times and still see attacks you haven’t seen before), and the combat system allows you to constantly get up in their face instead of running away whenever they charge up a big combo, resulting in very intense back and forth fights. DLCs in particular have some excellent bosses. Not all of them are good. Giant monsters suck dick as usual and the human wizard fights tend to be pretty lame but I thought that there were more fun bosses in the game than boring ones. Also, some of the bosses that I easily breezed through on NG I started appreciating more on NG+ where I couldn’t just win by face tanking every second attack.

Magic system. Probably the coolest magic system I’ve seen in all games of this kind. The spells are very fast to cast, so you can mix them into your combos, the resources to cast them are unlimited provided you keep your spirit up, you can equip several of them at the same time and can use whichever one with the appropriate button press without needing to scroll through your spell list ever time and they are very impactful. The damage spells need a proper build to be useful, but the utility spells are often useful from the moment you get them. For example learning the water teleport spell greatly improved the combat experience for me, because the standard dodge move is shitty and inconvenient to use and the water blink is a much better alternative and it gives you options when you’re not sure you can deflect a particular attack and also allows you to keep the pressure on pussy mage bosses who keep teleporting or flying away.

There are also secret spells you can unlock by beating certain bosses, which are quite interesting. For example, I found an earth spell that lets you form a stone barrier around yourself that make you immune to enemy attacks and explodes afterwards. This is very similar to the game Mortal Shell, where the core combat mechanic is being able to harden and become immune to damage. Wo Long has the entire main combat mechanic of another game packaged into an optional spell that you may not even find in your playthrough. It sucks, however, that they are random drops and by the end of my playthrough I had 4 earth secret spells, despite not putting any points into earth.

Then there is also the elemental counter system, where if you use a spell against an element it’s strong against, it will dispel that element’s buffs, destroy its projectiles or damage zones on the ground, which adds quite a bit of depth to the combat.

My main complaint about the magic system is that you can still use expensive spells while being very low on spirit, as long as you are above the minimum (like you can have half a bar of spirit remaining and still cast a spell that cost several full bars, which will put you into the red, but then you can hit an enemy once, gain a bit of spirit and cast that spell again, which is unbalanced cause it lets you keep up powerful buffs all the time).

Spirit system. Interesting approach to the souls-like ever-present stamina bar. Not having it doesn’t turn you into a useless husk, but you still depend a lot on it and proper management of your spirit bar is very important, especially on higher difficulties. My only complaint is that enemies do nothing with positive spirit. I wish every enemy would have a few particularly dangerous and hard to avoid attacks that they could use when on high spirit and by successfully deflecting them you could turn the fight around by putting them in the red, or something.

Changes to the loot. I’m one of those people who actually likes the RPG autism part of Nioh, so I could appreciate all the changes they made to the loot system.

Items no longer have levels, so I didn’t feel pressured to constantly equip things with a bigger number. Now you just need to find an item base you like and keep upgrading it with crafting materials. Also, all the special modifiers on items are fully configurable almost from the start of the game.

I also liked that bosses dropped unique weapons with special martial arts exclusive to them, but I wish it was possible to slot them in a different weapon (although in some cases it made sense, like one boss’s hammer where the head of the hammer is connected to the pole with a chain, so the MA involved swinging the chain around).

Another cool feature is that once you have killed a boss that drops a special weapon and/or set, those items get added into the global loot pool and you can get them as a random drop from any enemy in the game. I like that because even though I like tinkering with stats and builds I really hate grinding (in the traditional sense, where you repeatedly kill the same enemy until it drops what you want). If you like grinding, then re-fighting the same bosses for their unique drops is still an option.

1000 mile journey. Fun end-game mode that plays like one of those modern games that call themselves “roguelike” despite not being one. You get a small chart with different nodes and you need to beat 10 in a row to reach a checkpoint. Every node is a small mission with different objectives like kill all enemies, beat a boss rush, find all flags, etc. and is connected to several different nodes. Every time you beat a node you get a temporary bonus that will last for the next several nodes. You actually need to do a little bit of planning to get all the good bonuses and avoid getting buttfucked by particularly nasty nodes. At first I struggled a lot in this mode but then I made a logical build with a grace set and blasted through a few checkpoints without much resistance (although I still avoided boss rush nodes that included Taishi Ci and similar bosses). I’d imagine the difficulty ramps up as you go. This thing actually has 1000 levels but I’m not insane enough to play through it all.

Things I disliked:

Combat against big monsters. As I already mentioned in this thread, whenever you fight a big enemy the combat just turns into nonsense. You do your deflect animation but you can still see the giant appendage going through your character’s body, so what exactly did you deflect? It breaks my suspension of disbelief the same way rolling through an enemy attack and not taking damage does in Souls games.

Morale system. In my opinion, this is the worst feature of Wo Long. I really don’t understand it and why it needs to be in the game. I’ve seen quite a few people praise it because it “lets people who are bad at the game have a chance”, but doesn’t it do the exact opposite? You lose morale if you play poorly, making the game even harder and gain morale if you play well, making the game even easier. For a person like me, who likes to explore the maps thoroughly and plays very carefully, it made the first play through too easy because I always came into the boss room with a 5 morale surplus, which made the fights much easier. The way it influences the game is very boring. All it does is increase the damage to the target with less morale (if you’re at lower morale than the enemy, it will do bonus damage to you, if you’re at higher morale, you do more damage to it), but the increase is substantial. It feels like a completely unnecessary and artificial way to influence the game’s difficulty.

Martial arts. In contrast to how well the spell system is implemented, the martial arts (weapon skills) are implemented poorly. The fact that they are slotted into specific weapons rather than being something you unlock through character progression screams “WE WANT THE SOULS/ELDEN RING AUDIENCE”. But that’s not even the biggest problem. Most of them are simply not worth using. All they do is trap you in a long animation you cannot get out of to do as much damage as you can do by simply hitting a few light attacks and a heavy. Against enemies who can be staggered you can find the opportunity to use a martial art after hitting them while they’re still in the recovery animation, but against non-staggerable enemies (which are the majority), using one in the middle of the fight is just asking to be hit by a red attack the enemy can start charging after you use the skill and still hit you before you finish the animation. The only useful martial arts are usually those tied to unique boss weapons, in particular, ones that have some sort of utility other than dealing damage (like making you jump high up in the air, or coating your weapon with an element after the attack hits) or those that are really quick, while the majority are useless in nearly all situations. Being able to animation cancel out of them would have made them much more usable.

Enemy variety. Enemy variety in Wo Long is very poor, worse than in Nioh 2 and even in Stranger of Paradise. SoP also didn’t have a lot of unique enemies but the devs did the smart thing of making almost every enemy have a few recolors with different properties and a few new abilities. Here it seems like we’re back to Nioh 1 levels of repetitiveness. Is it fair to compare Wo Long, which is at the moment only one game, with Nioh 2, which had access to the entirety of Nioh 1’s bestiary on top of adding many new enemies? Maybe not, but by now Team Ninja should realize that having only about 20 different enemies to kill in a game that’s roughly 30 hours long that you’re also expected to replay on higher difficulties gets really boring. If that’s how it’s going to be, they should just drop whatever soulslike bullshit they still cling to in their games and just make something like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden where you’re constantly fighting against groups of enemies and that way a small enemy variety doesn’t get boring because every encounter can be different.

Weapon variety. Quite disappointing. There are like 15 weapon types in the game, but some of them are barely different from each other. There are 3 different 1-handed swords but they all feel the same. There are 3 different spears, but they also feel the same. Every weapon group has a unique mechanic but it’s usually something very simple. All spears and glaives build a stun debuff on the enemy, hammers and great axes make you take less damage while attacking and I’m not even sure what the 1-handed swords have. The only weapons that have some sort of identity are the DLC weapons. For example, greatswords have chargeable attacks that you can charge faster by deflecting while holding the charge button. Whips have 2 stances. It’s not much, but this should have been the bare minimum for all the different weapons in the game. In Nioh, I could play through the entire game mastering 2 weapons. Here I had to switch weapons every few missions to avoid getting bored.

Deflect working on everything. This is another big problem that undermines the entire combat system. Deflecting works on everything in this game, and it’s really weird. I can understand deflecting various weapon attacks and projectiles. Even some magic spells – this is a fantasy Kung Fu game after all. But when you can deflect shockwaves, a giant monster’s butt slam, explosions, eruptions and even puddles on the ground then we’re getting into stupid territory. It also cheapens a lot of the combat mechanics. Sure, you could jump over various ground attacks, but why would you when you can deflect? You could counter the enemy’s elemental magic with a stronger element, but you can just deflect it as well.

NG+ structure. It’s similar to how it works in Nioh – after you finish the campaign you unlock NG+ and you have to do a certain number of missions if you want to unlock the next cycle. However, in Nioh I could just quickly run through the levels and kill the bosses to unlock the NG cycles that matter. Here, it’s not so simple because of the morale system. Morale caps are much higher on NG+ and if you just rush through the level to fight the boss, you will be at like 5 to his 30, which will turn nearly every attack into a one shot. Unless you are good enough at the game to consistently do a no hit run of every boss, rushing through NG+ is simply not an option. You have to get all those flags and NG+ even adds marked enemies you have to kill that works the same way as raising a flag. This makes the process of unlocking higher NG+ levels much more tedious than it needs to be.

Overall, I still had a lot of fun with the game, especially with the DLCs. In fact, from how much people were talking shit about it, I expected it to be worse. But there are some really weird design flaws that hold it back and it could have been much better if they were adressed.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a Wo Long 2, but only if they go back and fix all of the stupid shit, namely:

-Make deflect not be an answer to every problem and if they want to make large enemies be susceptible to it, have animations that make sense.
-Completely rethink the morale mechanic or just scrap it altogether.
-Decouple martial arts from weapons.
-Make different weapon types actually distinct.

On top of adding new content and mechanics the same way Nioh 2 did.

Otherwise, I’d rather have a new Nioh game, or something else entirely.
 
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Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,385
Magic system. Probably the coolest magic system I’ve seen in all games of this kind. The spells are very fast to cast, so you can mix them into your combos, the resources to cast them are unlimited provided you keep your spirit up, you can equip several of them at the same time and can use whichever one with the appropriate button press without needing to scroll through your spell list ever time and they are very impactful.

This does sound nice. I'm currently playing Stranger of Paradise and I'm very rarely equipping mage jobs because I find spell casting system to be rather lame. Having to scroll through a spell wheel each time I want to cast different spell and the wait until it's charged up to the most potent version makes it feel clunky to me.
 

Suicidal

Arcane
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
2,233
Magic system. Probably the coolest magic system I’ve seen in all games of this kind. The spells are very fast to cast, so you can mix them into your combos, the resources to cast them are unlimited provided you keep your spirit up, you can equip several of them at the same time and can use whichever one with the appropriate button press without needing to scroll through your spell list ever time and they are very impactful.

This does sound nice. I'm currently playing Stranger of Paradise and I'm very rarely equipping mage jobs because I find spell casting system to be rather lame. Having to scroll through a spell wheel each time I want to cast different spell and the wait until it's charged up to the most potent version makes it feel clunky to me.
In WL you get 2 sets of 4 spell slots, each mappable to a button and another button swaps between the 2 sets. Not the most convenient way (why not just let us PC players have 8 mappable spell buttons?), but it's light years ahead of typical soulslikes with only 1 spell or ability slot.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,385
In WL you get 2 sets of 4 spell slots, each mappable to a button and another button swaps between the 2 sets. Not the most convenient way (why not just let us PC players have 8 mappable spell buttons?), but it's light years ahead of typical soulslikes with only 1 spell or ability slot.

That's definitely better than SoP casting system. Looks like I will be getting into magic once I finally get around to playing this.
 

Correct_Carlo

Arcane
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
8,471
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Pronouns: He/Him/His
Finally done (100% achievements). I really liked the game at first, but my enjoyment gradually decreased as it went along, until it nosedived completely with the (awful) dlc3. Yuan Shu is the worst boss from any Team Ninja game, ever. I've easily beat all the other bosses up to that point, then got stuck on him and had to level in NG+ and NG++ for 30 fucking hours before I could beat him, only to be rewarded with a bunch of tedious boss rushes to end out the dlc.

If I wasn't autistic I just would have uninstalled the fucking game, but I never do that, so instead I persisted.

I loved the Nioh games, but all I'll say is that no one should have ever let Team Ninja play Sekiro, because the resulting mishmash was a fucking horribad rhythm game abomination, and now I don't ever want to play another Team Ninja game for another decade or so.

Also, I'm getting to the point that my carpel tunnel is so bad that I don't think I'm going to be able to play any game where you have to push down on the left joystick to run. That shit destroys my left thumb, which is burning as we speak. I usually map the run button to the left trigger button if possible, but Wo Long had so many fucking button controls (and doesn't allow remapping of all of them), that this was impossible to do, so I stupidly played the whole game and probably permanently destroyed my left hand.

Now let's never speak of this again.

Anyhow, playing cyberpunk next as I need a break from controller games to give my hands a rest. Playing Wo Long right after Lies of P has probably left me permanently disabled.
 
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Jinn

Arcane
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
5,054
Carlo is just cranky because he insists on 100%ing games to the point he starts to hate them. Truly absurd behavior. I can't imagine that the "satisfaction" of saying you 100% a game is worth ultimately coming to the point of disdain with it. If I did that, I'd walk away from pretty much every game I played never wanting to look at or think about it again.

Not saying Wo Long is a great game by amy stretch, but come on man. Why do you do this shit to yourself?
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,385
I don't think there is a single game I ever 100%ed. These achievement hunters are really sad creatures. Imagine being a slave to a fucking video game. :lol:
 

Correct_Carlo

Arcane
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Pronouns: He/Him/His
Not saying Wo Long is a great game by amy stretch, but come on man. Why do you do this shit to yourself?
Because in the vast majority of cases, it forces me to play a new way or prolongs playing a game I enjoy.

I was salty last night, because I just finished it, but now that my hands are healed and I've had a day, I'm happy I 100%ed it.

It's also the only way I've ever played games. Even long before there were achievements, I've always played games on the hardest difficulty, because I was compelled to. I don't know why. If I wasn't playing on the hardest difficulty, I felt like I wasn't playing, and my ocd itch wouldn't let me enjoy it.

Look at my steam. Every single one of these games finished on the hardest difficulty:

https://steamcommunity.com/id/derungrund/games/?tab=all

I will never 100% the pathfinders (that would be insane), but I plan to finish off some of the others in my top 50 next. Although, looking again, most (but not all) of the games I didn't 100% in my top 50 is only because they don't have achievements.

The rest are because they have awful multiplayer achievements and shit.
 

Deflowerer

Arcane
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
2,058
Challenge has nothing to do with 100%ing though. In most games the latter is just boring ass waste of time.
 

911 Jumper

Educated
Joined
Jun 12, 2023
Messages
991
Physical PS5 version of this game is hard to find here in the UK for some reason.
Limited print run, I presume.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,385
Oh what the fuck... I assumed I would at least be able to get stable 60 fps at 1080p with RTX 3060 in this game.. But nope, only in first area. In second map, which makes it look like a fucking PS3 game, I suddenly start getting drops to 55 fps in fights and even after lowering a bunch of settings, including setting volumetrics to low and going below 1080p with DLSS these drops are stilll there. And they are too noticeable. If it was only down to 58 I could live with it, but 55 is already a noticeable slowdown and I refuse to put up with it. Fuck this, either they manage to fix the performance or I'm only playing this years later with much stronger PC. Or maybe even never. At least in Stranger Of Paradise drops only happen during Soul Burst, which aren't a problem as I can't get hurt during that and it knocks back any enemies nearby. But in parryfag game like this it's not acceptable at all.
 

Suicidal

Arcane
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
2,233
I'm on 3060Ti and for me Stranger actually ran worse than Wo Long. The miracles of bad optimization.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,385
I'm on 3060Ti and for me Stranger actually ran worse than Wo Long. The miracles of bad optimization.

I can do 1080p DLAA on SoP, with every graphics option maxed. Soul Burst is the only thing that gives frame drops. In Wo Long I went as low as 800p with DLSS Tweaks and it still runs like shit during fights lol. I am not going down lower than that. I suspect this might be some CPU thing as it's the same exact drops as using 1080p DLAA.
 
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Suicidal

Arcane
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
2,233
I'm on 3060Ti and for me Stranger actually ran worse than Wo Long. The miracles of bad optimization.

I can do 1080p DLAA on SoP, with every graphics option maxed. Soul Burst is the only thing that gives frame drops. In Wo Long I went as low as 800p with DLSS Tweaks and it still runs like shit during fights lol. I am not going down lower than that. I suspect this might be some CPU thing as it's the same exact drops as using 1080p DLAA.
I don't know if it is applicable to your situation but have you tried this:
https://steamcommunity.com/app/1448440/discussions/0/3782498683137862774/
https://steamcommunity.com/app/1448440/discussions/0/3792632416034641629/
 

Kefa

Literate
Joined
Mar 4, 2024
Messages
41
I liked the DLC. I don't know if it's because I tool a long break or because I was really craving fast-paced gameplay but I had a lot of fun with the new enemies and bosses. The locations looked better than in the main game too from what I remember.

And the red attacks look insane in the DLC lmao. I don't remember them being this crazy in the main game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Atdk2TNpEVY
 

Shurakan

Novice
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
15
The game went on sale so I decided to give it a try. Have spent almost the 2 hour refund limit tweaking settings because no matter what I do the game seems to lose frames or slowdown seemingly for no reason. Doesn't even look better than Nioh yet runs like complete ass. Tried lower resolutions and not only does it look godawful but frames still seem to drop randomly. Only have 15 minutes left before 2 hour mark and strongly thinking of refunding this. From what I played the combat seems pretty good but it's not worth all this hassling over performance. Just gonna go back to Nioh, I guess.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,385
Doesn't even look better than Nioh yet runs like complete ass. Tried lower resolutions and not only does it look godawful but frames still seem to drop randomly.

I can play Nioh 2 without issues at 1440p but this keeps dropping to 50 fps in fights even when going below 1080p. This has to be some fuck up with CPU performance.
 

Jinn

Arcane
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
5,054
Finally been getting back to this. Just finished up the Lu Bu fight and man, I wish the game had released in the state it's in now. The game is really one of the better action RPGs out there when it comes right down to it, with some of the most interesting and intense boss fights in the genre. The flow of battle sometimes magnificently feels almost like you're playing a wuxia film with amazing martial arts choreography. Yeah, the game has its shortcomings when directly compared to Nioh, but even then, it's still a gem. Solid 8/10 game, that maybe could have been a little higher if you were setting out into what NG+ has to offer from the get go, from all that I've heard about it.
 

HoboForEternity

sunset tequila
Patron
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Mar 27, 2016
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9,225
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Disco Elysium
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Finally been getting back to this. Just finished up the Lu Bu fight and man, I wish the game had released in the state it's in now. The game is really one of the better action RPGs out there when it comes right down to it, with some of the most interesting and intense boss fights in the genre. The flow of battle sometimes magnificently feels almost like you're playing a wuxia film with amazing martial arts choreography. Yeah, the game has its shortcomings when directly compared to Nioh, but even then, it's still a gem. Solid 8/10 game, that maybe could have been a little higher if you were setting out into what NG+ has to offer from the get go, from all that I've heard about it.
Has the bugs and performance been fixed?
 

Jinn

Arcane
Joined
Nov 8, 2007
Messages
5,054
Has the bugs and performance been fixed?
The performance is miles better than it was on release, but not quite perfect, with a minor stutter here and there. It's hardly noticeable to me though. As for bugs, haven't seen a single one.
 

Spike

Educated
Joined
Apr 6, 2023
Messages
650
I just started this and I'm loving it. It seems like it will take me a second to get used to the deflect timings, though. I'm on the first boss, any tips for deflecting? It feels like there's a delay or maybe I'm deflecting too early...?
 

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