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WRATH: Aeon of Ruin - new Quake engine game from 3D Realms - now on Early Access - coming Feb 25th

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by geno, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. soulburner Savant

    soulburner
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    Didn't they say a while ago that they decided to add more content to the early access version and delay it a bit?
     
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  2. Curratum Cipher

    Curratum
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    A lot of things were scheduled for Ion Fury as well but didn't happen as planned.
     
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  3. geno Learned

    geno
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    I think Halloween would be a perfect date for the release. October is too optimistic, though.
     
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  4. taviow Magister

    taviow
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  5. Durandal Arcane

    Durandal
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    [​IMG]
    It's out in Early Access at a generous discount of -5%. I don't think this game will be really good, but I will buy it anyways.
     
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  6. A_boring_GOG_bot Self-Ejected

    Self-Ejected
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  7. Durandal Arcane

    Durandal
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    [​IMG]
    fuck me these are big
     
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  8. taviow Magister

    taviow
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    Fuck. That's awesome.
     
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  9. Biscotti Savant Patron

    Biscotti
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    Goddamn the double barrel is satisfying.

    No airstrafing though.:decline:
     
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  10. Morgoth Arcane Patron

    Morgoth
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    Oh shit this is out?

    :bounce:
     
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  11. taviow Magister

    taviow
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    I'm supposed to wait until it's out of Early Access but I'm getting hyped, might just get it now.
     
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  12. Biscotti Savant Patron

    Biscotti
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    You can build up some insane speed by hopping around and tapping the melee alt attack, however. I'll accept it. :incline:
     
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  13. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The game is AMAZING.
     
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  14. RoSoDude Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    RoSoDude
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    If bhopping is out I'm not buying this. I'm a single-issue Quaker.

    I'm not sure if I'm kidding
     
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  15. Durandal Arcane

    Durandal
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    I've played the two available levels on Hard, and like I predicted this game is a massive borefest.

    First thing, the maximalist approach to the level design is a massive detriment. The large level sizes result in a ton of dead space that serves no purpose and too many ez filler fights that kill any level pacing. On top of that, the levels tend to repeat certain visual elements too much (like catacombs going on for too long or seeing the same circular graveyard areas again) which tends to result in dej√° vu.

    Second, the game's way too easy. Most of the enemies you fight don't deal that much damage, and health/armor/ammo pick-ups are too plentiful, even on Hard. The game gives you items like health leech or temporary invulnerability in exchange for your health, but I never found myself pushed to ever use it. Most enemies fire projectiles of the easily-dodgeable variety, and none really encroach on your personal space. The only exceptions are the melee-charging and tracking Executioner--who is not used nearly as often as he should be, and the hitscan Invaders--who are never really placed in a position where they can pose a serious threat in tandem with other enemies. The game's too afraid of being a cheeky cunt and putting you in tricky situations where you're at an inherent disadvantage.

    The single biggest level design mistake WRATH keeps making is that it rarely restricts your movement or locks you in; allowing you to just backpedal out of any room with enemies and then put up a chokepoint where you can safely kill enemies one by one, instead of forcing you to get right into the action. You always have too much space to dodge or retreat in. It gets old fast if you can solve most fights with the same strategy. The game will sometimes have big fights in large open fields, but aside from the Executioner it doesn't have any enemies that pose a valid threat in large no-cover arenas like Doom's Revenants or Mancubi or Arachnotrons, so circlestrafe city it is. The Invaders' hitscan blasts are consistently avoidable by strafing around them from medium range, for that matter, so they retain their lethality indoors while not being as anal outdoors.

    Another thing that doesn't help the game is that the enemy pathfinding is plain atrocious. Enemies can not handle height differences at all and will often just move right below your feet where you can easily take potshots at them. This isn't helped by the fact that a lot of enemies are too damn big to pass through certain doorways or follow certain narrow paths to get to you. At that point it also becomes a level design problem, because if you know the pathfinding sucks and the enemies are too big, then you might as well make doorways big enough for enemies to pass through or to design the level geometry in such a way where you can prevent a situation from happening in the first place where the pathfinding shits the bed.

    The weapons all visually look cool, but save for the Armblade are functionally completely generic; largely because the alternate fire modes are just laughable. The Coach Gun can fire one slug or three at a time at a slower rate, the former being more suited for sustained long-range fire and the latter doing more burst damage at a shorter range, but the triple-shot alt-fire is rendered completely redundant by the Shotgun which has a much higher damage output/range/penetration per burst. The Shotgun's alt. fire allows you to charge up a burst of ricocheting pellets once charged, with no extra ammo cost for that matter, but being able to fire rebounding shots around walls is largely useless. The spread is too inaccurate to properly kill something around a corner and the rebounding angle is hard to get right, at which point you might as well unload your shotgun in its face. To my knowledge a charged shotgun blast doesn't deal any extra damage.

    The Fang-Splitter is a nailgun expy which can fire a stream of fangs, or alternatively fire three fangs at once at a slower rate. I have almost no idea what purpose this alt. fire serves, because I've found that the primary has a higher DPS and ammo efficiency over the alt. fire, and as far as I can tell the accuracy is the same for both. The only unique thing about the alt. fire is that it can stunlock Heretics (which makes them comically dance around), but what's doubly nonsensical is that the Fang-Splitter shots will nullify Heretic shots. So if you aim your primary fire at just the right angle where your shots will hit their mouth where they fire their projectiles from, they're already rendered no threat at all and you get to kill them faster than with the alt. fire this way! The Retcher is a grenade launcher that fires snot, and it does feel rewarding to hit enemies directly because of its firing arc. But all the alt. fire does is fire three grenades in quick succession (I sense a pattern here). There's no depth to it: you will always use the alt. fire to damage spongier enemies, and you will use the single-shot primary against weaker enemies who die to a single grenade anyways. In conclusion, none of the alternate fire modes for the guns really expand the game's depth.

    The Armblade's main usage is that its alt. fire basically allows you to dash mid-air to cover long horizontal distances. It's definitely unique and a useful mobility tool, but the levels barely seem to do anything with this mechanic other than the most basic stuff. It allows you to dash into any direction mid-air, yet most obstacles that require you to use it are just simple long gaps that are impossible to fuck up. I didn't see anything that require you to do a sick 90 degree turn mid-air. The Mire had this cool arena at the end where several high-up platforms were separated by gaps you had to lunge over, and the lunge is useful for getting away from the Executioner's tracking, but otherwise the game doesn't play around with it too much. It feels like a lame replacement for the lack of airstrafing or bhopping or rocketjumping. I don't understand why there's no airstrafing, which does a lot to make jumping around feel more fluid and responsive. It's not like Wrath is a platformer game about high-commitment jumps like Castlevania. At the very least, Wrath should give you the ability to cancel all forwards momentum in mid-air by holding back like in Quake, which did a lot to make first-person platforming more accurate by preventing you from overshooting over platforms.

    If there's one thing I should praise, it's the inventory system and its artifacts. Here we have a boomer shooter that finally eschews the cancer of savescumming in favor of limited save tokens; discouraging brutish trial 'n error until you luck your way through in favor of thinking before you act. Save tokens are one-time use and can only be found through exploration, which fits with the game's structure. Sometimes there are also save shrines which save the game and refill your health, but sometimes you might want to postpone using them in case when you need the health bonus later on, because shrines can only be activated once. WRAITH has a more unique take on the standard power-ups: instead of portable medkits you can carry power-ups which temporarily refill health for each kill, encouraging you to be a bit more aggressive in the process. Instead of the standard invincibility power-up, using them here sacrifices a large part of your health, so it's a trade-off to make whether you want to sacrifice some health to tank tons of damage that could kill you otherwise. The problem is just that because the game is so easy, I rarely saw any reason to use any of these artifacts or save tokens, leaving me mostly with maxed out stacks because the game's rather liberal with handing them out. Even if you are using them often you might find yourself with more than you really need, which kind of defeats the purpose of their scarcity.

    Quite frankly, I don't imagine this kind of level design philosophy resulting in something much better down the line, and the enemy/weapon design is too weaksauce to do anything really interesting with. It's proving my fears right that in an attempt to one-up Quake: Arcade Dimensions people would instead just make long-ass meandering levels with half-hearted encounter design and try to wow people with things like visual detail and interconnectivity instead, even though exploration without a proper challenge just leads to a lot of aimless walking around.

    EDIT: The Fang-Spitter alt. fire fires two fangs per shot instead of three
    i can't count
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
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  16. Hobo Elf Arcane

    Hobo Elf
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    My only immediate complaints is that the pickup sound for ammo and items should be beefier / crunchier and that the hitbox for the pickups seem to be quite small. Sometimes it feels like I have to walk over them to get the item. I'm enjoying the level and enemy design, the weapons seem quite satisfying so far and I agree that the save token system is neat. Didn't play much though since I need to sleep.
     
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  17. RoSoDude Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    RoSoDude
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    In March someone asked if there would be strafe jumping/bunny hopping (understood to mean speed gains through airstrafing + jumping to negate friction). A developer responded in no uncertain terms, "Yup!"

    https://steamcommunity.com/app/1000410/discussions/0/1835685838080409580/

    Apparently the air acceleration variable is there, there's just something canceling it out:

    https://steamcommunity.com/app/1000410/discussions/0/1657817111850078466/#c1657817111851079902

    From the post below, a supposed reason (not clear if it's players or devs that are saying this) is to keep Wrath from "appearing like a Quake clone", which is asinine considering that's precisely what the game is being styled as on the same engine no less. Another argument is that the melee dash + airstrafing would allow for insane speeds. There are many other ways to rectify this (speed cap, don't retain full momentum from dash, etc.), but frankly I don't see the problem to begin with. Quake's core design around movement, levels, weapons, enemies, and encounters makes it fun, deep, and replayable whether you play it like Doom with arrow keys or speedrun it with grenade jumps and bhops, and anywhere in between. If this game truly cannot handle "abusable" movement with a high skill ceiling, I question that it can offer a comparably fun, deep, and replayable experience.

    https://steamcommunity.com/app/1000410/discussions/0/1657817111850813318/

    WHAT HAPPENED. WHY. AIRSTRAFE MAKES MOVEMENT FEEL GOOD FOR NEWBS AND ADVANCED MOVEMENT IS DEEP AND ENGAGING AS WELL. THIS IS ONLY A LOSS. WHY THROW AWAY THIS NATIVE FEATURE OF THE QUAKE ENGINE WHICH IS WIDELY LOVED. FUCK.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  18. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The guns feel meetier (both sounds, and impact they make on enemies) than in any of the other "retro" shooters as of late.
    The movemens is faster. Level design is reminiscent of Arcane Dimensions (not surprising). Good variety of enemies (I think I've seen 8 so far).
    The damage on highest difficulty from enemies is just too low. I also dislike the hurtbox of the pistol (you can his enemies with it by aiming near the enemy).
    So far I think there are strong reasons to believe this will turn out to be the best of the bunch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  19. Curratum Cipher

    Curratum
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    So it is just as I feared from watching the earlier demos - the encounters are indeed bland and the enemy designs are boring and dull, with lackluster combat. No amount of needless detailing can save bland combat and empty-ish levels.

    Oh, well, that's 20 EUR saved.

    Also, time for your friendly reminder than both DUSK and Amid Evil are 15% cheaper than Wrath.

    And that there are mods as large as Ion Fury that run on GZDoom, are completely free and do everything better than it. 3D Realms are really imagining themselves some kind of saviors of the genre, while all that they're producing is OK-ish retro shooters that don't really do anything memorable.
     
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  20. Zenith Savant

    Zenith
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
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    Agreed on most points with Durandal

    Here's the thing. Wrath can be judged separately on three fronts: as a Quake level pack, as a standalone game, and as a potential modding platform.
    As a map pack it's too early to judge, but already you can tell that despite the size it's fairly milquetoast. Unless they add like 5 more difficulty levels above hard. Currently, even ignoring the artifacts, there's just no room for challenging setups with the existing roster.
    As a separate game, I guess the difficulty level might be appropriate. One thing to give this props for is its priorities. Levels, weapons, enemies + powerups to taste. As opposed to gimmicky bullshit a lot of other "retro" shooters tend to rely on.
    As a platform for mappers it doesn't seem to work at the moment. The enemies are not varied/dangerous enough to create unique encounters, and the weapons are not viable/satisfying to make the levels shine. I guess just having a more advanced framework for the levels themselves might be enough, assuming the modders would fix both quality and quantity of content.

    Specifically on weapons: with the kind of feedback the minigun alt-fire has, I expected it was 10x damage for 15x ammo or something, not 2 for 2, which is totally useless. Or the blob thing which doesn't bounce in either mode and is just so unsatisfying. Non-instant switching I could live with, but not when you can't even queue another weapon while firing.
    Overall there are like 2 firemodes worth using: shotgun and minigun primaries. Compare to Dusk where every single weapon is viable AND satisfying, if sometimes overpowered.
    Worth noting that weapons are the one thing that could improve during EA. I don't expect the existing levels or enemies to change much.

    Visually it's pretty much a perfect execution, and the upcoming levels inspire confidence if the PR screenshots are anything to go by. I wish they improved the sky though. Painkiller had those simple but effective setups with swirling clouds, moon shining through etc - gave each level a character.

    I didn't mind the movement, but I can see how separating advanced tricks from the combat can make it less engaging in the long run. Considering the "last weapon" button is in, it should already be possible to bind a "quick dash" macro, so they should just add this as default functionality (again, like Painkiller).

    (edit: the blobs DO bounce, though I could've sworn I tried and failed previously)

    The two levels (out of 15 planned) are already a third of Dusk's length. Not that the size matters, surely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  21. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    This game is basically arcane dominsions with new weapons and enemies.
     
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  22. Zenith Savant

    Zenith
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    I would call the majority of AD milquetoast as well, though it does have its moments, and the better variety helps. Don't get me wrong, this might turn out alright when all the enemies and weapons are in.
     
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  23. Wunderbar Arcane

    Wunderbar
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    I've noticed that you can't destroy coffin if there is a surprise shrieking zombies inside it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Hobo Elf Arcane

    Hobo Elf
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    So I assume I finished the Early Access now. 2 levels with 2 relics. Is that it? It took me 90min finish that, which is fine for an EA game, but if all they are going to add is 3 more levels then that's not a whole lot of game to look forward to. The game was alright, still rough and understandably so, but I hope it isn't going to be as short as I think it will be. Overall I'm left with a positive feel, but I still hold on to me previous problems that the pickup hitboxes need to be improved and the sound feedback improved. Along with that I feel like the level environments got a bit repetitive at times so it felt slightly confusing at times when traversing the levels, like I was going in circles even if I wasn't. This wasn't a problem when you had living enemies leading you the way but it's something that came up when I went back to look for some secrets and collect additional pickups I had left behind and there were no enemies to "guide me".
     
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  25. Curratum Cipher

    Curratum
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    EA at the moment is 2 of 5 levels in the first hub, full game is 3 hubs, 5 levels each, for a total of 15 levels. So in short, you should theoretically have 2 of 15 levels right now.

    Stay tuned for mid-2021 when you will have the full game! :D
     
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