finished the game: thoughts/review

Talk about anything Legend of Grimrock 1 related here.
MostlyHarmless
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finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by MostlyHarmless » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:03 pm

just finished the game with human warrior (sword/heavy armor), lizardman rogue (unarmed/evasion gear), insectizoid wizard (air/ice+some spellcraft, crap armor because too weak to take the carry hit, weakest link in fighter's challenge type situations, but useful to the team with light and frostbolt spells, invisibility too at times) and minotaur rogue (missile weapon, heaviest armor she could carry with evasion -30 or -40, strongest character after the double volley skill perk).

overall thoughts: great game, lots of fun, just wanted to play it manically all free time/night and now that it's finished i'm still thinking about it and wanted to share my thoughts. however, it was also frustrating at times and i have some thoughts on what would make it even better.

what i loved:
-extremely well put together; it resurrected dungeon master the right way imo. i.e. modern graphics and improved a few things, but kept the basics of the dungeon crawler the same.
-no bugs during my play and ran smoothly.
-the strategic nature of combat, use of movement and space. (people who complain that it's unrealistic should wait for someone to invent the holosuite from star trek).
-Toorum mode, really well designed to give the game extra replay value
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(only available after you beat the game if you resurected Toorum's bones with the blue crystal)
did not like:
-some of the timed/reaction intensive puzzles pissed me off. in particular, the one on level 6 involving taking steps really fast, in the right order and pushing buttons and at the end of level 7 involving blocking light balls. i had to cheat on those two; first with an autohotkey script to automate the steps and button presses, and with a cheat engine on the second one to slow it down slightly.
-feeling the need to check all the walls and still missing the occasional hidden button - i understand that's the nature of the beast for this type of game and I wouldn't want the game makers to remove that element, but it was still frustrating. just to add, i don't mind searching for hidden buttons when there some hint, or locked door, or suspicious space on the map, but i felt like i had to do it for all the dungeon walls.

felt was bad design, maybe unintended:
-strength rather than dexterity (accuracy) determines missile weapon damage.

things i'd like to see added/improved in future games of this nature to make combat even more strategic and interesting:
-teamwork skills; for example, let users strike (or perform a pre-specified action) with both front line characters or the whole team (with certain level of teamwork skill) at press of a user selected hotkey (e.g. middle mouse button or 4th or 5th mouse button for those who have them).
-shortcuts (hotkeys) for mages to perform their main attack spell (or any user specified spell, but only one) if they gain a certain skill level to reflect their improved skill at casting the spell quickly. (could also work for fighters and rogues for their respective attacks but for them it's less important obviously).
-ability or skill perk to auto pick up at least one pre-specified item not in hand. for example, non-enchanted arrows; this could be skill perk or just something rogues can do.
-ability or skill perk to quick-switch items in one of both hands to second pre-specified item. for example, it would be great if you could switch from bombs to shield by middle clicking the shield hand and it would make your gear setup more important.
-ability or skill perk to quick drink a potion with a hotkey or by long-pressing the characters avatar, for example.
-smarter enemies; don't get me wrong, i had my hands full with the dumb ones, but i suppose certain higher level monsters should be able to ambush you, flank you or rush you in numbers, and so on, at least at higher difficulty level.
-more convenient way to mixing potions.
-more spells, better magic. for example, dazzle/confuse to temporarily disorient enemies, speed/strength/accuracy spells to temporarily improve those abilities for all team members, shield spell to shield from melee damage, cloak to add some evasion for all team members, rage to increase attack for all, enchant rocks and throwing weapons the same way you can enchant arrows, enchant blades/maces (for certain number of hits) the same way, maybe detect life/dead through walls/doors, paralyze (like frostbolt but only the temp freeze effect), mass area spells that effect either all free squares around the team or 3x3 or 2x2 area of where the spell lands, a paranoia spell to turn weaker enemies against other mobs, fear spell to make weaker mobs temporarily run away (so you can deal with the tougher ones), perhaps conjuration spells to conjure thralls to fight for you (think of skyrim) or a decoy that some enemies will attack, teleport spell to move your team to some random free nearby square (to escape when surrounded or cornered) or maybe some other type of fast transport spell that works to escape mobs but not jump pits, healing/curing spells, ...

features that might be nice, but not sure if they are necessary or would somehow ruin the retro dungeon crawler game type:
-just one or two more races and classes, not too much of a good thing or it'll make things complicated, and in case you can only have 4 team members, so maybe elves and rangers.
-NPC's to interact with, maybe to trade with or do side quests for - could improve the story.


okay, that's what's been on my mind, so basically i think Grimrock is a great game but I'd like to see the timed/reaction based puzzles toned down a bit, greater team strategy or team attack options/skills, and more convenience to spell casting/potions.
Last edited by MostlyHarmless on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Eobersig
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Eobersig » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:52 pm

Good review and I agree with most of it. At times I have to slow down the game too (via console) for these timed puzzles.

Check out some of the fan-made dungeons, many of those have a quickbar support, allows you to hotkey drinking healing and energy potions as well as a hotkeyed quick weapon switch, equipped weapons get switched with first two spaces in inventory of said character.

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Komag
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Komag » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:18 am

Master Quest has the latest version of the Quick Action Bar, and a few other features you might like, plus it's designed for you to import your old party and level them up more.
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Dr.Disaster
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Dr.Disaster » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:44 am

MostlyHarmless wrote:-teamwork skills; for example, let users strike (or perform a pre-specified action) with both front line characters or the whole team (with certain level of teamwork skill) at press of a user selected hotkey (e.g. middle mouse button or 4th or 5th mouse button for those who have them).
Given the effort that's currently put into enhancing special-attacks multi- or even all-char attacks are very unlikely to make it into LoG 2.
MostlyHarmless wrote:-shortcuts (hotkeys) for mages to perform their main attack spell (or any user specified spell, but only one) if they gain a certain skill level to reflect their improved skill at casting the spell quickly. (could also work for fighters and rogues for their respective attacks but for them it's less important obviously).
AH has not fully revealed how magic will work in LoG 2 but it's a pretty sure bet that we will see no hotkeys or spell lists. It seems more that we'll get mouse/finger-gesture controlled magic which seems very promising.
MostlyHarmless wrote:-ability or skill perk to auto pick up at least one pre-specified item not in hand. for example, non-enchanted arrows; this could be skill perk or just something rogues can do.
This is already possible. All you need to do is place the desired ammo in any chars hands i.e. a non-enchanted arrow in a mage's second hand. Shooting/throwing all the ammo does not reset this; you need to manually remove the ammo to reset this behavior.
MostlyHarmless wrote:-ability or skill perk to quick-switch items in one of both hands to second pre-specified item. for example, it would be great if you could switch from bombs to shield by middle clicking the shield hand and it would make your gear setup more important.
-ability or skill perk to quick drink a potion with a hotkey or by long-pressing the characters avatar, for example.
The community build a quick-action bar which provides this and several mods already use it.
MostlyHarmless wrote:-smarter enemies
-more convenient way to mixing potions
-more spells, better magic
-just one or two more races and classes
We'll get this in LoG 2.

Neutronium Dragon
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Neutronium Dragon » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:07 pm

-strength rather than dexterity (accuracy) determines missile weapon damage.

This is actually a reasonable approach and is how games tended to work (Dex/Accuracy and Str/Damage for missile weapons) until someone decided that it was too complicated/burdensome to deal with two stats. If you're concerned about 'realism' then it also fits that bill because being stronger lets you use a heavier draw for a more powerful hit.

The only reason that Dex doesn't matter in this game is that missile weapons don't have a miss chance, which is where Dex would normally come into play.

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Asteroth
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Asteroth » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:15 am

Neutronium Dragon wrote: -strength rather than dexterity (accuracy) determines missile weapon damage.

This is actually a reasonable approach and is how games tended to work (Dex/Accuracy and Str/Damage for missile weapons) until someone decided that it was too complicated/burdensome to deal with two stats. If you're concerned about 'realism' then it also fits that bill because being stronger lets you use a heavier draw for a more powerful hit.

The only reason that Dex doesn't matter in this game is that missile weapons don't have a miss chance, which is where Dex would normally come into play.
Actually a more powerful draw does not work for crossbows, so the realism stops there.
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Neutronium Dragon
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Neutronium Dragon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:40 am

Asteroth wrote:Actually a more powerful draw does not work for crossbows, so the realism stops there.
True, but the consequence of that was that crossbows got no damage bonus whatsoever.

(Granted, being stronger might make a difference to something like reload time, since you'd be better at cranking them, but computer game crossbows generally stay away from that aspect for good reason.)

MostlyHarmless
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by MostlyHarmless » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:26 am

Neutronium Dragon wrote:
Asteroth wrote:Actually a more powerful draw does not work for crossbows, so the realism stops there.
True, but the consequence of that was that crossbows got no damage bonus whatsoever.
imo, the bonus should be dex based; more dex = better, more accurate shots = more damage. but look, i think the idea of Minotaurs with huge strength and crap dexterity making killer missile rogues is something i suspect the game makers didn't intend, and i assume it would be easy to fix by basing missile weapon bonuses on dex instead of strength.

MostlyHarmless
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by MostlyHarmless » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:21 am

well, i decided to check out the Toorum mode, just out of curiousity and ended up playing the game through again with him because it was different and kind of fun to do it with one semi-OP guy, so I'll add the Toorum mode to my likes. it was well designed, well executed, although in hindsight i'd advise Toorum players to invest minimally in magic and just max out sowrds.
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fwiw, I used a lot of Toorum's XP points on magic (earth magic 13 to get poison resist/shield against spiders/herders, fire magic 13 to get fire resist and fireball, and spellcraft 10 to first get light and later to use Zhandul's Orb), and the rest on on swords (39), but in hindsight I wish I had just skipped earth magic altogether, taken spellcraft to 5 for light, and maybe fire magic up to resist fire +10 (6) or fire arrows (7), so that I could have had swords up to 50.

poison bolt and fireball were pretty useless because Toorum runs out of juice so quickly - I ended up just using the crossbow for anything long range. poison resist/shield was marginally useful against level three spiders, and later against spiders and herder groups as well; serpent bracer + poison shield = Toorum immune to poison, which was nice, but of course the shield spell is very short, so not worth giving up the bonuses in axes or swords imo. resist fire +10 was also sweet because by the time i found the fire torc + other fire bonuses i was immune to fire = uggardians weren't an issue - for the difficult light ball blocking puzzle (end of lvl 7 i think), I just lead an uggardian into the light ball chamber with me and let it hurl fireballs at me while blocking the first column while I blocked the balls in the remaining two columns, a much easier task.

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Komag
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Re: finished the game: thoughts/review

Post by Komag » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:29 pm

Interesting strategy for the dance dance section ;)
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