General Beta 1A Overview
A summation of things going through my mind at this stage in the testing.
I like the new Torch-Bearer ability advancement. Reigning in his paralysis capabilities, boosting his raw damage capability in fire mode, and allowing the state change at will make a great deal of sense. It also plays well. I like the new Freeze effect, although I would like to see a distinct and slightly improved effect upon structures – not as profound a thing as it was before (10 seconds of stasis ala Beta 1 was pretty useful…), but perhaps a little more effective than the way it works against structures now, which is not at all to my eyes. Such is not entirely necessary. The Ring Of Fire and Fire Burst abilities seem to have enough kick to them now to be of true consequence to enemy Demigods, which is good. Ring Of Fire in particular is great fun to behold and I enjoy its deployment immensely.
The Rook doesn`t feel right. Perhaps we are used to the incarnation in Beta 1. Moving the Boulder Throw up in the ability scheme is probably a good move. Lowering the Tower Raise ability to level 1 (!) is not right. It definitely does not feel proper that The Rook ought to be able to begin civil engineering so early in his lifespan. As for his Hammer Strike, I think it performs as it always has (?). The difference that detracts from its utility to me seems to be the heightened control responsiveness of all his targets. It seems that characters are now so responsive that the poor old Rook MUST strike first with a stunning attack if he ever hopes to land his Hammer. That is a shame – that is wrong. If this persists, I recommend upping his maximum Hammer Strike damage to the original upgrade level/tier 4 1200 pt. level, since the thing will generally never squarely land; actually, again harkening back to Beta 1, this power level seems appropriate for him. The Rook SHOULD have the largest single damage strike available to any Demigod (just look at him… it felt right). I maintain that the best incarnation of The Rook is in Beta 1, and should be used as the primary standard for all other Demigods to be balanced versus.
The Unclean Beast is powerful and fun to use. His Plague ability however should affect Demigods slightly differently from the way it affects any other unit. Damage to Demigods should ramp up to its normal rate over an initial few seconds; not too many mind you, but enough so that you have a little more time to react to the ailment. As it stands, the Beast can attack & kill you utilizing multiple compounding attacks in a furiously short period of time… too short a period of time. I don`t object at all to the permanence of the ailment or its communication: he is an Unclean Beast, and this kind of encourages one to carry a potion with you. I just don`t believe it should be such an instantaneous effect upon a Demigod when it is first contracted. Structures of course should be completely immune to Plague, both from its damage and from carrying/communicating it. A possible additional modifier to Plague could be that the illness is only spread directly from Unclean Beast claw attacks or Vomit, not from ambient Ooze which seems to make it far too easy to infect *everything* at all times. Plague`s damage should be cut in half: its slays too quickly, requiring too little further effort on the part of the Unclean Beast player. In the big picture, drawing out the inevitable death of Minions will not at all diminish the ability such that it becomes useless, opposing players will simply have slightly more response time in which to digest what is happening to their forces. With the Vomit ability I recommend transferring even more of its initial damage to corrossive damage over a lengthier period of time – the Unclean Beast`s powered up damage delivery potential within mere seconds of beginning an attack is currently outrageous and potentially unfair. The Rook telegraphs his 1200 pt. strikes, the Unclean Beast however seems always amped.
Regulus should have his normal attack range maximum from Beta 1. He is not quite the powerhouse player that the other Demigods are, nor should he be, so his slightly infuriating slightly beyond vision-range sniping is important to him. Mines are excellent, although I would both improve and limit them in a fashion. Mines should only become active when the Regulus character who layed them leaves their activation viscinity; right now he can utilize them as a suicide bomb at his feet, when enemies rush him. This parallels and eclipses the angelic burst ability he utilizes at higher skill levels. That should not be the case. The energy cost for Mines is perfect. Mines allow Regulus to play a more strategic ‘denial of area’ role in the game, but the recharge rates of their placement do not. Demigod paralysis Mines are fine and *should* take their full current normal time to place, but regular damage Mines ought to have even more time shaved off their recharge, so Regulus can have a better chance in the course of a busy game to pepper an area with what could be termed “sufficient deterrents”. Even with the recharge reduction that did take place in Beta 1A, it seems as though Regulus just finishes placing his one Mine in time for the next wave to barge into it… he can`t get any type of field going until *after* a battle is already decided in his favour (by which time his fields are no longer necessary). Regulus has been and still is my least favourite character thus far, but he has grown on me. He is an amusing challenge to take out into a contest.
The new potion costs seem very reasonable. The Teleport Scrolls now cannot easily replace the cost-effectiveness of health potions, which is good.
The Beta 1 “Waterfall” map is superior to the Beta 1A version. The Beta 1A version looks better, but I find the addition of the 2 side mid-map Mine control points to be unnecessary; the map now feels crowded, and there is too much money floating about. The original version had the perfect feel.
The new "Mines" map is jaw-dropping. Well crafted too - change nothing!