This a very preliminary review of the game. For background I'm an experienced WC3 raider (Sarth + 3D Heroic Glory of the Raider guild), WC3 player (ranked on Azeroth), and a distant Starcraft player. Overall I'm a decent player at these kinds of games, not great but usually competent once I learn the ropes. Obviously I'm also a Blizzard fan. Right now, I'm a noob at Demigod but plan to stick with it and get much better.
The idea of a DOTA style game intrigued me, so I bought Demigod. And that's where I am. So here's my feedback:
1.) Connectivity: It still takes too long to get into multiplayer action. I've been able to get into custom, skirmish, and Pantheon modes and in each mode it just...takes...a...long...time...to...get...a...game...going. By comparison WC3 ladder games are usually up and running w/in 2 minutes after I click "Play Game". That should be a goal for the matchmaking logic of DG. Definitely needs improvement.
2.) Art: Fantastic. I love the style and execution. Has both masculine and feminine aspects that I like. Other than the rook, I think the hero models are too small. I think it would be nice to increase their size and visibility in a crowd.
3.) Graphics. I have a very nice rig w/ almost everything maxed out. Runs smooth. It's a little choppy on my older system. Light effects are nice. I love the animations and the monster/player models.
4.) User Interface: Nice to start with but I like MORE INFORMATION and utility. Here are some suggestions.
a.) Make the player hero icon and center bottom of screen a "targetable" icon. This would help Sedna heal herself by making her easier to target in a crowd.
b.) Add other allied player hero icons to the screen and make them targetable as well for things like healing w/ Sedna. I also would like to see their health status and mana bars just so I can have a sense of how they are doing. Also add more "character specific" icons to the minimap so I can see which hero is where.
c.) Add a "cast bar" to enemies w/ a label so I know what they are doing when they are doing it. The rook hammer can be easily countered because it is slow and has an easily identifiable animation. This is great b/c it adds information to the game and players can act on that information. However, the rook is put at a disadvantage b/c other heroes can't be as easily countered in the same way because you often don't know what they are casting. This also goes for things like using consumables.
d.) Allow us to ping or make marks on the minimap. Guild Wars had a great "markup" system for the minimap. Players need to be able to communicate to each other to coordinate maneuvers. Typing works, but is slow. Quick symbols, marks, or pings on the minimap would be nice.
e.) add icons for Generals for their summons and minions to allow better positional control. Overall it seems like generals are more powerful right now but as it goes the more unit control a player has the better. At the end of the game there are A LOT of units on the screen and a player's summons and minions are hard to target and assess their health status, etc.
d.) add a toggle "always on" health bars just as it is in WC3. I want to be able to see health status w/o mouseover.
5.) Game Balance:
My main concern right now is that Erebus seems a little overpowered. I'm not sure why or how because I haven't played him yet but nearly every game I've played has Erebus way on top for kills and field position domination. Maybe good counters haven't been mainstreamed for him yet.
Also, is this a rock paper scissors game or all heroes supposed to be able to counter each other equally?
6.) Game flow:
Overall I like the length of games and they do tend to end w/o stalemates. However, it seems that once once side starts doing better (higher level heroes, enough hero kills to mass money) that the tide never goes back and forth in a meaningful way. It just becomes a long and slow predetermined grind to a foreseeable end. Warcraft 3 had mechanisms to allow for quick recoveries and there was a lot you could do to turn a game around. There were also ways to play "dope on a rope" and sucker the other side into over spending or over reaching which made for surprising turnarounds or comebacks.
7.) Gameplay and character mechanics:
I like what I'm seeing so far but I don't have the talent trees memorized. I like how there are different ways you can build a hero and I've got that point. This will take a little more time. As in point number 5, it seems some DG's are "player killers" and that getting away from them is almost impossible. Other heroes seems a bit ineffectual in taking heroes down. This becomes an issue because it seems as if player kills>all when it comes to determining the outcome of a game. Perhaps that is as it should be, but a game can't last if the choices in playstyle become overly limited. Also, if a particular demigod is not a player killer then it has to have some other really important function. Right now it just seems that a few player killer heroes dominate.
8.) Maps and hero "run speed": Either maps are too big or heroes run too slow. Please speed up hero run speed just a bit across the board...it just feels like running in molasses a lot of the time.
Bottom line: I love the game and I want to help make it a better one if I can. These are just my opinions so don't flame me too bad. However, I'd like to underscore how important connectivity, user interface, and certain gameplay features should be focused on. It's a brilliant game and a great first attempt at "DOTA style" tactical mp RPG/RTS hybrid.