Orcs Must Die, a Retrospective

JChristianJChristian Member
edited March 2016 in General Discussion
I've been a big fan of this franchise since OMD1, and thoroughly enjoyed 2player OMD2 with my wife. The essence of the game is: can a player deal with an overload, using their player combat skills and cleverness with traps?

In OMDU, the essence has shifted slightly towards more of a multiplayer FPS death match feel, with orc overload as a side distraction.  And, while most of the changes bring a welcome addition to the heart of this franchise, I can't help but feel that the Orcs in OMD have been pushed out the car door on the trip over the horizon.  

In this new game, the focus is almost entirely on trap costs and caps.  I understand the thought process involved in challenging the player by limiting their field against an orc overload, but in OMD2 this deficit could be made up by player skills and weapons.  Sure, I only have 3 spike traps down, but when I charge up my weapon, those orcs will be begging for mercy.  Later on, if I didn't have traps laid all the way down the yellow brick road, it would make my power wand look like a pea shooter trying to take down an armored tank.  

ATTACK SPEED) With the incorporation of multiplayer, player attack skills require the field limitation so that mouthy 12 year-olds from Call of Duty don't wade into the pool and start making the game pure misery.  When weapon and trap limitations combine against an orc horde, it makes for a frustrating experience for the player.  I feel like I've had by hands tied behind my back in comparison to OMD1 and 2.

There are a few ways I can think of to re-balance this deficit.  Attack speed increase is one of the easiest ways, even if it corresponds with a reduced attack power.  If I can pew-pew a more rapid field of fire, it makes my lack of attack power less noticeable.  Even against players, 5 or 6 tags of a low damage as opposed to 3 shots of medium damage have a more profound psychological effect in convincing a player to retreat. The attack speed in OMDU feels slow, sluggish, and weak compared to OMD2.  I know that each player has their individual strengths and weaknesses, and that attack speed is a factor in the individuality, but overall attack speed is low.  I would love to see about a 10-15% increase across the board.

PLAYER TRAP REMOVAL) A big issue that I am noticing in multiplayer is the following:  Inability to remove other player traps. After many sessions of solo play, and getting down a trap configuration that approves with my wallet, I play a multiplayer game where player Dingus McDoof decides to plop a weak, useless trap right smack in the middle of Orc town, and then run off to another entrance, leaving me to deal with his albatross of a trap.  

However, I don't agree with the idea of any player just being able to remove my careful labyrinth of traps just because they don't understand my thinking behind it.  So, I propose a Trap Removal ability that refunds the full amount of the trap cost to the original player, and removes half the cost of the trap to the player removing it, WITH a countdown timer above the trap showing that it will be removed unless the player who put it down decides to cancel it.  Of course, this will result in removal spamming by trollish players, but there would be a cooldown for the ability to discourage this.  One way or another, please don't stick me with Dingus McDoof's Duds.

TRAP COST) 1500 for a trap is a pretty heft price compared to 500 for a trap that does equivalent damage.  I would prefer to see this gap closed to more of a 500-1000 range, with most traps floating around 700-900.  I think this worked well in the first two games, and the price gouging really hurts in those first 5 or 6 rounds.  I could easily see the cost justified if I have added in some specialized components.  For example, a standard arrow wall costs you 500, but an arrow wall with resonators and coils costs 600.

PLAYER SELECTION OVERLAP) I understand that the devs don't want 5 of the same character on the map, but I think that 2 of the same character wouldn't be so overbalancing.  I could be wrong, of course, I have just noticed that when I manage to select a favorite character just a microsecond before the other guy, the other guy drops.  Only being able to pick from the leftover pile is an issue with multiplayer games.

ACCOUNT LEVEL vs PLAYER LEVEL CONFUSION) Why is a level gray to me, and listed as easy, but my face is tattooed with permanent orc footprints as I am trampled under by an unstoppable horde?  Easy?  Why?  What makes it gray to me?  I feel like there needs to be some clarification here.  Also, level XYZ says that it features component drops SUCH AND SUCH and SO AND SO, but I don't really notice an increase in the drop rate of SUCH AND SUCH as opposed to any other level.  If it claims a drop on a level, there should be a bonus to that drop rate that is noticable.

TRAP CAPS) These numbers need some adjusting, and I see this comment a lot.  In one level, I am capped so ridiculously low that I am removing traps almost every wave as I back the line up to the rift, and in another I have a cap that I will never, ever reach.  If only I could transfer some cap coverage from one level to another, I am forced to think.

WEAPON VARIETY) Variety?  There is none so far.  This is one thing which stands out glaringly from OMD1 and 2.  I know that player balancing is the priority here, but my preferred character shouldn't limit me to the puny pew-pew or smack-smack that comes standard with the model.  Maybe this is in the works?  I hope so.  If I spend 10 bucks on Morty Killmore, and that's all I have available to me after the select-for-your-life hoedown is over, I'd like to at least be able to pick something other than the slow-moving-orb-of-death stick, like I could in the prior games.

OVERALL) I know this is a long list of complaints, but I'm certainly not asking for someone to call the waaaaaaaaaaahmbulance.  OMDU is a great game, with a neat design that incorporates so many elements of multiplayer that we've come to expect into the already brilliant Orcs Must Die franchise.  AND, this is still a closed Beta, which means that there are probably things in the works that will cover what I am pinging here.  Ultimately, even if absolutely nothing changes between now and then, I am still going to play the game. It is fun and addictive, and compared to that, whining about my slow weapon or trap caps is kinda inconsequential.  Kudos to the devs and I look forward to the day when I can play every day, and not just the weekends.


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