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- Member, Master Founder, Early Access
Guys, you are ALL smart and pretty okay..... geeze
So I played a decent amount of the patch this last week and I've 4 and 5 starred almost every map in apprentice and warmage and I'm starting on Master now. I'm enjoying myself for the most part. Minus the odd place where I can see improvement, the game is pretty fun. I do however see a major problem.
So once I have 5 starred all the maps, heck even 4 starred them (I've mentioned before my dislike for par time being the only real goal to achieve), I'm faced with a lack of a reason to continue to play that often. I know you can go back and play as different types of heroes and get hero completion chests, but here is the thing. Beyond wanting to see what the abilities can do, I'm kinda unmotivated to use them. There is a solid reason for this. Team comp doesn't really matter.
The reason I say this is that synergy doesn't matter. Unless you are talking about someone playing Hogarth and needing the team to carry them, the heroes you choose to take to the level don't particularly matter. Ivy has a heal... that never really needs to be used. Bionka has a knock up... that really doesn't set other players up for anything. Max has a stun that EVERYONE can take advantage of... but he is a rare case. So investing the time in playing all the different characters in all the levels seems somehow less interesting then I'd hoped.
We've talked a lot about how there is no player agency in the traps you unlock. And that means not having a really good choice in what traps you bring to a level. This too reduces the replay potential. I wont rehash this here.
There are a distinct lack of goals to shoot for. In game achievement with parts rewards would be great. One time rewards for things like:
get a 12x combo
knock up 20 minions with one Bionka bounce
complete a level with Gabriella without getting hit
throw 200 minions off the map in one level
kill 9001 orcs
complete a level without firing your primary attack
But those don't exist either.
At this moment there are only 3 playable endless levels. That's gonna get old really fast. I'll definitely play them a few times but that's it. I know there is a weekly challenge, but that too will likely only keep my focus for a few play throughs.
So as I see it... there is the hard way: Rework all the characters for greater synergies and overall fun with different comps (please dont do this... it'll take another 6 months), Give us a lot more things to achieve in game that are outside of the 5 star system (please please please, these CAN'T be that hard to implement), Crank out content every couple of months (this I think you are gonna have to do regardless).
To be perfectly honest. The content that is here is good. I like to make killboxes and kill orcs by the truck load, but my biggest problem with the game is something that SEEMS backwards but when you really look at it is not that strange.
This game will not work as a free to play game.
The lack of a reason to refine your skills to take out other players, and the repetitiveness of killing orcs with mindless AI that path the same way over and over, does not give this game a high replay value. It just doesn't. And I'm saying this as a fan of robot's games and a friend to a lot of the devs:
The name Orcs Must Die Unchained is poison. Rename this game Orcs Must Die 3
Ditch the free to play and charge $40 for the game and have purchasable DLC content
I am fully aware of the reasons why this "Can't happen" with investors and all that. But I'm speaking from a consumer's standpoint. It's just not gonna work. I'll probably keep playing this game longer than a lot of people might, but I don't see myself investing more money into it for skins and chests... I don't see anything in this version of the game I would want to purchase now.... maybe parts? But even then unless they are destroyed when I swap them there is a ceiling to the amount I'd buy and if they were destroyed I'd likely prefer to pay with skulls. I dunno. I'd totally drop an extra $10-$15 on a new set of new maps minions and a new hero. Every couple of months and then go back and play through some old content with the new hero and the new maps with the old heroes. But if you are gonna keep forking these over for free.... I mean great for me? But Y'all are going bankrupt.
Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it.
The orcs must die franchise used to have a very clear identity and I feel like it has slipped away a lot during the development of OMDU. I was thinking about why that is and what might be able to be done to fix it, and I came to a couple of realizations.
What was Orcs Must Die before this iteration? Well, when you really boil it down, it’s a Rube Goldberg orc killing simulator.
Imagine the orcs are marbles. You create a winding path for the marble using barricades to alter their path. Sometimes you might have a device along the way that pops the marble back to an earlier place in the path and group the marbles up. Eventually they reach the fun part of the marble track where they are flung around by spinning devices, thrown in the air by flippers and tossed back and forth by bumper type things. And the little child in you squeals with glee.
One of the most fun things about OMD2 was the fact that by use of unique upgrades to the traps, you were able to place certain floor traps on walls, change the range on them, add a slowing effect all sorts of things that meant there was no one way to use a trap. They had OPTIONS. And you could do fun things like try to go Manaless or Untouchable and get rewarded for it! You could go for a high score by creating awesome super combos, you could efficiently dispatch the orcs for your 5 skulls or you could try the level again with the other character that brought different traps to the party. (albeit 1)
Now let's take a look at OMDU.
You are presented with more heroes! WOO! But they don't bring a unique trap with them…. Oh. Okay well there's still traps right? And yes there are tons of traps! I can’t wait to see all the cool unique upgrades they have so I can have an even LARGER variety of killboxes I can construct. Except not. There are parts now. And do the parts let you put Balistas on walls, or extend the range on your grinder or let you place a floor scorcher on the wall over your wallblades? Well no…. They ugh, increase the likelihood the trap will fire again…. Or they’ll do more damage if the minion is on fire…. And other stuff.
Okay so these parts, there are a lot of them right? I can swap things out and see what the effect is in game? Well no actually they are really hard to get. Hmm…. okay so there isn’t as much variety in a killbox. And maybe that's not a big deal. Each trap has a very specific place that it should be used. And you have to figure that out right? Cool. Find that efficiency.
What about the levels themselves. Let’s take a look at them. Okay they are pretty small compared to an OMD2 level. Less paths… not as much variety in places to put a killbox. But I guess you could do something fun if you put the killbox over there or there. But hang on. There is a star system. Okay so this existed in OMD2 right? It’s nothing new right?
In OMD2 doing poorly on a level still awarded you a couple of skulls that you could then go to your spellbook and decide where you want to spend them to upgrade the traps that you are enjoying using. So what does OMDU have? Well you have to 3 star it at least to get any reward at all. Okay so you get skulls that way right? Kinda? But not in the way you would expect. You get random trap leveling up in a chest. It’s random…. There is no choice. You have no agency in what traps you are taking in your deck, cause some of them are gonna be more powerful than others and it doesn’t make sense to take the less powerful ones, even though you might enjoy their mechanics more. And why do you have to take the more powerful ones? Because the 5 star system is based on a TIME TRIAL. You must kill the orcs as quickly as possible in order to achieve the 2 chests worth of rewards for any given level. Two chests that contain random upgrades to your traps.
What about these skulls? Oh yeah so just because you have upgraded a trap doesn’t mean the upgrade actually triggers. You need to pay skulls to actually BUY the upgrade…. Despite the fact that the upgrades you got were not chosen by you and they were the reward for completing the level. So they kind of act like a progression wall. FeelsBadMan
Okay well what’s the best way to advance through this game? Put your most powerful traps in your deck, figure out the most efficient order to place them in. Put them as close to the door as possible, and kill the orcs as quickly as possible, Combos be damned. Combos take time and I don't have that luxury.
So what’s the point of this rant? The point is that the focus on killing orcs as efficiently as possible is SATURATING this game and has removed a lot of Player agency and options to try new things. The game is now incredibly linear with the illusion of choice permeating it down to every aspect of the game even while you are actually playing a level. The Rube Goldberg aspect is gone. The childlike awe of seeing a truly ridiculous contraption you created in action has been replaced with the need to do it better, faster and more efficiently.
If you ask me, that’s the exact OPPOSITE of what Orcs Must Die has been until Unchained.
Passive: BATTLE FRENZY While in combat each hit taken by the hero slightly increases basic attack speed and damage. Once out of combat, buff stacks vanish.
LMB: SLASH Broga slashes with his blades
RMB: PARRY Broga brings both blades up in a defensive posture for .5 seconds, taking no damage from the first attack to hit him while in the stance. Using parry will remove 1 stack from Broga's Passive. Parry does not negate status effects and lifesteal.
Q: EYE FOR AN EYE Broga slashes both blades in front of him in an X dealing 50 damage + 100% of the damage absorbed by JUGGERNAUT
E: JUGGERNAUT Decreases damage taken by 50% for 2 seconds. Also stores damage taken (at normal damage rate) for a retaliating blow with EYE FOR AN EYE
Shift: CHASE Holding shift increases Broga's Runspeed while channeled. Using this ability will consume mana as long as it is active