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> Some Feedback (including multiplayer issue)
post Apr 15 2012, 12:04 PM
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Hey there Team Ace,
my friend and I have been playing Rock of Ages for a long time now and we wanted to provide feedback, especially about something concerning a certain multiplayer issue.

But first of all I just briefly got to mention, that this game is absolutely fantastic. The soundtrack, basic gameplay and visuals are great and while we think the Singleplay-Modus is rather so-so fun (apart from the humor of course!), the Multiplayer-Modus in this game is sickly entertaining.
That's thanks to the actually really good balance and depths which we and probably most other players wouldn't expect at a first glance.
The amount of progress and improving is rather astonishing and that makes the game just the more competitive and fun in the long run, which is why we're still playing it with my friend regularly.
Oh and in terms of causing serious anger, this game somehow manages to trump DotA-like games. But, at least to some degree, that's part of the fun.

(We recorded 5 videos and uploaded them to YouTube in order to demonstrate some of the issues below much better)

Now recently we discovered an issue with the (War-) Multiplayer: <videolink>
Elephants seem to have a varying effect on the players, depending on who's the one hosting the game.
The scenario: Your boulder is in front of a tier3 Elephant and you're without velocity. Now you push against the Elephant, who pushes against you as well of course.
If you're the host, that Elephant will grind you down in no time.
As joining player, the Elephant is more likely to knock you back a little bit and you take way less damage, in fact you can actually kill the Elephant without even losing one “layer of rock”.
My friend suggested that this may have something to do with the delay, movement commands and the like, which sounds plausible, but of course you know the inner functionality of your game. Fact is, something's causing this “unfair” issue, even though it's not really too much of a problem in most matches.

http://youtu.be/jwpczse7g8Q / http://youtu.be/TjxUExXWgfo
Another more obvious issue with that is, that the host can start a bit earlier in both War and Skeeboulder, which is slightly annoying, though no a too big issue either.

Further Bugs/Annoyances:

Red Rectangle Bug
When I tab out of the game and back in, I have a red rectangle as health indicator, looks like there's some problem with a alpha textures. Also the rock stays in his cubic form when he's getting sculptured.
That's rather annoying of course, considering how often one like to tab out :/

Witches' Sabbath Height Detection
There are some parts on this map, where some jumps are not possible because you actually jump into an area, where the height for the death-by-fall detection gets significantly higher and thus you die although you can make a jump perfectly well, with the wings at least.

Wall-Jump on Vienna
There's one too easy to execute and too powerful wall-jump possible on that map. While I think Wall-Jumps add a nice depth in this particular case, it's just too good, because around that certain area you cannot place a lot structures to prevent this and the shortcut is way too good.
You don't even need to land on the platform but just reach a certain height and you respawn on it afterwards nontheless.
If there were a few more tiles for building something to make that a tad harder and you have to reach the platform each time instead of just the height, that would be a good enough fix already in my book.

It looks like there's a problem with the settings. It seems like some changes, for example me removing the shift key that changes the sky view level, revert back after restarting the game for some times or so.
Also, whenever you reinstall the game the resolution isn't saved while everything else is.

Long game intro on Startup
No idea if you can do something about that, because I imagine there's a policy for that, but the startup showing all these different emblems of the companies providing something to this game, like of course you as the developer, publisher, NVidia etc. - that's rather annoying.
I like it when I start Starcraft 2 and it just goes straight to the menu.
That said, I must imagine you have to show at least most of these on startup for a certain amount of time (and on their own), so I'd see why there's nothing to do about it.

So, then there are some thoughts on balance from my friend and I:

The tier3 Airships seem to be a little bit too strong, because it's just so hard to avoid, they deal very good damage, they knock you into some direction, have rather much health and are somewhat easy to place on top of that.
Especially when you have no speed it's impossible to dodge the ships' projectiles.
Granted they do cost a lot and take away a lot placing space, they just feel a tad too strong for us now.

Tier1,2 Goldmines are useless since they take up one of the 5 goldmine slots and generate the money over a too long period.

Tier1 Catapults feel a bit strong because you can place so many of them in a small area, and once one hits, you're done for in some cases. They deal good enough damage and, well the knockback is the bigger issue here. Also they seem to be harder to dodge than the level 3 Catapults.

This leads into another issue: Because of the super powerful ships and catapults it's sometimes the best choice to purposely roll down a cliff and come back with some seconds of invulnerability, which just doesn't feel like it should be played like that. Perhaps reducing the invulnerability time by 1 second would help?
Either way, I must imagine balancing something like that is a pain, considering how many different scenarios are affected by a change like that.

Windblower could need some better indication effect for the affected area perhaps. It just often seems like they are not working quite right because it's hard to assess their affected cone area and how well they work in certain situations.
This is a rather very small issue though.

So far that's kinda all we have on our mind and wanted to tell you. It's nice to see that this game is still getting patched and supported rather well and we'll certainly continue playing.

NaDannMaGoGo and Syltman

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Andres Bordeu
post Apr 16 2012, 10:58 AM
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the extensive feedback. Since it's a lot to go through and I only have limited time I'll briefly address some of your concerns. But before anything I just wanted to point out that you've done an excellent job testing and identifying issues in our design. Many of those problems are actually stuff that were reported by our QA team, but we had to leave behind to address more relevant issues. Hopefully we can continue to sort them with future updates, though some are are probably going to stay in the backburner for now considering all of the team has already moved on to the next project and we are only occasionally returning to make improvements. Still, keep in mind that more cool updates are planned for the future, so it's not like we've abandoned support for RoA.

Elephants: There's definitely a problem there, that has to do with the enemy movement, physics, etc. I think addressing this issue would involve rethinking the way they move through the environment. I'm not a programmer, so I can't give specific insight to the implementation, but this issue used to be more noticeable in earlier builds and it was improved, but not totally fixed.

Red rectangle bug: This is a known issue with Scaleform when you tab out of the game / exit and come back. All masks cease to work (if you notice your GUI will display several problems elsewhere). There was no fix for the Scaleform build we were using when we contacted tech support at the time. The current version must have this addressed, but we probably can't upgrade to the latest version without updating the game to the latest UE3 build, which is out of scope at this point. sad.gif

Wall jumping: Nice shortcut you found there! Wall jumping used to be much more permissive in older builds and we limited it a lot, but we expected experienced players would eventually find locations to exploit the feature. It's jut part of the game.

Long game intro: We hate it too, but there's nothing we can do at this point, other than to promiss that it's been addressed for future games.

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post Apr 16 2012, 12:05 PM
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Hey there,

Thanks for the reply! It's always nice to get a response like that.
And yeah, despite my still somewhat limited programming knowledge I can imagine that stuff like physics implementations are really problematic in detail and you just have to make compromises.
Anyways, considering that the listed issues aren't that much of a deal, you guys did very well.

We're certainly looking forward future updates and we'll keep enjoying (and rage about biggrin.gif ) the game.
Keep up the good work!
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post Apr 20 2012, 07:49 PM
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QUOTE (Andres Bordeu @ Apr 17 2012, 12:58 AM) *
all of the team has already moved on to the next project

Is it next year's April Fool's game?
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Carlos Bordeu
post Apr 20 2012, 11:07 PM
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QUOTE (tschumann @ Apr 20 2012, 07:49 PM) *
Is it next year's April Fool's game?


Nice to see we gather anticipation for what we'll be doing next April Fools...

1- Malstrums Mansion
2- Pebble of Time
3- Block of Ages
4- ???

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