I'm sorry to be the Downer, but...

Discussion in 'Clockwork Empires General' started by Mochan, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Mochan

    Mochan Member

    I really don't like this game. I've now updated to the latest release build, but my thoughts in a nutshell are: This game is way too tedious to play.

    To elaborate, the game takes all the bad things about games like Serf City and Settlers, and simply zaps all the fun by forcing you to micro-manage every single aspect of production. Nothing gets done in this town without you micromanaging every single aspect. Want to chop down that tree? Oh, you don't have enough laborers since the overseers are full doing other jobs. Okay, I'll recruit an overseer. Oh wait, you need to build an overseer house! Fine, I'll do that. Oh wait! You need planks and bricks to do that. Fine! I'll build planks. Wait! You need wood. Fine! I'll chop wood. Oh wait, I forgot, I don't have enough laborers!

    And it quickly spirals into an unnecessary chain of unending needs that means nothing gets done. It's a vicious cycle. To make it worse, your laborers just want to freak out or get angry or cry in despair, further increasing delays. Serf City often got bad when there was too much traffic gumming up the transport of resources from one building to another, but this game takes that to obscene heights. You need to assign workers to every overseer, assign overseers to every building, build structures in each building, assign production loadouts to each structure, AND make sure there's enough material to go. It's overkill.

    In Serf City all you needed to do was make the buildings, and make sure there were enough foot paths to get around. A much better design. On the other hand, you have something like Rimworld, which is the spiritual brethren of this game. Rimworld manages to make everything smooth and fluid and compelling, without all the necessary tedium. It's the same basic idea, but done much, much better.

    I'm sorry, I love Dungeons of Dredmore to death and I still play it today. But this game is a severe disappointment and is just poor game design with terrible execution. I daresay Dwarf Fortress is actually easier to play than this, and that says a lot. I waited years for this game because this was supposed to be an accessible Dwarf Fortress for everybody the same way Dredmore made Rogue-likes accessible to everyone, but this has, sadly, utterly failed in what it set out to do.

    I don't know if, somehow, someday, Gaslamp Games will be able to fix this game and give it the fluidity and pacing it desperately needs, but I look forward to that day.

    I personally think the game would be better if there were far less tedium associated with the construction of goods and buildings, and more emphasis given to just creating emergent stories and events. That's what makes Dwarf Fortress compelling, not the tedium of having to micromanage everything.

    That's just my two cents. Here's to hoping the game improves.
    Pakuska likes this.
  2. Mr147

    Mr147 Member

    I hope it improves too, just gotta wait and see, I hope it will surprise the heck out of me one day =3
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  3. AmblingAlong

    AmblingAlong Member

    Going to come back to this in a few months and see what gets added. I know Dredmor evolved a ton.

    I just want the steampunk, man! And the game to have the ability to tell the stories those amazing design documents suggested (remember the cavorite drill that found the eldritch coffin, that got hooked up to the pipes? I want that type of narrative in the game!).
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  4. Mochan

    Mochan Member

    I feel you brothers! I still feel this game should still be in Beta and refined and tweaked further before calling it a release version. It doesn't have the kind of polish that I would expect from Gas Lamp Games. When Dredmore first came out it was lacking in the content we have today (both from the expansion and the modders) but the basic vanilla package on Day 1 was an extremely exhilarating, compelling experience that hooked me for hours and hours over the next few months. There was so much variety, randomness, action and it was fun playing "seriously" and playing "for fun" and I could do it over and over. Dying was fun.

    This game totally lacks that flair right now. Unlike Dredmor where I was glued to my screen "just one more level" and all of a sudden it's 6am and I started playing at 8pm, this game has me falling asleep while waiting for enough planks to get built for my Overseer's office. And it shouldn't be that way. It's not just the genre; while Rogue-like RPGs and City Builders are totally different beasts, I am well-versed in all these genres and love them all. I was glued to my screen playing Serf City and Settlers back in the day, and still can't get enough of Rim World or Stone Hearth today. Unfortunately, this game isn't quite on the level of those games yet.
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  5. Kaldo

    Kaldo Member

    I think the issue is late game. While the big amount of micromanagement makes sense for early game, it should slowly transition into macromanagement later on - instead of that, in CE macromanagement even more intensifies, with us having to manually create increasing number of modules and furniture manually, keep track of larger amounts of resources, having to constantly switch orders so stuff gets done (I'm not going to build 5 smelters so I can smelt all types of ores without remaking the order constantly, nty)...

    And this is just when it comes to economy. Military lacks management and proper orders, stockpile management is based on workers' good will, managing tasks for "misc" jobs like chopping wood or gathering stone is pretty unsatisfying and slow. Not to mention "advanced" tasks like pillaging bandit camps or taking care of eldritch stuff. You just get bogged down with colony management and "establishing a foothold" and never getting to the point when you can actually stop worrying about it, and actually focus on the game and emergent mechanics that the devs mentioned in one of their blog posts.

    To give another proper example - after I set up my food production in DF, I dont' have to manually tinker with it so often later, maybe only expand it. In CE I have to constantly keep track of which food I'm lacking, whether I have orders for that particular meal or whether my raw meat is just sitting in a stockpile, whether I have enough furnaces, whether a worker died that was assigned to a kitchen, whether I have 3 furnaces dedicated to making maize chowder but no maize so they are idling, whether I need to upgrade my stoves from stone to iron, whether the building is now too small....

    And don't get me wrong, these are good questions to ask, in principle - but they aren't fun here because the means to solve them aren't satisfying. I can't just upgrade a module, I have to build the iron stove manually (I also have to craft intermediary ingredients fo it myself), I have to disassemble the last one manually, wait until it's done, then place the new one there. I can't increase the building's size, I have to demolish it and build a new one. If I have two, I now need 2 overseers for them so I have to create a new one that's bigger than the first one. And I have to do the whole quality juggling thing again. And the old stoves are just gathering dust in a stockpile now.

    So basically, I kinda get what is it that they are trying to accomplish here, but in practice it just ends up as a chore. Colony management is fun when it comes to big decisions, like figuring out defenses, establishing trade routes, starting a new production line or getting new soldiers for example... not when after a dozen hours I still have to manually deal with stuff that I was dealing with and solving in the first 30 minutes.It's just a chore by that point, since it's not really logistically or intellectually challenging.
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  6. Darkmere

    Darkmere Member

    Agree with everything in this post. I'm at 55 colonists or so and every new thing I try to do just makes everything else worse at this point. I've got food down okay just because the Republique taught me how to make stupid efficient meals, but everything else is constant micromanagement of stuff I've had solved for hours.

    Barracks constantly run out of ammo because they'll only accept one box no matter how many I make, and as soon as one box gets dropped off the next delivery gets taken way out of town into the woods and left there. Every fight (and there are a lot, Novorus REALLY hates me) ends with pistols and unnecessary damage taken because everyone's fleeing and no one delivers ammo to the barracks to magically teleport to the troops.

    If I demolish a building, the leftover supplies are unclean and will never be touched again.
    I've seen chefs bypass the food stockpile right out front to take a load of booze on a 15-minute walk to the outside of the colony, leave it on the ground and walk another 15 minutes to get back to work.

    Standing orders (maintain minimum X) should be keyed to the workshop and not modules. Right now I've got a ton of 5-star overseers that finish jobs near-instantly, but I have to keep going back and queue up new orders, one at a time, every few minutes.

    It kinda feels like StarCraft 2 felt - lots and lots of busywork micromanagement to tie players up and distract them from the actual game they want to play.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the game, love the company, and want desperately for this to succeed, but... there's definitely parts of it I can tell are going to get on my nerves extremely fast.
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  7. Exile

    Exile Member

    ER JUst what does anyone want to do in this game ,be a monarh,a general,,wealthy,cruel,
    a crazed cleric ,say what?
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
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  8. Darkmere

    Darkmere Member

    Ideally the stakes should escalate. Early game problems feel pretty good - don't starve, don't die, deal with bandits, start trading. You can actually get food supplies in a pretty good, stable place by midgame. Thing is, once you get the basic supply chains in place and are reasonably secure, there's not much to do. Wars can be ended by dedicated bureaucrats (and I like that. I really don't want to be in a situation where the game just throws tons of "they hate us now" events that render your diplomatic corps worthless).

    As far as I can tell, right now the whole cult activity is purely negative. I'd like to see a sort of risk-reward component... dark machines fueled by the power of madness, that make your colony a powerhouse of industry and wealth on the backs of the suffering lower class. Military machines that set you at odds against everyone else because you Awoke That Which Should Not Be Known. Hidden Fun Stuff from dwarf fortress, maybe.

    Like the narratives the early development logs used to talk about. Stuff like that.
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  9. Pakuska

    Pakuska Member

    Its a very messy release, and I agree with a lot of things said here. But seeing what they did with Dungeons of dredmor, I have full faith that Gaslamp games will do everything they can to make this game better. Sadly, this will take time and might hurt Gaslamp games financially in the long run.
    Exile likes this.
  10. Zakouski

    Zakouski Member

    I agree with OP, and I'm utterly disappointed. The PC Gamer review is an honest reflect of the actuel state of the game.
  11. AmblingAlong

    AmblingAlong Member

    "I'd like to see a sort of risk-reward component... dark machines fueled by the power of madness, that make your colony a powerhouse of industry and wealth on the backs of the suffering lower class. Military machines that set you at odds against everyone else because you Awoke That Which Should Not Be Known. Hidden Fun Stuff from dwarf fortress, maybe."

    "Like the narratives the early development logs used to talk about. Stuff like that."

    ^this is what it really comes down to. Why else play a steampunk meets Lovecraft game, after all?
    Exile likes this.