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TOPIC: Overall Review of the rooms for V4A

Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #1

Just wanted to post my thoughts on the V4A rooms both good and bad.

Room 1 - Combat
The pre-room video recaps and the room introduction were good, I enjoyed the idle animation of the NPC for the combat. As for the combat itself I did not enjoy the setup. Highest AC in the dungeon, MASSIVELY high AC on Hardcore+, MANY players were only hitting on 15+ with quite a few being limited to nat 20 rolls. Multiple heals in the combat, damage reduction, multiple spell immunities, while the output damage is low this fight is a negative experience for 75% of the players in the run. I would have much preferred to have some solid options built into the module for ways to remove the buffs, some non combat interactions to remove the potions, remove the ioun stones, things to make the fight manageable, which i did not see. Also given the EXTREMELY limited availability of spells in True Dungeon I greatly dislike the first monster having full spell immunity for 3 spells. It's just upsetting to waste spells.

Room 2 - Puzzle
Enjoyable thematic room, very good NPC character, well acted and helpful. The puzzle itself seemed a little more complicated than I would want for a room 2 puzzle. Solution is fairly straightforward but does tend to lead to a few failures along the way. Also it's hard to discern size via a camera, I would prefer to see greater size difference between pieces if done remotely again.

Room 3 - Combat
I really don't have anything negative to say about this combat. Good theme, great animation for the monster, really liking the evolution of the animated monsters. Might have had a little more HP per monster than necessary but I think overall this room is well balanced. Only thing I would comment is I would like to have 3 visual monsters if the room has 3 monsters and have them removed as each dies. I'd be fine with 3 copies of the same creature animation, just a visual representation.

Room 4 - Puzzle
Cool puzzle design, cool room design. Memorization puzzles do not work well in a virtual setting where screen capture exists. Unfortunately every version of this puzzle style we've had in VTD has been immediately broken by at least one player grabbing a screen grab of the puzzle. It's simply too easy to cheat this to have order memory puzzles in VTD in my opinion.

Room 5 - Combat
Great new monster design, great painting, really creepy look, great whispers, A+
pre-combat group saving throws are upsetting from a player perspective. The negative hit penalties were way above what I would consider fair given the AC target numbers and the +to hit numbers at each given equipment level. Also several of the negative penalties stacked and the initial save seemed to be combat wide. I'd say those penalties need to be -1/-2/-3/-5 per failure at each difficulty. Otherwise I did enjoy the combat and love the design variance.


R6 Puzzle - great intro video, great first part of the puzzle with the matching. Rogue clue was actually a detriment to most parties, would have preferred something different in the Rogue clue as it was fairly redundant to the freely given room clue.

Room 6 Combat -Let me start by saying I liked the introduction animation.

Unfortunately that's where my praise for this room ends.

Massive enemy HP pool
Split HP pools between subdual and fatal damage
Nearly autohit MASSIVE Thor's Hammer damage every round
AUTOHIT, NO SAVE MASSIVE party damage every round, most with 1 random class that is immune
Massive AOE hit and Massive Hammer hit BOTH on EVERY round

I honestly do not know what the thought was on this room. After experiencing it once I never wanted to run it again, up to and including V4B and V4C. This room is harder than the final combat by a large margin and just seems incredibly out of place at all combat levels. 20/30/40 HP damage every round to every class means your entire party is dead in 3 turns, even with massive healing available. It's simply too much damage to heal through. At Hardcore most groups can survive 0 to 1 AOE round at full HP. At Nightmare most groups can survive 1 AOE round with more than half of the party dying in round 2. That's just not a viable combat.

IF this was presented as a hidden, secret, bonus combat I would be more OK with the design but this fight is just too strong to exist, even as a final room encounter, even without the option of subdual damage.

Room 7 - Combat

I really enjoyed this room and 90% of it's design.

I love the creature design and implementation, the puppetry was great and the combat was fun.
As I've mentioned in other reviews of runs I greatly dislike save or die mechanics. Especially save or die every attack. In this instance I think it would be better served to the theme, for failed saves to add a stacking -2/-3/-4/-8 penalty and failing 4/3/2/1 saving throws results in the death. It gives the lower gear levels a more fighting chance and it's only immediately deadly on EPIC difficulty. It makes the fight much more of an uphill battle.

I would also prefer to allow for good combat tactics, like stabbing the eyes, to allow for removal of the save check/ Permanent on normal, for 3 turns on hardcore, 2 turns on nightmare and have the attack require a standard hit vs AC but deal 0 damage, gaining the save removal instead. Reward inventive gameplay.

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #2

Room 7 save or die doesn't bother me. Also, unlike soul sucking, this is way easier to mitigate, as happened on one of my runs. Because this exists in the game, room 7 is the only place where it should happen (outside of illusionary version of same mechanic to make tokens still do something without just murdering players off of a save before room 7).

Room 5 didn't interest me as much as it seemed to others. It's just another random monster. I realize random encounters in dangerous places fits the milieu, but, if going to run across random monster, want specialized tokens to matter a lot, things like evil outsider showing up or giant or undead.

OTOH, room 3 was good. Encouraged builds without just shutting stuff down. Multi graphics would be better, sure.

Room 1 is an interesting idea. The execution, though, seems off. This could have been another multimonster with different abilities (as painful as that might be for DMs) from a thematic standpoint.

I agree with the problem of room 4. I think I would find it a bore in PTD because there's nothing really to do, as some said, it's not a puzzle. It's just a task.

I can see room 5 getting flexed since that makes for more puzzle options. I'd like to see room 4 replaced.

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #3

I really disliked room 1 until I realized it actually rewards some smart use of spells and the spellcasters working together. Great time to cast some spells you'd never otherwise use. Not just to creatively overcome the monster's resistance, but also to boost your allies.

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #4

I'll add my perspective. It's just my opinion and may not represent anyone else's. It's also the perspective of someone who ran the dungeon 11 times. I'm sure there are others in that boat, but probably not the majority. Also, keep in mind that I generally run as an elf wizard. My breakdown was Elf Wizard - 8 times, Cleric - 2 times, Barbarian - 1 time.


Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

In summary, I had a lot of fun. I was just as entertained in the 11th run as I was in the 1st. But that's due to the players, DMs and NPCs. If the people weren't fun to play with, then yes, the dungeon would become repetitive and boring. I really loved V4a and look forward to V4b and V4c. The perspective of a new player or someone who only does the dungeon once or twice could be completely different from mine. I expect it probably is, so take that for what it's worth.

I'll just add I ran normal level once, nightmare level 6 times and epic level 4 times. 4 of my runs were PUGs and the other 7 with established groups. So, outside of the one normal run I tend to run with veteran players who have lots of tokens and get pretty creative in how they interact with the dungeon and each other. So my perspective is limited in that regard.

Final comment. Yes, you can cheat on memorization puzzles with a screen grab, but then so much of TD is an honor system that if anyone wants to cheat, it's very easy to do so. I'm not sure why they want to spoil their own fun. I mean, what's the challenge in cheating your way through a run? It becomes kind of a waste of 2 hours if you do that. As it is, hp, combat damage, savings throws and so much else is all an honor system. You could roll a 1 and tell the DM you hit a crit. Some of my best stories come from the dungeons I didn't survive.

That's it. I trust that future changes will be positive and look forward to seeing many of you again in a month.

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #5

In general I had a really good time with this, and I'm looking forward to running again in V4B. My individual thoughts on the rooms as follows:

Room 1
I really enjoyed this from a story perspective. The animation was cool, and it was a nice kick start to the adventure. The first time I fought him he seemed way too tough for a first room fight, but in later fights people actively tried to take his magic items and stop him from using them. DMs allowed it, which made the room almost more of a puzzle combat. I don't know if that was part of the design or just DMs being awesome, but I found it enjoyable. It's fun to have a combat that's more than "make my numbers go higher". Although, admittedly, I like it when my numbers go higher.

Room 2
This was a good puzzle, had some fun interactions with the NPC. Inputting the correct solution was maybe a touch long, you had to get on the right wavelength pretty quickly to do all 12 pulls in time. I also appreciated the use of the coin to make it easier for people that weren't there in person. Little touches like that show the growth of the TD team in the virtual space.

Room 3
All around fun combat. Whoever is doing the animation is getting better and better, the monsters looked awesome here.

Room 4
I really enjoyed this puzzle. It promoted teamwork, the atmosphere was cool...honestly, next to the bridge puzzle in room 4 it was the room that most made me feel like I was playing physical True Dungeon. Would be a good idea to switch up the scroll from time to time to trip up people who have it memorized. Easy to cheat, sure, but it's just as easy to have a remarkable run of critical hits in combat.

Room 5
The monster looked really cool, and I dug the sound design. I can't really comment on the balance because I generally play nothing but spellcasters, so the penalties to hit didn't matter to me. I had fun with him, it was cool to run into an often overlooked, old school DND monster.

Room 6 Puzzle
I love this puzzle. It was a lot of fun, it challenged my group without seeming overly obtuse or unfair. My one complaint is that the rogue clue totally threw us off. I saw multiple runs that were on the right track but went off on a tangent after getting that clue. Maybe rewrite that, bonus clues should make it easier, not harder.

Room 6 Combat
I'm torn on this. On the one hand it was an extremely cool fight. I loved the animations, the spells, the feel of it. It seemed epic and almost a little cataclysmic. It was an absolute blast, and a fitting final boss fight for the dungeon. The problem is, it wasn't the final boss of the dungeon. This fight wrecked parties that went through it leading into the final room, and was both more interesting and more difficult than the room 7 fight.

Room 7
This was a fun fight. The monster looked cool, the mechanics were fun, I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only comment on it would be that it'd be great to shift the petrification effect from death to knock out for the room/a few turns and swap this room with room 6.

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #6

3b, 4a, maybe even 3a felt like they were designed with 2021 tokens in mind.

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Last edit: by Ian Lee.

Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #7

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My over all thoughts.
I love love loved that the intro video & recap video showed up before the run. It was a lot of fun to go "oh hey they're telling me I can equip this meta related item". It was a small thing but it made me feel clever and caused me to chat about the upcoming dungeon in a positive way with my friends.

Room 1 - Combat
I love the concept here, but I feel like the execution of the fight fails to accomplish the room 1 goal of a "team building"/"get psyched up" encounter. It wasn't dangerous due to the low damage but feeling like your hitting a wall of party negative effects isn't a good feeling to start off.
IMO the room could be greatly improved with some DM dialog about how the Innkeeper was "empowered by his stolen items" to point players towards mechanics for removing said items. Then fighting through the items without removing them becomes a fun challenge run for those that want it and those that don't get to feel clever for removing them and trouncing the baddy who looked down on them.

Room 2 - Puzzle
I liked this room, it had the standard gripes about cameras but over all it was a fun puzzle with a solid NPC. Honestly going off script with the NPCs is what I miss most about RLTD vs VTD.

Room 3 - Combat
Solid room. I loved that we had a clue about these monsters ahead of time. I also loved that the monster graphics seemed to be aligned to the floor in the space. That made it feel alot more volumetric. My only suggestion for rooms like this in the future would be to graphically represent multiple monsters if at all possible.

Room 4 - Puzzle
I agree with what others have said above, these flash of black light puzzles just don't work the same as they do in RLTD. On subsequent runs these rooms are super quick, which might make them a good place for meta clues, or other doodads of interest to play with once the core puzzle was done, ducks, reaver skulls, hidden rooms, optional combats etc.

Room 5 - Combat
I liked this room in all honesty. The monsters AC was lower so the big Hit penalty made sense and the monster looked great.

My main point about room 6 was, "Who was this again?" I wish the NPC was one we would have more clearly remembered. The guard captain from the intro, or the druid from the previous module for example.

R6 Puzzle - Only did this version once but it seemed ok.

Room 6 Combat - The damage this monster did was punishing, it also felt a little bad that the NPC cleric seemed to have access to the class relic while the players are still waiting for tokens. That just my personal take though, I'm not sure anyone else felt like that. If I had it to do over, it might have felt better if it were handled more like a "you won so take Thor's hammer with you to the next room" scenario we've seen in past years.

Room 7 - Combat
Nothing but good things to say about this combat. Great looking monster. I was ok with the mechanic, though it might have been nice to equip the party with a few "virtual" stone to flesh scrolls on the lower difficulties, which might have happened, I only played nightmare.

Over all feelings
I didn't really care for V4 relative other VTDs and I'm not sure why. Nothing was wrong but nothing stood out as amazing either. I understand that there were some last minute staffing issues, and for all I know last second changes may have been made. I don't know, I'm going to sleep on it. I did start to enjoy my runs more on the replays but it was an odd module overall. The intro NPC was new and most of the combats had a "random encounter while travelling vibe". Overall I think my issue with v4 was that it felt disconnected from the over all VTD story line so it was hard to get invested.
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Last edit: by Picc.

Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #8

I agree with most of these assessments.

This was brought up in some of my runs over the weekend.

Is it possible to get a porcupossum stuffed animal?

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #9

Most has been said. Loved the puzzle element of combat in 6. There was a subtlety that the combat room was also the puzzle room to almost hint there was a solution to work thru it. She was a friend and that was clearly the first “observation”. From there how to free your friend.

I do feel the room 1 combat fix helped but it does put a sour taste to start that strong and ultimately causes contentious feelings.


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Last edit: by Jamie Campbell.

Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #10

My friend asked me to share my feelings as a noob and casual. This was my second True Dungeon experience. I've only ever done VTD. I played V4a once as a ranger on normal difficulty. We had 9 players on our run. We got to room 7 and ran out of time.

I enjoyed this adventure.

As with the previous adventure, the puzzle rooms were the highlight, especially room 4. I thought the room was presented beautifully. Would have preferred some green-screened puppets instead of the CGI, but that's more personal preference. The spell effects are all good and the computer graphics look decent. I have a soft spot for hand painted foam monsters. Also, kudos to the prisoner in room 2. They did great.

The theme and the flow of the adventure was good. Each encounter starting with room 2 was engaging, with 4, 5, and 7 being stand outs for me. The puppets in rooms 5 and 7 were fantastic! I think they added to my enjoyment of those fights.

As far as fight mechanics go, I don't know all the metagame. I just rolled melee or ranged, depending on whether someone else took retribution damage. For my character, each fight panned out the same: lots of missed attacks and failed saves, with the occasional hit. I think I did manage to drop one of the monsters. Rooms 5 and 6 felt most epic. Even as a casual, I didn't mind the insta-death mechanic in room 7. It's too bad we ran out of time.

Looking forward to the next part of the story in May!
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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #11

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Can I get a ruling for room 7? Spoiler below.

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Overall Review of the rooms for V4A 1 month 3 weeks ago #12

Dave wrote:

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Checks build... Well, crap. x3.

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