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TOPIC: No Spoilers Review of 5A

No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #1

  • jedibcg
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Without a doubt the best VTD we have seen, in not just my opinion. I heard multiple people mention it as I played this weekend. I usually hate seeing CG monsters in VTD because honestly they don't look well done, imo. I cannot make that complaint for 5A, looked amazing this go around. I do think that one puzzle is not a good 1 run through puzzle 12 minute puzzle. I think for people that run that dungeon multiple times (probably most VTD players), but for anyone just going through once it doesn't seem fair? I don't know. I imagine it is a hard thing to balance. I also do not know that it is a bad thing, just wanted to point it out. Having paths A and B was great as well, though I also do think knowing what is along each path would be better for again those only playing one time. If a group can only see A or B and prefer a combat heavier or Puzzle heavier run then that knowledge is likely to make their experience more enjoyable. Just something to think about. Again I think having A and B were great without any question, I just think knowledge of the difference for groups would be appreciated.
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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #2

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jedibcg wrote: Without a doubt the best VTD we have seen, in not just my opinion. I heard multiple people mention it as I played this weekend. I usually hate seeing CG monsters in VTD because honestly they don't look well done, imo. I cannot make that complaint for 5A, looked amazing this go around. I do think that one puzzle is not a good 1 run through puzzle 12 minute puzzle. I think for people that run that dungeon multiple times (probably most VTD players), but for anyone just going through once it doesn't seem fair? I don't know. I imagine it is a hard thing to balance. I also do not know that it is a bad thing, just wanted to point it out. Having paths A and B was great as well, though I also do think knowing what is along each path would be better for again those only playing one time. If a group can only see A or B and prefer a combat heavier or Puzzle heavier run then that knowledge is likely to make their experience more enjoyable. Just something to think about. Again I think having A and B were great without any question, I just think knowledge of the difference for groups would be appreciated.


I agree that puzzle really needed more time than 12 minutes. I think in an in-person setting it would have worked, because you would have had multiple people working on multiple parts simultaneously. In VTD you could have the golem only do one thing at a a time.
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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #3

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No spoilers, but there was a moment so awesome we were all yelling like we were watching Cap pick up Mjolnir for the first time!
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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #4

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It was a pretty fun one!

Agreed that the graphics are the best they've been. Even the prerecorded sections were quite good with different clips when certain things happened during combat which was great. And there was a section showing the town with actors as townsfolk which I really liked. That type of thing makes the dungeon feel more real, even if it is prerecorded, because it was integrated well.

The A/B choice is great. It makes me wonder if 5B will have A/B/C? Or A/B each with its own new changes? I guess we'll see! Definitely good for encouraging multiple plays. Although... I would make it more thematic of a choice, for example, "Your party has arrived at a tavern near Ashwind Abbey, do you want to talk to Grunnel, or Sage?" Just "choose A or B" is a bit mechanical.

Another idea for the future: put the path choice in Room 1. Maybe you encounter an NPC in Room 1 and have a choice to fight them (combat) or save them (puzzle), and your decision there has an impact on the rest of the dungeon. That type of branching path would be super awesome. I think it could be designed in a way where you wouldn't need 2 different dungeon codes.

Combat difficulty (I mostly played Nightmare): Everything except Room 4 needed more hit points. The last two combats needed at least double the HP. And before someone says "just play Epic", the problem is groups where half the party is geared for Epic, and half is geared for NM. If Epic is played, the NM-geared players don't have a very fun time as they really struggle to hit the monster's AC and make saving throws (among other nasty things that can happen on Epic). If NM is played, the monsters die in 1 round, which is also not fun. The solution to this in my opinion is JUST increase the monster's HP.

Puzzle difficulty: Two were perfect I thought and worked well virtually. One definitely required multiple attempts at it, but that has occasionally happened on tricky in-person puzzles too. I don't mind that so much. It definitely got me eager to play again each time, to try to solve that one puzzle I didn't get yet. This one did take a lot more attempts than usual though!
Classes Played: Barbarian (34 times), Monk (30), Ranger (22), Rogue (18), Cleric (13), Fighter (11), Dwarf Fighter (7), Druid (7), Paladin (7), Bard (4), Elf Wizard (2), Wizard (2)

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #5

I did like that A and B had enough differences that it felt like the choice mattered more at the beginning rather than a mid dungeon “do you take the bloody trail or the quiet one”. But I agree it would be better at the beginning to advise which is more combat or puzzle heavy.

The other thing my friends that only played once brought up - if they were going to do another run they would like to know which run it would be to see the other run. They thought maybe the run times should list which it would be (similar to how the in person variations used to be). They played B this time but only want to do the run a second time if they know they can do A

Overall I agree with the previous reviews - Great visuals, good puzzles with the issues on the last puzzle already noted, and more HP needed for the later monsters.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #6

I think I'll create a thread for a spoilerful review, but just something about NM and Epic.

The gap is big. It's going to be hard to fit between the two levels. My serious Epic builds just don't feel challenged at NM with at least five party members on the run. My Epic runs require not only legit builds, but they also require making not bad decisions.

As for more HP, what came up when thinking about 4ABC with its copious DR is that DR may just be better balanced even if it feels less fun to see your numbers reduced. DR affects those with multiple attacks much harder than increasing HP does.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #7

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Ian Lee wrote: I think I'll create a thread for a spoilerful review, but just something about NM and Epic.

The gap is big. It's going to be hard to fit between the two levels. My serious Epic builds just don't feel challenged at NM with at least five party members on the run. My Epic runs require not only legit builds, but they also require making not bad decisions.

As for more HP, what came up when thinking about 4ABC with its copious DR is that DR may just be better balanced even if it feels less fun to see your numbers reduced. DR affects those with multiple attacks much harder than increasing HP does.

It has been previously requested we save spoilers until all versions (B and C) are done. I don't know if that is still in affect, but just an FYI you might message someone at TD before spoiling anything.

I do agree there is difficulty in tuning at NM and Epic. I know where my group will be when we play next month. Nightmare will likely give us a challenge, but I also played with a lot of players that crushed NM but might not be ready for Epic. I have no answer for this, I just always a bit fearful when I know NM is getting crushed by some when I know it is about were it should be for my group historically speaking.
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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #8

Great overall module - having two well written paths for A v B was solid. I agree that saying, "a or b" is too mechanical - it should be presented as a choice "Do you want to find person X or person y?" or fight or not fight versus someone in a specific room then creating a new branch of possibilities.

One critique was sound - the sound in the video and narrative got more quiet progressively through the dungeon on Friday - by Sunday, it wasn't quite as pronounced.

Last note is a request: if the party dies - have an end-scene specifically for that. It would be nice to hear how we were animated to become part of the forces wiping out the city... perhaps one day we'll be slain and brought back to atone for our sins.

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #9

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Ian Lee wrote: As for more HP, what came up when thinking about 4ABC with its copious DR is that DR may just be better balanced even if it feels less fun to see your numbers reduced. DR affects those with multiple attacks much harder than increasing HP does.


Monk and Ranger are already penalized on their to-hit on the offhand in VTD.

I personally really dislike DR. It is fun to get huge damage numbers. Again, I feel like the tuning would be better done by simply increasing monster HP.

DR is also bad as I mentioned earlier in those mixed NM/Epic parties. Let's say the Fighter normally does around 30 damage per hit, and the Dwarf has Epic-level gear so they do 50. (1.66x the damage.) Now add 20 DR to the monster. Fighter does 10 and Dwarf does 30. Now Dwarf is doing 3x the damage. How do you think the Fighter feels when their counterpart is doing triple what they are? DR exacerbates the gear difference.
Classes Played: Barbarian (34 times), Monk (30), Ranger (22), Rogue (18), Cleric (13), Fighter (11), Dwarf Fighter (7), Druid (7), Paladin (7), Bard (4), Elf Wizard (2), Wizard (2)

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #10

Our solution was to ask the DM to keep track.of how many times we killed the monsters on NM.
Gives the NM players an AC they can hit or save they can make, gives the Epic players something to strive for.
Puzzles once people know them are a potty break.

Also,.room 6......ugh
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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #11

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Wade Schwendemann (Dr. Uid) wrote: Our solution was to ask the DM to keep track.of how many times we killed the monsters on NM.
Gives the NM players an AC they can hit or save they can make, gives the Epic players something to strive for.


Yeah that works if the DM goes along with it. But you're basically making your own difficulty level at that point. Maybe it would be nice to have something official like Nightmare X2 with double monster HP.
Classes Played: Barbarian (34 times), Monk (30), Ranger (22), Rogue (18), Cleric (13), Fighter (11), Dwarf Fighter (7), Druid (7), Paladin (7), Bard (4), Elf Wizard (2), Wizard (2)

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No Spoilers Review of 5A 1 month 4 weeks ago #12

Works great for the non spellcasting classes, the ones with spells need to know when the monster is done so they can conserve. And at that point it just sucks for those players

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