Wizardry 8 - Swimming with the Psi-Sharks
Can you believe this is the 11th entry in Rampant Coyote's Wizardry 8 adventure? We're up to the Psi-Sharks - some design comments:
Okay. I'm still loving Wizardry 8, but I got some real serious bones to pick with it at this point.
Number one - long, thin zones with lots of patrolling monsters. Like the water caves. And the road. And some other areas. There are monsters here EVERY time. Kill a zillion bandits, and a zillion more return on your return trip. The combats feel like just a way to stretch out the game - by a significant margin. When I'm spending an hour just "getting through" to someplace interesting, there's a problem.
Number two - scaling encounters. I'm actually not opposed to scaling encounters in principle, but it really robs the game of a feeling of progress. When every encounter is roughly the same difficulty level, it also robs the game of a lot of its texture. It robs the player of a chance to simply "come back later" to a too-difficult section, because said section of the game will simply be increased to an even greater difficulty level later. Wizardry 8 isn't quite as bad as Oblivion in this respect, but I'm still not thrilled with the approach. Psi-sharks are wicked-hard, and would be fine as major encounters. But spending forty-five minutes out of every hour fighting them gets really, really tedious.
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