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October 7th, 2011, 21:53
There's a lot to like in the game, but there's a lot to get frustrated about, and this first patch looks to address some of those frustrating aspects. I'll probably give the patch a go this weekend and see if my attitude about the game improves.

It's quite hard, and sometimes frustratingly so. I think my biggest complaint is that the random battles can be quite difficult, sometimes moreso than the "placed" battles that one usually knows to prepare for (like before opening a door). I'm scared to death to search, because I can get in a battle that really sets my party's endurance back, or even knock somebody out requiring me to head back to town. But then, I guess that's why there's a feat to allow you to avoid such battles. There are a few such "feat taxes" like that, in that you have the ability to lessen some of the frustrating aspects of the game (like your spells never hitting), but you need to take those at the expense of cool new abilities. I guess that's what makes it a hardcore RPG….

My other biggest complaint is that the UI is just so….amateurish (sorry Jay, it's true). The keybinding in the patch will help, but the multitude of windows you need to go through to first read the description to remind yourself exactly what a spell does, and then to cast it is just kind of mind-boggling. And the feat system is REALLY suffering from a poor UI. The game has a nice character progression system with some skills progressing down a tree-like progression where grabbing pre-requisites will open up some pretty cool feats/abilities. But you have no idea from the UI which feats are pre-requisites for others, and you are unable to do ANY meaningless character planning in-game without the manual. The game would benefit so much from a graphical skill tree like you'd find in Diablo, but instead we're left with a simple text window that simply filters which feats are available based on your skill points and pre-requisites. It even goes so far as to filter out feats that require 2 skill points when you only have one available, so you're not sure if it might be worth it to save that skill point. Bottom line, the skill/feat UI really needs a major revamping so that all skills/feats in the game are visible, with some grayed out so you can quickly see which feats you want to shoot for and start investing in pre-requisites. Like I said, all this info is in the manual, but absolutely none of it is translated to the UI, and the game suffers for it IMO.

I agree with all of the positives that are outlined in the two RPGWatch reviews, so don't think I'm completely negative about the game. But there are some negatives to be aware of as you enter into playing the game…
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