Ok, pretty much done with a playthrough of the current alpha test build (I’ve had a lot of free time the past few days).
Here’s thoughts and feeback, loosely organized.
Combat & Challenges
The game needs more very early game challenges just to make it interesting. Wild animal attacks maybe or something. The undead never seem to show up in my games, and the goblin raiders never seem to actually raid my base.
Pathing over multiple z levels and across different chunks of mountainside is a bigger problem than it might immediately seem to be. Most of the times I did trigger goblins, the goblin camp was inaccessible from my base and thus effectively walled off and as safe as if they had been behind bulletproof glass.
I suspect that the goblins are a major cause of idle bug woes. I notice a significant drop in performance when the goblin camps start showing up. On the rare occasions when the goblin camps did have a clear path to my base, they never actually attacked, they just waited on me to attack them, and I suspect this may have been idle-bug related.
Lots of things don’t seem to line up quite right. Partly this is because some doors and furniture take up an odd number of blocks and some take up an even, so it’s hard to get things appropriately centered, but it’s also an issue with the mining tool, in that the large-block tool can’t be placed except where it WANTS to be placed – it’s grid-locked rather than a freehand tool. Which is annoying if you want to dig a tunnel that doesn’t line up with the grid.
The formula for steel uses ore, but the formula for bronze uses bars. I converted a lot of my iron into bars, not thinking, they couldn’t back-convert it into steel, which was a little annoying.
A few other blacksmith items have a similar problem if you don’t take the trapper’s knife at start, since without that it’s difficult and random to obtain leather. Right now “trapper’s knife at start” is a sort of newbie trap – it’s the flat out best choice and not taking it is a newbie only mistake.
From what I could tell, a “starving” character will path to the closest food in a straight line ignoring obstacles – i.e., not the closest food at all if there are obstacles – and will then path again to a chair if one is available apparently regardless of distance, before eating. This could theoretically make a big difference if a character had closer food or died en route to the table.
Classes and advancement
Generally speaking it seems like stats make a BIG difference. My low-mind characters advanced at a snail’s pace and my high-mind characters advanced at a blaze. You may want to tone down how much difference those stats make a bit.
The Spirit stat seems significantly less useful than Mind and Body. Would be good if it were useful for some of the higher-tier classes or something.
Shepherds have a lot of issues. They take a gratuitously long time to advance levels. The support network required for a Shepherd is prohibitive; you need a farmer AND a cook to keep one going and the payoff isn’t really there once you do, especially due to micromanaging. Shepherd animals should give bigger rewards, and the animals should still feed themselves, with cooked special food giving a Bonus rather than the current model where they starve and can’t be harvested if not professionally fed.
Harvesting Shepherd’s rabbits doesn’t give skins or fur; wild rabbits do. Since you need leather to make a lot of items, this is a major weakness of the shepherd vis a vis the Trapper.
Net result of both of those is that you’re almost always better off with a Trapper than with a Shepherd (unless you were undergoing a major siege, I suppose).
I also had some kind of strange issue where my shepherds, plural, never recruited any Poyo’s at all over the entire course of the game. I have no idea why. I had pastures for them and feed for them and everything. Rabbits and sheeps showed up fine, just no poyos ever.
I still dont’ know what the green and blue banners and the anvil with the numbers on the save menu mean.
It would be nice to have a checkbox in preferences for “prefer containers over stockpiles” so that I could still use a stockpile to catch any container overflow.
As mentioned above, no Poyos ever.
“Loot” commands don’t seem to be preserved through savegames. Same issue with some ladders when placing lanterns.
One of my fur rugs had a different color (white hue) than the others for no discernible reason.
Interrupted carry tasks mean the item vanishes into a black hole unless something forces your hearthlings to notice it. An item halfway up a ladder is basically in a dead zone.
When mining away one side of a wall, I noticed that ore would sometimes drop on the far side of the wall, even when there was no gap in the wall for it to fall through.