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Wrong Turn on the Road Ahead

So, I recently tried to get into the game for the third time in order to complete it 100%. And I dropped it for the third time for the same reasons as before...

I'm not going to bother much with the characters and story. The previous review by doom practically nailed it all, with my addition being only this - the game uses tons of cliches which are sometimes cringeworthy. Nevertheless, the characters and the atmosphere are pretty good, with the world building being the strongest point of the game.

My primary concern is the game's balance, which lies in it's gameplay. I'm going to add some new thing to doom's review while trying to extend the thing alltogether.

FIRST POINT:

Nope, I'm not talking about first bosses, like DJC mentioned. The thing is, once you figure how to gear up your characters, the bosses become an absolute joke. All you need is resist their element and statuses. That's it, no challenge at all. So, to counter this up, I think, DJC thought about some really *interesting* decisions...

First off, you can't really know bosses' weaknesses before engaging them in a battle. You MUST fight them in order to do this, so you can learn them, RELOAD, then fight them again. HOWEVER, the boss can actually have multiple skills, that need to be countered, which pinpoints to SEVERAL OR MORE reloads in order to learn about him. It artificially prolongs the game, it makes it tedious, and it's generally really archaic system, which doesn't do the game good.

Next, let's talk about gimmmicks. Yes, gimmicks. Quite a number of the bosses in this game have skills I personally call GIMMICKS. Gimmicks include:
1) *I win* button - Reversal, Backfire.
2) *Let's punish the player for knowing how to play this game!* - Retaliate, any skill that works with angry bosses.
3) *Sameposting with pallete-swap* - Magic Missile, Overpower, etc.

As it stands now, Retaliate can actually be countered by using low-power attack before the Retaliation hits. Magic Missile and such can be countered by absorbing them through HP. However, Backfire and Reversal are what I consider the absolute definition of artificial difficulty. They can't be avoided in most cases, they can't be resisted, some bosses proc them completely randomly. A group of characters by the end of the game of level 99, with all-elemental and statuses resists gets oneshotted just because.
They don't provide any challenge too. As was said, bosses usually are piss easy, if you know them. So these skills serve as a some sort of last resort, a barrier for the players. But it isn't needed. This isn't an MMO. It's a single, oldschool role-playing game, where the player actually WANTS to see his\her chars powerful. By installing these artifical obnoxious walls, you further make the game tedious, make the players adapt to some finicky gimmicks instead of making the fights more challenging as the game progresses - bosses are still easy as hell with the right setup.

Next, let's talk about how this game actively punishes players, who know the mechanics. So, let's say, you attack the enemy boss with corresponding counter-element, but wait! IT IS ANGERED BY YOUR ACTIONS. So it uses the some of it's gimmicks to punish you, including randomly oneshotting your characters or dealing heavy damage. What's the purpose of this? Why was this implemented in the first place? To further make the game more obnoxious by adding more artificial barriers? Oh, it also makes poor Vetu COMPLETELY useless, outside of several battles.

SECOND POINT:

Next, I present you the balance between physical fighters and wizards. Protip: it's noneexistent. Black mage in this game is the most useless character. Doom already elaborated a bit on this. by saying that physical chars can provide considerably more damage than mages, simply by autoattacking with Criticals. Mages can't get Crits with magic, so their damage output by the end of the game falls behind miserably. That's one side of the coin.
Both Vetu and Vixen can dish out some good damage with elemental spells,however, they both suffer from it. Once they attack with counter-elements, the boss is angered and starts destroying them. And here we go again - it's better to use physical skills and be safe than to attack with magic and be sorry. Then another problems surfaces, as Vixen gets much better abilities, while Vetu again, falls behind everyone both in terms of damage and utility.
TLDR - Vetu is punished for using his signature attacks earlier in the game, while falls behind later, as everyone starts to outperform him.

THIRD POINT:

Character's skills. There are several of them I consider obscure, first of them being Glen's Breaks.
There are no purpose to them. He gets Meteor Rain later in the game, so three of them become totally useless. Waste of Skill Shards.

Justin's Fatal Skills don't seem to work at all, while Willis' proc almost all the time.

Keen has two skills that do Dispel - Prismatic Eye and Dispel Scroll, while all others have one. Why?

None of the White Wizards has Mass Revive skills, while Summoner, of all people, has them?

__________________________________________________________________________________

That's it for my review. I give this game 3 out of 5. Needs fixing.

Posts

Pages: 1
Even though this is your first review on rpgmaker.net, I wouldn't give it three out of five stars.

Let me get this straight: You criticize gameplay issues that are mostly a matter of taste and ignore all other redeeming factors (story, the game's length, the sheer amount and quality of the implemented features)? This is simply unfair to my mind.

I for one don't like the rebirthing mechanic (I don't like such a feature in general, and I had played Everlong before the update that introduced it), but I wouldn't deem this minor gripe worth (the subtraction of) two stars.

Hopefully, people will understand that your onesided, biased review doesn't offer any compelling reason not to try out Everlong.
author=Euphoniac
Even though this is your first review on rpgmaker.net, I wouldn't give it three out of five stars.


This is your opinion, nothing more, nothing less. I gave it 3 stars, because I thought this score is sufficient.

author=Euphoniac
Let me get this straight: You criticize gameplay issues that are mostly a matter of taste and ignore all other redeeming factors (story, the game's length, the sheer amount and quality of the implemented features)? This is simply unfair to my mind.


Story is one star, characters is one star, world and atmosphere is another star. Balance, gameplay and flawed skill system is why I took 2 stars out of 5. It's not that complex to figure out. Also, notice how I said I tried to get into the game for the third time. I wouldn't do it with games I don't like.
This is not a matter of taste. I gave objective argumentation with heavy explanation on each point. You are free to disagree, but calling it *unfair* without elaborating is a weak attempt to defend the game.

author=Euphoniac
I for one don't like the rebirthing mechanic (I don't like such a feature in general, and I had played Everlong before the update that introduced it), but I wouldn't deem this minor gripe worth (the subtraction of) two stars.


Thanks for mentioning it. It's useful for two things - buying supplies in the middle of nowhere and rethinking your strategy after rebirth. While it becomes somewhat obsolete later, it's still nice to have.

author=Euphoniac
Hopefully, people will understand that your onesided, biased review doesn't offer any compelling reason not to try out Everlong.


Onesided and biased are again too strong choice of words for the one who didn't elaborate on the counterargumentation. Feel free to write down your reasons WHY and WHERE you disagree with me, otherwise, your opinion is basically the same - onesided and biased.
Also, notice how I didn't touch story and other things with my main point being gameplay and balance. Think about it.
unity
You're magical to me.
12226
author=Euphoniac
Even though this is your first review on rpgmaker.net, I wouldn't give it three out of five stars.

Let me get this straight: You criticize gameplay issues that are mostly a matter of taste and ignore all other redeeming factors (story, the game's length, the sheer amount and quality of the implemented features)? This is simply unfair to my mind.

I for one don't like the rebirthing mechanic (I don't like such a feature in general, and I had played Everlong before the update that introduced it), but I wouldn't deem this minor gripe worth (the subtraction of) two stars.

Hopefully, people will understand that your onesided, biased review doesn't offer any compelling reason not to try out Everlong.

This is a terrible mindset to have regarding someone else's reviews. Reviews are always going to be at least somewhat subjective, as they reflect one person's experience with a game and how the game connected with them. If you disagree so strongly with the reviewer's opinions, your time would be much better spent making your own review rather than yelling at someone else for their opinion, which is both rude and a waste of time.

If you want to criticize a review, and you have legitimate criticism that isn't just "I think your opinion is wrong," then that's fine. For example, this review reads more like a rant than an actual comprehensive overview of the game that will be useful to prospective new players. Looking at this review, I have no idea what the game is about on any level except for the specific things the reviewer didn't like, so it's useless to me as it doesn't tell me if I'll enjoy the content present in the game. It pretty much requires you to either read doomed2die's review or have already played the game to make any meaningful decisions.

This is a poor review because it is laser-focused on issues the reviewer had with the game and ignores everything else. It is not poor because it contains the reviewer's options that you disagree with.
I don't think my point of view is difficult to understand. Look at all the features Everlong has to offer. The feature list alone is longer than the descriptions of most other games. Everlong isn't shitty garbage like 95 % of all other games on this site, instead it's packed with quality stuff. When it comes to amateur game development, it doesn't get any more professional than this. Maybe you would have agreed if you had completed the game (SiegfriedCalibur) or had played it at all (unity). Not even having completed Everlong is reason enough on its own to question your aptitude of reviewing this game.

I stand by my opinion. SiegfriedCalibur solely focuses on his pet peeve (thus the review being onesided), while other players enjoy the developer's efforts to try to break out of typical JRPG boss fight formulas. When you can't or don't want to complete a JRPG on your third try, you could - and should - simply admit this game isn't for you. If you don't like hip-hop, don't review hip-hop. Honestly, it's that simple: If a mechanic like this ruins your whole experience, maybe JRPGs aren't meant for you. I can go on for hours about why I don't like hip-hop, but that isn't helpful for people who like hip-hop, so I don't do it. I for one don't like Kentona's approach in Hero's Realm (different partys throughout different chapters before they join hands). Guess what: I don't like it, I don't play it, I don't review it.

But you? Revengeful as you are, you just had to ruin Everlong's valuation average. Now it appears as if Everlong was as bad as or even worse than some super short game not build over 15 years like Everlong, but within 15 minutes - just because some busybody wants to be in the spotlight. Congratulations, you've obviously achieved your goal. Let me make it even easier for you considering your glorious second review in the future by offering you this template: "Random encounters, didn't like, one star."
unity
You're magical to me.
12226
The review passed the sites qualifications. If you don't like the review, then you are free to write your own. Its not getting taken down just because you disagree with it.

author=Euphoniac
I stand by my opinion. SiegfriedCalibur solely focuses on his pet peeve (thus the review being onesided), while other players enjoy the developer's efforts to try to break out of typical JRPG boss fight formulas. When you can't or don't want to complete a JRPG on your third try, you could - and should - simply admit this game isn't for you. If you don't like hip-hop, don't review hip-hop. Honestly, it's that simple: If a mechanic like this ruins your whole experience, maybe JRPGs aren't meant for you. I can go on for hours about why I don't like hip-hop, but that isn't helpful for people who like hip-hop, so I don't do it. I for one don't like Kentona's approach in Hero's Realm (different partys throughout different chapters before they join hands). Guess what: I don't like it, I don't play it, I don't review it.


So, in your opinion, all reviews should be positive, because, if the player didn't like the game, they shouldn't be reviewing it?

You didn't give Hero's Realm a review because you didn't like it? Ironically, kentona has openly stated his favor for negative heavily critical reviews of Hero's Realm because they help him improve. Your review could have helped him out.

Your opinions on how reviews should work and that certain games should be beyond reproach is ridiculous. I don't need to play Everlong to know that it is not going to be 100% well-received by every JRPG fan ever.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7345
I personally disagree with the review solely on the basis that it uses in-words like "proc". What does "proc" even mean? Both times they're used seem to imply different things. I'm confused.

EDIT: "proc" is apparently short for "process" which is essentially a switch in RM layman, so saying "some bosses proc them completely randomly" doesn't really make much sense. I've played Everlong and I know that the retaliation skills are only activated if the player's damage output exceeds a certain threshold (which, admittedly, is rather silly). It's not random.

Let's also not forget that nearly all the enemies later on have set attack patterns, meaning those heavy hitting spells will never be continuously thrown in your face. Let's not pretend these things are something else in order to discredit the effort put into balancing the battle system.

Justin's Fatal Skills don't seem to work at all, while Willis' proc almost all the time.

So Willis has abilities that have a chance of sometimes inflicted status effects? I wouldn't know because I never used Willis in any of my playtime, but that seems pretty par for the course. If it's a skill that does damage with the chance of inflicting a status effect, it might not even be the skill not working but the RNG and the enemy's resistance. There's multiple steps that could all be to blame.

First off, you can't really know bosses' weaknesses before engaging them in a battle. You MUST fight them in order to do this, so you can learn them, RELOAD, then fight them again. HOWEVER, the boss can actually have multiple skills, that need to be countered, which pinpoints to SEVERAL OR MORE reloads in order to learn about him. It artificially prolongs the game, it makes it tedious, and it's generally really archaic system, which doesn't do the game good.

I also think this is rather silly. Reloading because you can't be afforded even one wasted turn isn't how this game functions. Also some enemies very clearly have certain elements affiliated with them and anyone with even a modicum of RPG experience knows the proper counter-element.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7663
author=Euphoniac
But you? Revengeful as you are, you just had to ruin Everlong's valuation average. Now it appears as if Everlong was as bad as or even worse than some super short game not build over 15 years like Everlong, but within 15 minutes - just because some busybody wants to be in the spotlight. Congratulations, you've obviously achieved your goal. Let me make it even easier for you considering your glorious second review in the future by offering you this template: "Random encounters, didn't like, one star."


This entire paragraph was completely unnecessary and childish. If you're just going to devolve to name calling, go and spend your energy writing a review of your own instead.

Sheesh. 3/5 stars isn't even that bad. It didn't even affect the game average since the only other review is just half a star higher, so I'm not sure where that first sentence came from.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4640
I was gonna say, 3 star isn't bad. It usually stands for a average.
author=unity
If you want to criticize a review, and you have legitimate criticism that isn't just "I think your opinion is wrong," then that's fine. For example, this review reads more like a rant than an actual comprehensive overview of the game that will be useful to prospective new players. Looking at this review, I have no idea what the game is about on any level except for the specific things the reviewer didn't like, so it's useless to me as it doesn't tell me if I'll enjoy the content present in the game. It pretty much requires you to either read doomed2die's review or have already played the game to make any meaningful decisions.

This is a poor review because it is laser-focused on issues the reviewer had with the game and ignores everything else. It is not poor because it contains the reviewer's options that you disagree with.


I apologise to DJC and to new players as well, because, well, it does seem like a rant. I wrote it after the optional boss kicked my ass with a specific gimmick skill (reversal) for 21st time in a row, so my head was in heat.
Nevertheless, I still completed my analysis and argumentation upon the balance system as well as gameplay features. And this is the reason I personally don't consider it poor. More like, specific, focusing on a special aspect of the game. I wanted DJC to know my thoughts, since I had a desire to deliver them to him for a long time.

author=Euphoniac
I don't think my point of view is difficult to understand. Look at all the features Everlong has to offer. The feature list alone is longer than the descriptions of most other games. Everlong isn't shitty garbage like 95 % of all other games on this site, instead it's packed with quality stuff.Maybe you would have agreed if you had completed the game (SiegfriedCalibur) or had played it at all (unity). Not even having completed Everlong is reason enough on its own to question your aptitude of reviewing this game.


I don't think you understand my point of view as well. I don't argue about features the game has to offer or the general quality it bears. I argue about a special part of the game, one that is very important to oldschool JRPGs.
Here's a tip, if you still don't get it - I consider Everlong the best RPG Maker 2003 game, as well as one of the best RPG Maker games EVER created. Does this take away my right to criticize or to ignore the flaws of the game I love? Obviously not. In fact, it would be beneficial for DJC to know, what people think of this game negatively in order to improve it.

Here's another tip - there is an ocean of difference between completing the game 100% and simply completing it. I completed the game two times, about to complete for the third time.

author=Euphoniac
But you? Revengeful as you are, you just had to ruin Everlong's valuation average. Now it appears as if Everlong was as bad as or even worse than some super short game not build over 15 years like Everlong, but within 15 minutes - just because some busybody wants to be in the spotlight. Congratulations, you've obviously achieved your goal. Let me make it even easier for you considering your glorious second review in the future by offering you this template: "Random encounters, didn't like, one star."


You are being silly right now. Stop.
Going with empty assumptions and deciding for me won't get you anywhere.

author=Corfaisus
I personally disagree with the review solely on the basis that it uses in-words like "proc". What does "proc" even mean? Both times they're used seem to imply different things. I'm confused.


Sorry, but that isn't what procing means at all. Procing means the chance of the skill working in various matters. Note, that I specifically used FATAL skills as a glaring example, of how broken it is. Let me explain in detail.
Justin's skill Lethal Sweep as well as Fatal Thrust, they don't proc insta-kill on enemies, while Willis' skill, such as Last Man Standing will work almost every time on any encounter.

Concerning other skills. I used the term in conjunction with Reversal skill. Let's take Blob, for example:
One encounter - he doesn't use Reversal.
Second encounter - he uses it at the end of the battle.
Third encounter - he uses it in the middle.
That is what *randomly* means.

author=Corfaisus
I also think this is rather silly. Reloading because you can't be afforded even one wasted turn isn't how this game functions. Also some enemies very clearly have certain elements affiliated with them and anyone with even a modicum of RPG experience knows the proper counter-element.


The problem isn't one turn. The problem is bosses having a myriad of status-inflicting spells + elemental skills. You need to be sufficiently prepared to cunter any threat. That's why you learn the boss, then RELOAD, then go for it for the second time with characters prepared. Examples:

Lixandru has Lance of Doom as her ultimate skill after angering. You can't know this on the first try. So you reload and equip Black Pearl. Same with Diablos. And Valkyrie too.
Blob (and Pandemonium too, I think) have Disaster skill, which inflicts a ton of effects - you can't really know them, until you are inflicted. You reload and equip your characters, etc. It's an archaic system, dating to the age of old FF.

Also thanks to people mentioning 3 stars is not bad. Indeed it is. In fact, if you scroll a bit higher, you will see my reasons why.
I apologize for having been rude. Everlong is one of the first RPG Maker games I've played and still one of my favorites. While I still think this game is heavily underrated, my real problem lies in the evaluation itself. Of course, I know why numbers/stars/etc. are used (to pander to the gaming industry, to give a quick overview, to engage people in heated discussions), yet I would very much prefer sheer descriptive reviews or ones without a numerical evaluation. Even though I know it's pointless to compare those subjective numbers, Everlong now having nearly the same valuation average as e.g. Durham Fantasy: Agartha (the same if this was the only review), a game much worse than Everlong, probably was what ticked me off.

@SiegfriedCalibur: If you (just) wanted to provide the developer with feedback, you could simply send him a message. Instead, you punish him for features other people enjoy, features that aren't objectively bad. I also don't like these boss battle mechanics, but I can see what the developer tried to achieve by implementing them. Thus, I would never massively devalue my score of the game just because of that. On the other hand, I'm shocked every time I thoroughly enjoyed a game and then realize: If I had to write an objective review, I would hand out a comparitively low score (compared to my enjoyment). Maybe that's why I've never written a review for a game on this site so far.

@unity: What I want to say can be misunderstood easily, so I'll try once again. I don't like ATB systems in RPGs if they don't feature a wait function. Consequently, I don't play RPGs with ATB systems that don't feature a wait function, even if it's the only thing "preventing" me from playing. This is by far more just than me playing the game, then writing a devastating review with the missing wait function as its main point of criticism. SiegfriedCalibur knew what he was getting into, so he should have avoided Everlong instead of writing a review out of frustration (which led to my reponse out of frustration). If he had played the game for the first time and had criticized unexpected or objectively flawed aspects like (fictive) an atrocious random encounter rate, sluggish controls or poorly implemented mini games, I wouldn't have said a word. In other words: I don't think reviews should only be positive - on the contrary. If a game that's theoretically right up my alley disappoints me, I will have no qualms to write a damning review. In short: I distinguish between games that are meant for me (but disappoint) and games that aren't meant for me. Since I read up extensively about potentially interesting games, I'm rarely disappointed and don't write reviews containing unfair criticism that could have been avoided if I had informed myself better. To admit to oneself: "I don't like this game mostly because of a feature only I can't stand", and thus to refrain from writing a slating is often times the more sensible solution.

Now that should be enough about different philosophies and mindsets. Maybe this review creates more buzz for Everlong than a lame five-stars counter review written by me could ever hope to accomplish.
You can quite easily disable the counterattack feature in the options menu of the latest version, and if you think that's too much of a cop out, you could just read the tactics section of the options menu: it will explain the damage formula of any attack used on the party.

FAKE EDIT: Actually, are you playing a recent version? Not to be condescending or presumptuous,but I can't help but think this reads like you're playing v3.27, which is vastly inferior to the completely re-balanced and reworked v3.30a-e, which has features that (I think) make most of your battle complaints moot. (I.E. the help section in the options menu, counterattack/difficulty settings,the rebirth system, etc.)
Thanks for the review SiegfriedCalibur! It's been awhile since a player posted a review, which I do appreciate, especially the criticism that helps improve the game when possible. You raise some excellent points about Everlong's design failures and weaknesses that I absolutely agree with.

Cliches - the original release was obscene in this respect. In the revisions I've tried to remove plot predictability and insert character complexity, but many planned story sequences were cut. The resulting ends were tied together in a generic manner just for a semblance of coherence to keep the story moving. The retcons also created a mess themselves. The game script would need a complete rewrite to address the situation. I'm most disappointed in the character arcs I never had a chance to include, which would have made the story more personal and engaging. Some of the writing is decent, but during my last play through I too cringed horrifically at times.

Bosses - definitely a joke for RPG veterans who know what they're doing, but I've had many frustrated players contact me about their difficulties, resulting in a nerfing trend over time. Bosses have fixed patterns in addition to random skills to reward player planning and strategy. The most devastating skills are almost always fixed to give players a chance to anticipate and cushion against unfair repetition. There needs to be recovery and regroup periods.

For example, Reversal as you mentioned is particularly nasty, but the Blob always casts it after Vulnerability, so players can prepare and actually use it to heal the team. Of course, a player doesn't know the pattern until after fighting the enemy once, just as they don't know how to prepare for elemental attacks or status effects. I REALLY wanted a plugin to allow changing equipment in battle without turn loss to mitigate this issue because I also disapprove of this mechanic. The assumption is players will at least equip their White Wizard with status and elemental protection to ensure healing and reviving in the face of the unknown. The rest of party can similarly be equipped defensively, or instead increase offense at the expense of being caught off-guard.

That wouldn't address enemy attack patterns, however, so I tried to make only optional bosses have surprises bordering on unfair. I admittedly got carried away with the length and complexity of these patterns, as well as the mechanics of some of the special skills. I often forget the damage formulas myself. That's why I added the Tactics help menu kalledemos mentioned, but that doesn't help players in the middle of battle. I also REALLY wanted scan skills to aid players in exploiting weaknesses and adjusting during battle. I did some preliminary planning, but implementation was not feasible even with DynRPG. Besides attack patterns and special skills, another issue you rightly criticized was counter attacks.

Counter Attacks - There's some serious over powered mechanics I tried to address with counter attacks. For example, Might makes physical attacks insane, so bosses usually have at least one skill to mitigate this enchantment, either by removal or damage (Might Makes Wrong). Initially these skills were part of fixed patterns only, but then I introduced the counter mechanism so enemies could respond immediately to player strategy. In older versions this was incredibly punishing, limited to using constantly triggered damage thresholds.

With DynRPG plugins, counters became more tailored, only triggered when specific skills or elements were used. This is still punishment for smart exploitation of enemy weaknesses, however, which many players have responded negatively to. My idea wasn't to stop players from using these weaknesses, but to encourage them to plan around the resulting backlash. For example, Glen can use Ice Slash and Vetu his best Ice spell against Liquid Flame for massive damage, but this will result in the counter Backfire, a truly devastating return of damage on the next turn. Therefore, these high damage skills should only be used on the same turn during a soft spot in the enemy's attack pattern, when the party is at full health, and in good position to regroup after the counter (Meredith is alive with plenty of AP for healing spells, and Justin can use items to supplement). This is admittedly an overly complex strategy, and clearly not fun for many players.

The easiest response to the counter attack grievances was to give players control of the counter mechanic and adjust it as they saw fit. In the options menu under custom monster balance, the counter attack rate can be set from 0-100%. Eliminate counters entirely and blast the bosses away if that's most enjoyable for you! The difficulty levels also have different counter percentages too. Only Hard Mode has 100% counter rate. I would have liked more ways for players to address the special skills often used as counters, such as reflecting Backfire damage, or breaking an enemy's will temporarily through accumulated damage so it cannot counter for X amount of turns, but that's beyond the engine's mechanics.

Magic vs Physical - in older versions Magic reigned supreme, but then Might came along and made Physical damage ridiculous. It was difficult to address this with the base RM2K3 formulas, since I was stuck with a particular attribute tag setup to make normal attacks scale higher (weapon multipliers are used). Thanks to DynRPG I was able to change the skills damage formula slightly to improve the Magic attribute's effect, and I overhauled how Attack and Magic change the power of equipped skills (different versions of the same skill depending on the hero's statistics, rather than level).

However, dual wielding and increasing the Attack stat limit again increased physical attack power. In response, Vetu was given the Nucleus item allowing him to double cast, but it has to be the same spell, and it takes his accessory slot (I would have liked more equipment slots). You actually can make Vetu's magic insanely powerful early in the game by ignoring defense and equipping him only with the highest Magic boosting armor, and once you learn his non-elemental spells he's actually better against enemies with high physical damage resistance or immunity, the number of which was increased in the recent update.

Vixen and Drakeor's magical summons fare worse because they cannot equip Nucelus (engine limitation with battle combo mechanic) and their spells are designed as attack all, geared for large groups rather than bosses (another engine limitation, only one target type per skill). I brainstormed additional mechanics where Drakeor could transform into dragon forms or Vixen into avatars of the gods with single attack skills, so earning their summons were more rewarding and battle effective, but these additions were never implemented.

Ultimately I agree magic doesn't balance with physical, especially at the end game. I feel the damage algorithms hamstrung me on this issue. I REALLY would have liked critical hits with magic, or double damage from reflecting spells off yourself.

Character Skills - In general I agree most skills are useless the majority of the time. They are too specific use and costly. Dispel is for rare situations where you must remove boons from bosses; regular enemies usually die too quickly for wasting a turn when you could just deal damage. I would have liked a dual effect where they also lower resistances, but there are engine limits to concurrent effects. Fatal attacks only work against weak enemies you can usually one-shot anyways. I wanted the chance of inflicting Fatal, or other status effects, to increase as heroes powered up, so you could force conditions on otherwise nearly immune monsters if you're strong enough. Again, beyond the engine's limits. By the way, ALL Fatal attacks have the same probability of working, so if it seemed Justin's skills were ineffective versus Willis', that was really bad luck.

I REALLY wanted to make physical skills base their damage off regular attacks, with a small cost for the additional status or elemental effect. This is not possible even with DynRPG because of the aforementioned weapon multipliers. Another thought was an entirely different cost system for physical skills based on building adrenaline during a fight through actions. This way it would take a few turns before the more powerful skills were accessible, but weaker ones could be more effectively spammed or used in a pinch. Not realistic to implement this with the default battle system unfortunately.

As for the other specific skills you mentioned, mass revival is rather over powered, so it never occurred to me to allow White Wizards such a skill. Phoenix is costly to cast and must be earned through a difficult bonus dungeon and optional boss. It also gives Vixen a unique and powerful skill to recommend her specifically. I included an abundance of single and multiple revive items to supplement.

Keen does have two dispel skills, that was an oversight in the last update! I recently changed Prismatic Eye to Dispel for the Fulgora fight in case Drakeor didn't have a spear equipped and couldn't dispel with Jump, thus dooming the party. I'll have to give Keen a different Skill Scroll than Dispel Slash now, thanks for catching that! You could argue Meteor Rain is expensive, so the regular Breaks for Glen are worth using if you only want to inflict a single condition, but if AP is no issue you're correct many earlier skills become redundant.

Rebirth Mechanic - I've never received any complaints about Purgatory before. I removed the Game Over result except from boss fights so that players were not punished if they forgot to save or went unexpectedly unprepared into a dungeon. Losing progress is extremely discouraging. If there are players out there who would prefer a hardcore experience, however, I could include an option to turn off Purgatory. I originally intended the use of Purgatory to necessitate a boss fight against the Grim Reaper before the player is allowed to proceed to the final dungeon, but that was cut.

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I hope my (way too long) remarks shed some light on my thought process and decision making that led to the shortcomings in Everlong you reasonably criticize. Regretfully, many are the result of engine limitations, lack of time, or years of revisions. The game is so large and complex at this point it's difficult to address fundamental issues, but hopefully the recent version 3.30 and Beta Patches have made some strides. I'd really have to switch to a new, more flexible engine to make the game I wanted to and address all the issues currently outstanding.

As to the discussion about reviews in general, let's remember Everlong is just an amateur video game made by a single person using a productive but limited engine. Review scores aren't that important, certainly when compared to valid constructive criticism. There shouldn't be any ego involved or need to compare with other games. I've tried to allow players the ability to play the game to their best enjoyment (Story Mode, custom monster balance, adjusting encounter and experience rates, etc), but if you're not having fun don't force yourself to continue playing! All games have their faults, and enjoyment is subjective.

@Euphoniac
I'm glad you really like and enjoy Everlong! I've tried to make the updates of the last few years player oriented. Many features are the result of player suggestion. Why don't you write up a review too and let us know what you think the strengths of the game are, and the areas you think need improvement? I know it can take awhile to gather and type your thoughts for a review, but I'm always interested in what players have to say, and do what I can within reason to address the glaring issues and bugs.
author=Euphoniac
I apologize for having been rude

No problem, man. I too had this irritating feeling inside, when someone shits on the game I love. It's far too familiar.
I still stand my ground on gimmick skills, though.

author=kalledemos
You can quite easily disable the counterattack feature in the options menu of the latest version, and if you think that's too much of a cop out, you could just read the tactics section of the options menu: it will explain the damage formula of any attack used on the party.

FAKE EDIT: Actually, are you playing a recent version?

Yeah, I know about them. Problem is, you still can't defend against skills like Backfire (if it's used as a default, not counter skill) and Reversal. My main concern is with these. Anything else can be adapted or avoided.

I definitely am.

@DJC

How about implementing a special item that protects against Backfire or Reversal then? Like, nullifying their effect? There can be at least one in the game for such occasions. It will make battles more bearable.
author=SiegfriedCalibur
How about implementing a special item that protects against Backfire or Reversal then? Like, nullifying their effect? There can be at least one in the game for such occasions. It will make battles more bearable.


That's a good idea that should not be difficult to implement. I'll add an accessory in the next update that grants immunity or reduces damage from special attacks, particularly Reversal and Backfire.

Reversal was meant to be dealt with by learning enemy patterns and never healing the entire team to full health. Unanticipated, it's an unfair skill. It's easy to forget or lose your place in a long pattern too, but the penalty is often a total wipe. It's also against conventional wisdom to not keep HP at maximum if possible.

Mitigating Backfire damage can be done through intentionally limiting attack output. This can be achieved by not casting Might, not reducing enemy defenses (Armor Break), or equipping lower damage weapons. These tactics again run counter to usual strategy, however, and apparently are another unwelcome addition to battle strategy.

I just remembered when I increased the damage cap, the resulting potential increase in damage returned against the player via Backfire and Retaliate was a major balance concern. Thanks for your feedback, I will definitely address these skills and any others that have become too extreme. I was also worried about the potential for exceedingly high damage from other skills like God's Eye that use hero statistics in calculations, which were also uncapped in a recent update.
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