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Antadin

Congratulations on the spotlight!

Wrapping Up Major Milestones

I think people tend to cluster around whichever games service they're most familiar with--and sometimes they do this with such passion that they won't pick up games on any other service.

My go-to is Steam. Even though I try not to have a bias, I would probably hesitate over a free itch.io key.

I don't know enough about the time/effort/money cost to put a game up on different distribution services, but if it's low enough that it doesn't seriously interfere with development and support, it's probably worth trying a few places and then comparing the sales data to guide future decisions.

Fear and Hunger

No worries!

Also, I updated the previous comment a few times yesterday, so if you haven't looked at it lately, check to make sure you got everything.

Edit: More stuff

-From the character select screen "Bearing no burden on such things as morality and ethics, gives dark priest an edge in blood magic." This should be something like "Being unburdened by such things as morality and ethics gives the dark priest an edge in blood magic."

-Also from the character select screen "Hardened in the freezing winds of the north, outlander is an epitome of survival." The 'an' should be 'the'

-Whoah. Just encountered The Merchant. I am actually kind of amazed by the sheer volume of hidden content in this game. I keep running into stuff I've never seen before.

-Green herbs don't cure food poisoning. Is that intentional?

-The tentacle whip status effect from battle with the manebas persists after battle ends. Is this supposed to happen? Green herb doesn't cure this one either.

-White vial can be used even when you don't have any status effects that it can cure. Bug? It is, however, correctly giving you glass vials when you use it, so that is awesome.

Tallest-Reed

Okay, I tried a couple of variations on the puzzle with teammates blocking off boxes and blocking off lines from the sidelines, and pausing to move my teammates around to cover whereever Reed was walking, and none of it works.

Even with the explanation, I don't understand how to do this piece of the puzzle.

Edit: okay, pushing on since I can't figure out the puzzle.

-I'm finding myself skipping a bunch of random combats between locations. The levels of the enemies are too low to provide any challenge, but they still eat up a bunch of mp to kill, and I'm swimming in lockpicks, so there's no justifiable reason to confront them.

-Similar issue in the revisit of Snowberry Woods, compounded by the hidden chests and narrow chokepoints. This area felt like a trudge with the old enemies, rather than things that could present threat to the party.

-Melody's battle sprite is great

-Wound still overrides burning

-Fleshfly's bite does nothing, and I've also seen them use it on themselves.

-The combats in the marsh are really well balanced. No damage-sponge enemies, but everything provides a nice mix of threats

-Goblin drops in a single hit?

-So, I looked at sky's crit chance, since she gets that crit+ bow, and hers can go as high as 25, whereas Reed's is capped at 20. Is this a bug? This now seems like a bug.

-Bat at a distance uses a skill called "buff". Was this supposed to be it flexing its bat muscles, or is this a generic spell name?

-Oh thank god that's the last of the marsh chests

-Squid dropped a little too easily. Melody hit it for 1.3k, and then Sky followed up for 300, and it dropped on turn 1.

-Thoughts on Conjuring and Summoning magic: neither is worth the Skill Point investment. Summoning is worth maybe dipping into a single 1 Skill Point spell for the ability to throw up a weak shield against damage, but the summons don't seem to do adequate DPS or heals, even passively, to justify investing the number of points you need to invest in order to be semi-decent at summoning. At the same time, even conjuring major weapons (which is another significant investment of Skill Points) provides only a minor bonus--trivial compared to a buff skill like Rally or a DPS skill like Flare 3, Lightning 3, or Power Attack--and it eventually gets eclipsed by your gear.

-I love the underwater exploration sections. I haven't seen any other rpgs on the market that do this, save for maybe FFX, and I like the feeling of the ones in Tallest Reed way better.

-Trench Eels are HP sponges, but do no damage. I put about 1k damage into one, and it dealt 4 damage to me?

-One-shotted the Sudden Presence. Is this supposed to happen?

-Okay, so I killed all the ghosts instead of throwing away the stone, and it game-overed me? Is that supposed to happen? It's really not too hard to screen-clear all the ghosts if you have anyone with rank 3 lightning magic, let alone rank 4 or rank 3 plus charge

Still more notes:

-CRASHBUG: Sky used a weak potion of sorcery in the ghost battle where you're supposed to throw away the stone. Same summon weapon equippable crash that's been caused by other potions in other areas. Other types of potions (censers of sorcery, censers of healing) seem to work fine in this battle.

-Trick Shot seems to deal nonexistant damage. Sky can deal about 100+ with Power Shot 1 against the ghosts in hominid form. Trick Shot deals 18 damage against the same. Since it doesn't cause status effects like Power Shot, Trick Shot feels like its dps should really get a buff.

-Snowberry Woods gets more tedious with every mandatory backtrack. A few cutscene skip-to-locations would be really helpful here. Also, I don't think I've found a single ironwood nut on the ground in any of my playthroughs, although allegedly they are supposed to be here.

-Okay, I equipped a Fired Clay Shield on reed, and that brought my crit chance up to 30. As far as I can math it, that;s factoring in the shield, the mempo, the bladesman level 2 perk, and none of the three bolette blues I used.

-re: the grid puzzle, you can revisit the area with different numbers of party members. Are there certain numbers that make parts of the puzzle unsolvable? I don't think you can do it when it's just you and Vigil, for example.

-The map icon rename to fox village is a nice touch.

-Overall, I've found I had less need of food items in ch 3 than anywhere else in the game. Combats weren't really threatening, but at the same time enemy hp was lower, meaning I didn't have to sandbag everything with high damage specials to get through routine fights in a few turns. I think the difficulty on this chapter could be turned up overall, but I'm not sure the best way to do that. This is partly an rpgmaker engine limitation, I think, one that a lot of rpgmaker games seem to get around with aggressive use of status effects, but it's also a TES issue. My biggest gripe with everything from Morrowind on is that I never found the games challenging, since combat was mostly just whacking your numbers against someone else's numbers. Tallest Reed has a damn amazing world-feel, since everything is from the Argonian perspective, and the first chapter combats where pure dps is not the objective felt great. However, bog-standard dps-based combats throughout the game kind of drag in comparison--especially against random enemies. For the third chapter stuff, without bringing out lots of fight gimmicks, I think a mix of higher single-damage attacks and AoE wound effects would up the challenge without dramatically changing overall balance--and this could help to inject a little more tension into the chapter, too. Of course, even if this is desirable to implement, I have no idea what the time cost would be. That could quite reasonably be prohibitive to making a balance change.

-Nice nods to Morrowind in the dialog on the mountain. "No one person can do all of that."

-Nice obligatory Argonian maid reference

-You can't run from battle against clannfear. 12 out of 12 attempts to flee, all failed.

-Clannfear and scamps have vanishingly little HP. I'm one-shotting scamps with Reed, and Reed is...damage challenged.

-The mountain seems really bare. The layout is cool and looks natural, but it doesn't have much to interact with. The only treasure chest I spotted seemed to be completely inaccessible without a bunch of backtrack, so I didn't bother.

-Tried increasing Reed's Bladesman to level 3 to see if it would stack into the crit equation. It does not. Bladesman and Bolete Blue seem to only contribute up to a maximum of 20% crit. Everything after that can only be provided by gear.

-Re: the Daedroth. Melody one-shotted it on turn 2. It got off exactly one attack in the boss battle, a Weaken, which it missed with.

-GAMEFREEZE BUG: Right after Reed says there's a shortcut and Sandalwood arrives, the event breaks and everyone just stands there forever. I cannot proceed past this point.

More Stuff

-Poison doesn't apply when you use Precise Strike. You have to use poison and then do a regular attack. Bug?

-Caemlyn has thousands of potions of healing? I think it might actually be impossible to DPS him with Reed. Is the only way out of that fight to take out Sandalwood?

-That backtrack down the mountain is really long

-It's a little weird that Hunter and Scout fade out like ghosts after the talk underwater

-I was not prepared for the Flint and Fire-Eyes bit. This is surreal and awesome. Literally every detail of this sequence is amazing.

-The armor Mourning-Cloth sells is not equippable, although the weapons and accessories are. Bug.

-The call backs to chapter 1 are great, especially re: the game's themes and how everything feels different with Caemlyn telling the story.

- FWIW, the theme of letting go of your past makes sense now. It didn't fit until the turning point on the edge of the waterfall, but now it's clear that Reed's attachment to the very particular way things used to be has turned toxic.

-Was I supposed to find Melody before the finale? She isn't part of the crowd on the peak.

-The soundtrack is still really strong.

-Minor Bug: Hauling up one of the platforms on the peak during the finale temporarily turns the screen to daytime. It's the northeastern-most platform, and I think it only happens if you slip past the group and go all the way to the end.

-Apparently in the finale you *can* run from Dreugh.

-"No monsters here." Torchie, there's an imp standing right in front of me.

-CH 3 felt like it went a little slow in places, and the tone felt like a not-quite-right replica of the tone in CH 1, but narratively I think it needed that. As for the slow part, I think adding some skips ahead on the mountain, upping the fight difficulty / rewards, and decreasing the frequency of enemy spawns (especially on the mountain. dear gods) would make the chapter flow really quickly. I genuinely like it, even if the game is moving away from how perfect everything fit together in CH 1. Honestly, it's a testament to the storytelling that that move got under my skin like it did.

-Progress bug? "We have to take this rope up top to fix the lift." Get the rope, go up top, examine the lift. "The lift is broken and can't be used." I've tried examining every tile, so I think maybe the event is broken?

Tallest-Reed

Oh. Oh man. That did not read at all, and I don't think I would've figured that out on my own.

Tallest-Reed

The grid game's pretty cool. I'm at the puzzle where there's an arrow pointing left and, no occupied square, and the line goes from right to left.

Tallest-Reed

More feedback:

-CRASHBUG: using a potion of healing in the chase to catch up with the wagon while in a battle with wolves causes a no method error "summon_weapon_equippable_by"

-"A pattering of adaedric footfall" should be 'a daedric footfall'

-Boosts stack between chapters aww yessssssssss

-In the chapter 3 map where you meet Melody you can walk into the bush on the top right and just vanish. It's kind of magical.

-I really like that the contents of the underwater cave on shell beach carries over from the first chapter. The netch is still there, guarding an empty chest. Hopefully this means I can get the treacle from the jar in the village and actually make the lightning wand this time around.

-Wait. No. Has the treacle pot moved on to more treacle-y pastures?!

-BUG: I've gotten everyone together to talk about what happened, and my goal is to check out the arboretum, but when I try to leave the village via the east exit of the screen with the big pond, the message I get is "we've got to get everyone together to talk about what happened". Leaving via the south exit works fine.

-I think I wasn't as tuned-in to it last time I played through chapter 2, because the little flourishes are much more subtle there, but the writing in this is consistently amazing, and I'm really digging the opening to chapter 3 so far.

EDIT: More stuff

-A Shalk lit me on fire somehow. Not sure quite how that happened.

-It's interesting that all the encounters on watermill rock ch3 are scaled to the same level as they were in ch1. I mean, it makes sense that an entire ecosystem wouldn't just upgrade to match the Argonians, but it makes random battles feel a little weird.

-Aaaaand I found a Dreugh

-Wait a second. The driftwood stick and treated silver didn't even stay in my inventory between chapters. Was it supposed to?

-Only two of the books in the writing spot are still examinable

-Crit chance values add weirdly. I've got 3 Bolette Blue bonuses (+15), Bladesman lv2 (+15), and Leather Mempo (+5). The game tells me the total is +20. Is there a maximum ceiling on crit chance? I don't think getting higher crit values is broken, since DPS from 1hand weapons is really low.

-Pleioshell dropped in two Power Attack 3's from Torchie. Total of around 1.4k damage? It felt like he folded really easily.

-That noise the fox makes is...unsettling.

-Whoah, the armor-crafting menu is awesome.

-The "We've got to gather everyone together to see what happened" text is permanently locked on that eastern exit out of the village pond area

-The puzzle box part where you're supposed to walk the grid in the opposite direction for the first time might be busted. I had my other two party members off the grid, facing in the correct direction, and traced the correct route and variations on that route just in case, and nothing.

Fear and Hunger

More feedback:

-"Why would they need an outside sword like yourself to bust inside their own dungeons?" from the mercenary's intro should probably be something like "Why would they need an outside sword like you to bust into their own dungeons?"

-Mercenary can't skin the dead horse outside the dungeon. Should it be skinnable?

-Basement 3, left side of the map, you can walk into a wall on the tile below the crate on the middle-left side of the room.

-Got killed by a guard via tackling my HP to 0 (again, three swings and three misses at the head. Does plate armor factor into accuracy?), then there was no cutscene and I woke up in the flesh tunnel. Should there have been a cutscene here? Should HP = 0 have just killed me?

-Basement 3 "Your dark descent is just in it's beginning steps" that should be "its".

-Basement 3: you can walk south off the map all the way on the far left side.

-"Everything is cold wet and stinks repulsive" from the flesh tunnel. This should be "Everything is cold, wet, and stinks repulsively."

-Can't jump down the pit while a crawling body?

-Guards are feeling way tougher in this release than in previous ones. Because attacks all seem to miss the head unless you wait for the yellow exclamation point to show up when you've destroyed all their other bodyparts, and because taking out their legs doesn't stop them from tackling, and because they tackle even after taking a fatal blow, I shot a guard with a bow twice, then went into battle with full health against it, and it still took me down via tackling with pure HP damage. I'm not sure what the accuracy formula is on attacking the head, but it feels more frustrating than before.

-The intro text crawl for every character has "seeing it's" which should be "seeing its"

-You can walk through the wall to the left in basement 3 in the mauler's rest area.

-Everyone has hunger and sanity gauges! This is great. It balances having a huge party against scavenging for resources. I super like this.

-Face guard, guard is not alert, set down a beartrap, open the menu and exit it again, guard teleports into combat with me without me having stepped off of the beartrap.

-Rotten Meat interfaces with the old fear and hunger meters, not the new ones. It also does not let you select who's receiving it and it does not restore hunger.

-I'm experiencing semi-random framerate drops, usually around the time the soundtrack loops. Not sure what's causing it, but it's pretty consistent.

-Using a Blue Vial does not give you a Glass Vial when you have at least one Glass Vial. Same is also true for Water Vials.

-No idea what Greater Necromancy and Mastery over Insects do, but they certainly sound awesome.

-Not sure if giving the girl the doll triggers its event if you pick it up first, then get the girl, then equip the doll on her. I did that and I can equip it and unequip it easily from her.

-Framerate drops don't seem to be strictly related to the music. They seem to be happening around guards?

-Still an invisible tile on the upper right side of the prison that blocks movement.

-It's a little inconvenient to have using a food item quit you out of the menu, especially when you have more than one party member and you need to use a bunch at once. Is there a way to have it let you stay in the menu?

-Barrels in the second level of the mines (the one where the knight is being sexually assaulted by cave dwellers) can only be examined from the side, not the top of the bottom. Not sure why this is.

-Lower crate on the middle right of that same screen (just past where the knight was being assaulted) cannot be interacted with

-Lost left arm due to a yellow mage's hurting spell while walking past it. Went to inventory, shield still equipped.

-Smoking opium and tobacco goes through the old fear and hunger menu. These do restore the main character's Mind, though.

-Second encounter with pocketcat is really cool, as is the cavedweller village. And finding the knight before the village is also really nice, since in makes the abundance of combat in the village survivable if you have some healing stockpiled.

-Not sure how the god of the depths works. Threw one ghoul into its mouth, no benefit. Tried praying, nothing. Not even a hint of what it requires.

-Not sure how I did it, but the game seems to have glitched out and now I always have 2 explosive vials no matter how many I use in combat. Praise be to Gor-Goroth.

-Explosive vials don't do a lot of damage to ghosts.

Well, that was a pretty good run. I'll try to play a bit more later, but first I have a bunch of writing responsibilities to attend to.

EDIT: Even more stuff

-Nitroglycerin powder's item description says "you can get something our of this". Should be 'out of this'

-Caverns, lower middle, next to the corpse pile and the eggs, there's a random impassable spot just up and left from the bridge and down and right from the corpse pile.

-Pathing on ghosts isn't great. I've had one try to follow me by walking straight up into a wall and then continue standing there, not sure why his approach wasn't working.

-Summoning a blood golem with a party of four causes the "blood golem climbs out of your puddle of blood" text to appear, and then the golem doesn't appear unless you lose a party member in that combat

-When the blood golem attacks, it turns into this pixel-art anime chibi thing for like a fraction of a second, which is totally hilarious but maybe not in keeping with the tone of the game.

-WEIRD CRASHBUG: Killed the ghost knight by destroying its body, lost my other arm and D'Arce and the Girl and a Ghoul died in the process, examined the plinth, then hit 'x' to go to inventory. Game popped up a big window that said loading. Then

Loading Error
Failed to load: img/pictures/_1.png

There's a 'retry' button, but it just repeats the error. It is impossible to move or exit out of this, so I had to quit the game and restart.

-"There are bugs crawling between the vines. You can hear them whisp" the rest of this text is cut off

-One of the urns in the part of the vine maze that you can get to unexpectedly by falling through the floor is not a searchable object. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful in pinpointing this one, but I am hella lost.

-There's no way to dismiss ghouls, short of sacrificing one or getting it deliberately killed, but it'd be nice to be able to just let go of a ghoul in order to take on the Outlander or the Knight.

-Poison and Bleed damage no longer apply while you're walking around.

-Except poison seems like it kicked in on a ghoul when changing screens? I have no idea how these status effects work outside of battle.

-Crow Mauler's one-shot peck, with no coin-flip, no nothing to stop it, still feels a little strong.

-Holy crap there's a dungeon inside of Ma'habre?! This is the coolest.

-"The chains hanging from the ceiling are waiting for a sacrifice" I have two ghouls in my party, but I can't hang them here to unjam the levers?

-The Red Man's ankle-grab seems like an unavoidable instadeath given how many hp its arms have and therefore how long the battle is going to be. In a long battle where you have to periodically flip a coin or lose the game, whether or not the player can win seems purely a function of luck.

Edit: more stuff

-mousebug still exists, where sometimes you get stuck only able to target one location until you move your mouse around the screen a bit

-It's weird that the rack in mahabre only works with human party members. You can sacrifice ghouls basically everywhere else, so it's odd that the gods are finnicky about it this particular time.

-Also, the boss battle with the thing in the pool of blood. That's All-Mer, right? And is there a way to beat it that doesn't involve getting lucky enough to stockpile explosive vials?

Edit: still more stuff

-The wolf orgy doesn't seem to involve the player character, and also it interacts with the old fear and hunger meters. It doesn't seem to restore anything.

-Bunny orgy and resting in the crow bed don't cure bleeding

-Walking over the top right hole in the first map of the area with all the roots causes your party caterpillar to vanish. You don't lose any party members, though, and you can't choose to jump down this hole. The other holes you can jump down after avoiding the trap, but this one seems bugged.

-"You see no point in skinning the Crow Mauler". I dunno. What about catharsis?

-Stones are OP, but please don't fix them. In fact, I wish you didn't have to dive all the way into the mines to get them. They would make early game battles like the ones against the guards actually possible without using an explosive vial, bear trap, or multiple arrows.

-You can walk off the map with the Iron Shakespeare (which is a badass name) on *either side* of the door to the south. I found this out because I couldn't find Shakespeare, and this is because it had walked off the map and gotten stuck.

-All you get off the shakespeare is a duplicate copy of the cell keys f3?

-PROGRESS BUG: the chained man you used to be able to interact with to start the boss fight that ends the demo can no longer be interacted with. Instead, there's an impassable square right in front of him.

-When Ragnvaldr is an npc, you can't fire arrows with his bow outside of combat. You also can't equip the bow on the dark priest, meaning you'll never be able to use arrows with a dark priest player character.

-CRASHBUG: after defeating the Tormented One in its gear assembly, pressing X to enter the menu causes the game to pop up a big "Loading" window and try to load img/pictures/_1.png . When it can't, you can retry forever, or just accept your despair.

-This is as far as I'm able to play with the demo in its current state, since progression is bugged, but I think the game is coming along really well. It's still just as difficult and atmospheric, but there's more of it. Combat is weirdly nuanced, and orbits around a kind of economy, where you spend the things you have (hit points, sanity, ghouls, items, party members) to progress and hopefully recoup your losses. However, this system feels fresh, and it feels appropriate for the game too. On top of that, stuff like killing the tormented One makes me want to know a lot more about the broader world this game inhabits. The setting has a ton of potential, and I want to explore more of it.

Fear and Hunger

New feedback:

-Red Vial doesn't work on the Crow Insignia doors? Are these related to the mauler?!

-Level three basement, in the corridors to the left and right of the entrance, you can stroll right off the map by walking to the south

-I really dig the new basement side-area

-Level 2 basement, the stack of three crates right in the middle next to the heap of bodies, cannot be interacted with

-The manebas is a great enemy. Although I noticed that when I dealt 241 damage to his head, the head never vanished. He finished all of his tentacle attacks for the round, and then combat ended. Bug?

-I really like the new hunger and mind system

-"Why were you prisoned here" should be "Why were you imprisoned here?" during the dialog with the mercenary in the jail cell

-'The mercenary has left your party without you noticing it' this is awesome

-New story elements feel great and add a lot to the feeling and replayability of the game

-Save room with a coin flip? I 100% approve, and I deliberately rested until I lost the flip to see what the penalty was. The penalty is awesome.

-Did combat formulas get reworked? I cut off Crow Mauler's murder arm, then missed its head four times in a row, then it one-shotted me with a peck. No coin-flip allowed, no nothing.

In any case, this new content looks really cool. I'm going to be swamped with writing and editing work this weekend, but I'll try to play a bit more as soon as I have the chance.

Tallest-Reed

More Feedback:

-Boss battle against the Hellkites feels really good. Having a win condition that's not straight-up DPS-based works really well for both balance and game-feel and the individual kites are tough enough that you have to actually try in order to kill them. I'm glad I tried a build for Vigil where I don't just napalm everything, since it made the encounter way more interesting.

-Spadetails hit really hard when you first encounter them. 130 damage, and they go first unless you've built pretty aggressively for speed and/or damage reduction. Their low HP doesn't really offset this, since they can kill most of a two-person party before that party can act.

-BUG: Encountered a fish that spawned on land on the third screen of Shell Beach. Battle takes place in the water.

-BUG: Southeastern most cliffside map, southeastern most palm tree, the tree trunk can be walked through by both lizardpeople and crabs

-NITPICK: In 'Bolete blue" the Blue isn't capitalized. In all the other dyes, both words are capitalized.

-I had Ironwood Brown made as a reward for getting the spring water. I used it, but it does not show up under Boosts on the status page. I'm pretty sure it was factored in, and the game said its effects would be permanent, but does this imply the bonuses from Boosts are temporary? They won't carry over into the next Watermill Rock chapter?

-Silver ore respawns at the burrow. Is this supposed to happen?

-Of the three Bretons that attack Reed at the notice board, the one at the top walks away sideways.

-Small bonus dungeon still not implemented in the crypt?

-BUG: Random battle wolf teleports across the map to attack the players. Escaping the battle causes the wolf to keep moving for a bit, then suddenly stop and spin like it's been successfully escaped from.

-Linegard's estate is screen-tear-a-palooza

-CRASHY THE CRASHBUG: Using a healing potion in the 'battle' with the beggar blocking the road produces the following:

NoMethodError: undefined method 'summoned_weapon_equippable_by?' for nil:NilClass

Script ' Arrow_Actor_SummonWeapon' line 19: NoMethodError occurred.

Also, I remember there was supposed to be a way to pay the beggar to leave, but that doesn't seem to be an option. You can only wait or attack and his dialog just loops.