It's been quite a while since Puzzle Combat came out. We've had ample time to experiment around and see how it's changed the face of combat in this game. It's a really interesting concept, the stun lock idea, and how you make decisions between deflecting Strong attacks and hitting Weak points.
But due to the short pace of Jungle fights, I regret to joke that the most significant impact it has made on my adventuring is that I used to press E and then 5 to spam Jungle fights, but now I press E and then Z.
How about you guys? Does anyone have a radically different experience with it?
Yes. Yes I do.
When I am spamming jungle fights I press E* and then F. Very different.
Or sometimes... because they're there, and kinda funny... I do pick me a target. The result's the same. In one round, the monster's dead or I am.
Thing is, if this ever changes -- if the underlying battle engine changes to make fights last long enough to allow stun sequences to be a significant factor for high-DK players** -- much of the rest of the game will also need to be re-thought.
* E, because I'm usually waiting for a Danquest encounter or trying to reduce an outpost's threat level. Either way, I want to maximize my number of fights rather than speed through the levels. But the result's not any different for the tougher fights, and higher rank doesn't make fights last longer, either. (Bastard rank would make it a tenth of a round, if it could!)
** Though I haven't noticed any long fights even with Junebug, whom I've kept as a 2nd level rookie.
Lately, playing as a robot (my first DK as a robot and MOST DEFINITELY MY LAST THIS IS HORRIBLE OMG*) I'm using it.
And of course I adore the various amusing 'strike bodyparts'. The Cigar is a good one. So is the Crush on the Watcher.
Those I LOVE.
Otherwise, yeah I'm fleeing with R, hitting D or sometimes, sometimes choosing a number.
Granted, I'm at DK 15, which is pretty much nothing compared to you two I'm sure.
* I can't do any meaningful building. Multiple monsters kill me immediately. Those are really my main complaints. The flavour text and all that is pretty neat, but for doing my relatively normal buildy things it makes me want to slit my wrists. Thus, unless RP FORCES me to (I try to be method and actually play the race I'm 'playing') I will never play as a robot again.
Personally, I use it from time-to-time, usually when I'm not in a hurry and have time to enjoy it, or am about to be killed and a stun sequence would save my hide. It's moreso a 'use it if you want to, don't if you don't' sort of thing for me though, I don't notice any real difference unless I'm in a tight spot. And usually, I discover the sequences because the autofighting engine did it for me.
I don't use it, but I do think that I die randomly more often since it came out, because of the strong attacks. I don't think it makes fighting any more interesting.
When I wrote that parts of the game would need to be re-thought I was thinking mostly about Onslaught. That's expecting players to slaughter hundreds of monsters in an evening -- which is fine if each monster takes two seconds. Quantity versus quality... if each monster kill required twenty seconds from a player, the OST would have some difficulty, I expect, getting ten times as many recruits.
Then there's the way xp awards shift the numbers of monsters for each level as the DK count rises. At 145 DKs, most of my time each run is now spent fighting level 1 monsters. That's all right when it's 'click-BAM' each time, but if each fight took long enough for stun sequences to kick in, I'd be seeing, and having to focus on, the same twenty creatures over and over and over again. This would not improve my playing experience.
Many of the Hall of Fame lists would also become much harder for new players to advance in, giving an unfair advantage to those of us who racked up scores in the old system.
Puzzle Combat isn't going to be abandoned. As I understand it, it's a foretaste of what we'll get in Season Three -- after a full reset, with a brand new combat engine, and with all of the things that you mention (along with many others) being indeed rebalanced to produce a game with a very different feel to it.
No doubt that new system will turn out to have its flaws, too. But they'll be different flaws, and we will be able to spend endless enjoyable hours here in the forum, analyzing how that, in its turn, can be improved!
I can say that I only bother with it on blocking the strong attacks, the rest of the time I go round by round on confusing insults.
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