This was my first test weekend, so I got to experience the tutorial and intro bots match completely fresh. My two biggest thoughts:
A few points on the tutorial:
How was your first experience in Atlas playing the tutorial and then bots?
My experience in the test week four has been amazing. From getting utterly decimated when i first jumped into a bot match thinking i could pick up things like they were from test week three but i was so wrong. The combination of the new Guis, interface, and the introduction of building decks for armies amazed me. This led to me looking at the tutorial, and it was very straight forward with the learning curve of Atlas. Along with the introduction of core game mechanics. After the tutorial i managed to get back into tempo of the game. Bot matches are by far one of the funnest things to do with friends in the atlas community.
Did they help you learn the game?
In combination of the tutorial and the bots they give you a great base to start off. They also emphasis the necessary need for cooperation.
Were they fun to play against?
I've had hours of fun playing against the Bots and they provided many opportunities to mess around or be very serious about the game.
Were you confused about anything at the end of the tutorial or bot games?
No not at all. They were instrumental for me to relearn the game since the third play test. It seemed like a brand new game entirely when i jumped back into it.
How was your first experience in Atlas playing the tutorial and then bots? Did they help you learn the game? Were they fun to play against? Were you confused about anything at the end of the tutorial or bot games?
The tutorial was good for the aspects of the game that it introduced directly, via voice/interaction. I felt confident that I learned them well. Issues:
When the voice cut out as I clicked around, I felt pretty alarmed/confused.
When I saw the cues on the right side of the screen, I didn't feel I had time or need to look at them. I didn't think they would provide essential information. Consequently, when I tried the intro bot game, I was pretty overwhelmed.
When I opened the menu during the game to find hotkeys for the buildings, I was sad to find that the game didn't pause. (I still don't know the building hotkeys.)
I didn't take long to learn the mechanics, but after learning them, I still felt pretty overwhelmed. I don't know how to sum up what's happening in the game. I know the various ways to make progress (with both exp and game-objective-wise), but I don't know how significant they are relative to one another.
First Impressions, Unfortunately I only had time for the tutorial and one bot game today, but I am going to mirror what others have said.
When you first start the tutorial as Vex everything is pretty straight forward and is explained fairly well. Movement, attacking, etc. Then as you get farther in I would recommend instead of "auto spawning units" let the player get used to going back and trying to spawn them, themselves. It seems like a huge part of the game with unit management. So having them auto-spawned for you feels like the player is missing the chance to learn that.
As others have mentioned if you accidentally click on a structure while the tutorial is going you may skip dialog that the player would want to hear. Maybe have it act as a queue for the audio so that way the player will learn about that object or tower after the announcer is done speaking.
What I really did like about the tutorial was the speakers voice and the music you have already implemented into the game. That in itself gave a sense of importance to the player and made me feel like I was doing something heroic.
On to the first bot game. Once you finish the tutorial you are given an OVERWHELMING amount of options right off the bat. Not knowing what anything did, I decided I would just stick to Vex because I used him in the tutorial. As for army composition, I left it as default because I didn't have a clue yet why or what I should be considering for it.
Hoping In-game again, I was first confused that I even had to spawn my champion in. After a couple of seconds figuring that out, I was then choosing and clicking on the different buildings. Trying to understand what they did and what was they where all about. This game feels like it has an overwhelming amount of depth and strategy to it which I think is a good thing but first and for most it's to much new information to process.
I bought a bunch of items in the game but never felt the need to use them. The ability to micro my units away was more useful than it. Maybe it is because I was playing against easy bots, but it felt like they where un-needed. I will probably reconsider this after a few more games in and more time to process everything in the game.
As for the movement and battles, they felt slightly sluggish. Units tend to get in the way of each other and pathing seems to be an issue when fighting with allied units. Other than that It felt pretty good. Landing skill shots feels rewarding especially the farther out you land them. There was one point in particular though that when I tried to click on an orb, the natural terrain in the middle caused my hero to pace back and forth at the bottom of it, not sure what direction to go, which felt a bit frustrating (and nostalgic) watching him spaze out like a dragoon from Brood War.
Even after the game I am still a bit confused as to how the economy exactly works, but I am sure I will pick it up in time. Overall, the game is definitely fun though.
Alright so feed back for the tutorial:
I come from a background in depth with multiple MOBAs and RTS games. I have been avoiding the forums for knowledge to try and get as clean of a beginner's experience into the game as possible.
During the tutorial, the feeling of being unable to unlock the camera and it not being centered on the hero was disconcerting.
I felt the tutorial left a lot to be learned through bots with very little explanation. I am just finished with about 5 games and still have no idea how almost all of the upgrades work, what units go to what tiers, and what the different camps do.
Things I feel need a better explanation:
- Neutral camps/Titans and what they do.
- Buildings and their particulars
- Upgrades and their purpose
Each of these things is mentioned in the tutorial but it is highly glossed over and not actually part of the main story line. Some of the buildings aren't even present in the tutorial at all. When I encountered the bots for the first time it was very confusing and I spent 10 minutes just to figure out the very basics and then tried to make do.
Suggestion to fix:
If you keep the current tutorial which is actually pretty clean, I would add in a secondary portion where the command core, research lab, and item shop all are explained. It would be a nice way to add in the neutral camps where you have to take them in order to perform certain research i.e. tier 2 + 100 supply or so.
TL:DR Make the tutorial cover more of the material forcibly. Don't make important things as side information bars.
Love the feedback, very insightful stuff. Were hoping to expand on the tutorial very soon and its good to hear that many of you would appreciate a longer/second tutorial! This was our first attempt at a tutorial so expect a more robust onboarding experience for TW5 and beyond!
Oh and Im glad that you enjoyed your bot games too :D
Enunciation of 's' and 'v' hotkeys in the tutorial could use some work. most players will figure it out anyway, but even knowing the game I clicked 'f' instead of 's' at first while trying to identify what I was being instructed to do. Also quick note, that the gem tower in the screenshot during its description does not match the current in tutorial art. (Posted originally in Discord while I looked for link to forums.)
I would agree that explanation of resources will be needed, though I suspect that is being put off due to expected frequency of design fluctuation? (Even beyond that one starts getting into basic tactics, which one might say an RTS tutorial could need...)
Thoughts on the tutorial (experienced player)
-It felt strange having the action continue, and the ability to move units, attack, etc. while the text/ video popups occurred, and while the camera was panning automatically.
-There was a possible glitch where the units did not spawn automatically after the tutorial said they would.
-It feels weird that when you are being shown how to purchase units, you can purchase whatever you want, even though I think he tells you to get four spitfires and two medics or something (I ended up buying a ton of spitfires before he said that and got worried I glitched it out xD).
-it took about three clicks for the tutorial to register I had selected the unit center
-The automatic camera panning feels great, however it felt a bit strange that your units do not automatically follow the screen/the screen does not pan back to them.
-The art direction ( even in this early of a state) felt very in line with the character art, and I really enjoy the sleek, but cartoonish feel.
When the tutorial text showed up and the game continued in the background, it was definitely annoying.
I noticed a bit of jitter/delay between right clicking and my units moving in the tutorial..could have been just me or my computer as it didn't show up in bot games.
I understand forcing the camera to move, but I'd have preferred it to have been quicker and to go back to center on my units after. (Rather like how SC2 campaign does it to show objectives).
I do hope there will be more tutorials to follow. resources, control groups, damage, unit types, minimap
Thanks for the feedback everyone! Having the game pause during text popups was added late last week, but not in time to get it into the build for the weekend. But we hear ya!
A note on bot AI: While there are obviously problems with the bot AI, I'm not terribly concerned with it for now since it's still in an early state. However, the propensity of bots to stand in the AOE of an ultimate while it revs up really upsets the balance in some of the test games I'm running. It's hard to see how effective units are versus an army at XYZ time when 2 bots will stand petrified in the center of a Celesta ult thrown by an opposing bot without ever moving an inch. I'd like to see there being at least some measure of self-preservation against effects that are obviously of the utmost importance to avoid, at least some of the time. I'm not sure how easy this would be to implement at this time on Regular bots without upsetting the balance, but it's something I've banged my head against a number of times in frustration.
I agree with general theme of other comments on completeness. Could definitely use a part 2 or more.
-Tutorial froze on quest to build healers, froze right after i warped them in. froze meaning I could still select buildings in view, but can't pan screen or select mini-map. ran tutorial again and this time it froze on the quest to build 4 spitfires, after I warped them in. Froze on a third run through as well, I think I can repeat this. It seems to occur when my quest actions are ahead of the natural tutorial quest pace.
-The items in the command core are called stock/scrap, not energy/bioshards
-In middle on stock/scrap/unit cap icons and amounts, would be nice if a mouse hover over those displayed the name of the item, ie stock/scrap/unit cap or whatever they will be called in the end.
-A user ability to repeat last said item/quest/explanation would be nice (maybe a button). eg if the user is reading text on a building's options, or trying some movement/combat out, or distracted in some way, and miss the quest's verbal dialogue, no way to repeat last verbal explanation.
-A bit confusing when my hero didn't die even at zero health. Perhap add an explanation triggered on zero hero health saying something like "When your hero goes to zero health, normal it dies and must be respawned at a warp spire. For this tutorial, however, it will be kept alive permanently so you have more practice using him." that way they aren't confused when the hero dies in the real game.
Great progress on improvements from the previous tutorial!
Bots don't seem to step out of devastating ultimates at all. I managed to wipe two full armies with two ultimates. G2b80d8675ba84b8591201eec755669d8 for reference.
So i agree with a lot there has already been said. I have few things, but i am not sure if that is up to change.
I played the turtorial and bot game. My units and the game is slower than i expected. I tried to micro units but it is hard to move them. Not in a skill ceiling kinda way, but in an awkward and slow way.
The pathing of my units seems clunky, it is hard to micro individual units when they get stuck all the time, In my opinions they should move for eachother like in SC2 unless they are on hold command.
The camera lock when panning to a new objective felt super weird to me. Very unnatural - I think a ping on the minimap would have been enough to alert my attention.
I would like a kind of mini tutorial, if you decide to split it into two with the basics as tutorial 1 and more advanced control with tutorial 2 then having a mini tutorial right before tutorial 2 which explains hero and unit selection would be nice.
I myself did not have a problem with this as I love stats and I am quick at figuring things out but I can see that screen being very daunting for new players, especially ones that don't play many games to begin with.