Two Thoughts; AoE Splash, Unit Production
I've played a few games with a friend in the Alpha, and although I like many of the things I'm seeing, we've shared a few sentiments about the game so far.
AoE effects in general _feel_ exceptionally powerful. It's disheartening to me to see a clump of my Units disappear, but I do have to admit it's satisfying to be on the other side of it as well. My real wish with AoE effects in general is that AoE's with high all-at-once damage would have damage falloff based on distance from center; instead of obliterating everything applicable in the circle, there could be a mix of killed and damaged units.
I think this lets the Player on the receiving end feel a little better about the whole endeavor, even if his army does take some hits. He gets to probably have a few damaged Units left to run away with and continue on, and feel a little better about any effort he made to avoid the effect; even if his Units didn't escape the AoE, the damage was lessened with distance.
-Such abilities would get weaker in their current state, but this opens the door to tuning in different areas for a better feel (Cooldown, Range, AoE Radius, etc)
-Not all AoE's ought to be like this, certainly. The main two I think of for this are the Apocalyte and Celesta's Ult.
One RTS mechanic carried over is the need for constant Unit Production; or more accurately, Reproduction. When your Army gets wiped (and this has been rather frequent for me and my friend), you'll have to start over from scratch and invest in a new force. It's a pretty core RTS cycle, however, I've found I don't like it in this context. In a Moba-ish context, it feels weird and kind of disheartening to be putting in extra work and clicks on rebuilding my force after every major wipe. It pulls my attention away from watching what's going on in the meanwhile, and it's kind of a tedious feels-bad moment every time I have to be rebuilding a dozen or so Wisps after a stray wind blew their way.
As for what I'd like better, I remember an earlier version of the game which did automatic Unit Respawning; when you added a Unit to your force, it would automatically respawn at no cost after its Respawn Time, and be available for deployment. Effectively, once you invested in a Unit, it's in your Force and you don't need to worry about re-investing in it. I liked that version better in a Moba context, since it doesn't feel like my progression is getting reset on an Army Wipe. To explain the feel as if it were some other Moba, I feel like I'm losing half of my Items every time I die, and my respawn timer is based on the value of the items I lost. Kind of.
I'd like to hear about why this system didn't persist, or if I'm not remembering it right at all, since I do recall thinking that old system made a fair bit of sense when I first played it.
-I don't remember if the old system used Wave-based respawning, where all your dead Units would come back together on a united respawn timer, but I think that's a better approach than having to spawn individual stragglers as they come.
-I additionally don't remember how the old system allowed for removing Units from your Force, but of course, there would probably have to be a way to remove Units to make space for others and recompose your Force. I imagine that doing so might be a way to manage long term income, as better Players in the endgame might continuously recompose their Force to make some small advantage.
-The RTS rebuilding approach does have its advantages. It means that Resources are less likely to pile up in the long term, since Players must continuously invest in rebuilding army forces over the game. It also means that the opportunity for adjusting army composition occurs naturally; as Units die, the space is automatically freed to be filled by new Units of your choice. Even so, I find myself disliking it here at this moment.
Anywho, thanks for the read. Good work on the game so far