I died… I finally died to the plague! It was exhilarating, depressing, and fun. My face turned ugly, I started coughing up blood, I could barely see in front of me, and then my body just stopped working and I died… Luckily I had nothing of use on me and no gold on my body. Skill Points were spent and I did not lose a single thing besides pride. I can no longer say I have not died from the plague… I am sure it will happen again, hopefully this time I will survive longer. I didn’t die to bandits or wolves, I died to the plague. This makes me wonder though… Is it inevitable or can we find a cure? Sure, the Monk can make potions but do they work? Well, I won’t find out on that character! I decided to re-roll and pick a new class! Merchant! Why? SiG suggested I try it due to the fact that I love crafting so much, and boy does this class have a lot to do with crafting!
If you have been watching my Let’s Play on Twitch, I have actually made a lot of equipment so far for this character. Hat, armor, boots and gloves! All crafted! That was so much fun! I’m so glad I took that suggestion to heart and remade into that class. Honestly, with all that raving about crafting and then do the class with a ton of it? It’ll keep me busy for a long time and will probably make me a lot safer around plague-like things… The first thing that I also want to talk about that goes along with the crafting system is: Character development. I feel like this is extremely essential to the game and going forward with the game as well. Everything has to with the skill system and which is more than likely linked to the crafting system within the game. Even though the crafting system is elegantly simplistic which doesn’t add frustration, the frustration is with finding the necessary items. It’s not super frustrating though, I assure you of this.
You can see me crafting a ton on the Let’s Play and see how simplistic and elegant it is! The simplicity of it doesn’t it make it boring as well. SiG did an amazing job on this. They just need to add more to it, add more after the “Master”. Now, don’t get me wrong it will take me a long time to get everything learned on this massive Merchant skill tree. Either add more after the Master, or the in-between. I hope they will not hate me for saying this, but I don’t want to have to suicide my character to make a new class for more progression after learning everything one class has to offer. Maybe we can have more than one character at a time? I hope they have a plan for this! To counter this point for myself, I will safely assume to get everything on the skill tree that one class has to offer will that a substantial amount of time… I have a ton of time on my hands to learn everything on the Merchant class, let’s see how long it will take me.
Character development can be thought of in many different ways. Crafting is one part of the whole plan though. What else could SiG do to improve or add to character development? Since we don’t have a standard leveling system, it’s all based on the skill points you have collected and earned. We don’t have the standard 1-60 leveling system. There is the challenge that when you save up skill points the next one is harder to get, which makes it seem much more rewarding when you finally get the skill you need. We also could use some customization of our own instead of getting pre-generated looks? I think that would be a huge addition to the game and spark some more interests. I… didn’t really like the look of the monk, that hairline though… There is a moment on the let’s play that I am just looking at it and i’m thinking to myself “What happened to this poor man?”
I would like to say to SiG though that keep the simplicity of what you have and just build upon that. Complex crafting later on could be useful and unique, but what makes crafting and getting the materials fun is that simplicity. You’ve done a fantastic job with that foundation, intentional or not. Build upon that foundation and let it thrive. I have the utmost faith in you all. Keep adding to character development and I assure you, all of the players will enjoy it. Some more than others, some less than others but you can’t please everyone. Just please me, alright? Just kidding… (Only slightly). I would like to hear everyone’s thoughts on Character Development. What do you think should be done to improve what they have now? Should SiG add anything, get rid of anything? Let me know in the comments! Should anything be done to improve the plague system or is it fine the way it is? Let me know!
The next part I would like to talk about is Community and SiG’s involvement within it. They have been very wonderful to me with the support on this series and let’s play. Constantly retweeting everything that I post for them and getting exposure for me and them! It’s been wonderful working with them, and I hope to work with them for many many more months to come. This will be the shorter of the three discussions because I really just want to get straight to the point. You might find this just to be a plea to them, but this is my open honesty to them about the community.
Keep up the amazing work on this. That is all I really have to ask of you. Be as transparent as possible, let us know about the amazing future for this game, keep all of us in the loop. Whether it
would be Live streams, dev blogs or just just simple tweets. Let us know. That is all I really have to say about this matter, you have an amazing dedicated community do not let that go to waste. We are all hardcore fans of your game, a dedicated bunch of people to you SiG. Do not let that go to waste…
Finally the third and final topic I would like to talk about is: Early Access. (Shivers) Yes, that word still haunts me. Alas, this game gives me hope that it will make it out of Early Access. I repeat, you will see this game go out of Early Access and into a successful launch phase. Don’t doubt me on this, i’ve been reviewing games for a long time, and this game does have a successful future ahead. They just need to keep a steady pace of updates, transparency and allow the game to grow and not release to early. I honestly don’t know if their publisher is going to be pushy with releasing to early. We had the Warhammer game released awhile back, and it was way, WAY too early for that. Don’t do that SiG. Don’t be Warhammer. Don’t pull a early release and apologize way too late when everyone is still upset. Please, for the love of God don’t do that.
I’ve been burned by so many Early Access games, and never have I had so much faith for a game than The Black Death. You’ve seen how Early Access can be a graveyard of games, broken promises and many, many failures. I assure you my faith in this game and in SiG will not fault but I have to be honest with the stigma that Early Access creates in the gaming world. People like me just shiver at the sight of that. Do not let that go to your head about this game though. SiG have proven themselves with ten content filled patches since launch, with many more to come.
I think they are smart enough to be patient and let the game grow before going into launch phase or 1.0 phase. It needs more time but it will get there. I assure you of that. For new readers or if you are thinking of getting the game, yes it is in early access and a work in progress but it’s far more there than most early access games. Don’t let that turn you away from having a ton of fun.
I would not blame you for waiting for official launch and I would not hate for you for that. I’ve done that with plenty of games. This one is just so much fun to wait for that. I will be enjoying every moment until launch. It’s already been such a fun ride! I want you all to enjoy it with me inside and outside of the game.
That will be all for this part of the series. For part 5 we will be focusing on these three aspects:
Plague/Sickness, Game Analysis and Crafting Part 2. Part 5 should be done by Saturday or Sunday Night. You can always check out my Let’s Play of the game over at http://www.twitch.tv/IsaacJewton and check out the official game at http://www.small-impact.com/Blackdeath and on Steam Early Access!
I want to thank everyone for their continued support of this series. It’s been such an amazing and humbling experience so far. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for Let’s Play updates as well as Blog postings. http://www.twitter.com/SirIsaacJewton I promise you this series will at least last 10 more postings. (There will be more than 10 though) There is still a lot of things I haven’t talked about which I am saving for later. There will be more streams coming soon as well. Scheduling has been kind of odd lately and I have not found much time to actually sit down and stream for long periods of time. I want at least 2-3 hours for each session. I assure you though, more streams are on it’s way.
Thank you again, and I will see you all next time! Remember… Survival is key…