The game looks promising, can't wait to see how it turns out on launch. In particular, movement and combat both feel really good, and the environments are gorgeous. Looking forward to actually having to learn how to parry/dodge stuff since Automate Halfline is gone (and with Restasigne being the only way to heal that we've seen so far I'm not sure it would make sense to bring it back). I also like how there are now meaningful decisions to be made regarding whether to charge a technique or not, unlike base PSO2 where you always charge offensive techniques.
I did notice several issues with the UI however:
- The game UI was clearly designed around the 1080p resolution and it shows. Running it at 1080p the game UI look pixel perfect (except for the subpalette icons, those look like they were reused from base PSO2 which was designed for 720p), but at higher resolutions (specifically 2560x1440) it looks bad. I can make out some texture atlas bleed below each character.
- Fix the Text Size setting in the launcher. This will allow us to select 1.0x scaling and not have any issues.
- Either adjust the texture coordinates on the text polygons or add a 1 pixel buffer between characters on the texture atlas
- It's probably way too late in development for this suggestion to make it in the June release, but for episode 2 consider either packaging higher resolution texture atlases for the fonts and subpalette icons for the text sizes you intend to support through the launcher settings or better yet generate them at runtime from vector assets to future proof them. This will result in an even cleaner UI for the game.
- If the above is too hard, at least consider adding integer scaling with nearest neighbor interpolation for the UI in addition to the sizes you already have
- In addition to the texture atlas related font rendering issues above, several UI elements cut off parts of characters that extend below the baseline or are not wide enough to contain all of the text they're trying to render. Here are some specific examples:
- In the item details window, the column for the actual condition in the Equip Conditions line is too narrow. Any item with a requirement higher than Level 1 gets cut off
- In the Preview window when browsing the Scratch Ticker Prize List, the text describing the mouse controls cuts off the bottom the the lowercase gs in Toggle, and is not long enough to contain the entire text string.
- The red Urgent Quest scroll at the top of the screen has the portion of the text below the baseline flicker until the leftmost edge of the text has scrolled about half of the way across.
- There is a translation error on the Keybindings page, the buttons to set a keybinding say 'Tab' instead of 'Set' or 'Change' (this is also the case in base PSO2)
- When setting keybinds for items under the Menu heading, the keybinding window closes after pressing the key you want to use for that menu. If I had to guess I'd bet it's because the game is trying to open the menu you just bound a key for. Steps to reproduce:
- Escape > System > Control Settings > Keybind Settings (Keyboard)
- Scroll to Menus
- Click the 'Tab' button next to Quick Menu (can be any item under Menus, I just happened to pick Quick Menu)
- Press L (can be any key, I just picked L)
- Observe that the UI has gone all the way back to the Escape menu
I also have some enhancements:
- Consider adding a keybind for the Task List window. Base PSO2 has a binding for the Client Orders window (which I use a lot) and the Task List seems to be NGS's version of that, so it would make sense to have it (and I plan to use this even more since we FINALLY have a quest tracker).
- Consider allowing more than one Task at a time to be tracked. At the UI scale you've designed the game around there's clearly room for at least 3.
- Consider adding additional rewards for 5 starring each Cocoon for the first time. Right now it seems to only be for bragging rights. Maybe some material items (like Photon Chunks or Dualomite) or augment risk mitigation items depending on the difficulty?
- The dropdown attack (Jump+Normal Attack at the same time) is too easy to accidentally do when trying to do a normal attack while rising during a jump, consider adding a PA that does the dropdown attack and adding an option to turn off the Jump+Normal Attack key combination, or maybe give it its own keybind like Weapon Action has.
- Consider adding better target switching for Keyboard and Mouse controls. Something as good as right stick switching might be too hard on KB/M, but maybe separate keybinds for cycling between different targets on the same enemy and for cycling through other enemies would be a good compromise.
- I was going to post a rant about how the Barta family of techniques had an undocumented feature with the Barta Blot mechanic, but it turns out it was in one of those pop-up tutorials I didn't read because they show up when you're trying to do something else. I think it would be better if the class trainer quest lines covered these mechanics.
- As best I can tell, the tutorial for Techniques is incorrect, the only Zonde family technique I've seen that actually does the chain lightning effect is uncharged Zonde.
- Techniques and PAs need better descriptions, especially if they behave differently from their base PSO2 counterparts.
And some comments/concerns too:
- The overworld looks quite small (the CBT area looks to be about 20%-25% of the full island). Are there going to be any other islands/continents to explore or indoor/underground areas that are proceedurally generated like base PSO2's environments are to help with this?
- I kinda miss the PA system/bullhorn/radio effect NPC voices had in base PSO2 when they aren't talking to you in person. Not having that for the UQ announcement kinda breaks immersion a bit.
- Not sure how I feel about Symbol Arts and Stamps lingering in the chat log. Leave town at the wrong time and you're stuck with a Rappy butt in your face until people in the field start chatting.