GemCraft: Frostborn Wrath, defend that path, do that math, take a gem bath

Newest one is out today. Anyone try it? I will get it, but not sure when I will get to play it.

It is very much more of the same. Some of the mechanics are different, like you have a puzzle instead of the talisman (whatever it was called), but nothing earth shattering. The graphics are a bit sharper which is nice. No slow downs, but I am early and have a fairly decent machine.

I got into the flow of things pretty quickly and was cruising along but difficulty did ramp up fairly quickly. I am ashamed to admit I am stuck on he first level with traps. I can get close to beating it, but can’t quite pull it off. I am not at a point where I can lower the difficulty or have enough of a selection of crystals to boost my skills too much either. I just need to figure out a more effective start.

I can easily see me playing this all weekend, but I really have other stuff I need to do.

I got sucked into playing the first one a while ago but hit a wall pretty early. So I’m not falling for THAT again!

Yeah, if you didn’t like the first one, stay away. The difficulty is part of the fun though, figuring out a difficult level or leveling up so you can beat a level. I love the game, I’m already thinking about it when not playing.

One weird thing, the game has 600+ achievements, but only 100 on Steam. Did Steam limit the amount of achievements or something?

Ahhh, a classic returns. I can’t even remember how many gemcrafts there are at this point (5? 6?) but I’ve enjoyed them all at least a decent amount. I played the last one a ton, so I’ll probably put a lot of time into this given that it’s been ages since the last (and performance improvents are welcome).

I meant the second one on Steam obviously. :-)

Oh sure but if you were unaware there are a bunch of flash versions. The original, at least a sequel or two (possibly more than 2), a prequel. It’s kind of fun to look at them all and see how the series mechanics evolved (at least, it was back when I played the first steam one, lol).

The puzzle pieces here look interesting since you can reshape them and upgrades don’t just provide a single thing (by which I mean, I got one that improves starting mana but after a couple of upgrades it added a second bonus).

I also am stuck on the trap level! I’ve only given it a few tries though.

I went back and did the challenge versions of the first levels for extra experience, improved my skills a little bit, and was then able to beat it fairly easily.

I have forgotten my old gem making strategies, not that it matters much yet since I don’t have the full compliment of gems yet to use those strategies. It’s all slowly coming back to me.

Haha me too. I stumbled onto the hotkey for upgrading a gem without combining it and then started to remember other stuff (like b for bomb, t for tower, etc).

I wasn’t even aware this was coming out. Picked it up last night and got myself to level 13 before going to bed.

Seems to be few changes from the last one. Usually, each iteration has lots of changes from the previous version. I notice they dropped the poolbound and bloodbound gems and made their properties automatic, so all gems automatically get stronger with each hit and each mana pool level. There’s also some new buildings - lanterns and pylons. Haven’t run into them yet, so not sure what those are about.

Maps seem pretty much the same, except the paths are wider now, so you can drop towers right on it and maze up the run a bit.

Seemed a lot harder than the last one to me as well, but I remember the last one being kinda tough until you built up some skills.

Were the status displays on monsters on the last in the last one (poison, slow, etc)? I don’t remember it and I really like that feature.

I always forget which TD games have which features, but needing to replay prior levels to get enough ‘stuff’ usually turns me off because when I fail I don’t know if it is because I should be playing better or the game expects me to grind. It’s not that I mind replaying levels or trying to get a better rank, I just don’t like knowing if I’m expected to grind.

If you mean when you click on the monsters, you can see the amount of poison, slow, etc. effects they’re suffering, then yeah, that was also in the last one.

btw, I just remembered pylons (boosts attack gems) were in the last one as well. Not sure why they’re being touted as a new feature on the store page. Maybe they’re a lot different now?

You do have to grind in GemCraft, at least I do. There are puzzle missions that are tough and grinding won’t help you, you just have to figure it out, but you can skip those if you want to.

If I can’t beat a mission, I just go do something else for awhile. Whether it be the challenge levels or just going to a different map. It’s a lot like older RPGs, if a map is too difficult, go somewhere else for awhile. I never really just play an old mission on easy over and over for experience. If I go back to a level it’s too unlock the everything.

GemCraft, at least the last one, you could set the difficulty too. There were 9 settings that you could adjust to make it as difficult as you wanted to. You could just turn it down for a mission you really couldn’t beat. It meant less rewards for doing so though.

Edit: a lot of talk on the Steam forums about this one being more difficult than the last one as well.

No, I mean the little symbols displayed over all monsters. A little green cloud for poison, etc.

Oh, you mean the little green drop for poison and blue square for slowed? Yeah, those were in the last one too.

Looks like the tomes for new skills are gated behind the Trial maps. That’ll be a problem if they end up being as difficult as the Vision maps in CS.

So every level has a trial mode now (basically a puzzle level)? I don’t like that. Those were always my least favorite levels on previous games.

Thankfully they are making the trial levels optional. I am completely stuck on one of them right now, so happy to hear this. Really enjoying it though, despite the difficulty.

Dev note:

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for your support with both your purchases and your constructive comments! We are listening, taking notes, and thinking of ways to make GemCraft Frostborn Wrath the game you would enjoy playing more. On top of releasing several updates with bug fixes in the coming days, we plan to make changes to the difficulty of the game and getting all the important loot out of the Trial mode wizard stashes.
We see that right now the challenge aspect of the game is overwhelming, pushing the game towards being a “Dark Souls of TD”, the goal is to make the game enjoyable if you want to feel the power and have the edge over the monsters, and make challenges optional, just like how the battle traits, early waves, and enraging mechanics work.
Trial mode will stay but it will be your choice if you want to take on an unforgiving and puzzling challenge; you can get to the end of the game and reign over the waves of Endurance without ever touching Trial mode.

GC Chasing Shadows got a mixed reception back then before all the tweaking, and we didn’t walk the long path bringing you Frostborn Wrath to just leave it as a bag of frustration. Working on the game is not over, we’ll carry on to make the game have much less errors and a quite different feel to it in a matter of days.

Three bug fix updates have came out in the first 9 hours of the game’s online life, and more will arrive tomorrow, thank you again for all the feedback!

They ought to give nice piles of shadow cores for trials; you can’t really have enough of those things.

I don’t mind some skills/battle traits gated by wizard stashes in trials. But it was looking like the majority were, and it’s frustrating when you don’t know what a stash offers. I got through a couple of trials only to get basically nothing (a few cores, a random puzzle piece).

Yeah, I ended up flushing 100 of those cores down the toilet when I applied that amount to a map’s talisman fragment drop rate, thinking it would be a permanent adjustment, but no - just for that one time on that one map.

This game’s economy is stifling. I’m 4 hours in, at level 19, and on just the 3rd map in endurance, I can only build a single L2 tower, and I’m still losing creeps on wave 1.