Tower of Time Catch All

@rhamorim said it best.

The story is told from the point of view of a character who does…nothing.

You are supposedly that character.

But now you sit on your magic chair and can hear and see everything that happens in the tower apparently…except you can’t map the tower out.

So your underlings, who are premade characters, do it for you.

Doesn’t that simply boil down to being a narrative choice the studio made? It doesn’t affect how the game plays at all.

I thought it was a clever immersion trick to explain why you (as the player - a subtle breaking of the 4th wall) had executive control over your party and can even influence/override decisions.

Which is precisely why i don’t like it.

Still that’s a minor irritation compared to the combat sequences, which I’m really not enjoying much right now.

I especially hate the totally bullshit “ambushes” where one of your party members starts in a cage.

It’s random who’s in the cage, and if it’s the fighter guy then that fight is lost.

I get that the hook is supposed to be about smart positioning and use of abilities together, but I am doing all of that and then having it all undone in mere seconds.

I also find it quite immersion breaking that you stumble upon a group of ogres, but there are 20 or more in said group, apparently around a cooking pot.

What are they cooking? I mean the whole area is full of skeletons long dead of starvation, or the Undead…

Anyway i can see the appeal but right now it’s not appealing to me.

A shame because I thought the gameworlds premise of a truly lost civilisation was pretty cool.

I’ll stick with it because I can’t refund it, but right now I’m not having fun.

There were originally 21 Ogres. :)

You know, this is something that bothers me in video games. There is no consideration for ecology. You are in some desolate area where all life has been wiped out or simply can not survive, yet its full of monsters. I bothers me that there is no good reason for the monsters to be there and how they could survive. I wish game designers would at least try and make these kind of environments more believable.

Touché.

Yeah I know what you mean. The game story and the combat have a detached feeling - almost to the point of “beat the mini game to despawn the map progress blocker”. That formula works well in the Heroes of Might and Magic overworld but it’s a bit jarring for a dungeon crawler.

Myself I am thinking of turning the combat difficulty down a notch(against all my instincts) because I am very poor at RTS or MOBA type games. It makes me particularly anxious when I don’t really know what kind of fight I’m getting into before hand. Sure, I know the unit types but nothing about how many at a time or where they’re coming from.

I still like the story but my overall opinion has cooled a lot.

Same. I have shelved this game because I feel I’m banging my head against a wall over and over. There’s 3 battles blocking my paths, and I’ve failed each one at least twice. Interest lost.

I guess I can put this here.

So I’m on Level 2 and having a blast. Just killed the orc boss near the siege engine area. I guess I have a beefy system because I’m having zero issues with optimization. It runs smooth as silk. I’m just seriously surprised that there isn’t more discussion about the game. It gives me a serious BG2 vibe. The writing can get a bit florid in a “and thus it was known that bla bla bla” but I don’t mind that. I was raised on that kind of game. I mean, Irenicus, right?

The newest version has pause as well as slow down time for battles. I’m very glad of that. There is a F5 quicksave. What else do you want?

Most, if not all of the issues stated upthread have been fixed.

I’m thinking of picking this up on the Chronogg sale, but it seems like barely anyone of my friend list has gotten more to the halfway point based on HowLongToBeat. Was it not good enough to hold peoples’ attention?

I liked it and remember it being quite challenging.

I got stuck on 1 particular fight that was a roadblock to progressing, so after several attempts, I bailed.

I picked this up for $10 on sale recently and what a steal! It really clicked for me. I love Pillars and Divinity OS but sometimes you just want something a little more modest and streamlined for your dungeon crawling fix. Not to say this is simplistic… it’s just not a big sprawling epic like those other games.

I’m guessing they’ve made effective balance improvements because unlike some folks, I’ve found the combat to be perfectly tuned. Playing on hard, I’ve had to retry a number of battles 3-5 times but each defeat forced me to learn a new tactic, upgrade/enchant my gear, try a new skill load-out, etc. Or simply come back to the fight later when I’ve grown stronger. Some fights I have to play on slow-mo the entire time which can be tense as hell. I’ve logged 25 hours so far and just entered the fourth level of the tower out of six.

Highly recommended!

I’m on the first level of the tower, my guys are level 4 (Kane), level 3( Maeve), and level 2 (Aeric). Playing on hard and got stuck for the first time. I have a lot of the map cleared and 3 fights available - which are kicking my butt. I’m going to need to take a closer look and see if I need to swap out some skills or equipment.

As far as the game goes, I like it so far. It focuses on one thing mainly - giving well crafted battles. There are some systems to support customizing skills and equipment, but the battles have been cool. The story is fine but really isn’t making or breaking the game so far.

I’ve been playing some more and just got past the Trials level (that one took a while). I mostly like the game but there are a handful of things that keep it from being top notch. Playing on hard…

What I like about the game:

  1. The bullet time when paused.
  2. Need to pay some attention to positioning to make sure squishy characters stay safe and the game gives the player fun tools to help with that.
  3. It’s attractive, so it’s nice to check out the environments.
  4. A little variety with the combat types.

Some things I don’t like about the game…

  1. My success is strongly tied to whether I adjust my equipment pre battle. Not every battle requires this. My typical flow is: win fight, win fight, lose fight. Start fight again and take closer look that elemental resistances for enemies. Give party weapons that do better against those resistances. Win fight. I generally don’t need to rethink my tactics, just my equipment.

  2. Some backtracking required to other levels. Not horrible but the couple times it’s happened it was a little annoying.

  3. The puzzles are mostly just a bit of busywork, like ringing the gongs in the right order. I mean, the game tells you what you need to do but the player just needs to do the legwork of running around and determining the right order using trial and error.

So, for those who have made it farther than me - any interesting wrinkles get added after where I am? I felt like I’ve seen enough if the game stays basically the same. I don’t regret my time with this, I got it on sale - so even if I don’t play any more I feel I got my money’s worth.

It seems like armor penetration is king for characters who deal physical damage. Pretty much all enemies have quite a bit of armor.

Yeah, I agree with all that, @robc04! But I like the things you listed as don’t-likes.

But what do you mean by ‘Trials level’? Do you mean the challenges you pick up along the way and then access from the main menu? I haven’t tried any of those yet… just want to play through the campaign as is.

I’m on floor 5 and just defeated a big boss to open up the second half of the level. When I first tried fighting it, I got stomped and thought NOPE NO WAY could I handle that fight. Then I wandered around and realized I wasn’t going to find any more battles or forges or blueprints to get stronger. So I carefully re-outfitted my weapons and gear and re-specced my character skills, thinking through the interplay of skills, position play, and mob control. (So far I’ve been sticking with the first four characters and not bothering with the ones who join later.)

Well, I went from getting stomped 5 or 6 times in a row to stomping him. It was a long fight, mostly handled in slow-mo, but I figured out an approach that worked. It was a great feeling about halfway through the fight when I went from thinking I was doomed to realizing I was untouchable. Not only was I whittling down the enemy, I was keeping all my characters alive and fully healed and mana-ed up even in the midst of large area attacks with Daze effects, rushing mobs, etc. It was just super satisfying to put together a winning strategy, especially when it seemed impossible at first. (I’m also playing on hard, btw.)

Oh, and it seemed like I might have missed something that would have allowed me to find a non-combat solution to that obstacle. Like maybe there was a puzzle I never figured out.

So I’m not sure if any of that would count as an interesting wrinkle but I’m still hooked! Again, in contrast to Pillars, Divinity, etc, there’s something appealing about knowing ahead of time that there are just 7 self-contained, interior levels to explore and then I’m done. No wandering through the vast wilderness here, folks. It’s like reading The Hobbit instead of committing to the whole Rings trilogy. Or something. Plus the tower levels are all fairly distinctive so exploration has stayed interesting to me.

Back I go!

Maybe the closest thing to an interesting wrinkle is the subtle lore about human technology and some modern-world details in the fantasy. That’s been building as I go. Then there’s this whole “you” character…

The magi initiation trials level (level 4).

It’s funny, because I like winning because I respec my skills - probably because it doesn’t feel tedious to do so. Hovering over the different inventory items though, and comparing them to each other - that feels tedious to me. If they could improve that process then I don’t think I’d mind it.

I agree, that it is a nice change of pace to play something not so epic where I could just focus on the basics.

For me, Druidstone is filling the niche better than Tower of Time did because the game is:

  1. Turn based with movement and action points.
  2. The focus is on using a handful of skills intelligently with my 3 characters instead of juggling inventory.
  3. Positioning matters (as it does in Tower of Time).
  4. I’m just going from battle to battle so far, without anything that feels like filler.

I’m glad Tower of Time is working for you! It’s not bad to me, just has some annoying parts that I need to take a break from. I’d recommend trying Druidstone when you’re done with ToT, unless you hate turn based.

Glad to hear it! I actually picked up Druidstone today thinking it might scratch a similar itch.

Another thing I like in ToT… even though I’m sticking with the first four characters, the rest of the new additions still tag along and participate in what’s happening. Other games make me feel like I’m missing out when I don’t add a character to my party.

True, that is a nice addition. I did switch out the dwarf for the shadow lady because I needed a different type of damage and then just left her in the party. She can hit pretty hard. But, now I only have one tank.