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!