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Battle Chasers: Nightwar beta up on PC for backers - Impressions

Burt

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Nov 8, 2012
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Stumbled across the email for it earlier tonight buried under my Promotions tab. Pretty sure it's open for everyone who backed on PC - I'm in it at the $20 tier - and I couldn't find an NDA or anything around it, so now that I've run through the first few hours, figured it was worth a thread for both impressions and letting other 'fire and forget' backers know it's here.

Quick refresher for anyone unfamiliar:

It's a hard game to describe concisely. Essentially, it plays as JRPG-meets-ARPG dungeon diver. You run around the overworld from an old-school JRPGish point of view, visiting towns, picking up loot, and fighting enemies on your way to dungeons, which put you in a Diablo/Torchlight-esque labyrinth of interconnected rooms. You explore the dungeons in real time much like an ARPG, looting chests, interacting with objects, pulling levers, fishing, avoiding (and baiting enemies into) traps, and battling nefarious dungeon-spawn. Enemies are all visible while you explore, and when you run into them, bam, turn-based JRPG combat time.

So, with that out of the way, impressions:

- First thought I had was that the game is gorgeous. Love the Joe Madureira art, and it's been translated beautifully. The game doesn't skimp on the animated cutscenes, either. The voice acting is a lot of fun, too.

- I really like the overworld, which has that hand drawn Darkest Dungeon-style. Hadn't heard about it before, so the presentation was a nice surprise.

-Towns and shops were handled through dialogue as opposed to the 'ground level' view you get in dungeons, but it didn't feel lacking at all. Every place of interest is manned by an actual character, rather than a generic shopkeeper or a lone dialogue box, so it was always nice interacting with them. Portrait art is stellar. Pyre vibes in the overall feel of towns.

- I played through the first dungeon, and it was meaty. I'm pretty sure it took somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour, and I never felt like I was just grinding through. A healthy amount of traps (that hurt enemies too), lots of loot, lore dumps and puzzles that are interesting but don't take themselves too seriously either, a good enemy variety, fishing, etc. I think dungeons are randomized ARPG-style, and I know that they come with two difficulties available the first time around with a third unlockable. I played through on the higher difficulty and unlocked the highest, so I don't know whether or not the lower difficulty does as well.

- Combat is solid. I was a smidge worried at first because I opened the game doing a lot of overworld exploration that led to a bit too much of that bland early JRPG fighting, but within a few levels things really began to open up with new abilities, gear, perks/specs, combat systems, etc. The stuff that they've added level-to-level has been really good so far.

- There seems to be a very healthy amount of side stuff. Crafting, fishing, a bestiary with hunts, the aforementioned Legendary dungeon rerun difficulty, sidequests and side dungeons, and I'm only just out the first dungeon and still getting lots of stuff thrown my way.

Negatives?

- Run speed in dungeons is a tad slow.

- On the tier 2 "heroic" difficulty, most combat wasn't too challenging once I got a grip on everyone's roles and abilities. I did start to feel a bit of a pinch towards the end of the dungeon though, so I could see some bad rolls leading to a less fortunate end, and the tier 3 "Legendary" difficulty is probably a solid challenge.

- Fishing is alright. It seems useful, but the implementation is pretty basic. It wasn't bad or anything, and I still happily cleared out every fishing hole I came across, but it was more of a "gathering resources oh boy hope I get something good" feel than an intrinsically fun activity.

Anyway, I could write a lot more, but that seems long enough for an OP. Overall, I'm very pleased with the game so far, and am probably gonna dump a few more hours into it tonight. So, if you're a Kickstarter backer, check your email for a beta key, and enjoy.
 

vareon

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Feb 5, 2007
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How do you feel about the battle speed? My biggest fear for this right now is that battle speed look a little too slow and there will be many encounters in the game.
 

Qvoth

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Dec 3, 2012
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is it pure turn based like persona or you can mess around with enemy turns ala grandia?

edit: huh some people are streaming it right now on twitch, checking it now
 

Burt

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Nov 8, 2012
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How do you feel about the battle speed? My biggest fear for this right now is that battle speed look a little too slow and there will be many encounters in the game.
I thought it was a little slow initially, but once combat diversified and I was pausing to think about what I was doing rather than just autoing through battles it stopped being a problem. The pacing of encounters being really good helps a lot in that regard, too -- I never felt swamped in battles at all.

is it pure turn based like persona or you can mess around with enemy turns ala grandia?

edit: huh some people are streaming it right now on twitch, checking it now
Pure turn-based, although there are stuns and stuff you can do to mess with turn order. There's a dungeon skill that one of the characters has that lets you stun every enemy going into combat.
 

JSoup

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Jun 20, 2013
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Sounds good, all of it.
I ended up first reading the graphic novel just a few hours before this game was first announced.
 

prophecy0

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Jul 20, 2007
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Is this beta the full game with bugs or just a demo (with bugs)?
The devs said roughly half of the dungeons are available in the beta. I only encountered two very minor bugs while playing:

1) Sometimes my controller would continue rumbling when it shouldn't.

2) The blacksmithing table disappeared after a combat encounter but was still usable. It reappared after the following combat encounter.

I echo Burt's impressions almost exactly. The game initially seemed very shallow but I ended up playing it for 2.5 hours when I only intended to play around 30 minutes. The gameplay hook is addictive. I'm definitely interested to play more.
 

Ri'Orius

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Aug 2, 2008
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Looks great, but for me the biggest hit or miss is always the skill system, so as much detail about that as you'd like to type up (or can link me to) would be appreciated. Are we talking skill trees? Class system? Loot-based skills? To what extent are characters unique versus can-do-anything? How clear are descriptions (do they indicate relative attack strength, make it clear which stat(s) contribute, %chance for secondary effects, etc.)?

And I just saw you mention a blacksmithing table: so, crafting is a thing? How deep does it seem to be?
 

Burt

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2) The blacksmithing table disappeared after a combat encounter but was still usable. It reappared after the following combat encounter.
Yeah, I got the blacksmithing table thing, but that's been it for me. Otherwise, game seems very polished.

Looks great, but for me the biggest hit or miss is always the skill system, so as much detail about that as you'd like to type up (or can link me to) would be appreciated. Are we talking skill trees? Class system? Loot-based skills? To what extent are characters unique versus can-do-anything? How clear are descriptions (do they indicate relative attack strength, make it clear which stat(s) contribute, %chance for secondary effects, etc.)?

And I just saw you mention a blacksmithing table: so, crafting is a thing? How deep does it seem to be?
As characters grow, they get a certain amount of perk points, and have two... sheets they can drop them into.

Each sheet has certain passives worth differing perk point values

You can freely distribute points between the skills on the different sheets to skew your character whichever way works best. The sheets, so far, have essentially been 'offensive/defensive', worked around the character's role. For instance, Calibretto in that picture is a bit of a hybrid support, so the offensive side has a wide range of skills, and the defensive is mostly focused around healing. Defensively, the tank is more focused on tanking, and the offensive character has a bunch of extra skills related to 'overcharge', that basically cushions your mana pool and buffs certain attacks. Offensive is pretty much offense across the three characters I have so far, albeit tailored to their individual skillsets.

Characters are unique, each one essentially being a separate class - 3 so far, expecting at least another 2 or 3. They gain active skills by leveling up, and also have unique dungeon skills used for outside of combat. The stats aren't always super clearly articulated at the moment (for instance, took me a while to realize that stamina meant HP), but you get the gist of it pretty fast, and yeah, combat tooltips are very clear in telling you exactly how much damage your attack does and what effect it will have.

Crafting is definitely a thing, but I haven't gotten into it outside of alchemy. I get enough mats to think that it's a fairly significant component though.
 

matics

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Jul 3, 2010
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I started the beta last night but only played for about 30 minutes. It all looks and feels good so far. I really didn't expect there to be voice acted dialog lol.
 

rybrad

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Oct 19, 2011
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Spent about an hour playing the beta last night and I only stopped because of prior commitments. The game is fantastic so far and it feels like an actual modern turn-based RPG rather than a heavily retro/nostalgia influenced one (I like those too though!). The movement speed definitely needs a slight bump though as you feel just a little slower than you should.
I started the beta last night but only played for about 30 minutes. It all looks and feels good so far. I really didn't expect there to be voice acted dialog lol.
While I don't love all the voice acting (it is generally fine though), I do appreciate having it so you get a sense of the character and can carry that over in your head to the non-voiced lines.
 

Burt

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Cleared the beta, was a whole lot of fun. Ends after the fourth dungeon, caps your party at level 15. Saves carry directly over into full release, if anyone was wondering. Still going to mess around a bit, see how far I can get in the arena, take my less used characters through some dungeons to hit the level cap, polish off the sidequests, grind some gear out, etc.

Some points to add to my impressions:

- A little disappointed that dungeons don't scale to your level on Legendary difficulty. When you rerun them, they're really not hard at all once you've leveled through. And, you're still gaining experience the whole time, which leads to...

- The difficulty curve can be a bit wonky. I reran the first dungeon on the highest difficulty, and it turned the second into a cakewalk. Went straight to the third after that, which was just about right, but there was one specific enemy type that was miles more difficult than anything else in there, without warning. Then in the fourth dungeon, I started seemingly underleveled, but was pretty much fine because of my gear. I'm not really worried about the difficulty curve rollercoaster because that's one of the last things to get fixed up, but I do hope they figure out a way to incentivize rerunning dungeons on Legendary difficulty without breaking the subsequent dungeon through overleveling.

- Crafting becomes a lot more feasible, comprehensible, and powerful by the third and fourth dungeon, liked it a lot.

- Buy the good lure and rod asap

I know that probably sounds like a bunch of mildly negative stuff next to my OP impressions, but the good stuff in the game all continues, expands, and gets better. Overall, super happy with the game. This and Divinity (oh god then The Evil Within) are going to be a pretty fantastic 1-2 punch in the next few weeks.
 

Ultimadrago

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How is the banter and dialogue between party members? The designs seem cool, but I was hoping the interactions would be just as colorful. Maybe there's not much talking at all (aside being all voiced)?
 

Burt

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How is the banter and dialogue between party members? The designs seem cool, but I was hoping the interactions would be just as colorful. Maybe there's not much talking at all (aside being all voiced)?
The writing is solid all around. It's a game that's very aware of its '90s aesthetic roots, so sometimes it plays true to that, and some times it plays like it's poking fun at that. The main narrative stuff is voiced, but most of the other stuff is text. Shopkeepers and townsfolk are interesting, and you get dialogue between characters whenever you rest at the inn.
 

Ultimadrago

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The writing is solid all around. It's a game that's very aware of its '90s aesthetic roots, so sometimes it plays true to that, and some times it plays like it's poking fun at that. The main narrative stuff is voiced, but most of the other stuff is text. Shopkeepers and townsfolk are interesting, and you get dialogue between characters whenever you rest at the inn.
That's great news, thanks!
 

Rayge

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Jan 22, 2011
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Game looks great. Voice acting and dialogue is pretty damn good. Music fits the atmosphere. Environments are HEAVILY detailed and character models look fantastic. The same goes for how everything animates. So fluid. The turn based combat is pretty fun. Artwork for minor characters look great. Different weapons have different models... Something that I didn't think they were going to do with the game. Menus system looks great.

As for the technical things
Runs at 100-144 FPS @ 4K with no hiccups for me. Dungeons are around 100 FPS. World view is 144 and battles are about 144. (This is on very high end hardware)

DSR seems to be broken on the game at the moment. It says that it's set to 5120x2880 or 7680×4320, but it still renders at 4K. No biggie. Hell it's not even a big deal if it's not fixed on release.

Rain in the game puts major stress on performance for some reason. Framerate tanked all the way down to 54 from 100 FPS. This was on a Titan Xp. So I can probably imagine 1080s and 1070s propably dipping into the 30's and 20's if running the game at 4K.

There doesn't seem to be a rebind keys menu.

Character models in the menu seem a tad bit lower res than the rest of the game. They have a lot of anti-aliasing going on.

I wish there was an option to scale the UI.

Most of this is just nit picking. The issue with the rain and and the key rebinding are things I feel should resolved before release. Everything else is pretty minor in my opinion.
 

KiraXD

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Nov 8, 2007
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Dont forget, PC players, beta progress carries over to the full game next month... So dont worry about data wipes.

As for me, ill be on ps4.
Cant wait to get my physical ps4 copy...

My most hyped game OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!
Which leads me to this:
devs said everyone who chooses physical copies of this game (ps4, xb1, switch) will be getting a free steam key as well... And since i wont be playing on pc, i will be doing a giveaway for my steam key next month! So keep your eyes out if you want a chance to win this game!
 

Phloxy

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Mar 8, 2007
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Damn, I didn't have much work when this was being backed. I would love to be able to buy into this beta now.
 

texhnolyze

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Aug 13, 2014
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I was so looking forward to Battle Chasers. But with the current release date, I wouldn't be able to jump in straight away.

So bummed because everything about it sounds pretty good.
 

OryoN

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Aug 10, 2004
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So excited to get this on mah Switch
I hope they get it running decently. The devs made statements about certain difficulty with the Switch version. Seems weird for a game of this style, but I'd imagine any game would be a problem if you just force-feed existing code into the Switch's environment, without various system-specific optimizations. This would be well suited for the console, so I'm hoping they overcame those issues.
 

Linkark07

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Mar 1, 2012
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Just started this today; so far so good. Really liking the gameplay and graphically it looks good. So glad I backed this game.

My only complaint would be the... lack of battle theme.
 

Burt

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Nov 8, 2012
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Any other impressions? Game looks pretty solid from the videos I've seen.

Any word as to how long the campaign is?
I think there are 8 dungeons, so having gone through 4, I would say 15-20 hours. Probably between 20 and 25 if you're doing the extra stuff like the hunts, the arena, sidequests, etc.
 

Tizoc

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Jun 23, 2010
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Backers should consider posting feedback on the gameplay in the Battle Chasers NW forum.
 

Aostia

El Capitan Todd
Sep 2, 2011
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I hope they get it running decently. The devs made statements about certain difficulty with the Switch version. Seems weird for a game of this style, but I'd imagine any game would be a problem if you just force-feed existing code into the Switch's environment, without various system-specific optimizations. This would be well suited for the console, so I'm hoping they overcame those issues.
In fact I'm happy they slighlty delayed both Sine Mora and this one.
I wnat the Switch versions to perform fine
 
Sep 27, 2009
478
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Brisbane
Ugh. Been trying to upgrade my pledge to a physical copy for @2 weeks now, and every time I get the same error "Unable to generate a checkout. Please go back and try again." :(
 

Poodlestrike

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May 28, 2014
30,358
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So far, pretty easy, but a lot of fun. And of course it's GORGEOUS.

I love the Hunts idea. Calling out bonus bosses is a great idea, and the one I've stumbled across so far was really cool.
 

Exentryk

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Jun 21, 2012
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It's so hard to find a story trailer or even to just see cutscenes and voice acting. Had to look up some early 40mins video that showed how the story side of the game works, and to be honest, it looks great!

Since I don't have anything else to play in early Oct, I'll be there day 1 on Steam.