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Embers Adrift

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General Feedback on the game


Active Member
Just thought I would jot down my thoughts on the game for whatever its worth. Some of my views will have already been seen in various threads, but figured I would collate into a more comprehensive list.
First off, really happy for you guys to have managed to release the game, heck of an achievement! To give an idea on how this post is likely to go, I bought into the game a good few years ago when it was still SoL (being entirely honest, I was 80% sure I would not end up playing the game due to various minor mechanics planned, but loved the core gameplay plan so wanted to support it anyway and I have no regrets).
So, my thoughts (Apologies for excessive wordiness!):

Slow combat loop
- I started MMOs with EQ1, so the slower, non-twitch combat is a positive for me. I know all the rage these days is spamming buttons and wading through masses of mobs at once, but this slower, more intense combat is enjoyable.

Unpredictable Combat - I love the fact that adds are an issue (especially in particular areas like the bandit camp or those excitable rats in the first zone). When a pull does not go to plan the game really shines, adjusting to the situation, failing and returning to recalibrate your plans.

Group Focus - It's good that when alone you can do things, but the fact that from lvl 1 you can join with some friends and immediately challenge yourselves is sooo refreshing. I game with my wife and a long time friend and we suffer the same issue with every game we play - a tedious slog through a lvling experience designed to be accomplished by the most inept player you can think of and as a result grouping is just an inconvenience that makes a boring experience even worse. So, huge fan of the group focus.

Smelling Salts - Weird that it gets a specific mention, but I love the fact that everyone can help a teammate (or stranger) in need rather than restrict to a Support class. Coming back from the brink to win a fight that went wrong is hugely satisfying, having a healer screaming in your ear while kiting a mob to distract it when your striker is getting your friend up is a priceless experience.

Quests not Chore lists - I like that in a zone you may find quests and they give loot rather than xp. They are there to enhance your adventure and give additional goals and not simply an excessive dump of 'To Do Lists' designed to just feed you xp. In most games nowadays you go to quest hubs and grab like 20+ meaningless quests to help speed through your lvls - because these simple quests inevitably give you far more xp than actually fighting does and so they are a requirement to progress in games. I love the fact that here you can take or leave quests as you like. Happy for more quests to be added, but I don't feel the need to be drowned in them.

Maps - I like the lack of GPS, it fits the world and means you spend your time in the world paying attention. With GPS maps I find myself constantly with them open following my journey to my destination rather than paying attention to my surroundings. As a result, in those games I have travelled zones so often yet still would be lost if I turned the map off (which is a crime for someone who could direct his way through Lower Guk back in the day!)

Downtime - I like the unrushed feel of gameplay, so no surprise that I like resting between fights, it doesn't seem too long to me (though I have only experienced it at low lvl) and in a controlled fight I did not find we needed to rest everytime which was good

Wounds - Interesting mechanic, degraded max health that requires you to rest at an Ember flame to recovery is pretty cool, that said, I am not sure it is obvious? I was told by a stranger to rest up, not sure I would have been aware otherwise unless I missed the info dump somewhere. I also felt it was a little slow to recover, between downtime after fights and downtime for this it felt a bit too long, especially as the wounds recovered more slowly than a typical rest to recover does.

As you can see, the core designs of the game I am a big fan of and kudos to what you have managed! My negatives are mostly what I consider periphery design decisions that are secondary to the core game and I think don't really add as much as they take away (matter of opinion of course and naturally I am biased since I am not a fan of them it's no surprise I would consider them less important).


- Not a big deal, but personally I didn't feel my play was enhanced by night time and having to get a torch out, it just felt a bit onerous. Taking out, running around, planting, fighting taking out again. I get the idea of making night meaningful and immersive, I just found it more annoying than enticing. I think there is a reason D&D has so many chars with low light vision and lvl 0 light spells :)

No Compass - I have harped on enough about this so won't go on too much. While I love not having GPS maps, I hate not having a compass as I feel it doesn't add anything by not having it. Even with a compass it is essential you pay attention to your surroundings and note landmarks, if anything a compass enhances how useful that is for both finding your way around and directing people to you. For an immersion aspect, the idea I would be running around as an adventurer without such a simple yet essential tool is actually as irritating to me as F2P fantasy games where someone cruises past me on a surfboard or in a car. For me, a compass goes hand in hand with the no GPS map. I know there is the blue planet, the fact there is shows the importance of a navigational tool, I just don't feel that a compass would detract nearly as much as you fear, it can even be turned of if people want to stare at the sky instead.

Bag Space - The game really encourages you to use the loot in this game which is very cool, but the limited bag space feels like it fights against that design. Based on other games I would say 50-60 slots is a sweet spot, with possibility of some expansion later on.

Weapon restrictions - I understand the desire to separate the roles and the argument that the restriction helps you identify classes at a glance to help prioritise who to help first. But I am not convinced they are good enough reasons to justify the tight restrictions. The purpose of the odd armour weight design was to give players freedom of choice for gear, yet the weapon restriction goes completely against that. Sentinel cannot wear a shield? Duelist cannot duel wield? Support are stuck running around with a banner (I really hate them)? I understand specific weapons having a role restriction, but weapon types feels like it limits freedom for little gain.

Skills shortage - With a limited skillbar, I feel it offers the freedom to be generous with skills available to a role, enabling you to create varied versions of the same role and lets players theorycraft and mess around with their bar to keep things fresh. Currently there isn't really much flex to the roles or choices to make which is less exciting. I expect this is mostly because the game is new and creating and balancing skills is a lot of work, so I understand the lack, but I mention it as a con as I hope it is something the devs would like to get round to.

Chars/Animations - No surprise here, but the chars are pretty ugly and have very little hair options and some animations are awful or possibly even non-existent. I know with the small team and no dedicated animators that things will always be fairly basic, but when possible some things definitely need to be addressed.

Minor Issues that may be less about design and just overlooked (dare I say, 'things to adjust for convenience')

Equip/Trade restrictions -
Really minor issue, but it was surprisingly irritating that I could not trade when my Torch was out or equip an item when weapon (or torch I think) was out. I get not being able to equip in combat, but weapon/torch out stopping me from doing these things caused admittedly more inconvenience than it should have. If the restriction is to stay, then trying to trade or equip should automatically put the items away so you can proceed. This lends itself to a smoother feel to the game.

Bag open on sell - Again, real insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but when you talk to a trader, once you click 'Sell' it would be nice to have your bags open. I know it seems silly and not a big deal and perhaps an indulgent convenience, and in many ways that is true, but I think the more important aspect is similar to above in that it brings a feeling of the game being 'intuitive' which adds to the feeling of a smoother experience.

I haven't touched on things like crafting or gathering because they are not aspects I really enjoy in any game, so no point in giving my views on something I am already inclined to not get pleasure from, I am sure there are craft enthusiasts with plenty of feedback.

Keep on trucking, you have the core of a really fun game here!
Many thanks for the nice, constructive, well structurated feedback!