Universal Dawncaster: Deckbuilding RPG (by Rick van der Wal)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by JackDerp, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. Thank you! They will both be fixed in the next update. Keep 'em coming if you have any more, we're listening :)

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  2. (Sorry for the spam, noticed your reply only after I posted >.<)

    Enchantment effects with a duration of the entire combat don't stack and can't be imbued twice.

    Enchantments used to have the Unique keyword but in order to clean up their already quite wordy textbox a little we removed the tag from the card and made this a shared behavior for enchantments in general.

    Once an enchantment has been imbued or added to a deck, it will no longer appear in reward screens (tho merchants might still offer it).
     
  3. aconfusedkender

    aconfusedkender Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2012
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    #23 aconfusedkender, Mar 25, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2021
    @Wanderlost Interactive no worries. I actually answered my own question shortly after posting when I had played on for free and then drew the same card and it told me that I couldn’t have 2 at the same time hahaha

    thank you for answering though. Can you explain what Story Mode entails? I haven’t tried it yet because I’m a glutton for punishment and can’t seem to beat normal yet. Also maybe some tips would be nice from you guys (; I’ve played I think 7 runs so far and go the farthest with Warrior. Playing Crusader now to see if that helps. I can’t seem to find a good balance yet with decks because removing cards is a tough decision due to costs and need for Hp
     
  4. Hey @aconfusedkender

    The enchantments is something we're fixing in patch 1.0.5 where unique cards will no longer appear twice in reward pools or merchants :)

    Story mode is basically normal mode - but whenever your health drops below 0 it gets restored to full without losing your progress. In a way it is a 'cheat' mode for those who want to experience the story, see more levels or learn the fights if they are stuck or before they try the 'real thing'.

    As for tips - we have a strategy discussion thread on our discord where other players exchange ideas and tips to build real 'engines' (decks that run over the enemies) - which would be a lot more fun than me writing a manual on how to beat the game :p

    I can share some general tips for deckbuilders:
    - Keep decks small and consistent by skipping more rewards than you pick
    - Try to really push a strategy to its extreme to outscale the power curve
    - You might/will get smashed by a few of the encounters if you don't know what to expect, which was part of our envisioned learning curve. You shouldn't feel discouraged from running into these mechanics (just blame the sadistic devs)

    Specific to Dawncaster:
    - In general I'd say the Crusader is maybe the hardest build (most of its mechanics have a lot of RNG effects like random blessings and random cards)
    - The Arcanist and Warrior have the best options for recovering health via cards and weapon power, and are therefor the most forgiving. I wouldn't say they are the easiest but they offer some leniency in managing your most important resource, your health.
    - The average 'playtime' to a completed run during beta testing was about 10 hours.

    Hope this helps!
     
  5. Ringerill

    Ringerill Well-Known Member

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    I've been playing this game for more than 10 hours already and I can say for sure that 10 hours is probably a really successful run of someone who know exactly what he's doing :)

    This game indeed has the NOTFM vibes, mainly from the 3 cards to chose on your path and some dialogue choices. But in reality the mechanics are different. Expect a lot of deaths and a steep learning curve!
    There are 3 main types of classes: Warrior, Rogue and Arcanist. But there are 3 more that mix these classes by two: Warrior/Rogue, Rogue/Arcanist and Arcanist/Warrior. Plus a possibility to create your own mix, like in the game Spellsword Cards Origins. There is also a skill tree you can fill with each level up to enhance even more your specific build.

    Be warned that this game is hard but that's actually a good thing imo. You won't reach the final boss in 5-6 tries like in other games of this genre. You'll have to learn different strategies, how to deal with certain enemies, who to fight or pass and what risks to take.

    As the dev said, there is a channel for deck strategy discussions on Discord so if you are stuck, I suggest you to go there for help and advice!

    For new players, my few advices would be:
    - Don't try to get too many cards and hope to mulligan the whole Exodia in the first turn.
    - Don't go for a defence build. Try to make a strategy to finish fights quickly and efficiently.
    - Try to focus on cards that combo well together and avoid spending a turn for nothing. Some enemies can and will destroy you quicker than you think.
    - If you began to construct a specific build and strategy, try to keep at it and don't change it in the middle. It will be really hard to get rid of unwanted cards.
    - Have some debuff cleansing cards or buff removal ones just in case. Certain enemies can really become powerful as the fight progresses and can stack huge debuffs that will annihilate you.
    - Bleed is way more powerful than you think ;)
     
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  6. aconfusedkender

    aconfusedkender Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2012
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    The picture is final boss opening round. I have 5 imbued enchantments that really make the game a gem! And my deck might be broken, in a very good way, not a game flaw. My deck is amazing!

    Made it to the final boss and I went the Crusader with Divine Tech tree and I can’t be killed I heal so much and with my enchantments I also apply burn damage every time I heal. By the 3rd round of battle I usually have my enemy at 30+ burn (if they’re not dead) also I got an early copy of “Retribution” in my deck and built it up to 74 damage for one card. So it’s kinda Amazing I’m about to beat it and I’m not sure if it’s taken me 10 hours for this run. I’ve probably spent 10-15 hours of playing total...maybe more (; this run I’d say total should be around a few hours if it tells you when you beat it I’ll post it.
    @Wanderlost Interactive when you beat it does it give you a deck breakdown? Like show you what cards were in your deck? Thatd be cool cause I’d like to post my broken ass deck easier than just 3-4 cards at a time on the screen.

    I feel that I could take this deck to some sort of endless mode and it’d be a crusher!
     

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  7. @aconfusedkender

    Unfortunately no break down yet, but the idea has been floating around. We haven't really found a good UI view to list the deck in a mobile friendly way (and on a single, shareable screen) but that's just a matter of time. We want to make those bragging rights available to all who manage to beat the boss. Do be sure to show off the final score (and highest damage tho).

    And that does look like a setup that's ready for the next difficulty tier :D Love how you put your faith in the light and got rewarded.
     
  8. aconfusedkender

    aconfusedkender Well-Known Member

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    Then I suppose I will have to make a list of the cards for you! Why not do like a tabletop view of 9 cards face up per screen or something to that variety instead of the single slide bar viewer. Cause my deck is roughly 30 cards so it’s gonna be some typing
     
  9. aconfusedkender

    aconfusedkender Well-Known Member

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    Imbued Enchantments:

    Burning Resolve
    Aura of Brilliance
    Paragon
    Energy Shield
    Renewing Insights

    Crusader Deck:

    Ascendence - 1
    Blessed Strike - 1
    Call the Storm - 1
    Cauterize - 1
    Center Self - 3
    Conviction - 2
    Deliverance - 2
    Favor of the Gods - 1
    Flash heal - 1
    Memorize - 1
    Prestidigitation - 1
    Retribution - 1
    Revive - 1
    Sanctify - 1
    Siphon Magic - 1
    Smite - 4
    Solar Lance - 1
    Sudden Strike - 1
    Surge of Intellect - 1
    Surge of Strength - 1
    Wave of Light - 1
     
  10. aconfusedkender

    aconfusedkender Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2012
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    #30 aconfusedkender, Mar 27, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
    Think I broke the game LOL

    So when I used Call the Storm (draws card for each focus)(I had 30 focus hahaha) and made a cool looking helix! Still got to use the cards since I had a reduce all costs by 1 card everything was free

    Beat the game though and think you could at least show the name of the hero instead of just Victory (;

    awesome game now to try another build
     

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  11. anthony78

    anthony78 Well-Known Member

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    Tempted by this but have spent enough lately. Love these kind of games though so will keep it in mind in the future.
     
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  12. badmanj

    badmanj Well-Known Member

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    Any chance of this being Universal? Looks great on phone but terrible on an iPad... would love it on the Pad too!
     
  13. Norf

    Norf Well-Known Member

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    #33 Norf, Mar 27, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
    Saw it on TouchArcade, checked in store, saw low reviews, gave it a pass, came here, saw this discussion, tried it. A bit of a mixed experience overall, from someone who is pretty experienced with deckbuilders - Monster Train, Dream Quest, Slay the Spire, both Meteorfalls, Pirates Outcasts, Ascension, Clank, Hogwarts Battle, Spirit Island if you squint hard enough...

    There are a bunch of spelling mistakes - Dispell, squacking, argy among others. That breaks the world immersion but is otherwise trivial, tho.

    Above, @Wanderlost notes: "In general I'd say the Crusader is maybe the hardest build (most of its mechanics have a lot of RNG effects like random blessings and random cards)." I don't think that's the core problem, tho, although the power level of Blessings does vary wildly (although I think it would be fine as long as Armor was not treated as a Blessing). I think the problem is it takes a perk slot to unlock Divine cards, many of which involve Blessings, and the second set of opponents have a ton of erase a Blessing/steal a Blessing at the end of turn automatically baked into their characters. That's both thematically annoying (lore-wise, one would think the Divine in question would punish someone for attempting to usurp their power) *and* mechanically annoying, as in a deckbuilder it's critical to get your concept going ASAP and making the second area somewhere between a hard and soft counter for Blessing builds isn't great niche protection or game design IME. Arcanists focus on Focus is also punished disproportionately hard by this, although at least they didn't have to pay a perk for the privilege, while Rogues and Seekers get off very lightly, with Evasion stacks usually being ablated by combat before getting stolen.

    I do think ~85% of the game I've experienced I would rate 5 stars, but, like finding a fly in a deli sandwich, sometimes just a small amount of balance related stuff you really don't like early on compromises your trust in a game.
     
  14. Ringerill

    Ringerill Well-Known Member

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    #34 Ringerill, Mar 29, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
    I agree with you on that point. I'm personally triggered a lot by how the blocking mechanic is dealt with in this game. Usually it blocks melee attacks (often ranged too) and if the damage is blocked entirely, the afflictions such as bleeding or poison are nullified. But this is not the case here since you can bleed, burn and be poisoned through your shield, that can also be stolen by some enemy, which doesn't really make sense.

    But I wonder if I'm triggered by that because of the habits I have developed by playing similar games. The devs surely balanced the game enough to justify such mechanics so maybe it should be us getting used to this new thing and try to adapt to it?
    If I were to balance some things, it would most certainly be the first boss... It can heal, stun, poison, interupt (remove your energy you kept) and pollute your deck. Meanwhile, your character didn't even have access to a merchant yet and you often have to rely on luck for enemies to drop some decent damage cards to go through this phase... And she also generated 3 Energy while you only can generate 2 :(

    That being said, people beat the final boss with the Arcanist and Crusader recently and I'm sure other classes managed to reach the end boss as well. So it is possible, as long as you know what to do in these new settings!
     
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  15. andreadeda

    andreadeda Well-Known Member

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    Just beat the game with arcanist and full freeze mode; once i started to imbue the enchantments (had 5 at the end) was unstoppable.
    The one that applies one frozen at the beginning of each turn in particular is really strong as many cards have additional effects if the enemy is frozen; imbuing enchantments is really the game changer here.

    As for the talents i went for the unlocking of holy power first (some strong defensive cards there and had the enchantment that gives 1 gold mana every turn); on that path you can also reduce to zero the cost of one card, i selected the one that normally costs 3 mana and does 8 damage (3 times higher if target is frozen); had a card that makes one copy that costs zero of any selected card, an enchantment that duplicates the firs mage action every turn....

    Keeping the deck small (once imbued the 5 enchantments i believe i was at 12 cards) i could cast 3 times for 24 damage each on any given turn..

    Anyway very good game; there are a few little issues here and there but one in particular i would like to see addressed; unless i'm mistaken there is no way to select what kind of mana to use when you cast an action that uses neutral mana (like starting actions) and you have two types of mana; this caused me to sometimes having to cast spells in a different order from the one i would have used and loosing on the potential chain.
     
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  16. Norf

    Norf Well-Known Member

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    @andreadeda Agree on the mana choice. e.g. 2 Forcewands and one... shoot... whatever the starting Arcanist card that freezes based on damage, 1 Divine Energy, 2 Magic energy. x2 Forcewand into Frozen gives you the best outcome of your freeze, but many times I've had it use both Blue energy in a row and leave me with the only card in hand unplayable.

    @Ringerill Maybe agree on balance? I mean, it's definitely beatable because people have done it. That doesn't mean the balance is right, or that every archetype has a good mix of flavor and balance.

    Other weirdness:
    - If you play a card that creates a separate card or effect with Chain, that Chain goes away at the end of the action. E.g. Mindstrike w Forcewand. I can technically see why this doesn't work when you create a card w Ambush as your first action, but Chain makes no sense to me.
    - I had an encounter where I was offered to trade a card for a card of the same color and rarity, gave it a rare Divine, got a rare Dexterity card. Boo!
     
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  17. @aconfusedkender LOL @ that helix! Almost a shame to fix that :p (but we will)

    Not a bad score either! The highest that has been posted on our discord was a score of 4000+ so there is room for improvement :)

    ---

    @Norf Thank you for the in-depth feedback.

    I agree with the theme of the paladin not being perfect - good spot on how it thematically seems weird they are the weakest against the thieves and perhaps the mechanics fails to build momentum due to being hard countered in a crucial phase of the game :) The stealing of stacks you build around (or cleansing of them or immunities) however are necessary tools to challenge those types of builds without having them snowball unopposed/without penalty. I'd be very interested if you have any ideas here on how you'd approach that (happy to discuss any of the mechanics you mentioned on here or on our Discord)

    A few short notes:
    The transform mechanic needs some work, I see that it currently only checks if you can cast the card - will look into that!

    If you could specify the spelling errors that'd be very helpful. As a small (2 man studio) we haven't been in the position to get an editor on it, and neither of us are native speakers.

    ---

    @andreadeda Thank you for the kind words! The issue with selecting energy is really an issue of gameflow/phasing (we had a selector first, but it made playing cards clunky). In the new update you'll at least get a better indication of what energy is going to be spend so you can plan your actions accordingly (this wont take away all of the issues but goes a long way)
     
  18. Norf

    Norf Well-Known Member

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    #38 Norf, Mar 29, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
    @Wanderlost Interactive Thanks for listening.

    Squacking and argy are both "behind the tree" mini-events from the first area, bird and boar respectively - they should be "squawking" and "angry." (Unless the boar is a Brit, in which case he might be "argy bargy," but in that case he needs a pork-pie hat or football jersey or something.)

    Essentially every instance of "dispel" in the game I've seen is misspelled "dispell." Which could be a Terry Pratchett-style pun of sorts, but not the verb for making something disappear.

    There are others but I can't remember them now. Will screenshot them as I notice them.

    Balance issues: well, I would remove Armor from Blessings and make it its own thing - the kind of "I steal your magic" effects just don't seem the right fit for them. I would also change enemies that you want to be able to counter Blessing stacking have the ability to remove/steal a certain number of random stacks of Blessings, rather than an entire stack regardless of size. Finally, I would add to the Devotion talent some sort of punishment for this happening (thematically, damage to enemy or +1 Divine mana to the Paladin seem appropriate) - the talent description is very brief, you've got room to add. You could also make the ability to steal blessings a blessing itself, so that one could counter it.

    Also thematically - some effects, like the Weeping Broodmother's poison, require damage to poison, while others do not. It's a little off-feeling when you evade e.g. an undead soldier's sword strike and are still poisoned by it.

    Interrupt needs an explanation tooltip. It's clear from observation it removes accumulated energy, but it is the only effect I've seen thus far without a tooltip. It would be nice if that too were variable as opposed to all or nothing (so interrupt 1 would remove 1 energy, interrupt 2, 2 energy, etc).

    I think the Heroic Dazed effects are not well balanced for the lowered number of actions monsters take. Palm Strike or w/e it is offers Dazed 5, that's several rounds later for most monsters, 1 round for post-early game hero decks.

    Cards that copy other cards should either not copy Unique cards or you should be able to cast separate copies of unique cards additional times. Otherwise you get a non-functional copy of a great card for your trouble.
     
  19. aconfusedkender

    aconfusedkender Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2012
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    @Wanderlost Interactive

    Thanks for staying up to date and active on here. I know it’s only you two guys but you’ll are doing fine and with a little refinement this game will be even better. As for the spelling/grammar I don’t mind helping. Not sure if you have a text file of all the dialogue but email me if you need help.

    [email protected]
     
  20. Thank you! Very helpful indeed. And one could do worse than be accused of a Terry Pratchett-style pun, I happen to adore the Discworld :)

    As for the other suggestions - we'll be looking into that. They are very constructive and some touch on systems we've been meaning to revisit.

    @confusedkender that's very kind! We do have dialogue files - I'll send them to you. No expectations but any help is greatly appreciated <3
     

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