Rational Schemes: New Enemies, Hero For Necropolis

Harebrained Schemes, the gang best known for Shadowrun Returns, this month launched their all-new third-person action roguelikelike Necropolis [official site] to a bit of a mixed reception. “It’s a clumsy, dull, shallow, lacklustre trudge through cold soup,” is Wot John Thinks. “And fails at the most important aspect of any game in the genre: making me want to have another go.” Okay, John’s reaction wasn’t so mixed.

After listening to initial feedback, Harebrained have detailed future plans for the game. These include adding another character, improving enemy behaviour and making them more varied, and boshing in a new environment with new enemies.

After releasing a wee patch making perk descriptions more informative (something else John had complained about), Harebrained Schemes gave an update on their plans. Here’s what they say they’ve learned from initial reactions:

  • First, Necropolis is a game people *want* to like. Many reviewers and commenters prefaced their criticisms with statements like, “I really wanted this to be good.”
  • Second, people expected more content and more variety for their money. Whether it’s more enemies, more environments, more loot, or more variety in a level, the message is that more variety is needed.
  • Third, many of the item descriptions in the game are obscure and unhelpful, making it hard to make decisions about what to buy or equip. And because our item descriptions are obscure AND written in the Brazen Head’s snarky/humorous tone, some people find them irritating.
  • And fourth, some players found the game too easy and the AI in need of improvement. For example, players report that many enemies can be beat using the same tactics and they want more variety and challenge in combat.

They then go into what they plan to add. Some of these are coming in the next fortnight while others might take up to two months. This isn’t the full list but a few things which caught my eye – check Harebrained’s post for all details broken down by when they’ll arrive:

  • Continue to improve enemy behaviors to make creatures more fun to fight.
  • We’ll be exploring enemy speeds, aggression settings, animation timing and more to better differentiate enemies and vary their challenges.
  • Revise spawning system so that enemy spawning feels more logical and less frustrating.
  • New enemies that change up gameplay.
  • Revise enemy spawning so that some harder enemies will show themselves earlier in the game, resulting in more challenging combat with a greater variety of enemies.
  • New ways to engage with and affect the environment, like the platforms you can rotate.
  • Completely new outdoor environment – The Black Forest – a wintry deathscape to explore.
  • New Black Forest enemies.
  • New potions and scrolls.
  • A second playable character, the Brute.

A fair few of these seem like they’d help with John’s complaints. If you’ve been playing Necropolis, what do you make of Harebrained’s plans? What else would you like to see?

From this site

18 Comments

  1. eclipse mattaru says:

    I guess “not making it a roguelike” would be kind of a stretch, huh?

    I love the art style and anything that resembles Dark Souls’ combat has all my attention, but I just can’t see myself engaged with a game that erases all my progress with every death. Hell, most days I don’t even have the *actual time* to play through a game like that.

    • Static says:

      It will save your progress if you quit part way through. So you can pick up any rules from where you left off. I’ve done this several times. As for losing everything on death, it doesn’t bother me in particular but I do wish there was a bit more variation in possible drops and potential builds between runs.

      Honestly all I really want is for them to add workshop support so I can just add the stuff I want.

      • eclipse mattaru says:

        Hmmmm, that’s interesting. To be hones, I never played an actual roguelike because that description puts me off, sounds like something that would annoy me considering the short bursts of time I have for playing games.

        Then again, I realize I might be just like the people who avoid the Souls series because they’re described as “hardest gaem ever”.

        • LexW1 says:

          Funny thing with Roguelikes is that they actually seem to work quite well with short play periods. I mean, I was the similar – though I liked the concept, I was sure it wouldn’t be compatible with the shorter periods I had to play, but having tried several roguelikes they’ve all been great fun and worked well.

          Most are very good at pausing part-way through, because they don’t have to try to make the game hard by rationing save points.

        • noodlecake says:

          Roguelikes are pretty much the only type of game I play when I want a quick game of something. Spelunky, The Binding of Isaac, Nuclear Throne. There might be others.

          FTL and Dungeon of the Endless are much slower (FTL is much better IMO, although DotE has a very nice aesthetic and is quite a clever game too), and good examples of roguelikes that probably wouldn’t be for you.

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            Jekadu says:

            FTL runs are more or less capped at about 90 minutes, though. It’s longer than many other games but not exactly unwieldy.

          • noodlecake says:

            Ah. It’s been a good while since I’ve played it. I couldn’t remember. Have a lot of hours on it though.

      • Lintire says:

        Not to be a party pooper, but just about every single roguelike ever lets you quit and continue from where you left off. It would be a particularly shitty roguelike that didn’t.

        Otherwise I agree with whatsisface the comment chain starter. Screw permadeath. I’m over that shit. Unless your game is so mired in running and abandoning completely different builds – aka from Minotaur Beserker to the famous “tourist run” in Nethack – permadeath is not a selling point to me in the slightest.

        Other than that it’s nice that they’re continually supporting this game and not letting the poor reception get them down.

        • noodlecake says:

          Eh. That’s fair. Permadeath is definitely a selling point to me… Depending on the game. If it’s one like XCOM where you can easily click somewhere and realise you’ve sent a guy to a square in the foreground or background by accident then it’s not an option, but I am very prone to save scumming when that’s there as an option and it totally ruins my experience a lot of the time

  2. bee says:

    It sounds like they aren’t planning to do anything about the sluggishness of combat and movement, which was another major complaint many people had. I for one will continue to ignore the game until they fix that.

    • Baines says:

      It sounds kind of like they’ve missed half the reasons people have been complaining.

      • Tinminator says:

        Tell me about one thing they ignored and combat is stated in this part:We’ll be exploring enemy speeds, aggression settings, animation timing and more to better differentiate enemies and vary their challenges.

    • Tinminator says:

      It might be a little hard to find, but they said:”We’ll be exploring enemy speeds, aggression settings, animation timing and more to better differentiate enemies and vary their challenges.”
      Which basically means the combat, but most people complaining about this, were the one´s who only used the starting weapon and played it for 10 Minutes, so this isn´t even one of the real problems.
      I think there should be more movesets which they add with the brute.

  3. MetalShadowChaos says:

    This pleases me greatly. I held back on getting Necropolis because of the complaints, so it’s very encouraging to see that the devs are keen to help it live up to it’s potential.

  4. khaoselement says:

    One new hero eh? Shame they showed off THREE heroes at the beginning of all this. They intentionally pulled content, and then stated they’d be released later as DLC if the game does well. How about giving us TWO “new” classes, and then start planning a third.

    Also, the Brute eh? I bet that’s just more melee, with a bigger beating stick. This isn’t going to add variety.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Hmmmm, that’s interesting. To be hones, I never played an actual roguelike because that description puts me off, sounds like something that would annoy me considering the short bursts of time I have for playing games.

      Then again, I realize I might be just like the people who avoid the Souls series because they’re described as “hardest gaem ever”.