Some feedback for The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot (open beta)

The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot by Ubisoft is a game with Dungeon Keeper-esque elements that got mixed with elements of those annoying little timed browsergames we all know and hate. Be that as it may, Iím not going to criticize them for making a game based on principles they clearly want in it. TMQFEL (Iím not going to spell this out every time) is currently in open beta and playable for free Ė aside from the option for microtransactions they already implemented. So Iíd imagine they would like to get some feedback from all those players that already play it. However, I find it impossible to log in to their forums. They didnít provide an email address to contact their support either. So I will just write down what I think about their game in its current state here and link it to them over other channels.
For other readers, who havenít played the game, most parts of this page wonít make much sense. Sorry.

Since Ubisoft already has an army of bug reporters, Iím going to focus on more conceptual aspects of TMQFEL that still have room for improvement, rather than telling them which boxes are too small and such.

Jan 16, 2015

While a game is still under development, it should have a big friendly button that reads ďFeedbackĒ in a visible place, leading the players to a page where they can give feedback in a fast and uncomplicated manner, every time they feel like it. This especially true as they need to be logged in to play in the first place, so the developer instantly has all sorts of information about their account available.

Players canít play as a girl unless they rent her from you for real money. Do you want to tell the player base something? You arenít pimps, are you? I understand the implementation of the Runaway as a novelty class, but you should make the sex of your hero optional. One of the most scary Warriors I ever encountered was a woman, so donít hide behind gender stereotypes.

All characters of a class look exactly the same. Thereís no customization-option when the player chooses a hero. Thereís not even an option to name the hero. Why should anybody care about that chunk of generic stats that looks the same as thousands of others? In other games, players can even name their pet...

Explain what stuff does in some form of documentation. Some especially puzzling things I encountered were:
 - Sometimes thereís a coin, a... cross or a pair of dice on some castleís profiles, as well as occasional banners. Nowhere is it explained what these mean.
 - Weight. It took me forever to realize that weight is, for the most part, a very bad bonus. The tutorial should cover stuff like this. Or better yet: Have a little ď?Ē button, that shows a layer of help texts.

The castle doesnít talk. The player lives in a magical castle, with a heart Ė and it doesnít talk. But every few minutes, you get remarks from the guy that sells stuff to you, who lives in a totally different (and probably very remote) place. That just makes no sense. Every kind of verbal response concerning the castle should come from the castle itself. Also it could back-talk at an invading hero every time he insults the player. It could make poor arguments or even agree with the hero from time to time for comedic value.

TMQFEL is a 2D game with 3D graphics, so I quite often find myself in situations where I think ďIf only I could move around the camera to another angle.Ē Right now there are only 8 angles available, but switching between them is done smooth enough so it becomes apparent that a free placement of the camera would be quite doable.

Jan 17, 2015

The workings of several expensive traps and creatures are documented sparsely at best. Since this is probably because of the size limitations of the tooltips, right now the best solution seems to be some kind of test chamber, where a player can play around with all the dungeon interior he or she has access to, without having to buy them first.

There should be a way to decorate a castle with portraits of yourself, your hero, a chicken... Right now my characterís castle is more of a labyrinth with monsters than anything else. Itís certainly not a place for him to live in. Which would be fitting, if it was called labyrinth, dungeon or parkour. At least being able to decorate something like a throne room in the treasure chamber would have been nice.

Right now there are only one or two NPC castles per level and most of the attackable player castles on the same level are shielded, no matter what level Iím at. There is an option to switch player pools, but since this costs resources (either gold or freemium) Iím not very eager to switch to a pool that looks more or less the same.

(fixed [presumably] 25 Jan 2015): There seems to be no possibility for players to see comments on their own castles, yet other players can see them.

Thereís also no method for players to communicate in private or to leave each other private messages. These seem like rather basic features which can be expected in a game you mainly play with others.
There is a chat right now, but without timestamps thereís no way of telling when a line had been said or asked. The internet is all about communication, but as it stands, TMQFEL could as well be a single player game with downloadable levels. Despite occasionally talking to other players, I feel kind of actually very alone while playing this.

Jan 18, 2015

Upon reaching Level 18 earning even a single level takes forever, even when attacking castles two levels higher than oneself. While I see a certain potential in this game, I doubt that Iíll reach Level 30 to see what it has to offer. Thereís really not much innovation taking place for several levels now and quite frankly, TMQFEL has become more of a grinder game than anything else. Iíve become rather demotivated to invest all that time just for the smallest of improvements.
While at this point there is potentially more to discover, many of the mechanics have run out of new and shiny. Iím sorry, but while I managed to drag myself to Level 21, I donít think I can stay interested in this game. It was nice while it lasted, but eventually I stopped to care. Partially because of the issues described here, partially because the game couldnít make me care.

Jan 21, 2015

I occasionally logged in during the last few days to give this game another chance, but nothing could really spark my interest again. There are some good basic features, but it seems to me like there isnít much else to this. Not being able to communicate properly and having no documentation worth mentioning are major problems that really should be fixed before the beta phase ends. But it also seems like the game has reached the end with its center piece of content: The dungeons. While there are always new combinations to try out or more pieces of gear to collect, there isnít something that is essentially new to these activities.
I think itís all these things combined that let TMQFEL look like a rather small game, despite being published by a big developer.

But I really appreciate that Ubisoft added a free to play phase during the open beta.

So long


Feb 08, 2015

Just a quick recap: I havenít received any form of feedback to my open letter to Ubisoft, as of yet.

Since the beta phase is well over now, Iíd say the overall job was underwhelming. Itís the very same unfinished game with the same problems and bugs. The only updates the game received during its transition from beta to full release were some superficial changes as well as some meaningless announcements from the companyís PR department.

Given that they started charging real money for items in the game during beta already, thatís pretty poor performance. While Iím sure that theyíll keep some players hoping for better weather, I wouldnít be surprised if most accounts were already abandoned.

To players that have spend money on this, I can only offer this advice: Treat that money as an investment into your lifeís experiences. Clinging to a game because you have already invested in it will bring you neither your time nor your money back. After charging players for over a year to test their game for them, I wouldnít expect Ubisoft to invest resources into improving TMQFEL all of a sudden. Certainly this is no behavior that players should reward by giving them even more money.

Mar 04, 2015

Today I managed to log into the forums, using a rather odd route. After several attempts to make a post, all resulting in a variety of error messages, I could finally work around what seems to be some undocumented filter to post a link to this feedback. That was unnecessary complicated...
I put a short description and a link to this page there, because it will probably be easier for me to update my page than trying to log in again. Also the forumsí capabilities of formatting text were far below those of phpBB or Microsoftís WordPad, which is just another weird thing for the list.
I felt like I owed them this after trying the game for free, but it sure was some hard work and I probably wouldnít jump through all these hoops again.

(To avoid possible accusations of making camouflaged advertising for my page, this page doesnít have any navigational links.)