Anyone else find the lack of info about the early access release weird?
I tried to look up info last night on PQ3. It took me down a rabbit hole of weirdness. Posting this as some feedback to the devs, and to spark conversation.
TLDR: Where’s the marketing team?
Often games have a big hype up to the early access release. This one had nothing. Yesterday, surprise, game is out.
The PQ3 website says the game is only for Android now. No problem there. But no where is it stated there’s region locks. The only official statement on that came today not on PQ3’s website, not on their FB page… but here in GoW forums embedded as a comment in a thread. Puzzle Quest 3 Gameplay - #22 by Saltypatra
Technically their site mentions soft launch, but I thought that referred to it being Android only.
Where’s the conversation taking place for this game? There’s no PQ3 subreddit. The official PQ3 forums are eerily quiet. Early release was more than a half day ago, but there’s only 4 comments/topics there, half from devs.
The PQ3 website was clearly not tested on phone. This is a bad look when it’s a mobile game. If you click the navigation hamburger button, click an item like News, it’ll load News but won’t hide the Navigation menu. Oddly, on the News page itself, there’s zero text. In order to see the headline “Puzzle Quest 3 Begins Soft Launch”, you must click the image.
I am NOT saying this is a bad game. I’m just confused by the lack of info and social presence.
I’m only speculating, but “marketing” may be quiet because the game servers can’t handle a ton of traffic??? I’ve tried connecting several times since I saw the early access announcement on Twitter. 95+% of the time, I get a lovely 'No connection. Failed to connect to the servers. Please try again." message. The three times I’ve gotten connected, all seems good in terms of gameplay/speed/internet connection/etc.
I’ll also add that with the amount of time I have gotten to play, I’m digging the game.
Managed to play for a bit and I’d rate it “give it a try out of 10”.
My preliminary impressions so far:
The game is much slower and deliberate than GoW, interesting change of pace. BUT it gets super frantic once you attempt to get more matches in before your turn ends. It’s such a manic contrast, I’m not sure the keep-your-turn mechanic is fun.
The story seems pretty interesting so far.
Audio effects and music are really good.
The game runs poorly at higher visual fidelity. I really hope this gets fixed before release, considering how little is happening on screen.
Items you equip don’t seem to change your hero’s appearance.
I couldn’t find any customisation options besides gender.
Classes seem to be tied to a single race.
The game’s shop is pretty fleshed out already. If you’re no fan of 2020/2021 GoW, then this game is not going to be agreeable. The amount of time and moneygating makes GoW seem positively generous.
The 3D models are well done but the graphics in general are painfully late-2010s-smartphone-RPG-inspired-by-World-of-Warcraft generic.
Adding my thoughts to your list from about 10ish hours of playing:
Gameplay is highly strategic. Each moves matters, especially on higher level opponents or bosses. As the enemy does not manipulate the board unless using an actively ability that does that specifically, the player can save Power gems/skulls and work around them until needed to get out of a bad situation or to inflict major damage on a boss.
Getting used to the multiple moves per turn takes some mental reconditioning. Each move becomes not just looking for a valid match 4 or better, but rather imagining “how can I solve this game board?”. With some practice, a player can easily make 3-4 additional moves in the two bonus seconds with a favorable board. Diagonal moves add a whole entire dimension to what is possible when solving the game board.
I’ve made it to the first big progression wall in Chapter 3. Also impressed with the story and music so far. There’s definitely significant effort applied here.
Unoptimized, I think is the appropriate word here perhaps. I run the game on max because I am using a Note 20 Ultra. However, the game makes my phone run very hot and burns through battery like crazy. First time I have ever seen a gaming app even come close to maxing load on the phone’s processors. There are also sometimes long load times from internal memory, especially when loading new story segments, even with full asset pre-downloads.
A little disappointed with this, as well. However, strangely, gear and spells can be freely transferred between different classes. That’s an odd concept, unless there’s class specific gear/spells later on.
This is likely so that the game can play on lower spec phones with low-quality graphics settings enabled.
Yeah… this is going to the “big one”. The game hits the player hard and fast with the monetization and it is significantly harsher than Gems of War by a considerable margin. Adding a super-premium currency above Gems (called Crowns), is going to turn some heads. Crowns are essentially a roundabout equivalent for the direct real-money transactions in Gems of War.
Also, battle passes are a thing from Day 1. Further, VIP status runs on a subscription system that ties earned VIP benefits to keeping an active subscription. Let the subscription lapse, and the players effective VIP reverts back to level 0 until the subscription is renewed (full earned benefits to date are restored at that time). Even at VIP 1, the active benefits are a huge advantage over F2P players.
That said, F2P gaming can happen here. However, there are definitely design decisions to make the journey to self-sufficiency much, much harder than in Gems of War. Beginning inventory limits are very low and it is extremely painful to have to throw away that Legendary (Ruby) or Mythic (Diamond) treasure chest that has the gear you need because there is no space to hold the chest and unlocking these chests for “free” can cost upward of a full day’s of time (or an exorbitant amount of gems) for each of those scarce chest slots. These limits can be raised through followers, but even gaining access to them is story-gated and then they have to leveled up for each individual inventory or resource type… definitely a very long-term gameplay goal.
I have a hard time imagining this as well. I can’t possibly see how I would be able to duplicate the speed of a swipe on a touchscreen using a mouse or touchpad on a PC/laptop. Will have to see the solution the devs come up with for this.
@Tacet was doing pretty well with a mouse on an Android emulator for his recent PQ3 stream so I think a mouse would be okay but I had the same thought about controllers - I don’t see how it would work in the current time limit.