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My experience in the Sea Caves (as of Nov. 2017)

Let us know about any bugs or notable problems you find in the demo, combat test, and other alpha/beta releases of Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. For suggestions, please use the Demo Discussion forum instead.

My experience in the Sea Caves (as of Nov. 2017)

Postby Paviel » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:30 pm

I've been playing the alpha pretty regularly for a few days, and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and experiences.

First of all, while I appreciate that you can get to the Sea Caves as soon as you have the Smarts to solve the plaque puzzle in the Hall of Heroes and the Tool Use skill to open the secret passage to the Sea Caves, that possibility leads to potential sequence breaking if you get there and do certain things before Katie decides to look for the treasure. I myself got both the map piece and the ruby amulet long before Katie started exploring the cave.

Then, too, the instructions on the map suggest that after getting the amulet, you should go through the dragon's mouth and defeat the pirate captain for the key. Again, it is possible to do this before you even see Katie in the Sea Caves, both because she only appears there after the midterm exam and because it is possible to completely miss her location on the way between the entrance and the pirate captain. This, I believe, could be solved by placing her at the entrance to the Sea Caves rather than one screen in.

There is an error in the dialogue with Katie after you tell her about getting the map piece and the ruby amulet, in which it is possible to ask her twice about what to do next, and say that you will get both the skull and the key.

There are also bugs if you go to the pirate captain's cave after talking to Katie earlier in the Sea Caves but before telling her about the map and the amulet, or if you first defeat the pirate captain and then talk to Katie.

It's not a bug per se, but the fact that you need four Big Booms to knock out the sea serpent and blow up the dam also makes for an "unwinnable" situation if you didn't buy them from Joel when he was available to sell them. Healing the Sea Serpent also requires a Full Health potion, which, again, you can't buy by the time Katie starts exploring the Sea Caves.

There also appears to be no way back from the sea serpent's lair or any of the rooms beyond after you blow up the dam. There should be a way back, and it should be more obvious.

Another possible point of no return: You need to walk a tightrope in the sea serpent's lair, for which (I assume) your Agility needs to be sufficiently high, as it does in the practice room. There are Agility Pills earlier in the dungeon to temporarily boost your Agility and enable you to cross the chasm even if you didn't practice on the tightrope earlier in the game (and I assume that that's why they're there), but if the last of those pills wears off when you're on the wrong side of the tightrope, it might be impossible to get out of the cave.

The dialogue placeholders with the chests in the Sea Cave indicate that some of them are a work in progress, but in particular, the chest on the ship docked near the Pirate Captain and the chest left behind by the sea serpent cause the game to get stuck; my only recourse (on a Windows PC) is to alt-tab out of the game and force it to close.

I understand that the Mermaid/Narwhal section is a work in progress as well, but the conspicuous absence of the skull where it should have been is also something that needs to be addressed.

Finally, when Katie talks about the Sea Caves afterward, the dialogue is either about how she still needs to solve it or about how she solved it without your help. If the dialogue for the alternative (i.e. that she has already solved it, and with your help) has already been written, it needs to be coded in properly; or if it hasn't been written, it needs to be.

I write all of this with the hope that the issues that I bring up will be addressed. Hero U is shaping up to be an incredibly fun game, and I hope these issues don't drag it down.
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Re: My experience in the Sea Caves (as of Nov. 2017)

Postby Mason1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:59 am

Pavel, I had much the same experience in Sea caves (going in early, Katie not showing up till later, the big booms not being purchasable, no skull that I could find at marlinspike area (so you can't complete the quest from what I could see. However, I also found that you can (without dropping the floor above the sea serpent, you can instead cross over, climb up, and take the rope bridges, you reach a point where you have the option of feeding the sea serpent dried fish till he has had enough. Also once you free the sea serpent, he seems to leave a floating chest but I've not been able to open it.
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Re: My experience in the Sea Caves (as of Nov. 2017)

Postby Paviel » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:30 am

I did fail to notice the stalagmite on the upper ledge where you could use your rope-and-grapnel set to climb down and get back from the sea serpent's lair. Maybe it would be a good idea to recolor it to make it more conspicuous. (And stalagmites are sometimes colored differently than the surrounding rock, aren't they?)

But that brings up another point of no return. If you use your rope-and-grapnel set to walk the tightrope across the chasm but don't pick it up, and if you then blow up the dam, you can't get back to the bottom of the ledge to reach the rope bridge, because you need the rope to get down. One way to fix this would be to have Shawn automatically take his rope and grapnel back after walking the tightrope (and maybe also after climbing up to or down from that ledge, to make it less obvious that the former is a potential point of no return even if the latter isn't).

The only way to complete the Sea Cave quest as it is, from what I can see, is by telling Katie that you'll go for the key and NOT telling her that you'll go for the skull. I didn't see much beyond the Death Gate that needs to be looked at, but the more playtesters see it, the better.
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Re: My experience in the Sea Caves (as of Nov. 2017)

Postby Mason1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:53 am

I though on my last attempt I had told Katie to go for the skull, and I went for the key, but when I brought the key, she told me I said I was supposed to get skull, but that may be my mistake, or I hit both options at different times. Next run through of that portion I will try making her get skull. The two ways I have dealt with the sea serpent both allowed for me to retrieve the grapple after I had used it. First run through I dropped the ceiling on him, then used a full heal potion, then blew up the dam. The second time was the feeding him and then blowing the dam, no extra big boom needed, no full heal potion wasted. When you blow the dam it drops you down to the lower level by the arch, but you can travel back and use your grapnel (or retrieve it) using the walkways back to the entry area. It took me a second to notice that other stalactite, but overall it felt intuitive.
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Re: My experience in the Sea Caves (as of Nov. 2017)

Postby Corey » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks! This is very useful feedback. It's generally better to report it in-game using F5 if it's a short report, or as email to support (at) hero-u (dot) net for longer reports. We don't always check this forum.

The missing skull was simply a bug; it's fixed in the currrent build. Same with Katie saying "I did it all by myself" when Shawn actually helped her. There were also some bugs with the stalagmites, and the solutions to those are non-trivial. (e.g. what does it mean to click on something Shawn can clearly see, but has no path to reach?)

The other issues involve more complex design decisions, so we'll discuss them some more internally and come up with solutions.
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