The Plunge

So today, Godus released the 2.0 update, newer and better than ever… maybe?

I’ll start by addressing the post @jakamofo posted on Steam.

Wonderful new interfacing with the world (LESS CLICKING!). Every interaction with the world has been rethought to be more fluid and less frustrating. You can now hold and drag easily to interact with trees, rocks and belief.

For anyone who doesn’t know or needs a reminder, before this update sculpting the terrain and collecting belief was a pain in the butt. For sculpting, getting rid of a hill was the work of hours. To collect belief, (the currency to make terrain changes) you had to click each. and. every. individual. house.  Basically, the game had lots of unproductive clicking and dragging, and quite frankly my wrist still hates me for starting this game. Supposedly that’s been dealt with in this release.

In terms of collecting belief (including getting rid of trees and rocks), I agree that there has been drastic improvement. Now you can just click and hold, and then drag your mouse around the different houses until you’ve collected all the pink bubbles. If you’re zoomed out, it goes by quickly enough. Plus, as long as you’re dragging, the camera becomes sensitive to the mouse and will move in the direction you choose. (You can click on the pictures to see a bigger screen cap.

Timeline, with stickers!
Timeline, with stickers!

Unfortunately, I think the developers failed at reducing clicking for the following reasons. You can either scroll-click or right click, but to move around the map when you’re not leashing you still have to click a damn button. Best way to improve this is to use the keyboard (the arrows or asdw) to navigate the map. Next, the interface has hidden a lot of the features from view, which visually is a great improvement but now there’s – wait for it – more clicking – to get to those abilities, like your God Powers and your Follower Development Timeline. By the way, WHY isn’t the timeline scrollable?? I get that it’s horizontal but I’d rather scroll then have to click and drag.  *My sidekick K. notes that on the timeline you can’t even use the arrows to navigate.

One thing that was improved in terms of your followers, is that now you can select more than one at a time and tell them where to go. Very helpful. The sad part is that this doesn’t apply to when you want to give them an energy boost (if they run out of energy, they go back to their house to rest, which wastes a lot of time), so instead of selecting a group of workers in the same area, you have to click each individual one just so they don’t waste time going back home. (Still better than them dying off, which is what happened before)

Final point on the clicking subject: sculpting has *supposedly* been made easier and more responsive. However, I’ve gotten to the Agricultural stage of the Bronze Age and I can still only move one layer at a time. Sculpting is still time consuming and wrist exhausting.

TL;DR: the interface is cleaner, and there have been several improvements in terms of mass action, but I can’t say that there’s less clicking.

Improved Sculpting. Moving the land is much more accurate and more responsive. You’ll be able to move further and with more control. And rest assured, sculpting will continue to improve even more! No more repeated clicking – you just hold and drag in any direction, at any speed.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t wholeheartedly agree. Moving a layer at a time has certainly gotten easier, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can only move one layer at a time. If anyone has learned a good strategy for this I would love to hear it.

Introducing the Leash. We’ve waved goodbye to the clumsy totem power. Now you can hold on any number of Followers or occupants, then drag towards a destination in the world and release on it to send them there. It’s a big advance and feels lovely!

I agree that this feature is pretty awesome. The narrative actually teaches you how to do it, too, so that’s nice. All you have to do is click on one follower, then drag to any others in the vicinity that you also want to move, and then drag the mouse to the area that you want them to get to. Only complaint I have for this is that the followers are still really dumb, and avoid the obvious path, get stuck on ridges even though there’s space to step down… and… just don’t necessarily follow your instructions. But I guess that doesn’t have anything to do with leashing.

Complete redesign of the cards system. Now players discover cards across a timeline and unlock them by applying stickers that are found in the world. You choose which cards to unlock and thus your people’s advances will be unique to you. As time goes on each player’s civilisation will become vastly different from the others.

I’m also meh about this one. Now, the little chests all over the map unlock stickers, which unlocks the cards you get at population milestones. One card needs a lot of freakin’ stickers. Supposedly you can pick and choose your improvements, but people with OCD like me will have trouble not going down the timeline in order, since nothing so far seems like a disposable advancement.

Brand new GUI implementation. Much sweat and many tears have gone in to a more intuitive and beautiful interface with which to play the game.

How many shall die today?
How many shall die today?

Again, eh. Since the game is still in beta I’ll try to be forgiving, but a lot of the icons (particularly in the settlements and on voyages) are very pixelated and in general seem rushed. I can only hope that this improves over time, but more beautiful? I’d say about the same. More intuitive? No. Can someone PLEASE tell me what the point of breeders and buffers in the settlements are, and what ratio to builders / farmers we should have? Because I really don’t get it. Same thing goes for the voyages. I get that we’re supposed to get them to the shrine, but that’s all. There are a lot of unexplained features that might make complete sense to the developers, but don’t make sense to the player (or is it just me?).

the point is to avoid the big guys...
the point is to avoid the big guys…

Voyages of Discovery. A brand new game mode where you must guide your Followers across uncharted lands against the clock. There are special rewards for successful voyages!

I partially addressed this above, but to continue: The concept is intriguing, but the narrative doesn’t explain different strategies to make it through each level. It basically says “These are voyages. Get x number of followers to the shrine. okay… go!

Explore a new Homeworld. Start your Followers on a new journey, with a completely re-authored landscape to explore.

This was nice. I got pretty bored of the old landscape so having this was a nice fresh start.

New God Powers. Put out fires and increase the beauty of trees with the Rain of Purity, or customise your world by planting trees with the God Seed power.

Belief Menu
Belief Menu

Can’t give much input for this, since I haven’t gotten to new God Powers yet. Has anyone gotten this far and want to share his or her thoughts?

Reengineered Follower Behaviour. We’ve implemented a much more intelligent Follower system that gives unique attributes to each follower’s brain and makes them react to the world.

Unemployment rate of 23%
Unemployment rate of 23%

The followers are definitely not more intelligent. Builders don’t necessarily build when you take them directly to an empty plot. I still can’t figure out how to get my homeless and unemployed followers to do anything… they seem to decide on their own after a fashion. Right now I’m watching my farmer run back and forth from the gate of the settlement to one of the houses and I can’t seem to make him work on a farm.

How did you even get there?
How did you even get there?

Countless redesigns, gameplay tweaks, and bug fixes. Months of hard work has gone into improvements to the experience. There are so many that we couldn’t start to list them, but you’ll feel them throughout.

All I can say to this is that while there may have been several bug fixes, just as many were created with this new update. So no change, really.

I think that the game’s biggest problem is it’s lack of purpose. As far as I can tell, there’s no plotline or ultimate goal.  Civilization has the easy concept of DOMINATION, be it through conquest, culture, science, or diplomacy, but nothing like that with Godus. Perhaps I’m missing the point. I never played Black and White, but to me Godus has no goal, and therefore lacks incentive to keep playing. User interface will have to be much more appealing for me to accept the “Yay, sandbox!” deal.

That’ll be all for now. Since I haven’t had much interaction with anyone playing Godus, I would love to get feedback and read other experiences. Maybe someone has had a completely awesome run with this update, which would be awesome.

–  Y.

*The point of this website, my introduction, and why my first post is about Godus will be addressed at a later time. Hopefully.

a.k.a. Yuri the geeky Hapa