Thoughts on Mystic Grove's gameplay + suggestions for improvement

Not really sure if this fits in here or General, but :woman_shrugging:

The new LC map is pretty interesting, conceptually, but gameplay-wise, it seems to heavily favor the knights. I haven’t played it too much, but I’ve went through 2 games, and none of the dragons came close to a win. I don’t consider myself an awful dragon either, and I personally had some issues as the dragon as well.

Issue #1: The Darkness
First main issue is the darkness, or more specifically, how the knights are the only ones who have a method to see better in the dark. Although the darkness makes things harder to see, the knights only have to track one large dragon (which is simple enough), while the dragon has to track up to 7 small knights. This in itself gives the knights a major advantage, but they also have the lantern: while it does reveal their location, it only has to be turned on long enough to find the dragon, and then can be turned off. Plus, even if you find a knight who has their lantern on, they’re often far away, and you have some knights close-by that are currently a bigger problem. In fact, I’ve personally snuck behind the dragon from the front and pressed its button without the player even noticing.

The Solution: Night Vision
Basically, instead of just giving a tool to one side, give it to both sides. Personally, I think it’d be fair enough to give the dragon permanent night vision (or at least the center of its vision and not the periphery), but it could also be a toggleable thing, where the eyes glow when used. I think the button itself is bright enough, though.

Also, unrelated to dragon balancing but related to the topic, add key prompts for the lantern? I thought it was some item you picked up in the map, but it’s just the flashlight.

Issue #2: Foliage

Since the map is a grove, there’s plenty of trees to be found. They don’t really pose an issue with restricting movement, but they definitely restrict vision, particularly if you’re more of an aerially-inclined dragon. Sure, you can see yourself through the leaves, but you can’t see the ground or the knights, and going anywhere near the trees is practically a death sentence.

The Solution: hide the leaves

Something like the fade effect for the platforms in minigolf but for the leaves would probably work the best. Just decrease the opacity a bit more, since it’s already hard enough to see in the darkness as it is.

Issue #3: The Sword

I’m just going to say that I absolutely adore the idea of being able to pull out the sword and use it to slay the dragon, but its awfully executed balance-wise. It functions as a OHKO birb alternative (although rank-limited), which is already powerful enough, but the birb also spawns normally on the map as well. Although it does go away for a few rounds if it successfully kills the dragon, it’s located at the same location on the map at all times, can be pulled out at the very beginning of the round, has no drawbacks to use, and can’t be countered by the dragon until it’s pulled out (which is only the span of a few seconds before the sword soars into the dragon’s face). The dragon can attempt to target any barons or counts before they reach the sword, but 1. it’s hard enough to distinguish them from the rest given how dark it is, and 2. the sword is literally right there in front of the knights.

These properties make it extremely unfun to play against as the dragon, and often causes the dragon to just camp on top of the sword when it’s available to make sure no knights can obtain it.

It’s a bit harder to think of ways to balance it, but here are some potential suggestions:

1. Change how the weapon works: Given how a sword is generally a melee weapon, not a throwing weapon, it would make sense to make the sword act more like a sword. This new sword would still let you kill the dragon instantly, from any angle (not just the back), but would require you to be in melee range (maybe 1.5x - 2x button pressing range). As an upside, you can swing it as many times as you want during the round (just with a cooldown), and you don’t drop it when you get spooked.

2. Require the sword to be prepared before use: Instead of just being able to pull it out of the stone and use it immediately, you have to use an item that spawns in a random location on the map (maybe Holy Water or something along those lines) on the sword before it obtains dragon-killing capabilities.

3. Make it so pulling out the sword resets your rank: Turns the sword into a game of risk vs. reward rather than just a straight advantage. Pulling out the sword resets your rank (or brings it down two tiers or so), but in return, killing the dragon with the sword nets you a hefty payout. Balances its usage and high payout on kill with the fear of missing out on the increased rank payouts if you fail or have your kill taken by someone else. Also prevents those pesky counts who stay back from the action after reaching their rank from always grabbing the sword when its available.

Yea, I agree with pretty much all of this. Any way to be able to see the knights easier as the dragon would be great, as right now they’re very hard to see, which I guess was the point, but it’s not super fun to play against.

I think the sword could still work as it does right now if it stunned the dragon instead of killing it, but I like your suggestions too.

1 Like

I think there was supposed Night Vision for the Dragon, it was labelled on the Trello. Not sure if they removed it after testing or found some limitations (or if what was released is the night vision).

I like this idea.

Yeah I think we need to adjust the fade system a bit more.

I think I like this the most out of the other choices.


I’m just gonna tack this on this thread- the rocks are super slippery on this map, and it makes it hard to like… move consistently. 'Cause some you can stand on, some you slide off, and others you start surfing on and get stuck between the rocks and the collision. Idk if like, more simple collision with a flat top would help, or just making it so you don’t slide off of them. This also happens on some rocks on Knightsend- but it’s more of a problem on this map I feel.