I figured instead of making a “my thoughts on Shadow Lords” thread, this can be one for everyone who watched yesterday’s stream to give their thoughts on KI’s brand new mode releasing on September 20th. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more once the beta comes out, because I believe (don’t quote me on it) that Rukari said those who get access to it are free to stream it.
There’s a VOD here:
And also a textual breakdown here:
It’ll be a little hard to make judgement, of course, seeing as the mode isn’t here yet, but I still want to contribute and I’m sure others do too.
So, for my thoughts, I’ll just do it in a list format.
What I Like
Story: This is probably something that only I really care about, but I really do like the fact that Shadow Lords seems to have a lot in terms of story. There’s unlockable files that give you background, and a LOT of them, it looks like. 240 for all characters, it looks like (barring probably the guests?), and more for the story-related items in Shadow Lords (they unlocked a file on the Flesh of Gargos, for example). I LOVE the fact that there’s so much plot, because that gives me a reason to play Shadow Lords more than once…and even then, there’s more than that. Also, before moving on, let me just say that I can’t wait to hear Kan-Ra’s new voice lines in full. What can I say? It’s the little things.
Unlocks/Replayability: There’s definitely a lot of Shadow Lords content to earn. Mimic skins, the aforementioned story files, plenty of items that’ll come in handy for the multiplayer mode, and the Astral Plane! When IG said they weren’t making Shadow Lords a “one and done” sort of gamemode, they weren’t kidding. And it’s only going to get larger as characters get released, too! Eyedol is an expansion pack, and assuming we’re going beyond Season 3, he’s only the beginning of SL expansions.
Random Events: One of my favorite games of all time is Persona 3, an RPG where, in the earliest levels, chance can either make you super strong ahead of time or mess you up and make you reload your save file. I like the risk/reward aspects of Shadow Lords! I want to be frustrated when I play, but I also want to get an amazing RNG roll that gives me something I desperately need. I like that characters can get ticked at the actions of others and refuse to work together; that’s also another awesome story thing. I hope that there’s a lot of events, and it seems like there is!
What I Think Can Be Improved
Character Access For Free-to-Play People: Before you accuse me of begging for free characters, I’m gonna warn you right now: I have all the Ultra Editions, so zip it! That being said, I think people should still be able to play characters that they don’t own in Shadow Lords, if it’s possible techwise. It’s not a serious mode, it doesn’t seem that easy to get other characters on your team (or at least the specific character you want), and I don’t think you’re going to gain any real experience by fighting intentionally OP AI enemies. And I don’t mean “make everyone free” in Shadow Lords, but if you get an event that lets you add Hisako to your team, but it won’t let you play as her because you don’t own her, I think that’s silly. What if the free character becomes somebody who’s heavily disadvantageous when teamed with Jago? That means a player is going to have to wait another week for a character that may or may not get along with Jago.
Challenge: On the Shadow Lords stream, Gargos was taken down each time. Mind you, this was with what I’m sure is a ton of playthroughs and a ton of bought items since it was a dev account, and even then Gargos still defeated 2 characters with all his buffs. Not to mention that you don’t HAVE to start out with all your previous items if you don’t want. I still fear that Shadow Lords might get to a point where you’re too OP to have fun anymore?
Again, I can’t judge this fully, since I haven’t touched it myself. This might just be me having fear. You can also run different team comps to give you a challenge, too…I dunno. I guess all I’m saying is that I don’t want Shadow Lords to become the “once you get all your stuff you just grind for unlocks” mode, especially since we might have to wait a while for an expansion after Eyedol. (which also might not be true!) Is it possible to use online Shadows as your opponents? I think fighting a Shadow with buffs would be a solid challenge, especially if they’re REALLY good. Just a thought!
Astral Gem Grind?: Can’t judge on this fully, either, but I hope it’s not too much of a pain to get Astral Gems. Obviously, you can’t get too many, because you still need a reason for people to buy KI Gold, but I hope it doesn’t take forever to get to the really good packs. Once again, I personally am not worried about this, since I have 21k KI Gold stocked up ready to use, but it’s a concern for others who hop into KI for the first time and check out this big mode.
I’ll add more to this later, and I’ll be happy to discuss other peoples thoughts.
So, everyone else:
What do you think of Shadow Lords so far?