Honestly, all things considered, all I really have for gripes on a personal standpoint, is:
- Guards are pathetic. I wish I could pull a punch, but this is me sugarcoating and retracting alot of negativity. But like it honestly feels like Guards are not meant to be anything beyond an early-game option as in anything but Traditional difficulty, Guards get overwhelmed easily by day 8, with dozens of monsters ignoring them, except about 1-2 monsters per guard fighting the guards, and going straight for the gate to quickly melt it. I feel they would be better if monster-gear weren't automatically equipped BEFORE Iron gear, or if monster-gear was better.
- Villagers chat WAY too often, and take way too much time to do so. I don't know how many times I've seen a few villagers chatting for what seems like at least 20 seconds. Considering the fact that everything takes a long time early on, this is pretty detrimental, and most of all, annoying since there's nothing you can do about it.
- Towers feel sort of... a waste of resources if going for a variety. Like, let's just look at it for a moment. Sure, Bow and Bullet towers don't require really much, however in order to build multiple of them, it feels like it requires too much time. It takes me atleast four days to get guards going with a very small income of iron gear, versus even with a single chokepoint to defend
- The fact we can't do ANYTHING while the game is paused, feels more arbitrary than anything IMO. It would be nice to pause the game during a giant battle so as to figure out "Hmmm... I'm vastly outnumbered, how can I cheap this for a temporary victory?" While also scanning the battlefield, looking at guard, gate,and Tower HP, etc.
I feel alot of my gripes would be less of a thing with more useful spells. All I literally use is Banish against large armies, Recall to quickly grab Nomads, Pick up, if I'm tired of seeing half my builders hang around doing literally nothing for a solid minute and get impatient. And also Motive Land.
Earthquake as a spell, is borderline useless. It cannot, and has never killed anything with less than 100 hp. Even if Headless overwhelm normal villagers 3:1, they still lose everytime. Pure headless hordes are pure garbage. Earthquake as a spell also takes up too much influence for the fact it can't even half-damage a fully-grown spawner. It should consume the entire bar, but be capable of fully razing one if not multiple spawners.
Earthquake as a spell should be stronger than the natural event.
Storm as a spell is more or less the same, however, I've found it's great for killing alot of enemy units, and it COULD destroy spawners if the lighting focused entirely on one or maybe even two. But the bolts are purely random, and it is still somehow less effective as a full bars worth of meteors concentrated on one spawner.
Holy Golem, is honestly hot garbage. Either takes way too much influence, or is nowhere near strong enough to be useful. Unfortunately, most enemies are not immune to neutral-element magic damage. Zombies aren't, Skeletons aren't, not even Headless or Slimes are.
Basically only Fire Elementals and Spectres are weak to Holy Golem attacks, but Holy Golems only have at more 300 health, and degen, so they basically can't 1v1 a zombie.
If a Holy Golem can't 1v1 a 250hp Zombie, what's the actual point of it? It takes two to kill a fully grown spawner and only if you are handling all the spawner's guards beforehand.
Fire is useless. If you want to fry a bunch of enemies concentrated in one area, you absolutely have no choice but to spam at least 6 or 7 casts to actually kill anything other than a Headless or a weak zombie as burning damage does not take any advantages of fire weakness.
It is possibly useful for killing buildings, but, like meteor, you have to spend an entire bar of Influence. It would be better if it couldn't damage stone walls, which baffles me tbh, since fire literally does nothing to stone. Also if it didn't hit friendly units, it would be better, but using it mid-fight on armies, I end up killing the army, but also my own villagers as often due to how deadly.
Meteor is just as useless, beyond it's ability to instakill units it hits directly unless it's within the hitbox of a structure or another unit. Although, a full bar cast chain of Meteor literally has as much if not more building-killing power than Earthquake or Storm. That's the only use I have for it. Due on how it deals a slightly wider AoE than Flame does, but it can instakill units, I don't even want to know what a full bar will do to my villagers whilst targeting enemy masses with this spell amidst fighting.
Dissolve is almost completely useless unless literally 50+ bodies are in one place, but even then, it never can get enough bodies to even pay itself back. There's literally no actual point for it as bodies will give you more just after waiting for ten seconds, and dissolving resources is nothing but a total waste.
Healing Aura would be good if it didn't cause villagers to be confused or panic, or if villagers in the field either had a regen passive after leaving the area, or if it even helped fight Blight at all... When it literally can't affect Blighted villagers.
Resurrect, is really the most useful spell. If you can bloody-well find a ghost to use it on that is, which is almost impossible in maps with more than 80 villagers, or villages located upon sand, or other bright tile types.
Banish, nothing to really say about it. Though it sometimes feels like it's purely random, when tbh I actually wouldn't mind if it stunned or confused affected monsters, or sent them a really far way away.
The thing about Spells too, is... you really can't afford to squander it in any way, shape or form on Survival difficulty. no matter how well you're doing, you may get stormed by any amount of the 300+ monsters on the whole map, alot of which could be zombies, which are ridiculously strong for dead, decaying undead creatures.
Every spell above, save for Banish and Resurrect, really do nothing that justifies their cost. No god spell is a useful and permanent way of quickly removing masses of enemy units, and we sorta need this, since Banish, really isn't that useful unless you have a full bar to use.
However, if monsters targeted Guards before Gates, and Guards ganged up on monsters often and defended buildings being attacked (which they don't btw, I've found a few zombies bashing on the front gate, only to have guards barely half a screen away just do nothing) then the need for more useful and not terrible god spells wouldn't exist. Then again, they still would, cause... yeah. The above are about as terrible as I state.
There's no truly effective and efficient influence-based response for huge armies knocking on your gates while ignoring your 24 guards loaded up in iron gear, or for dealing with the spawners nearby your walls.
The monster targeting is kinda really the most baffling part of the game, and it really quite angers me honestly. When monsters literally ignore guards and focus on dogs or gates, it makes Guards pointless and a waste of time entirely, especially when their first instinct is to equip more useless gear versus the more useful, since with enough towers at a high enough level, almost no amount of enemies can overwhelm such a line of defence, when it's really then all about mining into mountains and raising ballistae towers to cheap spawners and roaming enemy masses out quick and painlessly.