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Default Age of Decadence - Preorders Open

April 3rd, 2012, 23:53
Originally Posted by Fantasm View Post
I vastly prefer the Kickstarter model to a simple pre-order like this, at least when it comes to debut indie games.

The advantage of Kickstarter is that if my money is taken, then I can be assured that a minimum amount of money has been raised, which the developer feels will allow them to finish the game on a set time schedule.
You've never heard of projects going over budgets? Or not delivering much despite large budgets?

My point is that money alone don't guarantee you anything.

The indie scene is filled with broken release promises and disappointed pre-order customers, so I tend to stay away from paying money until there's a finished product.
The indie way isn't easy. Many developers give up because it takes a long time to reach the state when your game is playable and can be shown. However, once it reaches that state, once they have all the tools, assets, game systems locked in place, knowledge, etc, there is no reason for them to stop working or lose faith.

Here's hoping their development is successful (and that they fix that cameraÖreally surprised that wasn't addressed at all in the update a while back).
Can't be fixed. We can only do so much with the engine.
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April 4th, 2012, 00:56
Originally Posted by Fantasm View Post
The indie scene is filled with broken release promises and disappointed pre-order customers […]
I'm curious as to all these indie games with disappointed pre-order customers. I preorder indies regularly - I'm guessing a lot more than you from your comments - and the only time I can recall disappointment is Inquisitor and even then, I knew the risk.

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April 4th, 2012, 01:17
Originally Posted by Unrestigered View Post
It is funny how opinions differ so drastically. It boggles my mind how people can tolerate games that have endless, easy, filler combat. To me, those games feel like a great amount of effort went into taking all the fun out. AoD feels like a game which put all the attention into just the fun parts. Walking from A to B isnít fun. Finding endless amounts of barrels and chests filled with a few coins, gear, health potions, and other nonsense as some sort of fun exploration is about as much fun as pulling weeds out of my lawn for five hours. Endless, repetitive, and mind-numbingly boring exploration and combat is appealing to me as a weekend vacation to a hotel where I get to type, ďAll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,Ē over and over and over again.

I like challenging combat. I like not wasting the little play time I get walking from A to B. I like games that are only filled with meaningful content without repetitive filler. I like this because I am the exact opposite of a masochist.
My comments are (mostly) not specific to AoD, because I haven't had time to finish the demo yet.

There's an enormous difference between "endless filler" and variation to provide pacing. Many people respond to an ebb and flow that builds up to a big confrontation and then the tension eases for a bit. That doesn't have to be "endless" or "filler", if done well. It's why you leave one of the non-stop-action summer blockbuster movies a bit numb but a more thoughtful movie with a couple of action scenes has more impact.

"Walking from A to B" definitely can be dull - but, again, it doesn't have to be. There are opportunities for discovery, if done right. It all depends on your motivation. As far as I can tell, you really want RPGs to be wargames (in fact, why do you play RPGs, Roqua? Wargames dispense of all the things you dislike and get straight to the "challenging combat") while other people want to experience an alternative reality. In that case, walking from A to B is part of the experience and provides verisimilitude.

As a more specific example related to AoD, Vince believes all dialogue choices should lead to a different outcome - as opposed to BioWare, for example. On the surface, this makes obvious sense - why have two dialogue choices that do the same thing? I disagree. Having additional dialogue options that purely provide a different voice for my character is valid and lets me connect to my character by providing an appropriate tone. This is one of the reasons why some people think AoD is "bare-bones".

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April 4th, 2012, 02:24
Dhruin, yes Inquisitor was a HUGE disappointment, especialy that it was such a cool idea but i do believe it will be released.As for AOD im inn for the boxed version and will pre-order next week.There still is a boxed version available yes? Its probably harder to create a game than we can imagine so way to hang in their Iron Tower.
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April 4th, 2012, 03:15
I like the roleplaying more than the combat. My favorite characters actually come from games with no developer characterization, such as ToEE and games of that ilk. All my characters have personalities and stories and will react in certain ways, which guide the way I play a game and the decisions I make (on behalf of them). They are my characters and act and behave as they should, as they would.

Shepard is not your character. He is a well fleshed out and defined character you get to take loose control of for certain, superficial choices and an extremely limited amount of actual choices. And Iím not saying I didnít like ME, as I really liked ME 1 and the characters. It was an awesome interactive story with very interesting characters and plot.

I work hard. I work long. I have a horrible commute into Boston. My wife hates my guts. I give precedent to being a good father over playing games, so when I get to play I donít have time for superficial or filler. I DVR what I want to watch for the same reason. Most games nowadays are like 90% commercial, and 10% show.

If the game is going to have combat, make it worth doing. I would rather fight one tough battle and enjoy it than drag myself through killing 1,000 filler enemies to do anything. I talk more about combat because that is where games today really fall flat. I didnít pre-order Wasteland because I am almost positive the combat will suck and if it isnít RT will have a RT mode. RT mode means click and forget and no challenge. Itís not active combat. Itís a commercial.

When I buy most pgs I know combat will be 45% of the game. Another 45% will be going around looking into barrels and other nonsense, hoping you find something good. Combat is regulated to clicking and drinking potions. Itís like living in the twilight zone where people think playing ďgo-fishĒ with your grandmother is more fun than playing grown-up card games with huge payouts in a Vegas casino.

I donít criticize the other 10% of most rpgs because they are either good, bearable, or gone for the most part. In my ideal crpg combat is only 0-20% of the total game, but when you get in combat it is worth it and isnít filler.

With AoD, you have a game that is looking to replace most of the filler with actual meaningful content, taking rpgs to where they should have been taken in the 90ís. In my mind - a game with just combat and no rpg-meat is fruitless and meaningless, and playing a rpg without good combat is as fun as watching commercials. And wanting to play an actual good crpg with good rpg stuff and good combat doesnít make me a masochist. But to each their own I guess.
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April 4th, 2012, 05:53
Well, I went ahead and threw in already. I think I'll survive financially until payday.

I really enjoyed the demo, with the exception of the min/maxing someone else mentioned earlier in the thread, which sound like it'll be addressed before release.

The other issues folks have didn't really bother me. Normally, I'm big on exploring, but I didn't really miss it in this game. And I didn't have any major problems with the camera. Everything else was really nice. I hope they keep the combat difficult and don't dumb anything down too much.
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April 4th, 2012, 07:52
I am very impressed and thoroughly enjoy the demo.
But given the complexity and no. of options for the quests, it's pretty much impossible to be relatively bug-free, especially when scaling up the game world . considering the time and resources available, I really have doubts when the game will be released tbh..
That said, I will still pre-order the game to show some supports.
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April 4th, 2012, 09:22
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
My comments are (mostly) not specific to AoD, because I haven't had time to finish the demo yet.

There's an enormous difference between "endless filler" and variation to provide pacing. Many people respond to an ebb and flow that builds up to a big confrontation and then the tension eases for a bit. That doesn't have to be "endless" or "filler", if done well. It's why you leave one of the non-stop-action summer blockbuster movies a bit numb but a more thoughtful movie with a couple of action scenes has more impact.

"Walking from A to B" definitely can be dull - but, again, it doesn't have to be. There are opportunities for discovery, if done right. It all depends on your motivation. As far as I can tell, you really want RPGs to be wargames (in fact, why do you play RPGs, Roqua? Wargames dispense of all the things you dislike and get straight to the "challenging combat") while other people want to experience an alternative reality. In that case, walking from A to B is part of the experience and provides verisimilitude.

As a more specific example related to AoD, Vince believes all dialogue choices should lead to a different outcome - as opposed to BioWare, for example. On the surface, this makes obvious sense - why have two dialogue choices that do the same thing? I disagree. Having additional dialogue options that purely provide a different voice for my character is valid and lets me connect to my character by providing an appropriate tone. This is one of the reasons why some people think AoD is "bare-bones".
You have seen my earlier feedback from the internal beta, so you know I largely agree with you on this. One conclusion for me is that filler is actually fun for me, mindless as it is - as long as it is optional. The March update already hints that some additional "filler" is on the way, and the "donators NPCs" may help to make the world more lively as well.

However the other side of the argument is this: We have become very used to games sacrificing complex and challenging character systems, challenging tactical combat, and highly reactive, branching quest/story design for large pretty worlds filled with lots of instant gratification activities. AoD had to sacrifice too, but did it just in the other direction. Doing that, it dissapoints in many ways on things that we have come to expect from RPGs - but at the same time, it is a really fresh take on the genre, and I would go as far as saying that it has more plot branching than ANY game I played, including the classis.
I hope they smooth out the difficulty curve a bit or introduce a difficulty setting so that more people could enjoy it, without taking away the opportunity to grind your teeth over really bone hard combat for those who enjoy it - But I also hope that people play at least a few different backgrounds in the demo to see what it really has to offer. There are still things I read on the forums that I have never experienced, even after playing the beta for half a year. It would be a great pity IMHO if this remains the only ITS game.
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April 4th, 2012, 16:55
^ ^ What GhanBuriGhan said ^ ^

I fear for the success of AoD, too. So many people have the attention span of a gnat these days. They'll get their arses handed to them once, throw up their hands and uninstall the game. I've already read posts of people doing exactly that.

It took some stones — something sadly lacking in most walks of modern life —to make a game like AoD, which also happens to be a damn fine game, as far as i can tell, and I certainly hope to see many more from Iron Tower Studio.
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April 4th, 2012, 18:10
The biggest issue I had was with the camera not with the content/difficulty/mechanics. I thought it was heaps of fun. I'll probably preorder to show some support.
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April 4th, 2012, 18:28
I thought the game had promise, but my biggest issues was just the dead-ends you reach. For example my character reached a point where there was no way for me to progress any further in the game without a higher disguise or stealth skill. Story/flavor wise there was no reason for me to ever have those skills, and there was no way to gain any further skill points to raise them. This is a pretty serious problem.
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April 4th, 2012, 19:13
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
I thought the game had promise, but my biggest issues was just the dead-ends you reach. For example my character reached a point where there was no way for me to progress any further in the game without a higher disguise or stealth skill. Story/flavor wise there was no reason for me to ever have those skills, and there was no way to gain any further skill points to raise them. This is a pretty serious problem.
This was exactly my point, with min-max game.

Yesterdays, I made the praetor path, easily. I didnít have a single fight and won almost every skill check. The challenge consisted to put enough point in the right skills and could only do that thanks to reloading after every failure. God forbid I tried increasing my fighting skills or any skill not related with diplomacy!

For the rest, you have to master the ďtricksĒ, abuse the ai and cross your fingers.
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April 4th, 2012, 21:05
We are fixing many of those issues. Here is the list of the CURRENT implemented changes. There are still several more to go. Suggestions and comments are appreciated.

You can check the updated changelog here:

http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum…ic,2481.0.html

Fixes, changes and Improvements for the next version:

Fixes:

- Thugs do not get assured criticals against Vardanis in the drifter vignette.
- Fixed issues with the character creation screen at resolutions lower than 768h.
- Fixed issue with map locations staying between sessions, even if you didn't know about them.
- Fixed issue with Persuasion and Streetwise check with Mercato in MG3.
- Failing to convince Antidas in MG2 with the fake proof now properly closes the merchant path.
- Fixed commercium reputation check in MG2, when taking the "Mercato" path.
- When failing to convince Antidas in MG2 with the fake proof, you appear in the correct place after leaving the palace.
- Fixed issue with cage in Bandit Camp not being empty when it should.
- Numery armor can be decomposed.
- Fixed issue with the guards stopping you all the time when you killed just one civilian.
- Fixed an issue when you complete MG2 if you had 7 intelligence.
- You can no longer select hidden responses with the keyboard numbers.
- Fixed problems with corpse/loot collision at the vignettte's inn.
- You can no longer get 3 SP more from the refugees if you kill them.
- Cado properly takes the gold when he takes care of the bandits for you.
- The dialogue with Zenon doesn't break the camera anymore.
- Fixed issue with character not appearing in camera when failing the disguise check in TG2.
- Fixed issue with barricades not appearing correctly if you loaded a save at the barricaded mine.
- Fixed issue with collision of invisible barricades.
- Fixed bug with map travelling out of the outpost after killing the workers.
- Fixed issue with health damage when going over the barricade in the mine.
- The inkeeper no longer is tagged as doctor in dialogue.

Changes:

- Added a net and some barbed and piercing ammo to the assassin PC to give the players more options in combat.
- Trading base value now takes into account intelligence.
- Strength now give a % increase instead of a fixed bonus.
- Perception THC bonus reduced, increases 4 points per stat point.
- THC bonus from weapons reduced from 10 to 8 and from 5 to 4.
- 2H axes now have 2 points vsDR.
- Wooden sticks no longer have THC bonus nor Counter Attack bonus.
- Pickaxe has no longer have passive bonus.
- Buckler has an attack penalty of 5.
- Hardened armor now has 3 levels instead of 5.
- Faster zooming.
- You now have 5 more skill points to spend in character creation.
- Intelligence bonus SP now it's only applied on quest rewards, as you get them.
- Made clear which quests are not in the demo.
- Skill threshold changed from 50/75 to 50/70/90.
- Combined checks now check for the sum of both skills (with a low min requirement), so you can compensate lack of skill points in one skill with the other one. For example, a check that was [aod.persuasion >= 36 && aod.streetwise >= 32] now is [(aod.persuasion + aod.streetwise >= 68) && aod.persuasion >= 30 && aod.streetwise >= 28].
- The majority of the Critical strikes checks now have more outcomes than "kill or be killed".
- Dodge characters get a bonus to avoid AoO attacks, allowing characters focused on dodge to move around the battlefield more.
- Free defenses are based on dexterity and AP limit set by armor. Low dexterity and heavy armor characters get tired faster and get a penalty to defense when defending a lot within a turn. High dex, lowly armored character keep their full defense for longer.

Quest Changes:

Vignettes

- There is now a slide before starting the vignette, introducing the town and your background.
- You don't start the vignette in dialogue anymore, but in a enclosed area with minor interactions. You can save, check your gear, etc.
- You have the option of buying equipment in the assassin, drifter and mercenary vignettes.

Bandit Camp

- You no longer get directly into dialogue the first time you visit the bandit camp.
- When you send the raiders to attack the mine, now you have a chance to spend SP, check inventory, etc.

MG1

- You no longer get into combat with Mercato if you fail cheating him and the charisma check. You can get him into debt with Cado in this path.
- There is now a sinergy between trading, persuasion and streetwise in the options, and charisma affecting the difficulty of the checks.

MG2

- Added synergies and charisma affecting checks with Antidas and in the infiltration.
- Forging the proof now requires lore, and you can try it again if you fail the lore check and your perception is good enough.
- You are not forced to craft a forge when you get Carrinas writing.
- You are not forced in a dialogue with Antidas as soon as you get the evidence.

MG3

- Added synergies and charisma influence to the checks with Mercato and Antidas.
- Removed the trading check that came after selecting streetwise/persuasion in the first node.
- You are not forced in a dialogue with Antidas as soon as you convince Mercato.

IG2

- You are healed before leaving for the tower.
- You can convince a soldier to distract the guards if he respects your fighting reputation (combat and body count). Also, the charisma check is higher there.

IG3

- Improved the skills of the regular guards a little.

TG1

- There is now a sinergy beween disguise and stealing when trying to get the mandate.
- Combined speech checks with the guards and Flavius now have sinergies between them.
- You can convince Flavius if you are a liegeman of House Daratan.

TG2

- Added a lore check to creating the re-direction letter (so now it's perception + lore, perception modifing the lore amount required). You can try it again later now if you fail.
- You are no longer forced to go get the ring after successfully forging the letter.
- Getting the ring allows you to bypass the disguise and speech skills checks when stopping the caravan.
- When dealing with the caravan using disguise and no ring, in the checks there is a sinergy between disguise, streetwise, persuasion and charisma.
- Killing the lone guard in the warehouse has a sinergy between sneak and critical strike.

TG3

- Now you can try both speech options with Flavius. Also, they have a synergy with charisma (the higher your charisma, the easier the check).
- When dealing with the mob, trying to lure them to the inn checks for disguise and streetwise, with a sinergy between them.
- When bullshitting the guards, there is a synergy between disguise and streetwise.
- Thieves have a better stock of arrows, and will use piercing arrows against armored soldiers and barbed ones against unarmored opponents.
- You have the option to get away from the gate guards when choosing the start the fight.
- You no longer stay in front of Bracchus when ambush him using the intelligence option.
- You no longer stay so close to the ambushers after going through the wall.
- Reduced the skills of the ambushers a little.

Improvements:

- Added the option to leave screens by pressing the same key that you use to enter it.
- You can access the crafting screen by pressing R.
- Added synergy and background description to the character creation screen.
- Added tooltips to the tabs.
- Q and E now rotate the camera.
- Character creation is now tailored to resolutions between 900h and 1080h.
- Added new dialogues screens, with bigger fonts, darker background and better formatting.

Iron Tower Studio Developer.
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April 4th, 2012, 22:02
Hi Elhoim, Sounds like a lot of great changes. How about showing where the player character is on the map screen?
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April 4th, 2012, 22:16
Ordered. If I don't get my registration code within the 5 hours promised I'm going to seriously panic, even 4.5 hours to wait would be cutting it pretty fine to have everything in place before the game is ready.
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April 4th, 2012, 22:26
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
Hi Elhoim, Sounds like a lot of great changes. How about showing where the player character is on the map screen?
Yes, the plan is to make it. Nick came up with an idea of linking the coordinates on the grid to a position in the map image. We will try to add it in the next version.

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April 5th, 2012, 02:36
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I'm curious as to all these indie games with disappointed pre-order customers. I preorder indies regularly - I'm guessing a lot more than you from your comments - and the only time I can recall disappointment is Inquisitor and even then, I knew the risk.
You're right, I don't pre-order indies (as I said), in fact I rarely pre-order games in general. So I probably painted too broad a brush for a problem that likely appears worse than it is due to one or two high-profile failures.

I'm also probably unfairly lumping in indie games that never started official pre-orders, but received some decent attention and appeared promising, but ended up going nowhere or were disappointing in some way.

Justified or not, I have a healthy fear of getting my hopes up too much about indie projects, and will remain skeptical even when I have a demo of a finished product, much less before development is even completed.

Getting back to my original point, the Kickstarter model is the first thing that's come along to break through that resistance I have, because it adds some accountability to the project. I can see how much money they have to work with, I can read what they plan to do with it, and can see for myself if their plans and budget passes the snicker test. That's just my preference, of course…
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April 5th, 2012, 05:01
Well, for whatever reason, Vince has expressed a strong dislike for Kickstarter. But, if you are willing to invest the time for a bit of reading in the forums, you will find that all the things you mention are supplied - Vince has posted what they want to do with the money, how many preorders they got (yesterday still < 100), and how they operate ( in their spare time, so they are ultimately independent of funding, helpful as it certainly would be). Vince also posted how much he personally invested so far ($20000). I personally think Kickstarter would have been good for them, for the exposure and due to the current hype - but them doing their own thing is no reason not to preorder, for me.
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April 5th, 2012, 20:49
Finding myself drawn into the demo.Like my mind is wrapping around the stats and seeing the good that is there.Just some things that I dont like but feel they can easily be fixed.

First is zoom….I like it to be maxed out always as the game is beautiful zoomed out.When you have conversations it zooms in and think better way would be to leave as is and just show the text.Also when you press center on character it zooms back in when it would be better to just stay zoomed out.

Adding the ability to rotate the camera is excellent but its still lacking the always center on character option so that the camera follows you around.feel this would add polish to the game.

Those two are it for now as I haven't even done one quest yet.
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April 6th, 2012, 10:12
Originally Posted by wolfen View Post
Adding the ability to rotate the camera is excellent but its still lacking the always center on character option so that the camera follows you around.feel this would add polish to the game.
I believe Oscar (Elhoim) mentioned that they wanted to have that. Not sure if they just didn't get around to it, or if they encountered problems with the engine.

Vince posted that he got 128 preorders so far. I must say, I would have thought the game has more friends than that.
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