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Thumbs up Age of Decadence (recommended)

July 15th, 2014, 10:37
I bought Age of Decadence last weekend as I've been looking at it for years now.

It's always fascinated me so I cracked and bought it even though I'm still 50 hours into my Gothic playthrough.

I decided to play as a wily merchant with strong streetwise and persuasion skills.

The game is wonderful.

It allows for so many possibilities and you can play in whatever way you want.

You can make the game easier (and more predictable) by keeping to your starting profession. You could also make your merchant strong and be able to fight against some enemies when needed.

It really gives you a lot of possibilities storywise.

Combat is very tactical even though you only control yourself.

And the story does give you a lot of replayability because of the different starting professions.

I played as a pure merchant and then as a combo-fighter-thief and enjoyed both immensely. The combo thief was pretty hard and in hindsight, I should maybe have gone with a more pure thief, but it was fun.

I only played through the first main location - and its two satellite location - though. I did do the first quest you come across in the second city. I didn't want to ruin the rest of the story before the game comes out.

I am likely to play the other professions now too when I finish my Gothic 2 playthrough or maybe even before if I can't resist.

Anyway, if you haven't tried it yet, you should try the demo and then buy it!
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July 15th, 2014, 11:07
I haven't played AoD since the original demo more than 2 years ago, but that was enough to make it a definite purchase for me when the finished version is released.
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July 15th, 2014, 11:53
Wait, this is actually finished? It dropped off my radar quite a while ago. I'll have to take a peek at it.
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July 15th, 2014, 12:06
According to Steam, it's still in Early Access.

Steam also lists a release date of Nov 14, 2013

http://store.steampowered.com/app/230070/
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July 15th, 2014, 12:53
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
The game is wonderful.

It allows for so many possibilities and you can play in whatever way you want.
Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Originally Posted by Menigal View Post
Wait, this is actually finished? It dropped off my radar quite a while ago. I'll have to take a peek at it.
Still working on it. At the moment 16 locations out of 22 are available in the Early Access build. 3 more should be released by the end of summer, the remaining 3 in October-November.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
According to Steam, it's still in Early Access.

Steam also lists a release date of Nov 14, 2013

http://store.steampowered.com/app/230070/
That's the Early Access release date.
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July 15th, 2014, 12:55
So, this is a 2015 release?
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July 15th, 2014, 13:09
Buying it when it's done. Not before. Sorry.
If there will be a related KS project like for example paying an orchestra to enhance the soundtrack or recording more voiceovers, I'll back that. Early Access, no.

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July 15th, 2014, 13:59
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
If there will be a related KS project like for example paying an orchestra to enhance the soundtrack or recording more voiceovers, I'll back that. Early Access, no.
Purely for the sake of philosophical discussion (and not to convince you to buy it), Early Access is nothing but a pre-order system where you get all the playable content as a bonus.

Unlike Kickstarter though, you don't have to pay $50-100 for the beta access. Thus, for me at least, Early Access is a more honest and straightforward way of doing business. There is no bullshit and unsubstantiated promises, no tiers to upsell you and squeeze more money out of you, no stretch goals that went from "here is what we can do with extra money" to "here is how we can game the system".

You get reviews from fellow gamers, discussions, updates that focus less on selling the dream and more on actually improving games and listening to feedback. In many cases you can even play the demo first and see if you like the design and gameplay.

I spent more than a $1,000 backing various KS projects, but I did it because I had faith in these developers (i.e. I'm sure that Obsidian will make an awesome game!) not because the reviews or demo convinced me that it's a good game.
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July 15th, 2014, 14:03
Unlike Kickstarter though, you don't have to pay $50-100 for the beta access.
Just to say although I did have beta access to games I've backed on KS, I did betatest only for Consortium, passed info on found bugs to devs, they fixed those.

I simply don't have time for betatest. What I do have is the money to give to a project I'm interested in. $50-100? For AoD KS project? I'm interested in the game so we have a deal. Gave $140 to PoE you've mentioned, why wouldn't I give half of that to AoD?
Now start the project!

I'll agree that stretch goals are usually done pretty much retarded. I mean… They usually put multiplayer or co-op as a first stretch goal. New NPC, new stories and such things are always behind. Are they normal?! I don't want MMO! If they said for the base project it's MMO with a pathetic singleplayer part, I'd never back it in the first place.

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July 15th, 2014, 14:10
A system can't be dishonest.

Early Access is not a guarentee of a finished quality product by any means.

Early Access is not like pre-ordering, because the game is (almost always) nearly finished when you pre-order.

That said, I don't think this is as much about deceit as so many people are making it out to be. It's about not knowing your own limitations and promising too much based on enthusiasm more than overt dishonesty.

Sure, there are people speculating and being about nothing but profit with Kickstarter - but I don't think it's common. Obviously, though, this will increase in scale once money-driven people realise the potential to deceive people and make a profit based on nothing much.

People are simply not informed enough to recognise the difference between a promise and the ability to deliver upon that promise, and this goes for the developers as well - in a big way.

Then again, that's just my opinion.
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July 15th, 2014, 15:04
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
A system can't be dishonest.
But it can encourage dishonesty (by not requiring honesty and accountability) and certain behavior. You game it like you game any other system with obvious exploits.

For example, I don't recall any KS where the developer disclosed why he/she/they need the asking amount, so we get wildly different numbers ranging from 10k (as if that's enough) to over a mil, which is ridiculous when it comes from new and unproven (or old and forgotten) developers.

The stretch goals simply pile up on top without making any sense. For extra 100k we'll add two extra characters! For another 150-200k [famous name] joins the writing team! Meaning what exactly? Etc.

Early Access is not a guarentee of a finished quality product by any means.
It's not but in most cases you get a pretty good idea. Take Underrail, for example. I think it was the first EA game I bought and it's nothing short of amazing. The quality of updates and new area are very consistent (if anything it gets better), so I don't have the slightest doubt that the final game will be every bit as good than what I played so far.

Similarly, our game is about 70-75% ready. It's unlikely that we'll suddenly drop the ball and rush the final areas just to "release" the game and make some money.

Early Access is not like pre-ordering, because the game is (almost always) nearly finished when you pre-order.
I'd have to disagree. I pre-ordered quite a few games in my life and at least 90% of games were far from finished. Witcher 3, for example, is scheduled to be released in Feb 2015. I think it went on 'sale' back in Feb, which makes it nearly a year before the release. You can also preorder Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and it doesn't even have a release date yet. Dragon Age 3 has also been available for pre-order for a while, including an option to pay $150 for a fancy box.

In all three cases you get some goodies but not a playable build.

That said, I don't think this is as much about deceit as so many people are making it out to be. It's about not knowing your own limitations and promising too much based on enthusiasm more than overt dishonesty.
The end result is about the same though. It hardly makes a difference to the consumer if he was blatantly lied to or naively misled.

I'm not saying that all KS projects are like that but most KS projects are in a conceptual state, which makes it a gamble. Like I said, I can easily bet that Obsidian will make a cool game because they have the tech, the resources, the knowledge, the raw talent. Same goes for Larian and inXile.

New and inexperienced developers? I'd much rather support their effort on Steam where I can see what they have to offer and browse through a hundred of players' impressions than take them at their word.

People are simply not informed enough to recognise the difference between a promise and the ability to deliver upon that promise, and this goes for the developers as well - in a big way.
I agree and I'm guilty of that myself, which is why the game took 10 years (we simply couldn't deliver what we promised in 2-3 years), but at least we didn't take a dime until we released two demos (combat and starting town).
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July 15th, 2014, 15:32
I have already bought this game - can't wait for the final release!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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July 15th, 2014, 18:11
Vince, I suggest you do not get too deep into a discussion with DA.

While interesting, it would take you away form developing your game for hours on end
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July 16th, 2014, 10:42
Originally Posted by VDweller View Post
But it can encourage dishonesty (by not requiring honesty and accountability) and certain behavior. You game it like you game any other system with obvious exploits.
I don't think it can encourage dishonesty where it doesn't exist.

Is it more exploitable than Early Access? Perhaps, but not in a way that really matters if the people behind the product want to deceive.

Any semi-experienced developer can come up with something playable in a few weeks, and the rest can be one big deception.

While fewer people might be able to do that, it doesn't change what it will do to your reputation if you willfully deceive a lot of people out in the open.

Very few people are stupid enough to do that for money. Even if it's NOT overt deception, people are ignorant enough to believe that - because that's how the world often works.

So, this whole thing about dishonest crowdfunding is an exaggeration.

It's more or less self-destruction to publically deceive a lot of people for money.

For example, I don't recall any KS where the developer disclosed why he/she/they need the asking amount, so we get wildly different numbers ranging from 10k (as if that's enough) to over a mil, which is ridiculous when it comes from new and unproven (or old and forgotten) developers.
You don't "recall"? Does this mean you know for a fact that no one ever explained why they need a certain amount? Because I call bullshit on that.

Sure, a lot might not have detailed why they need it - but that's hardly relevant. If you, as a potential backer, like what you see - you back it if you have the trust. Why would you even care about the amount?

The stretch goals simply pile up on top without making any sense. For extra 100k we'll add two extra characters! For another 150-200k [famous name] joins the writing team! Meaning what exactly? Etc.
Yes, that's an unfortunate way of having to appeal to people. If you use Early Access - you want to appeal to people as well. You want to sell your game.

Some people will realise that their game isn't for everyone - so they won't go out of their way to cram it down the throat of the audience. AoD is clearly for a small minority - so a large marketing campaign is probably a complete waste of resources.

But that's not about the model, it's about the people behind the model.

Kickstarter can add whatever goals - which function exactly like a feature list that may or may not be realistic. It's not part of the model that they have to make no sense or be unrealistic.

It's not but in most cases you get a pretty good idea. Take Underrail, for example. I think it was the first EA game I bought and it's nothing short of amazing. The quality of updates and new area are very consistent (if anything it gets better), so I don't have the slightest doubt that the final game will be every bit as good than what I played so far.
Yes, and? Are you saying that because one game is good all games are better because of the model itself? That makes just about no sense at all.

Similarly, our game is about 70-75% ready. It's unlikely that we'll suddenly drop the ball and rush the final areas just to "release" the game and make some money.
That's your game, not the model. You do understand that I'm arguing about models - not anecdotal examples of good or bad?

You do realise that we've seen successful Kickstarters, right? How about DOS?

I'd have to disagree. I pre-ordered quite a few games in my life and at least 90% of games were far from finished. Witcher 3, for example, is scheduled to be released in Feb 2015. I think it went on 'sale' back in Feb, which makes it nearly a year before the release. You can also preorder Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and it doesn't even have a release date yet. Dragon Age 3 has also been available for pre-order for a while, including an option to pay $150 for a fancy box.
I don't know what you go around pre-ordering, but the vast majorit is nearly finished - as is Witcher 3. Witcher 3 was supposed to be done already - but was postponed.

It's extremely obvious that it WILL be done and it's up to the player to decide if he trusts the final product based on what's available right now.

Starcraft 2 expansion from Blizzard? Are you seriously stating that's not nearly finished? You do understand how Blizzard operates, right? They're obsessed with polish and balance. They also have a completely finished engine with a large portion of the assets done years ago.

In all three cases you get some goodies but not a playable build.
No one is saying you're not getting something playable. I'm saying the two are very different, because preorder means a nearly finished product in almost every case - and Early Access can mean a playable version of 1% of the game. It can be less than a demo, and still be Early Access.

The end result is about the same though. It hardly makes a difference to the consumer if he was blatantly lied to or naively misled.
Depends on the consumer, I guess. I think it's extremely relevant whether someone overtly deceived me or tried his best. But that's me.

I'm not saying that all KS projects are like that but most KS projects are in a conceptual state, which makes it a gamble. Like I said, I can easily bet that Obsidian will make a cool game because they have the tech, the resources, the knowledge, the raw talent. Same goes for Larian and inXile.
Lots of Early Access games are a gamble. Have you tried stuff like the Forest? Try it

You're confusing the application of a model with the model itself. Not a very rational way to go about arguing your case.

New and inexperienced developers? I'd much rather support their effort on Steam where I can see what they have to offer and browse through a hundred of players' impressions than take them at their word.
Good for you. I don't see what that has to do with the model itself. The model has nothing to do with who is using it.

I agree and I'm guilty of that myself, which is why the game took 10 years (we simply couldn't deliver what we promised in 2-3 years), but at least we didn't take a dime until we released two demos (combat and starting town).
Yes, you're a hero for not using crowd-funding before it became popular.

Personally, I would gladly support a game like AoD - and it's no skin off my back that you make a decent living trying to make your dream game.

But that's me.

I don't assume people are trying to deceive me because they want money to make their game.

I try to look at what they're doing, and how realistic it is to pull it off. That's what matters to me.

Early Access can be great - but it can also be a gamble. It depends on the stage of development and how close it is to what's being promised.

Grimoire could easily be released as Early Access right now, and it could easily be argued to be nearly finished. Does that mean it's more honest?

Kickstarter can be used to deceive or mislead - but it can also be a great way to establish a foundation from which to build a fantastic game.

I see nothing dishonest about either model. Again, most people are dishonest and some are so dishonest that they'll exploit whatever system for profit.

That's just how it is, sadly.
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July 16th, 2014, 11:23
Originally Posted by VDweller View Post
Purely for the sake of philosophical discussion (and not to convince you to buy it), Early Access is nothing but a pre-order system where you get all the playable content as a bonus.

Unlike Kickstarter though, you don't have to pay $50-100 for the beta access. Thus, for me at least, Early Access is a more honest and straightforward way of doing business. There is no bullshit and unsubstantiated promises, no tiers to upsell you and squeeze more money out of you, no stretch goals that went from "here is what we can do with extra money" to "here is how we can game the system".

You get reviews from fellow gamers, discussions, updates that focus less on selling the dream and more on actually improving games and listening to feedback. In many cases you can even play the demo first and see if you like the design and gameplay.

I spent more than a $1,000 backing various KS projects, but I did it because I had faith in these developers (i.e. I'm sure that Obsidian will make an awesome game!) not because the reviews or demo convinced me that it's a good game.
It gained a lot of respect from me for you guys that you didn't immediately cash in on kickstarter like many tried to do. Not that kickstarters are all frauds but you could have milked people a lot more than you did.
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July 16th, 2014, 12:39
Good job vince. I also recommend this game.

You really have to give it a good shot though. I became a little disheartened at first when I kept get killed in pretty much every battle I fought but then after a few different builds and then coming to the understanding that some battles just aren't meant to be won (especially when your not a pure fighter) it became an unpolished gem.

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