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April 3rd, 2012, 03:46
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
I, for one, definitely appreciate this. Itīs very refreshing and it goes with the gameīs post apoc survival aspect well.

You still have power word: reload .

Iīm pretty sure all thatīs mentioned as magical in-game is mentioned as such only because in-game characters take it as such (or itīs just a plain lie as in the case of the ring, iirc), while in fact itīs all just forgotten technology the characters donīt understand.

Anyway, over the weekend Iīve finished the demo with three non-combat chars (loremaster, grifter, thief) and a combat-heavy assassin and I think the game has a lot of potential.
Itīs nice to see some of the more common concerns being addressed this fast, seems like pretty much all of my major quibbles made it in some form on the list.

I like the artwork + music, to-the-point writing, setting, general difficulty level and crapload of C&C.
Iīve found combat and character systems to be quite problematic in practice, but conceptually I think theyīre both great. I really like the granular reputation in particular. It seems that the update is already set up to deliver a lot of needed polish/rebalancing and Iīm looking forward to trying it.

In general, I think the most difficult issue to address is the gameplay for non-combat characters.
Combat characters get to tinker with equipment and employ variety of tactics in combat (positioning, weapon choice, prioritizing targets, nets, etc.) and these aspects alone allow for some creative play. Moreover, they still get to engage in text adventures and can sometimes succeed in skill challenges (via primary attributes, combat skills like critical strike or block, or reputation values like body count or word of honour). Weapon skill synergies allow for concentrating on one defensive and one offensive skill without relegating the other weapon skills to uselessness and that in turn later allows for increasing few chosen non-combat skills too (crafting seems like an obvious first choice to branch out into).
Failed skill challenges often result in combat and while some of the scenarios were fairly difficult, none presented a dead end for my assassin.

On the other hand, for non-combat characters text adventures are pretty much all there is for them to engage in. Since these lack the granularity of combat/equipment and all available solutions are presented right away, there isnīt much space for playerīs creativity this side of metagaming.
For combat characters, not having a lot of points in daggers isnīt an issue if they have a lot of points in spears, but non-combat characters can be sometimes royally screwed if they, say, have a lot of points in persuasion, but not in streetwise (hopefully, making joint checks based on sum of required skills and including more "intermediate" results will solve this particular problem, personally I think allowing for non-combat skill synergies á la weapon synergies also wouldnīt be out of place).
Still, without dramatic increase in dialogue choices, even with all those non-combat skills the gameplay might end up feeling a bit too passive. Oblivionīs persuasion system was terrible, but I think with its amount of non-combat skills AoD might actually benefit of some more sensible iteration of such minigame (basically combat using dialogue skills), but implementing something like that probably isnīt viable by now and creatively it would be likely a risky endeavour anyway.
Another solution/improvement would be allowing for more usage of skills directly in the gameworld and the update seems to be adding some of this, which is good.

To sum the above up, my impression is that, as of now, the combat heavy characters provide richer and more diverse experience than the non-combat ones.
Thankfully, the upcoming changes seem to be on the right track to at least partially alleviate this.

As for the update itself, all changes seem to be for the better to me, except for removing the tags, but thatīs hard to judge without actually playing the game.
I doubt dialogue can always convey what skills are in use sufficiently (like charisma vs. persuasion, etc.) and Iīm not sure if potential lack of feedback will contribute positively to what is probably the biggest issue with the text adventures currently (pushing players to "retroactive" roleplaying, aka hoard skill points, do a quest "recon", reload, profit!!).
Maybe it will mesh well with the other changes.

All in all, already a must buy for me. Itīs a unique and fresh take on the genre and developers certainly werenīt exaggerating when using replayability as one of gameīs major selling points, since the demo was really a C&C-fest .
I agree to a point. Just as in life, people who don't avoid fights and who focus on things like being able to kick teeth in real good probably have a few more interesting stories than the captain of the debate team or the first chair in the band. What would you rather listen to a grandfather tell a story about: killing Nazis or the pleasant discussion he had where he persuaded a farmer to sell him apples at a really great price? This is probably why there isn’t a popular super-hero called The Super Conversationalist.

There really isn't a good way around it besides making a mini-game for figuring out lore and for conversations. Also, it seems there was some things only talkers could do, such as (spolier ahead) becoming the chosen one.

But I think it would be nice if there was a way to get skill points from some of the random stuff with a talker. Spoilers ahead: like the girl being chased. That is three dead bodies so three points right there. Also, the merchant ambush thing. If you kill the two, and then the three after, that’s five skill points. I had far, far more money as a fighter than as a talker. Also, because of combat and saving and reloading, it takes me a lot longer to get through the demo as a fighter. But I also have to min-max and get all the SP I can (as a fighter) so I fight the raiders, make sure I get the KBs, etc.

Also, critical strikes from dialogue that kill don't seem to get SPs. So it is more SPs to not critical strike from dialogue. That seems kind of wrong to me.

This game is far more up my alley than anything else I played in a long time. This is RoA taken to the next level—taken down the road RPGs should have went down in the 90s instead of the Diablo or BG fucking moron route. I'd rather have a party but we can't have everything I guess. And I also dislike the camera too.
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