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Default Age of Decadence - Preview @ RPS

April 29th, 2014, 07:49
Rock, Paper, Shotgun takes a look at the Early Access version/game demo of Age of Decadence, and decided to share their opinion on the game.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, isometric turn-based RPG combat (and attempting to avoid it) in The Age of Decadence.

Imagine walking out of a store and discovering that not only have you been pickpocketed while shopping, but the expensive item you bought is actually a worthless trinket. When you complain to a city guard, he suspects youíre the real thief, and when a friendly citizen offers to help, you soon find yourself in an alley surrounded by armed thugs. Youíve been ripped off, robbed, accused, mislead, and stabbed to death, all in a single afternoon. Welcome to The Age of Decadence! A quote from the tutorial seems fitting: ďRemember to save, you are going to die soon.Ē


Feeble Phil is my name, and dying in combat is my game! Iíve just been killed in turn-based combat a dozen times by the same single foeÖ and this is just the tutorial. Thatís right, the NPC who exists solely to show me the ropes has instead repeatedly strangled me with them. The Age of Decadence is getting its message across: engage in swordplay only as a last resort. Youíre not some near-invincible warrior and you wonít be slashing your way through scores of enemies. Combat is dangerous. Avoid it. Youíre mortal. Act like it.

Iím convinced! I give Feeble Phil a few skill points in dodge (so if someone does take a swing at him, theyíll hopefully miss), sprinkle a couple in block (for the blows he canít dodge), and the rest I funnel directly into his mouth, beefing up his talents at etiquette, streetwise, and persuasion. If politeness fails to placate someone, Iíll try being hip. If hipness fails, Iíll try to convince them not to kill me. If none of that works, well, at least Iíll have a slim chance at not being impaled.

Iím going to be vague, here, as I donít want to spoil any storylines or surprises. In other words, I want you to suffer as I have. Letís just say, Feeble Phil arrives in town, meets a few people, and accepts the tasks heís given. Thatís what weíve been trained to do in RPGs, right? Meet people, accept their quests, solve their problems, complete their tasks, and get rewarded? Right.
More information.
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April 29th, 2014, 07:49
That was actually rather entertaining.
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April 29th, 2014, 09:17
Great preview. Looking forward to this one.
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April 29th, 2014, 12:48
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Great preview. Looking forward to this one.
Yes, couldn't agree more.
This still doesn't have a release date, does it?
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April 29th, 2014, 15:20
-> The Age of Decadence is getting its message across: engage in swordplay only as a last resort. Youíre not some near-invincible warrior and you wonít be slashing your way through scores of enemies. Combat is dangerous. Avoid it. Youíre mortal. Act like it. <-

To be honest i love this whole aspect of evasive combat, it contains much essence of true role playing - where the potential of solution possibilities via experimental game trial and error the gamer can find alternatives other than combat aggression only - but, if these alternatives are handed on a plate to the gamer it appears as meaningless filler, solution results have to be hard earned.
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April 29th, 2014, 16:14
I like similar "you're mortal and no enemy is easy" concept in all Piranha Bytes games so there is no reason I'll dislike it in AoD.
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April 29th, 2014, 16:35
Have you guys read comments to this review? Some of them have me a bit worried…

Here is a fragment of one of them: "Eh, I tried it, and I must say that I’m not nearly as impressed with it. Which is sad, because I wanted to be impressed. It’s doing something different, but it feels like it has an attitude problem about it. It takes every opportunity to flaunt how it’s totally not like any other rpg, how it’s so, so, so lethal and how it’s all grim and horrible. And while those things in and of themselves are fine, the game feels just a bit too proud about it…"
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April 29th, 2014, 17:24
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Have you guys read comments to this review? Some of them have me a bit worriedÖ

Here is a fragment of one of them: "Eh, I tried it, and I must say that Iím not nearly as impressed with it. Which is sad, because I wanted to be impressed. Itís doing something different, but it feels like it has an attitude problem about it. It takes every opportunity to flaunt how itís totally not like any other rpg, how itís so, so, so lethal and how itís all grim and horrible. And while those things in and of themselves are fine, the game feels just a bit too proud about itÖ"
Well, it IS a bit special and somewhat extreme in it's approach. So it's not gonna be everybodys cup of tea. But there is a demo, so why not see for yourself? Do give it a few tries though - the one thing that's definitely brilliant about it is its replayability, the different paths that you can explore with different characters.
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April 30th, 2014, 09:32
Shows how much reactionary indies might be.

The game exists in opposition to other games as the article reads.

Going against the tradition of getting rats to get a hang off the game, tradition that drew its roots in table traditions.

The idea of betterment is also absent. Reaction to nudity is one of those shallow, powder to the eyes features that brings nothing to the gameplay and was so far conventionally avoided. Once again, a feature that meaning only in regard of its absence in other games.
Games like the Sims include nudity reaction in their gameplay as it allows to test sims compatibility to each other and can be used as seduction.
AoD only features it as a relative feature, probably to satisfy the tastes of the immersion players.
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April 30th, 2014, 10:56
Its an excellent rpg concept, that it is *harder* to go the non-violent route.

There is another well known rpg game that also has a non-violent route to solution yet no one ever chose that route and the game remains unsolved.

How many AoD gamers will try to worm their way from the game start to the game ending without violence, how many will get part way and give up? - survival of the fittest? - we will see.
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April 30th, 2014, 11:13
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Its an excellent rpg concept, that it is *harder* to go the non-violent route.

There is another well known rpg game that also has a non-violent route to solution yet no one ever chose that route and the game remains unsolved.
Which one? Which one??? WHICH ONE!?!?!?!?

pibbbur who wonders which one. And who in AoD - if he ever gets around to play it - probably will mix the two routes.
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April 30th, 2014, 11:45
@pibbur.

In the game with no name, you cannot mix the routes, its non-violence all or nothing, violence and you fail (violence to the opposing lore within a chosen god alignment - too complicated for most gamers to comprehend, best left forgotten.

In the AoD game not sure how it will work, weather a degree of violence will negate the outcome? - nevertheless, it will be interesting.
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April 30th, 2014, 12:35
I've heard of this game too. Fantastic visuals, ultra-realistic physics engine, but unequal starting conditions and hardly any character customization (it's possible later IG, but costs some real money). And it's an MMO, player numbers still growing. Permadeath, no respawns (with very few exceptions).
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April 30th, 2014, 13:21
A game whose name is not known and that would offer a certain way to play…
Nearing the urban legend level.

The Age of Decadence is getting its message across: engage in swordplay only as a last resort. Youíre not some near-invincible warrior and you wonít be slashing your way through scores of enemies. Combat is dangerous. Avoid it. Youíre mortal. Act like it.
The thing that bugs here: swordsplay was a secure way to fight.

Disadvantages showed more than with some other ways to fight.

Contrary to held beliefs, duels were not prohibited between nobles and commoners. They were rare for the reason that they would mean death for the commoner.

Nobles, as part of their cultural upbringing, were heavily drilled in swordmanship and they had much better equipment. At some points in history, this could mean showing up in full armour and on horse. Against a guy with no protection, little training and no horse.

Rogues would not risk their life dragging an armour clad drilled swordsman to a back alley because this would mean death for them. Very little chance for them to overcome the guy.

Actually, even when the use of iron/steel armour faded to rely on fencing, differences were such that a sword play fight was not risky when fencing lowly trained people.
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April 30th, 2014, 13:26
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
In the AoD game not sure how it will work, weather a degree of violence will negate the outcome? - nevertheless, it will be interesting.
From the run I gave to the demo, players take their chances at the event the way they feel it.

There is no role to uphold so to speak.
As a PC is built up in a certain way, the chances to overcome an event is increased.

By the end, the differences between various ways of dealing with an event grow enough to separate distinctly them.

From what I felt, the game has also some restricting markers, meaning that if the player has not put enough points in such category (despite a will to stick to that category based build), the player is restricted to the other domains the PC is much less able in.
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April 30th, 2014, 15:42
I believe a completely non-violent route (more than one actually) will be available in AoD.
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April 30th, 2014, 16:04
errrr yes BUT (judging purely from the review - I will have a go at the demo asap) if everybody around you is trying to shaft you than non violent way might be a bit of a martyr/masochist exercise. I think that I will go the assassin way and do stabbing in the back first…
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April 30th, 2014, 16:27
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
errrr yes BUT (judging purely from the review - I will have a go at the demo asap) if everybody around you is trying to shaft you than non violent way might be a bit of a martyr/masochist exercise. I think that I will go the assassin way and do stabbing in the back firstÖ
Well, not martyr so much… you rather become a double-crossing bastard yourself. Maybe a better double crossing bastard than the other double-crossing bastards The question is, how non-violent the non-violent options in AoD really are. You may not swing a sword, but you are still dealing in destruction, a lot of the time.
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April 30th, 2014, 16:40
Right, I didn't mean "non-violent" as in "not being directly responsible for the deaths of scores, or hundreds, of people". Should've said "non-combat".
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April 30th, 2014, 19:04
Just to clarify… GBG - is the public beta the demo you spoke about?
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