Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Age of Decadence Reviews

Discussion in 'Iron Tower Studio' started by Infinitron, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    On top of the above mentioned bonuses, Crafting gives you exactly what you need when you need it and makes all Teron fights (when you have nothing) much easier. Around the endgame you can craft some very powerful stuff which makes quite a difference in the endgame fight.

    In general, crafting and looting aren't easy to balance. Loot has always been an important factor (a reward for a tough fight, for exploration, etc). Crafting represents an alternative way of acquiring powerful gear, thus competing directly with looting. Reduce looting and you decrease rewards and increase dependency on crafting, making it a forced skill. Increase looting and players start thinking that crafting is useless. We did the best we could but if anyone has a better suggestion (for future games), I'd like to hear it. In games like Diablo it's usually handled via rare ingredients, which makes looting part of crafting, but I'm not sure if it's the right way to go.
     
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  2. Trash Playergender: ⚧ Educated

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    You misquoted. That quote is from DavidBVal.
    By barebones, I am not commenting on usefulness of Crafting as a skill but the techniques are not interesting or varied enough for me.
    No comments on the cosmetics and immersive factor.
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Darth Roxorgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

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    hell yeah more steel when decomposing steel garbage
     
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  4. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Care to elaborate?

    Let's say the setting is the Spanish Inquisition and you'd like to forge your own sword. Which techniques would you consider interesting or varied?
     
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  5. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Ok, I fixed the quote. I understand what you are saying, but this would require a major revamp of the whole game. In Underrail, for instance, you have more varied effects, but they required many additional skills and additional resource management (e.g., respawning enemies providing resources).
     
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  6. DavidBValgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron Developer

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    I am a late comer to the game so I just experienced the content "as a whole" and definitely felt like a too good reward with the top upgrades. Let's admit it, it may be a tough fight but in the end every decent combat build is going to win that battle in a couple tries... Actually, I won it in one round (good positioning and a little luck with rng). multi-enemy fights like the triarii were the hardest in Arena for me both times I completed it.

    Like I said, it's really no big deal, just pointing at small things that catched my attention during a 99% perfect trip.
     
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  7. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

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    Is this some kind of bait or are you this stupid ?
     
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  8. Make America Great Again Parabalusgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I think it's important that even if you have 10 crafting, you can still find SOME items which are sidegrade/upgrade from what you can make yourself, especially since crafting also gives you more whetstone damage and is very useful for adventures. If anything, there should some unique meteor weapons, the ones in Ganezzar or the arena challenger loot you mentioned. They'd still likely be worse than what you can craft, but it would make the choice a bit harder.

    To make an extreme example, you can come into Maadoran with 10 crafting, kill Kadmos (or rob the meteor safe if you're a dagger man) and make yourself a weapon which won't have a lootable upgrade, except for the challengers for a few weapons types - I think that's more than okay.

    While the comparison will surely irk people, the AoD system has some of the weaknesses that PoE crafting has, in that compared to e.g. Cromwell, you can craft much more powerful, customised items, but they are "generic" and "less memorable" than the uniques. AoD does have unique craftable weapons, but they are shit compared to the stuff you can make out of ingots.

    This isn't really intended as criticism, since I can understand the conundrum, and I personally love the crafting system, but it can rub people the wrong way.
     
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  9. Aenragender: ⚧ Guest

    Aenra
    If you are incapable of grasping what i said, or more to the point exactly what i meant by it? Why the fuck do you bother me.. give a rating and go die or something, cba ffs, am tired with you people.. you need a surgery to get the dildo out of your brain and then someone holding the juices in, 24/7.. cba
     
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  10. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

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    Is this some kind of bait or are you this stupid ?
     
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  11. I'm With Her Mustawdgender: ⚧ for prison Self-Ejected

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    His posts are always worded very weirdly.

    Just his thing I suppose.
     
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  12. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

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    I got it, it was a complete non sequitur. So either he's dumb or fishing for responses, you know, trolling.

    That's why I asked:russiastronk:
     
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  13. I'm With Her Mustawdgender: ⚧ for prison Self-Ejected

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    He's neither. He just expresses his points in a very convoluted fashion, and also tends to go to the extreme logical conclusion of an issue without much provocation. Aenra is ok, if only sometimes hard to comprehend. Of which of course I've told him a number of times, so it's old news, etc.
     
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  14. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

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    That explains why I read his post as saying "grass tends to be green"; NO SHIT SHERLOCK BUT BROWN GRASS IS SUPERIOR IN EVERY SINGLE WAY GODDAMNIT :lol:

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    totally not an AoD fanboy btw, ahum
     
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  15. Ackermanusgender: ⚧ Educated

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    You can make high level crafting something that improves the powerful gear players can acquire through looting and exploring (which I'll call "artifacts" from here on), rather than something that (necessarily) competes with it. Preferably, these improvements should come in the form of unique bonuses, rather than something like + damage or + crit which you can already apply to standard weapons via "normal" crafting.

    In terms of raw power, it would be something along the lines of Improved Artifact > Unimproved Artifact = Crafted Item, the latter part being more or less what we have now and what some people are complaining about.

    Within the setting, of course, the character might not be actually "improving" the artifact, he might just be restoring it to its original state (just like with the power armor in AoD).

    Here's an example (that is in no way stolen from 3E D&D):

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    After fighting Badassius Assassinius, the PC takes his star metal sword (the artifact). He notices the blade is slightly unbalanced but, if his crafting skill is too low, he will simply assume the sword was made by an incompetent smith who somehow got his hands on metal he was clearly unfit to handle.

    The PC will still probably use the artifact as his end-game weapon (if he is trained in swords), because he won't find another sword made of star metal, and the thing can cut through pretty much everything anyway.

    A master craftsman, however, will recognize the weapon as one of the few quicksilver swords that were made in the days of the Empire, originally created to give legionnaires a fighting chance against constructs (which were otherwise highly resistant to slashing attacks). These weapons contained a dense liquid metal inside the hollowed hilt, which would shift into the (likewise partially hollow) blade upon striking at an enemy, in order to increase weight at the tip. This particular sword, however, was damaged on the hilt, and the precious fluid had left the blade long ago.

    After refilling the artifact with mercury, the player would be left with a (high quality) sword that, instead of causing bleeding, would use the axe's extra damage passive. Or a sword capable of ignoring parts of the enemy's damage reduction from armor. Or something along those lines.


    Correctly handled, this approach would probably have a couple of advantages, IMO:

    1- Obtaining artifacts would be as rewarding/encouraged for crafters as for non crafters.

    2- You would still encourage the player to craft his own stuff . Take the quicksilver sword I used in the example: it would be a fine weapon, but in some fights you wouldn't need a fancy armor piercing sword, you would just need to bleed your target out. And for those situations, you'd use a (regular) crafted sword with a +% passive chance. This would also:

    2a - Make (the results of) crafting far more interesting to use in combat, because you'd have to change weapons mid fight or at the very least before a fight to maximize your odds against certain opponents. Improved artifacts could also provide unique abilities that would allow you to change your playstyle significantly (using the power armor as an example once more, the ability to regenerate can certainly alter how you handle encounters).

    Note that I do not think crafting is weak at the moment (or at least it wasn't when I last played the game) compared to the other combat support skills, if only because whetstones are a thing. I do agree with others, however, in that it can feel pretty underwhelming depending on your choice of weapon and on what you find during your run.
     
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  16. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

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    But crafting 10 is massive overkill in terms of combat power, no ? How does massive overkill feel underwhelming ? Really curious, what's the part that makes it feel underwhelming ?
     
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  17. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    That's good, but in this case, the player would need an additional skill (lore, occult, etc.) to realize that this artifact is "that weapon". You could make this an additional thing for crafting: allow you to create your own weapons and modify others with additional skills. When you restore a weapon, you use lore, but you could also tweak it with additional improvements – this will be easier to in the next game with skills such as medical, mechanics and electronics.

    Notice that this symbiosis is exactly what is behind Underrail’s crafting. In fact, you don’t see any crafting skill in it. You have tailoring + biology, or mechanics + electronics + tailoring, etc. This is more natural, but it takes a lot of work and additional skills.

    I also think that the player should be able to choose the names of their customized weapons and even add their little stories to it, if they choose to do so.

    You could add an empty space in the blade to produce hemorrhage (I don’t know what is called in English, but you will find this feature in bayonets).

    [​IMG]

    or some thorns that open inside the target but retract when you remove the sword, or a better grip that will give you some bonuses, etc. In order to make this interesting, you will need to ignore the limitations of present thecnology.
     
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  18. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Not reallly, power armor is too good not to use it, so the only thing you would improve upon with crafting 10 is your weapon. Much better to use one of the blue steel weapons laying around and invest those spare points elsewhere.
     
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  19. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Not true. Power Armor requires three power tubes + Lore 10 + less 2HP permanently to unlock it fully – that’s a lot. It can’t be used with two-handed weapons and it has lower DR than most heavy armors.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again ERYFKRADgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Only use for power armour is the ability to regenerate health in poisonous areas, for dodge builds, anyway.
     
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  21. Black Angelgender: ⚧ Savant

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    How about this, even if you don't have Lore, any good smith would have heard about what the artifact can do and, based on that knowledge, tries to reverse-engineer the mechanism, hence Ackermanus's initial example. It's like when you have to deal with Old Facility closed gate, you can either examine the symbol (Lore + Crafting) or the keyhole (Lockpick). With artifacts, you can examine the identity of said artifacts (seeing if it matches any description from any ancient scroll) or examine the physical form (looking at the mechanism and tries to make sense of it/guessing its purpose).
     
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  22. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    If you drink the regeneration potion, you don't need the power armor for this ability.

    I disagree. The blacksmiths’ expertise is the ability to build weapons, not the ability to identify old ones. You could have heard about Excalibur, but you are not qualified to discern it among other old artefacts.
     
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  23. Black Angelgender: ⚧ Savant

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    Even then, I still think any blacksmiths who are in the business should've heard of other smith's works. After all, a weapon made artifact still need a smith's hands when created, no? And thus this smith would have their name known by smiths across the world.

    Actually, now that I think about better example, when you are offered that special 'Blue' Steel Axe by a trader in the Temple District of Maadoran. With sufficient Crafting you can identify that the weapon is, in fact, not made of Blue Steel, but regular Steel, yet you identified that it's still a pretty good axe.
     
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  24. Ackermanusgender: ⚧ Educated

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    I haven't played AoD in a while, but let me use Dungeon Rats to illustrate my point. My last playthrough (on psycho) I went with a high charisma/intelligence/Per character, with alchemy and crafting maxed first and crossbows increased more slowly as needed (no defense skills until very late in the story, my PC just stayed way back).

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    You expect alchemy to be all about consumables (and so resource management) that can be pretty powerful, but are somewhat limited in number. The latter part wasn't exactly on point in the version I played then (although it might have been changed afterwards), but in any case, the skill felt highly useful. When you blocked someone's path with greek fire, the skill felt like a worthwhile investment. Same can be said for going nova and blowing someone up with a series of black powder bombs. Even creating healing salves felt highly useful, and then you reach the end game and you can enhance your body and regenerate. The skill feels very rewarding.

    Now onto critical strike. If your main character has high enough charisma, you can recruit two characters later on with a lot of ranks in the skill (one of them has 10 from the start, in fact). When you have them fight side by side with your other characters, you will easily notice the difference those points in the skill make, and those two guys feel like the death machines they are. You expect critical strike to be about dealing massive damage per strike, and the skill doesn't disappoint.

    With crafting, however, your experience may vary a lot. For example, throwing weapons in general are in somewhat short supply, and good throwing weapons even more so. So crafting throwing knives for Roxanna feels tremendously useful, and it is: later on she can reliably help fight shielded constructs solely relying on the enormous to-hit and passive chance bonuses. You compare what you find and what you craft and you know you chose wisely.

    But, if you are playing with, say, a dagger build, you will find that at many points in the game, the daggers you craft are only marginally better than the ones you loot. Crafted armor generally remains quite better than found armor throughout, but light armor is very limited in protection anyway and when you do get hit, you rarely feel the investment in crafting was worth it.

    As I said, I don't think that, even in the latter case, the skill is weak (or drastically weaker than the two mentioned above, if you prefer) because the damage bonus of whetstones is very strong. But the skill doesn't feel (even if it may, in practice, be) as rewarding as critical strike, for example.

    You expect crafting to provide you with superior equipment. Instead, it may just end up giving you marginally better gear and bonus damage via sharpening. But if you wanted bonus damage... you'd have taken critical strike.


    TL;DR: As I said, I don't think crafting is weak, but if you end up finding a lot of good items for your particular build, it may feel "meh". The main draw becomes using whetstones, instead of crafting amazing™ (by comparison) stuff.


    Honestly, this is one of those things that can (and probably should) be abstracted a bit. Someone used to fighting with a sword and shield isn't necessarily great at fighting with a two handed sword, yet in the game we accept that both styles fall within a general "swords" skill because creating a separate skill for two handed swords is a needless complication and probably brings few advantages gameplay-wise. Likewise, someone used to creating healing salves isn't necessarily great at making things go boom, but we find it acceptable that both actions use the same alchemy skill.

    Following this reasoning, I wouldn't find it particularly jarring if (high level) crafting included the knowledge of famous weapons/armors and, perhaps, bits and pieces of the techniques used to forge them.
     
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  25. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    But that’s precisely the type of thing that would make crafting more interesting and immersive. Instead of having one general crafting skill with bonuses of different kinds, we should have different skills that could be combined to create different types of weapons with different effects. Your comparison with the two-hand sword user is a non-starter because nobody asks for more variety in swords, but many players want more weapon effects, etc - again, see how "crafting" is done in Underrail.
     
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