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Tue 20 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 20 October 2020, 18:47:01

Tags: Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Tactical Adventures

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Solasta: Crown of the Magister was announced only a few weeks after Baldur's Gate 3 back in 2019, and has inevitably come to be seen as that game's underdog rival in the 5E D&D isometric RPG space. Today it follows in its bigger brother's footsteps once again with an Early Access release. Here's the Early Access launch trailer, which was initially provided to IGN yesterday. The release announcement post isn't too interesting, so I'll add an excerpt from IGN's article about the game instead:

Create Your Own Party of Characters

Solasta is a single-player experience, but you will be responsible for creating and controlling four different characters. You won't be recruiting additional NPCs to your party as you progress, rather, your created party members will be with you and grow from start to finish. But what you choose is up to you. You can adventure with four halfling Rogues if you like, but you will benefit from a balanced team with not only different combat skills, but different abilities, languages, and more, since each class brings something special to a party.

For example, during my demo one of the characters was an Insight Domain Cleric – a custom subclass Tactical Adventures made for Solasta. – which allowed all Insight checks were automatically passed, making negotiations with NPCs much easier.

For each character’s stats, you can roll for them, use a point-buy system, or even customize them completely to your liking. With that much freedom, adapting your pre-existing pen-and-paper characters to Solasta should be that much easier. Or, you can create a bunch of super-powered heroes, whatever you want.

Because Solasta can only use the base SRD, don't expect the same subclasses and archetypes you’re used to from D&D. Instead, there are custom subclasses like the aforementioned Insight Domain Cleric created specifically for the Solasta setting.

There’s An Emphasis on Lighting

Lighting, and the lack thereof, has a strong effect on gameplay in Solasta. Characters that can't see in the dark will attack with lower accuracy without a light source. Some enemies are hurt and shy away from light, while others will be drawn to it and make it easier for your party to be found by malicious entities.

Torches can be used, and objects in the world can be lit with spells, but you can also use spells to light your own equipment like swords or shields. You'll need to learn the ins and outs of the lighting mechanic to make the most of your abilities in Solasta: Crown of the Magister.

And also… Verticality

The entirety of Solasta’s environments are built with Minecraft-like blocks to create intricate layers of verticality, and then covered with beautiful textures and lighting. You can use these layouts to your advantage to avoid enemies, but enemies can easily do the same against you.

This verticality also means spells like Levitate and Fly are especially useful, as the team planned to place things high out of reach, like treasure and secret passages.

Near the end of the build I saw, one final enemy continued to attack from up high on the ledge. The player chose to sling long-range attacks at it, rather than spend the turns climbing up to reach it. These decision-making events seem to be commonplace in Solasta.

Updates and Changes Based on Demo Feedback
Tactical Adventures has been hard at work taking feedback from the demos it has offered in the past. Of course, there have been a lot of bugs to fix, but they have also upgraded a few mechanics that players have complained about, like inventory management and weight capacity management. One of the biggest changes in Early Access compared to the demo is the camera. In Early Access, you can manipulate the camera fairly freely, both up close to your character and quite far away.

Another aspect players were frustrated by was not being able to tell why their attacks missed. Now, before attacking an enemy, if you are attacking at a disadvantage – which reduces your attack accuracy – a menu will tell you exactly why before you make the attack. In one example, a human was attacking with disadvantage because the enemy was in dim light, and humans do not have dark vision – explanations like this are designed to help you learn the system even while playing it.
The Solasta Early Access build is available on Steam now for $35, with a 15% launch discount until next week. If you were a Kickstarter backer, don't forget to unlock your supporter pack DLC too.

There are 33 comments on Solasta: Crown of the Magister now available on Early Access

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 20 October 2020, 17:17:15

Tags: MicroProse; Urban Strife; White Pond Games

Back in August, we learned that White Pond Games' promising zombie survival RPG Urban Strife had been picked up by an unnamed publisher. Today they announced that the mystery publisher is none other than MicroProse, a revival of the legendary brand founded last year by one David Lagettie in cooperation with original MicroProse founder Bill Stealey. There's a new trailer to go along with this announcement, which offers a look at some of the game's nifty base-building elements. It's available at PC Gamer along with a brief description:

MicroProse, originally co-founded by Sid Meier almost 40 years ago, made a surprising return this year. It looks like it's picked up where it left off, publishing games that feel most at home on PC, typically with a tactical or sim bent. The latest is Urban Strife, a mix of turn-based tactics, management and roleplaying during a zombie apocalypse. Check out the trailer above.

Developed by White Pond Games, Urban Strife is set after the zombies have wiped out civilisation, but they've yet to finish the job and zombify every single human. That means you've got time to build up your shelter, make deals with a trio of factions, put together a team of gun-toting survivors and generally prepare for the return of the horde of wandering corpses.

So many turn-based tactics games get compared to XCOM these days, but Urban Strife's got more in common with the Sir-Tech classic Jagged Alliance 2. Like the tactical merc RPG, Urban Strife boasts a dynamic campaign where you'll have to go out and explore, chatting up NPCs and engaging in a bit of diplomacy in an effort to unite the last specks of humanity. This time, though, the NPCs apparently have their own lives and allegiances, with their morality determined by the faction they've joined.

Urban Strife's got a trio of factions: army rebels, a cult of zombie-lovers and a biker gang—standard post-apocalyptic fare—and you'll be able to work with them or, if diplomacy breaks down, add them to the large list of things that you have to shoot.

As well as fighting off any factions you've pissed off as you try to expand, you'll naturally encounter some of those moaning, shuffling zombies. The thing is, zombies usually suck in turn-based games. Fighting off hordes of enemies who sluggishly move one by one is a chore, but Urban Strife's reanimated corpses use a horde AI that means they all move in a single turn. Each is still an individual enemy, but when it comes to movement they all act as a single unit.

Like Jagged Alliance 2, you'll fight during the day and at night, and sticking to the shadows means you'll be able to sneak around and use melee for silent takedowns, or set up your squad for an ambush. You'll be sneakier at night, but using cover, stealth is still viable when the sun is out. And speaking of lighting things up, you can use fire as a weapon, which will dynamically destroy anything flammable that it encounters.

Urban Strife is coming out next year on Steam, but MicroProse says there will be an opportunity to play before that.
According to its Steam page, Urban Strife is now scheduled for release in Q3 2021. Earlier plans to release the game on Early Access this year have apparently been cancelled.

There are 22 comments on Urban Strife will be published by MicroProse, coming Q3 2021

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Thu 15 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 15 October 2020, 22:18:14

Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077

There was almost no developer Q&A in this month's installment of the Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire, just trailer after trailer. The majority of the episode was dedicated to the topic of the game's vehicles. A new trailer offered a look at the many types of vehicles players will come across in Night City, which range from cheapo budget cars to massive trucks to high-powered racing and luxury models, not to mention Johnny Silverhand's own vintage 1977 Porsche. This was followed by a behind-the-scenes video about the vehicles' audio design, which CD Projekt created by recording real cars at a race track, and then another video that was basically a commercial for Keanu Reeves' motorcycle company, because why not. The final part of the episode changed things up with a trailer about the fashion design of Night City. There are four main visual styles for NPCs in Cyberpunk 2077 - the standard cyberpunk "kitsch" style, a grungier and more downscale "entropic" style, the militaristic style of the corporations, and a flamboyant "neo-kitsch" style favored by celebrities.

After a couple of announcements about the finalists of a recent Cyberpunk 2077 cosplay contest and the game's Google Stadia release date, the episode concluded with one final surprise trailer showing V's visit to a diner to meet with a fixer. CD Projekt intend to broadcast a fifth episode of the Night City Wire "soon", presumably shortly before the game's release next month.

There are 93 comments on Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire Episode 4: Vehicles and Styles

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 15 October 2020, 17:53:34

Tags: Anshar Studios; Gamedec

Gamedec was supposed to be out in 2020, but the longer the year has gone on with no release date announcement the more it seemed like a delay was inevitable. Today Anshar Studios announced that the game has been officially postponed to 2021. It seems that one of the primary reasons for the delay is the need to repair its shoddy English translation (which is something I've been warning about since last year). They also need more time to finalize some of the game's scenarios and implement backer content. Here's the announcement:

We have decided to postpone the premiere of Gamedec to 2021.

During the Kickstarter Campaign, we were fully open with our decision to make Gamedec a community-driven project - We wanted you to be an active factor in helping us create the game you would like to play. We try to keep you informed about the production status and provide you with information about our activities as often as possible.

Right now, two months after the Backer's Build release, we sat down and discussed the feedback many of you provided in the surveys or previews both by press and content creators. We realized that they were sincere, sometimes rough, but always beneficial and mind-opening, hence our decision to postpone the release date.

This made us understand that we're heading in the right direction with the game's production, and our branching system works well, but there is still room for improvement and much work to be done. We know that the decision to delay the release will help us deliver the consistency in the quality of the premise you've backed.

We are iterating many different aspects of the game to be sure they meet the high standards our community anticipates. We know that the dialogues (and their translation) need to be improved– That is one of the most commented problems from the Backer's Build Survey, and we want to deliver the quality we've promised during the campaign. Most of the in-game locations are done, but we are still iterating the meta-scenario factors and polishing the narrative branching. We will provide you with more information about that in the future, with more dev-diaries, content videos about the progress, and more.

As for user-created input – we promised space to deliver community-made assets that will find their place in the game's final build (graffiti, voice recordings, naming NPCs, or companies), and it is still a work in progress. In the following weeks, we will be reaching out to gather the input/content from you to process it into the game. Expect some emails/check the Discord Backer Channels for more info on that.

When it comes to physical rewards - they will be sent out to you shortly before the game's release so that you'll have them on the launch day, and at the moment, we are working on them to have the highest possible quality to satisfy you fully. You can also expect various updates on this matter, as we will try to show you the process of their creation and tell you a bit more about what it looks like "behind the scenes".

Gamedec is still set to debut on PC. Switch and other consoles are still confirmed, but we can't promise a simultaneous release.

Thank you for being such a fantastic community and for your continued support.

Anshar Studios CEO Lukasz Hacura spoke about some of these issues (and many other topics) in a rather interesting interview with a Polish gaming show called Faux Paux last month. If you'd like to learn more about Gamedec, a subtitled version of that was made available on Anshar's YouTube channel earlier this week.

There are 0 comments on Gamedec delayed to 2021

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Tue 13 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 13 October 2020, 23:57:31

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios

The Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access launch last week was an unexpectedly massive success for Larian. Indeed, despite much complaining, our own thread for the Early Access release is already over 120 pages long. It was a bit buggy though, something which Larian scrambled to address with a series of hotfixes in the following days. Today they released the game's first major patch, entitled simply Launch. In addition to the patch notes, the accompanying community update also has details about Larian's experience during that momentous launch day and about the feedback they've been gathering.

We launched Baldur’s Gate 3 exactly 1 week ago, ish. The launch surpassed all our expectations. Our philosophy heading into Early Access was to hit a comfortable amount of players, gather feedback, and incrementally iron out and improve the game towards launch.

Good news! That’s still the plan. But the *bigger than expected launch* broke a few things. In chronological order, it apparently broke Steam, it then broke our launcher sign ups because the servers couldn’t keep up, and then it went on to break our support pipeline with a huge influx of support tickets. We’re not complaining. These are good problems to have.

The day before launch, the weather also broke the Ghent basement. Which was suboptimal because we were shooting a thing for those who get to the end of Act 1 (no spoilers).

Soon after, the power broke in Quebec. This is the 3rd launch in a row where Larian has had a powercut somewhere. One of the good things about upscaling to 5 studios globally, is that now if one gets defeated by water or electricity (please, not both together), we have 4 other studios to deal with the tornado, earthquake, or a Kaiju. At this point launching a game is basically like playing Sim City.

On launch, which we managed to get to in the end, we celebrated very socially, very distanced, and watched you all play the game. Someone at the office (we won’t mention the name of the perpetrator... I mean, we get it) stole Gale from the gateau. We have since recovered Gale.

Since then, we’ve shot out 3 hotfixes that have greatly reduced the number of crashes and stability issues experienced in the first week of launch. The real heroes in this are the community who stuck with us as we were working on those patches and hotfixes. We know that jumping into an unfinished game in Early Access, when your saves will eventually be wiped, is a big ask. We are phenomenally grateful to each and every one of you who’ve jumped in, provided feedback, and sent error reports. These reports are channeled back to our QA leads and producers, and the information you provide helps us to understand why certain things are happening, and thus reproduce and solve them.

Working with feedback
All feedback, positive or negative, is extremely helpful and important to us. We’re really grateful to everyone who organizes their thoughts and talks to us on Steam, or the forums, or the feedback form. For us, that’s a big part of what Early Access is about. Keep the feedback flowing, and we’ll keep shooting out those updates.

Under the hood we’re starting to get our first look at data, and decisions players are making, which teaches us how you’re playing the game. Before you launch a game, you’re making a lot of assumptions about what people will do, and why they’ll do it. When you launch, you can start to see if you were right.

As an example, let’s look at a cut down version of a heatmap (avoiding spoilers)! This is a *map of death* (make a spooky noise when you read that). *MaP of dEaTh*.

As our early access campaign progresses, you’ll see a shift as combat is tuned and content is altered. It might not look like much, but this shows us where to investigate. We can correlate this with direct player feedback, balancing feedback, and even bug reports to find out why people are dying where they’re dying, and also is it normal that people are dying there? It’s just one example of how people are helping simply by playing the game.

A strange point of interest is for instance that there are lots of deaths where you first meet Gale. Maybe people don’t like being ambushed by a spooky wizard jumping out of a rock? Something to investigate.

The amount of death in the camp is also surprising. We won’t spoil as to why that may be, but there are many, many in depth stories online, and on Reddit, about how death befell the campsite. They’re hilarious so please keep sharing them!

We also know how many times characters are dying. Gale died 333757 times. 333758 if you include the cake incident. Gale has a party-member kill-rate 4 times higher than any NPC in the game, so maybe he deserved it?

The Owlbear Cub has killed 5717 of you brave enough to try and tame it. Exactly 4000 people died as a result of interrupting the intimate moments of Ogres and Bug Bears.

And Shadowheart is the only companion that died more than the player character.

We’ll continue to share more data and insights over Early Access, but this is early days. Play however you want, in whatever way you want. There’s no one way to play the game. We’ve created systems that try to react to whoever you are, and whatever you do. The results of this make the game better.
As for the patch itself, it seems to be mostly about bug fixes, although it does include a few dialogue tweaks as well. See the full update for details.

There are 16 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #9: Patch 1 - Launch

Game News - posted by Darth Roxor on Tue 13 October 2020, 17:22:30

Tags: King Arthur: Knight's Tale; NeocoreGames

You may recognise the name NeocoreGames. Some odd 11 years ago (has it really been that long), they released a very cool RPG/Total War-esque strategy game hybrid titled King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame. Then they followed it up with two more (less cool, but still competent) strategy games, before finally giving up and settling for Diablo clones like Van Helsing and WH40k: Inquisitor (which was definitely not a cool move at all).

But now they are coming back with something that looks promising again. King Arthur: Knight's Tale is going to be a turn-based, tactical, party-based RPG with what looks like a degree of kingdom management and "rogue-lite" elements, which is probably supposed to mean a random-generated world.

And of course, it's on Kickstarter, because freedom is not free. To quote its brief description from the page:

You are Sir Mordred, the nemesis of King Arthur, the former black knight of the grim tales. You killed King Arthur, but with his dying breath, he struck you down. You both died – and yet, you both live.

The Lady of the Lake, the ruler of the mystical island of Avalon brought you back to end a true nightmare. She wants you to go on a knightly quest. She wants you to finish what you have begun. Kill King Arthur – or whatever he has become after she took his dying vessel to Avalon.

King Arthur: Knight’s Tale is a Role-playing Tactical Game - a unique hybrid between turn-based tactical games (like X-Com) and traditional, character-centric RPGs.

Knight's Tale is a modern retelling of a classic Arthurian mythology story filtered through the dark fantasy tropes, a twist on the traditional tales of chivalry.

The story campaign puts a huge emphasis on moral choices, which have significant consequences in a rogue-lite structure, adding extra tension to the tactical and management decisions.​

You can read more about the game on the Kickstarter page, and pledge, if you find it worthy. The goal is 115k quid, date of delivery Q1 2021, and an early bird voucher of £20 nets you a digital copy of the game.

There are 16 comments on NeocoreGames go turn-based with King Arthur: Knight's Tale, now on Kickstarter

Wed 7 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 7 October 2020, 22:15:15

Tags: Anshar Studios; Black Legend; Croteam; Fabled Lands; Gamedec; Prime Games; Room-C Games; Sleepy Sentry; Slitherine; Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Stirring Abyss; Tactical Adventures; Team ADOM; The Hand of Merlin; Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos; Warcave

Following the success of the Steam Game Festival in June, during which hundreds of demos for upcoming games were made available to the general public, Valve announced that they'd decided to make it a recurring event, with at least three additional festivals planned. The first of those events is the Steam Autumn Game Festival, which begins today and will last until October 13th. This time, familiar titles such as Solasta and Gamedec are joined by newcomers Black Legend (which got a new gameplay trailer today), Stirring Abyss (which we learned yesterday will be out on October 29th), and Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos.

According to the rules, any game participating in this festival will not be able to participate in the next two ones, so this might be the final appearance of some of these demos. As usual, there are various developer livestreams and Q&A sessions scheduled for the duration of the event, with details available on each game's Steam page. Enjoy!

There are 23 comments on Steam Autumn Game Festival: Demos of upcoming RPGs available from October 7th to 13th

Tue 6 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 6 October 2020, 21:42:52

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios

It's been sixteen months since Larian announced that they were making Baldur's Gate 3, the game that has become the most frenziedly discussed upcoming RPG on our forum since the original Pillars of Eternity. We learned very early on that the game would be arriving on Early Access at some point. That took longer than anybody expected due to the covid pandemic, but today it's finally here. Without further ado, here is the launch trailer:

Larian gave the press Earlier Access to the Early Access build and a large number of outlets published their previews when it launched. The previews are mostly positive as you'd expect, though many of them note that the game is still a bit buggy (shoutout to that one guy at Ars Technica who absolutely hated it!). Here's the full list of previews:

Baldur's Gate 3 is available on Steam and GOG for a full $60, a price tag that was apparently not high enough to prevent the game from crashing Steam due to its popularity. I'm not sure Codexers will be as enthusiastic, but hopefully we will soon find out whether it was really worth all that sound and fury.

There are 194 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 now available on Early Access

Mon 5 October 2020

Codex Review - posted by Infinitron on Mon 5 October 2020, 22:30:41

Tags: Krai Mira; Tall Tech Studio

Before the arrival of ATOM, there were a number of considerably less successful attempts to produce a Fallout-inspired post-apocalyptic isometric RPG by various European (particularly Eastern European) studios. One of the last of these was Krai Mira, an isometric RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Crimean peninsula from Slovakian indie developer TallTech Studio. Krai Mira was widely disregarded as "Eastern European shovelware" when it was released in 2016 and was quickly forgotten. Yet there are some among us who still remember. With the impending releases of Encased and ATOM RPG: Trudograd, the esteemed Lord_Potato, who is a connoisseur of all manner of obscure and forgotten RPGs, has decided to revisit Krai Mira and tell us whether our prejudices were justified. Here's an excerpt from his review:

The game begins with a short intro cutscene, but there is no character creation sequence as such. Our PC starts out simply standing on a beach. We can name him, distribute several points between five main stats, and invest two points into one of three available perks. The stats are strength, health, agility, perception, and "erudition", which is basically intellect and charisma combined. Throughout the game the PC will gain access to fifteen perks, which are mostly focused on stealth and melee combat. Each perk has three levels of advancement. There are no skills in the game and hence no skill checks. Stat checks in dialogue are very rare. Sometimes high erudition provides you with an additional dialogue choice or allows you to talk someone into helping you without material gratification. But that is all you will get out of making your guy a smooth talker. Upon gaining a new level you get one stat point and one perk point, which you may invest as you see fit.

Unfortunately, the system is very basic and unbalanced. There’s only one way to build your character well. On my first try, I created the character I usually play in Fallout games: an eloquent gunslinger (high perception, agility, erudition). Soon I learned that such a build is simply unfeasible in Krai Mira. Erudition provides too few opportunities to justify the stat investment. And as for perception, while the game offers a wide selection of guns, rifles, crossbows, and flamethrowers that use five different types of ammo, it provides far too few bullets. A gunslinger cannot allow himself the luxury of a weapon of choice. He has to hold on to any ammunition he can find and carry several guns in order not to be caught with an empty barrel. Unfortunately, in order to carry those guns or operate heavier weapons, he needs high strength. And in order to deal with the game’s hordes of melee enemies, he needs high agility to get more action points during his turns, so that he can shoot and then flee to safety. High health, required to wear better armor, becomes an unobtainable luxury as you'd have to spread your precious stat points too thinly. After several hours of this, I abandoned my eloquent gunslinger and restarted. Playing such a character was just too tedious and unfun.

The one and only feasible build is a melee tank, which is also reinforced by the majority of available perks. You put points into strength, health, and agility and keep on doing it until they all reach 13-15 points (which is about when the game will end). This will allow the PC to wear the best armor and carry the best melee and projectile weapons, with tons of health points and a decent damage reduction. Of course, due perception being a dump stat he can only shoot the automatic rifle at point-blank range, but at least he can do it. A point-starved gunslinger would never be able to reach the strength value of 13 needed for such a feat. The melee tank mostly fights on the front lines, which is good since the few party members you meet in the game are extremely stupid and die easily. So you need to position your PC in front of these idiots so that the enemies hit him instead.

That said, the combat actually feels pretty solid. With only one feasible build, it's a simple matter of smacking enemies with the biggest club or blade you can find. Guns sometimes offer several fire modes and bursts can hit multiple foes, but you need to conserve ammo so going in guns blazing is rarely a good tactical choice. In true Fallout tradition you can only control the PC while your party members fight on their own, governed by the AI. When human allies are present on the battlefield you ought to take care to strike the killing blow against your foes, otherwise you won't receive experience points. There is an exception to this rule, though. Enemies killed by your most loyal follower, the dog Rudi, do grant you experience.

The enemy AI is simplistic but aggressive, and may pose a challenge through sheer brutality. Hostile combatants try to swarm you with their usually superior numbers and melee fighters do their best to protect the shooters. They attack with truly suicidal determination and retreat only when left with a couple of health points and no medical supplies. Since there are no grenades, the only effective method of crowd control is through the generous use of traps. But since traps pose a serious threat to your allies as well, it's best to avoid them if you're not fighting on your own.

Apart from that, most tactics revolve around choosing when to inject stimpacks and drugs into your PC's system. And of course, selecting your targets is also important. You should always go for the shooters first, even if it exposes you to numerous melee attacks on the way. Despite the system's simplicity, dispatching enemies with a large hammer, a chainsaw, or a katana is very gratifying (and gory). Even better, all the enemies move at the same time during their turn, so you don't have to wait for long minutes as in Fallout. While there is plenty of combat, it does not waste your time, which is a good thing.

Combat difficulty changes significantly over the course of the campaign. At the beginning, it’s similar to Piranha Bytes' Gothic series. You often have to rely on allies and in their absence may be forced to flee from the battlefield, as any confrontation can prove lethal for an ill-equipped and inexperienced PC. After you’ve gained some levels and acquired better gear, your situation improves drastically and fighting even large groups of foes becomes feasible. However, during the endgame you start encountering squads of heavily armed elite soldiers, and their machine gun bursts can quickly eat through hundreds of health points. At this point in the game you have to pick your battles, mind your positioning, and use every natural barrier to protect yourself from enemy fire. This evolution, combined with an acceptable level of enemy variety, helps keep things fresh.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Krai Mira

There are 32 comments on RPG Codex Review: Krai Mira

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 5 October 2020, 12:13:03

Tags: Geneforge 1 - Mutagen; Spiderweb Software

Geneforge 1 - Mutagen, Jeff Vogel's inevitable remake of the first Geneforge from 2001, was successfully Kickstarted back in March to the tune of $85k. Now it's time for the next step in the Spiderweb Software product lifecycle, which is the launching of the game's trailer and Steam page. Apparently the coronavirus has not had much effect on Jeff's lifestyle, since it's still on schedule for release in the first quarter of 2021.

Geneforge 1 – Mutagen is a unique, truly open-ended fantasy adventure in a strange, new world. You are one of the Shapers, wizards with the awesome power to create life. Want a tool, a trap, an army? You summon it into existence. You create mighty beasts, and they totally obey you. Usually.

But now? Your creations want to rebel. Will you crush them? Or help them?

Geneforge 1 – Mutagen offers unmatched freedom in how you play. Use magic or your deadly pets to crush your enemies. Or, use trickery, diplomacy, and stealth to win the game without ever attacking a foe. Choose between a host of rival factions or just destroy everything. Defeat the final boss, or switch sides and join him. Fight alone with blades, missiles, or magic, or create your own army of custom-made mutant monsters.

Geneforge is an epic fantasy adventure with over eighty zones to explore and 50+ hours of gameplay. Choose from dozens of skills, abilities, and pets to reach a vast array of different endings. The coming rebellion will scorch your continent. Who will win? It will be up to you.
Despite the unusual nature of some of the game's new creature graphics, I'd say this looks prettier than the original. Though of course that's not a high bar to clear.

There are 36 comments on Geneforge 1 - Mutagen gets trailer and Steam page, coming Q1 2021

Sun 4 October 2020

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sun 4 October 2020, 19:58:25

Tags: Brian Fargo; David Rogers; inXile Entertainment; Matt Barton; Wasteland 3

After Wasteland 3 was released in August, Brian Fargo was interviewed about the game for a number of podcasts. Now it's our friend Matt Barton's turn to join in. Matt was apparently too busy to split the interview, so it's presented as one huge episode. For the first 55 minutes of the episode Brian was joined by lead designer David Rogers. Together they answered questions about topics such as Wasteland 3's toaster repair skill, humor in games, working with VR, David's past work on the US military simulation game America's Army, making Wasteland 3's Collector's Edition, and the challenges of working during the COVID pandemic. Brian and David are pleased with how Wasteland 3's moral dilemmas turned out, though they admit that certain elements had to be cut when they become uncomfortably close to contemporary real-life politics. On the mechanics side, David explains how inXile made the game's combat flow faster by implementing concurrent movement for enemies and making battles more lethal in general. He intends to continue tuning it, including by making enemies less likely to waste their attacks on the party's animal followers.

The interview part of the episode is followed by a lengthy 40 minute Q&A segment with Brian Fargo. Here he answers questions about topics such as the making of Wasteland 1, future games from inXile and upcoming Wasteland 3 DLC, working with Krome Studios and with Chris Bischoff, the advantages of becoming a part of Microsoft, the possibility of making Meantime after all (sounds unlikely), inXile's experience with the Unity and Unreal engines, the failure of Bard's Tale IV and the fate of the Bard's Tale franchise, the possibility of a Torment: Tides of Numenera Director's Cut (no way), and more. It's a decent enough interview, but I hope Matt returns to his episodic format when he can. His next interview will be with the aforementioned Chris Bischoff.

There are 17 comments on Matt Chat 458: Brian Fargo and David Rogers on Wasteland 3

Fri 2 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 2 October 2020, 19:45:12

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios

Larian have also found the time to release one last Baldur's Gate 3 community update before their game launches on Early Access next week. As promised, the topic of the update is character creation. There are some details about their process for creating photorealistic character faces, which is based on scanning the heads of forty different actors. However, the highlight of the update seems to be the list of races that will be included in the Early Access build on launch. There will be eight core races, including the standard fantasy races as well as exotics like githyanki, drow and tieflings, with a total of sixteen subraces among them. The list of classes is more modest, with only six core classes and no details about subclasses provided. Both race and class will be a source of dialogue reactivity, although it sounds like the former will be more impactful. Here's an excerpt from the update:

What defines you? Is it who you are, or the journey you’re on? In Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s both. Creating a character in Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t the moment the world decides how to treat you, but it’s the very beginning of the shaping of your story. BG3 is a world with great player agency, and the most important character in that world is you. We’ve created not only a character customization system that allows that player agency to shine, but also a world that constantly reacts to how your character develops.

In BG3 you can start your journey by choosing your race, subrace, background and class. In certain cases you also get to choose a subclass, as perhaps a deity. These choices will ripple out across the story, affecting how you roleplay throughout the game.

You’ll assign points to your 6 abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma). Then you’ll decide which of the various skills in the game you're proficient with (eg. Acrobatics, Deception, Stealth). Last but not least, you customise your appearance and how your character presents to the world.

Will you be a beast taming mage-breaking charlatan halfling ranger with a toxic frog as a familiar, or a noble githyanki eldritch knight who let herself be seduced by the Absolute, with the ability to psionically drag her enemies towards her. Or, will you go for a more traditional tiefling warlock who made a pact with the devil? The choices are endless!

Baldur’s Gate is a vast cultural hub on the Sword Coast, attracting adventurers of extremely varied races and cultures, all of whom are looking to make a name for themselves in the city. In BG3, the NPCs of this world will react to who and what you are - giving you unique opportunities for roleplay based on your selected options in character creation.

For example, prior to the events in BG3, the city of Elturel has just descended into the Nine Hells. So many innocent people, cast without warning into the fire, never to return. The common folk speak of this hideous event with bitterness, with grievance, and with ill-tempered suspicion. So you can imagine that as a Tiefling (a being with an infernal bloodline and fiendish devil-like features) thanks to these world events you may find yourself the subject of mistrust and fear - at least more than the normal amount of suspicion your bloodline instills.

Races more alien to the Sword coast - like the Drow and Githyanki - are so rare to the average NPC that you’ll find their interactions to be unique as well. Of the nearly 600 NPC’s you’ll meet in Act 1 alone, each one draws from their own experiences. Oft defining how they approach a discussion, or situation.

Each of these races represent a staggering amount of narrative and mechanical complexity. In one playthrough as a human, you might be treated with respect and honor. In the next, as a Githyanki, you might have to struggle for those same courtesies with the sharpness of your tongue, or the ferocity of your fists. What race you pick will be foundation for your appearance, but will also give you a bunch of cool racial features including stat increases, skill proficiencies and potential other bonuses.

In EA you’ll have 6 Classes to choose from - Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock and Wizard - each with at least two subclasses to choose from. If you’re unfamiliar with D&D, some classes unlock their subclass early at Level 1 - like the Cleric - while others gain their subclass choice by Level 3.

If you choose a class with access to magic, you’ll be able to select from a number of Cantrips - simple arcane skills you can use to dazzle and destroy your opponents again and again - and Spells - more powerful abilities that you’ll have limited uses of between rests.

Just like your background and race, your class will also give you options in the world with roleplay. NPC’s might recognise the skillset you live your life by, and in turn you’ll gain options in dialogue and unique opportunities your other companions will not have.

Classes evolve as you level up and each class presents plenty of opportunities for customisation. Once you hit level 4 for instance, you’ll get to select from a wide range of feats. Feats represent talents or an area of expertise that give characters special capabilities. They embody training, experience, and abilities beyond what your base class provides.
There are more surprises ahead according to the update, but we'll have to wait until the Early Access launch to see what that's about. In other news, Larian have launched a new account system on their official website to enable cross-save, cross-play and other features in Baldur's Gate 3 and future titles. More details about that are available here.

There are 28 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #8: Character Creation

Thu 1 October 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 1 October 2020, 17:17:01

Tags: Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Tactical Adventures

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is launching on Early Access this month, but Myzzrym from Tactical Adventures found the time to put together one final dev diary video. It's a brief introduction to the game's highly customizable dice roll system, which will allow players to choose whether dice rolls should be visible during dialogue, combat, exploration and so on. You'll even be able to customize the color of the dice, each d20 individually. Besides that, the video also offers a glimpse at some new content from the upcoming release.

Very prestigious.

There are 19 comments on Solasta: Crown of the Magister Dev Diary - Dice System Preview

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 1 October 2020, 13:00:36

Tags: Mechajammer; Whalenought Studios

In the months that have passed since Copper Dreams became Mechajammer, the formerly moribund game has suddenly exploded with activity, with numerous tweets from Whalenought showcasing what appears to be rapid development. Some of those tweets were compiled in a Kickstarter update in early August. In a second update published shortly afterwards, Whalenought announced that they would be updating the beta build with the game's first actual area "later that week". In typical Whalenought fashion, they finally released said update yesterday. The highlight of the update seems to be the new character creation sequence, which is the main topic of today's new Kickstarter update. It also has some details about how the game's narrative has evolved. Your character is now a Ci-War trooper who has crashlanded on the planet with some of his comrades. Here's an excerpt from the update:

Hope this reaches everyone safe and sound. For those with test builds, there's a new update with character creation and an area to run around and punt mutants. The community site is fixed and back up as well, and we’ll have the death matches in the beta back in good order shortly — some pathfinding stuff changed in this last update and we need refresh some maps, add some driving combat ones, etc.

In this post we wanted to dive into character creation. Grab your dice and beer, let's grognard up!

Character Creation

We originally ordered character creation into a step-by-step process, aptly starting with your birth kit, then jobs, which then determine your age, and finally being able to distribute accrued points to Studies/Virtues.

This made sense on paper, but in practice turned out to be tedious, especially if you want to try out different skills and advantages. Since we’re all here to min/max murder-hobos, we wanted to optimize for that.

We start you with set pools of D6 to distribute to learned Studies and Virtues. You can toss these in as you see fit, and they’ll just turn red if you exceed a maximum. (Some background traits can reduce or increase your starting pools.)

You can start selecting jobs anytime after you select a birth kit, genetic enhancements given to unborn children, which will filter the pool of jobs available to you. In a future update, birth kits will change the number of Virtue vs. Studies dice you have to work with, as those with natural births have fewer inborn abilities, while those with premium birth kits do not have to have as many learned skills, having few deficiencies to make up for.

Jobs determine your age (each job adds 9 years) and give bonuses from work knowledge (represented by pips to Studies). Each job you choose also comes with a list of Disadvantages that you have to pick between, since no experience in life is a completely positive one. Most of these disadvantages are minor, like a two turns wait at the beginning of combat (Coward) or always eating food as soon as you put it in your inventory (Hungry).

Your character’s job retention also lets advanced versions of the job become available, netting better benefits, like from Lab Assistant to Doctor. However, varied jobs get a bigger variety of modifiers (and Disadvantages).

Adding more jobs is an easy way to gain Studies pips, but as you get on in years you become more fragile, and caps are placed on the number of die you can add to Virtues like Grace, Muscle Mass and Sight, while youth has only limits to the brain noodle and caps your Occult and Learning.

After your jobs history is complete you can slide to an exact age within your bracket.

Your Character's Origin

Through this development cycle we've played with the concept of your character and how they landed on this hostile space colony. One of our early ideas involved CYOA screens showing you shipping off to the colony as a worker, working in a syndicate (character age + 2-5 years), and eventually have a classic scene of you and some trusted coworkers sitting around a bar, one revealing they have a way out, and you scheme your campaign to flee the colony. We rolled with that concept for a while, with some adaptations like your syndicate getting attacked and then meeting after, but didn't love how much of a slog it was to set up all these disparate exposition pieces, especially since the beginning of the game needs to also introduce core game systems like your base of operations, the squad system that will encompass your companions through the game, and the perma-life healing system that is rooted into the base itself.

Eventually we streamlined the concept to focus more on the surrounding setting of the game. You still have trusted comrades, but you're conscripted Ci-War troopers, mind-hacked and powerless, and you've escaped a hopeless bloodbath by stealing a shuttle to find refuge elsewhere on the planet. You and your two companions set up a base of operations in the abandoned warehouse district you crash down into, and with significantly less exposition you can get rolling on adventuring. Grab a junker bike and drive through the city or outlying jungles, or check out the polluted coastal marshes!
This is finally starting to feel like a real game. Be sure to check out the full update for lots of cool animated GIFs.

There are 4 comments on Mechajammer Kickstarter Update #30: Character Creation Beta Update

Tue 29 September 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 September 2020, 22:07:34

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Today's Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter update formally introduces another one of the game's companions. Daeran Arendae was previously mentioned when Owlcat unveiled the extra romances stretch goal during the campaign back in February. He's a debauched aasimar noble who was somehow granted the powers of an Oracle when his entire family was killed by a demon during his birthday celebration. Like other Oracles, Daeran suffers from a curse that also grants him certain advantages.

Stories about good-hearted outcasts that rebel against the corrupt and unjust ways of society are not uncommon in folklore and literature. But this is certainly not the story of Daeran Arendae – a young and spoiled Mendevian noble who lives a life of debauchery, in a constant little war against the knightly, almost exalted, ideals of his homeland.

A decade before the events of the game, young Daeran was the proud scion of a thriving noble clan, one of the oldest in Mendev. His ancestors rose to power long before the Worldwound opened and forever changed the fate of their home country and the whole world. Rich and powerful, the Arendae family was touched by celestial forces, with each generation being blessed with one or two aasimar children, Daeran among them.

But it all came to an end when a powerful lilitu demon decided to invite herself to Daeran's birthday feast. When crusaders opened the gates of the Arendae family estate a few days later, they found nothing but desolation and death. All the guests had been killed by a demonic plague, with the young count, now the last member of the Arendae family, being the only survivor.

An unknown divine intervention saved Daeran's life, granting him the powers of an oracle (you can read more about the Oracle class in one of our previous updates). On Golarion, oracles don't choose their fate – they are chosen by cosmic forces and receive a gift that is also their burden. Daeran's gift was the healing power of the Life mystery, combined with a curse that makes him freeze in situations that require immediate action, but also protects him against sudden attacks by treacherous – or even invisible – foes (the Powerless Prophecy curse). He is a valuable addition to the team, a talented healer who can also use divine power to assist allies or crush foes.

Today, if you hear Daeran's name, it's either followed by curses, news on the count's latest scandalous endeavors, or flattery and praise of dubious sincerity. Joining the crusaders seems to be his latest excess, done either out of boredom or for the sake of scandalizing society. Keeping company with Daeran is an adventure all its own, as his main gift is, perhaps, the ability to bring some rampant festivity even to the harsh reality of the crusade!
Four companions left to go.

There are 6 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #63: Daeran the Oracle

Wed 23 September 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 23 September 2020, 23:19:30

Tags: Baldur's Gate 3; Larian Studios; Sarah Baylus; Swen Vincke

Larian announced today that they'd decided to postpone the Baldur's Gate 3 Early Access release to October 6th due to some last minute stability and localization issues. A week's delay isn't a big deal, but it does give the new community update some room to breathe. A promised in the previous update, it's about romance and companion relationships in general. The update video's introductory Swen Vincke skit is pretty minimalistic this time. The bulk of the video is made up of a recorded segment with lead writer Sarah Baylus and cinematic director Jason Latino. There's nothing too revolutionary here. Companions will react to who you are, what you say and the things you do, with major interactions taking place in camp. There will be plenty of cinematics as your relationship with a companion evolves, including, yes, sex scenes, which you can see a few glimpses of in the video. I'll post it here along with the usual excerpt from the update itself:

Each of your companions have their own personalities, goals, and motivations. Bound by the shared problem of an Illithid tadpole buried in their head, they will join your party but you’ll all have to put your differences aside if you want to survive. The exact relationship you have with your companions, already marred by differences, will be shaped by who you are, what you do, who you side with, and what you say in conversation with them.

We’ve tried to create reactive systems all throughout the journey of a relationship; from the time of meeting a companion, to the potential romance with them. (Romance is a polite word we’re using for sex. But we’re not quite there yet, more on that in a moment.)

In Baldur’s Gate 3, a 5e D&D game, creating a custom character will immerse you in the story just as much as playing as one of the Origin Characters. For example, playing as a Drow Wizard will give you different dialogue options than playing as a Githyanki Warlock. These differences will also be present in your relationship dialogues. As you play the game, and you begin to make choices in combat, exploration, and conversation, you’ll be presented with situations and scenarios that are unique to your playthrough. Not too long into Early Access, you will be having an adventure so specific to your character, that no other player is going to see the exact same content as you.

Just as in real life, the sum of character is determined by many factors, and continues to be shaped by your actions and reactions to the world, and the party you journey with. Frictions may test the party’s resolve, and romances might test the party dynamic. Not only will characters have opinions about you, but also about each other, and other factions in the game. Will you pursue love with one companion to the detriment of another? Or will you side with a faction a companion detests, putting feelings to the side to achieve your strategic goals? As with life, many decisions will have to be made, not all of them easy, and not every outcome obvious.

Catch Gale at the campfire and you might find a lot of his bravado has been disarmed. Disarmed bravado is an opportunity for Astarion, a vampire. All of this sitting around may be a waste of time for Lae’zel. For you, it’s an opportunity to talk and interact with your party and followers on a more intimate level. But the conversation you have in the camp will also be a reaction to the day’s events, and what you’ve been up to in the world.

Through a mix of systems design, narrative writing, and cinematics, Larian is aiming to create three-dimensional relationships that feel as authentic as possible.

How intimate a character will be with you relies heavily on who they are, and who you become on your adventure. There are factions in the game you may side with, or revolt against. Your party will have opinions about that, and in multiplayer - once Origin Avatars have joined Early Access (not day 1) - the systems will technically allow you to have intimate moments with your friends. Talk about party dynamics!

The point is, no matter which race or gender you are, or which class you are, the levels of intimacy party members share will be defined by extremely in-depth, life-like evaluation of everything you’ve been up to together. We’ve tried to create an authentic, reactive relationship system where characters act and react like people. For better, and for worse.

On a totally unrelated note, Baldur’s Gate 3 has been officially rated M for Mature by ESRB, and that’s probably for the best.
This will probably be the final community update before Early Access is released, but that doesn't mean they're going away. According to the Q&A section, the next update is going to be about character creation.

There are 116 comments on Baldur's Gate 3 Community Update #7: Romance & Companionship, Early Access delayed to October 6th

Mon 21 September 2020

Company News - posted by Darth Roxor on Mon 21 September 2020, 15:32:48

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Microsoft

Bethesda Softworks, the developer of many RPG Codex favourites, such as the Fallout series, Doom and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, has been bought out by Microsoft. To quote:

Welcoming the Talented Teams and Beloved Game Franchises of Bethesda to Xbox

Critically acclaimed creators of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Quake, Starfield and more join Team Xbox

Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.


Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways. All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you.

All of our work, and the foundation of our relationship with you, starts with a commitment to deliver a breadth of amazing games to discover and play on Xbox. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excited to share more detail on important elements of a plan we’ve been building towards for years. A plan that is the fulfilment of a promise, to you the Xbox player, to deliver the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation gaming experiences, and the freedom to play blockbuster games with your friends, anytime, anywhere. Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox.

Please join me in welcoming all of our friends at Bethesda to Team Xbox.​

I, for one, welcome Bethesda's new corporate overlords. Certainly enough, an increasingly-nervous Pete Hines seems just as positive about it as anyone would be:

Today we announced we’re joining the Microsoft family...

When you work at a place as long as I’ve worked at Bethesda – just a month short of 21 years – you see some things. Chief amongst them is change. When I started, Bethesda was not much more than a handful of people. The team working on Morrowind fit in a couple of offices, and there were probably six or seven of us spread across everything else.

Bethesda Softworks, our parent company ZeniMax Media, and our many internal studios, now employ thousands of talented people working in publishing offices and development studios around the world. We’ve gone from one internal studio to many; from a focus on single-player fantasy RPGS to developing massive MMOs, first person shooters, and everything in between. The world, our industry, and our company has changed a lot in the 34 years since Bethesda Softworks was first founded. Today, it changed again. And I know that brings up questions.

But the key point is we’re still Bethesda. We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.

So why the change? Because it allows us to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play. Simply put - we believe that change is an important part of getting better. We believe in pushing ourselves to be better. To innovate. To grow.​

I am very excited to look forward to even better games from Bethesda, and I'm sure everyone on this site can say the same. In fact, I can't wait for the three-way collaboration (you could say, a troika) between Bethesda, Inxile and Obsidian, which will bring us the ultimate RPG to ever grace this sinful middle earth.

There are 420 comments on Bethesda acquired by Microsoft

Fri 18 September 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 18 September 2020, 23:56:44

Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077

Due to the last minute omission of a segment about the game's soundtrack, this month's installment of the Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire is a bit shorter than usual. What remains is an episode that's primarily about Night City lore. The first part is about the city in general, starting with a new trailer that takes the form of an infomercial narrated by in-universe media personalities. It's not incredibly interesting, but there are some interesting tidbits about area design in the following segment with level designer Miles Tost. And yes, that URL at the end of the trailer actually works.

The second part of the episode is specifically about the gangs of Night City, starting again with a trailer that introduces all the major players. Some of them we've seen before - the cyberware-obsessed Maelstrom from the 2018 gameplay video, and the Voodoo Boys and Animals from last year's deep dive. Others are on display here for the first time, including the Mexican Valentinos, the redneck 6th Street, the Japanese Tyger Claws, and the Moxes, a mostly female gang that provides protection to Night City's prostitutes. The trailer also offers a glimpse at two Nomad groups who operate in the badlands outside the city, the Wraiths and the Aldecaldos. In the following segment with quest director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, we learn that as a mercenary, V will not be able to join any of these gangs as a full member. His goal instead is to rise up in the elite mercenary circles of the Afterlife club.

The episode concludes with a brief look at the finalists of a Cyberpunk 2077-themed case modding contest that CD Projekt ran recently and the reveal of the game's PC system requirements, which are surprisingly low. I'll let you decide if that means downgrades or if the RED Engine is just that optimized. There will be a fourth episode of the Night City Wire "soon", presumably next month.

There are 30 comments on Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire Episode 3: Night City and its Gangs

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 18 September 2020, 02:30:27

Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

This month's Colony Ship development update gives us our first look at the workings of the game's stealth system. Most of you probably don't remember the scenario Vault Dweller described in a previous update over two years ago, involving the quest to win the loyalty of Lord's Mercy and her gang in the struggle for the control of The Pit between local business owner Jonas Redford and outsider militia leader Jeremiah Braxton. Of course, persuading Mercy to switch sides is just one way of handling this quest. Another way is to sneak into her compound and assassinate her. Colony Ship's stealth system appears to be full-featured but intuitive. Tiles are colored green, yellow or red based on the difference between the player character's stealth skill and the guards' current detection values. As the character moves around and does things, he generates noise which can cause the guards to become suspicious and eventually begin looking for him. A character armed with a knife or dagger can attempt to inflict a one-hit kill while in stealth. The screenshots included in the update demonstrate these new features, as well as the previous diplomatic approach.

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An overview of the mechanics:

1) Tiles - when you enter the stealth mode, all tiles around guards are automatically assigned detection values. If your sneaking ability (the skill and modifiers) is greater than the detection value, you remain undetected. Thus, green tiles are safe to walk on, red tiles means instant detection and combat, yellow means higher chance of detection (if you end your turn there, you'll be instantly detected at the beginning of the guard's turn).

The detection values are determined by the distance from the guards, which way they're facing, their Perception, and thermal vision gear, if any. High sneaking ability turns more tiles green and opens up more options.

2) Noise - each step and action (lockpicking, climbing, using computers, killing guards in stealth mode, etc) generates noise. Not a whole lot of noise to instantly alert the guards the moment you do something but enough to add up over time and raise the guards' suspicions. The higher the guards' Perception, the faster the alert bar is filled:

0-24: Unaware
25-49: Suspicious (a warning to the player)
50-74: Alerted
75-100: Searching

When a guard is alerted, he turns around towards the last noise generated, so if you are close he'll see you (meaning a lot of green tiles will instantly turn red). When a guard decides that it's time to investigate, he moves towards the last noise generated on his turn. If the meter reaches 100, he "interrupts" your turn and turns around immediately.

Each state past Unaware raises the difficulty of killing in stealth mode.

3) The higher your sneaking ability (skill, feats, gear) the longer you can stay undetected and the more you can do. To put it simply, if your quest goal is to steal an item from a chest nearby but there's another chest in a room down the hall, it will be relatively easy to get to the 'quest chest' but much harder to get to the optional chest (without starting a fight you may or may not be able to win). So specialization will definitely pay off.

You can reduce the noise you generate (Sneaking and feats like Ghost: -1 noise per tile, actions generate half the noise). Heavy boots and armor will increase the noise, so dress light and not get caught in your underwear.

4) Takedown aka instant killing – if your takedown value is equal to or higher than the guard's defensive rating (Con, Evasion, Alert level), you kill the guard. If it's lower, you do X points of damage (modified by different factors) as a consolation prize.

You can only use knifes and daggers for takedowns. If your favor clubs and axes, you can start a combat with the element of surprise on your side (think Sneak Attack).

That's about it for now. Thoughts?
Very cool stuff. According to Vault Dweller, we might be able to get our hands on this ourselves as soon as December, with the official Early Access release currently planned for February.

There are 16 comments on Colony Ship Update #47: The Stealth System

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 18 September 2020, 01:18:35

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

After a long period of relative quiet, today Owlcat released the second stage of the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous alpha test. There's a lot of new stuff here! Act 3 has been added the game and it now has a tutorial prologue section as well. There are three new companions - Wenduag the mongrel huntress, Greybor the dwarf assassin, and the reformed succubus Arueshalae. The crusade management layer has been expanded with new features and options. The tactical army battles aren't in just yet, but will be added in a few weeks. Finally, the user interface has been partially overhauled and there are two new equipment slots for goggles and shirt. Here are the full details from the Kickstarter update:

With the new Stage of the Alpha version, we are adding more content - including prologue and Act 3. Some of the main additions are:

We have added a tutorial and prologue. For Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous we have a goal to help new players learn the basics of the Pathfinder system and assist in building a well-rounded character - it is especially important against such immune-heavy enemies as demons. Currently, we are working on the context tutorial which will help new and veterans players alike - advising them depending on their skill and level.

While not all systems are implemented in the alpha, part of them will be in the new version.

Act 3 will also be playable in the new Stage. More adventures await in the Worldwound - with a lot of places to explore and quests to finish. Nearly all of the Mythic Paths will get their story expanded into Act 3. Excluding Demon, which will have to wait a bit more - his quests aren’t finished.

And with new chapters come new companions! One of them is Wenduag - a mongrel huntress, a merciless and vicious warrior whose cruelty will intimidate even the demons of the Abyss.

You can now get a valuable asset in the form of Greybor - a cold-blooded assassin, a dwarf who exterminates demons not by duty's call but solely in the name of profit.

With the third companion being Arueshalae. A heretic amongst demons — a succubus who has betrayed the Abyss, seeking to abandon her evil ways and turn to good.

Alpha testers will also be able to learn more about companions with their new quests. Currently, there is a continuation of the stories for every companion (and it will answer the most popular question and guessing game “Where is Woljif?”) and a new one – for Wenduag.

Crusade will also be expanded and get some new features. With the new Stage, generals are arriving – in Act 2 there will be an option to recruit and, later, upgrade one. Another mechanic that will be added to the Crusade is ritual casting.

There also will be quests for Crusader in Act 2 and 3, and in Act 3 players will be presented with construction options and projects.

This will be only the first iteration of them and we want to ask you to provide as much feedback as possible about this part of the gameplay. Crusade is still in works and can be improved based on the thoughts and suggestions you provide.

We are also working on tactical combat right now - one of our current goals is to improve its depth. It will be added to the game in 2 or 3 weeks after the launch of Alpha Stage 2.

[...] Another “glimpse” into the future is parts of the UI in Stage 2. Currently, only inventory and dialogue windows changes are implemented.

And, as some may know, our UI is always related to what happens in the game in some way. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is no exception. But how it is related to the plot you will learn later…

Talking about improvements: we have increased the size of the character model in the inventory. The quality of models was improved - now you will be able to see more details on your character. There are also two new slots for the equipment - goggles and shirt. Otherwise, it will be the same old UI.

Another thing our UI team is currently working on is improving the “Attack” block. It can have some issues on higher levels when using two-handed weapons.

We are really interested in feedback on the UI changes and will keep an eye on it to see your thoughts on it.​

It all sounds very cool. The only bad news is that unlike Kingmaker's stage two alpha, backers are still not allowed to publish gameplay footage of this.

There are 9 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #62: Alpha Test Stage 2 Released

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