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Game News Age of Decadence September Update

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: Age of Decadence; Iron Tower Studios; Vault Dweller

    Vince D. Weller of Iron Tower Studio has put up another monthly update for his upcoming Roman-themed turn-based RPG Age of Decadence (also on Steam Greenlight - vote it up!). Long story short: Vince quits his job to work on the game full-time.

    Best gift ever.

    Yesterday was my birthday. Today is my first day as a 42-year old guy and my first day as a free man. I quit my job. No, it's not a mid-life crisis, it's about commitment. I want to spend the next 6 months (or so, it's not a deadline) being focused on nothing but the game and thoroughly enjoying each day. Yes, I'm well aware that the game probably won't sell a lot.

    Alchemy

    The alchemy is almost ready. We'll be starting a beta test next week. Crafting was about adding numbers to weapon's and armor's stats. Alchemy brings something very different to the table and it will give you different ways to approach combat. I know that many of you have grudges against the Aurelian guards who killed you a dozen or so times with extreme prejudice, which made you feel small and angry. Imagine how good it's gonna be to come, holding a black powder clay bomb, throw it at them and yell "Konichiwa, bitches!"

    Changes to the system

    We're also fucking around with a lot of things we probably shouldn't. The list of things that bother us is long. These things reflect various mistakes made during development, ideas that we thought were good at the time, or just give fixes that sorta worked and thus went down on the priority list.

    Normally, we leave these things alone as we don't have time to revisit everything, but every now and then the feedback we get pushes an item to the very top of the list, where it gets immediate attention. The item of the month was shields.

    Originally, the basic combat design was "hard to hit, easy to kill dodgers vs easy to hit, hard to kill heavy armor guys". It was a decent idea on paper, but it required a skill to balance Dodge. I don't recall now why we didn't go with Armor (maybe because it doesn't make much sense), but we went with Block instead. Sort of worked, but not quite. Heavy armor guys would block many attacks and the armor would absorb a chunk of what gets through, which made them much harder to kill than was envisioned originally.

    Shields gave you a bonus to Block, which made sense, as it's easier to hide behind a tower shield than to block with a buckler. It made shields too powerful though and so we added the splitting mechanic and, eventually, replaced the Block bonus, with a vsSplitting stat. Of course, the problem is that splitting is only a factor when you run into an axeman, and since we can't have axemen everywhere, we added a chance to split to two-handed weapons. Of course, without the bonus to Block, large shields have become sort of useless, adding insult to injury.

    Now, kids, this is a good example of how a small mistake gets patched and patched, until it grows into a half-assed feature, like a snowball of bad design rolling down the hill. You can ask "How did you fuck it up? Didn't you guys see it a mile away?" The answer is, it's very easy to miss things when you're working on ten things at once. It's much easier to patch things up quickly than trace the problem all the way back and consider all possibilities.

    Anyway, as long as we're willing and eager to fix our mistakes, it's all good. Right?

    So, the main problem was that shields were absorbing all damage. You could be hit with a big-ass two-handed hammer, but as long as you managed to get your buckler under that hammer, you were fine. But not anymore. Now, shields get their very own DR stat, which will be added to your armor or helmet DR on a successful block. The bonus to Block stat is back, because *now* it works. Heavy armor blockers will no longer be too powerful. They will still enjoy superior protection but they won't be nearly invincible at high levels.

    This change will too be rolled out in R3.

    What's next on our list of tweaks? Something that Oscar and I are *very* excited about. Not changing it has been my biggest regret about the game for the last 2 years. I would have left it alone, but there's been a lot of complaints about it, so we're exploring it at the moment, but so far it looks really, really good.​

    That was just a part of the update; the rest deals with Maadoran quests and a new character, Darista, the guildmaster of the Boatmen in Maadoran. Read it in full here.

    Thanks Niektory!
     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
  3. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Looks good; the shield change sounds right on the money. I'm curious what the other mechanic change is about...
     
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  4. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    Should've tried to take 6 months unpaid leave so at least there'd be something to come back to if necessary.

    Yeah, gotta say one thing that struck me is how there's a skill for every type of weapon... but none for Armour. No Heavy Armour skill? No Light Armour skill? Or perhaps "Plate Armour" and "Chain Armour" skills.

    I'd turn "Block" into a "Shield" skill so that, much like weapons, it becomes a specific tool with its own training required. I like the idea of DR on shields, so Higher Shield skill improves the DR and means you get that Shield into a blocking position much, much quicker - and so have a higher chance of blocking more attacks and when they do hit, your skill means they hit for less. It also allows you to vary enemies then. As big bad mothers with Heavy Armour & a big shield could be given a poor "Shield" skill to balance them out a bit - without affecting their armour.

    Now replace "Block" for armour with a specific "Armour" skill that takes care of all the skill bonuses for Armour. You could go one further - and again, keeping in line with the specific weapon skills - split Armour up into Light, Medium and Heavy Armour. Rate each Armour accordingly so that only the appropriate skill is taken into consideration for that particular piece of armour. It'd mean a bit more work adding in a few more pieces of armour so the spread across tier levels was tolerable, and it narrows player choice considerably (no more "pick the best armour available" if you're the armour type, you'd have to think about your skills as well) but allows some more variation on the defense side of combat. Light Armours would have less negative impacts to movement as you increase your use in them, while Heavy Armours might give bonus defense instead as you get more skilled. Again, allowing you to adjust the enemies a bit more to get the balance right.

    You can now have Heavy Armour guys with good Heavy Armour skills but poor Shield Skills - or very good Shield Skills but piss-poor Armour skills, adding for a bit of variety. Or guys with poor quality Heavy Armour but very good Heavy Armour skills giving them a big advantage. Imagine meeting one enemy and figuring out that it's his high Shield Skill that's the problem, and as soon as you get through that Shield, you can take him down easily because of his poor Armour skill, despite his high quality Armour.
     
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  5. Commissar Draco KKKodex WCDS Commissar Patron

    Commissar Draco
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    :hero: Would take unapid leave instead. Game sold bad cause it has no advertising outside KKKodex, told you to make Kickstarter out of it.
     
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  6. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    It wasn't a sudden, emotional decision. I've been thinking about it for at least a year, toying with the idea and working up the courage. Eventually, it got to the point where I realized that I was more afraid of staying than of leaving. At that point I left.

    I just don't see it as a skill. It takes some skill to dodge an attack or to block it. It doesn't take much skill to put on armor. Sure, there is some "getting used to", but not enough to turn it into a skill, imo. What would this skill do? Reduce penalties? That's what Crafting does and it makes more sense.

    The penalties (at least the max AP restriction) should keep you from grabbing armor with the highest DR. Weight is a factor too.

    Well, it's definitely worth exploring.
     
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  7. CappenVarra phantasmist Patron

    CappenVarra
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    Say Vault Dweller, when can we expect you to reveal that other change you teased about? Next monthly update, or earlier?
     
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  8. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    First-person perspective confirmed. :bounce:

    Yes, everything will be much clearer in first-person. :thumbsup:
     
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  9. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    We're working on it now. It's a very significant change, so we're still at the "preliminary design" stage. So far, everything makes a lot of sense, improves several 'weak' areas, and brings much clarity. Yet it's possible that once it's implemented, it wouldn't work as well as expected (won't be the first time, transferable AP sounded pretty good on paper, but didn't work in-game), so I don't want to say anything until I know that it works well.

    I'm not sure when we'd announce it. I expect to be busy with the beta-test and release in October, so I don't think we'd be able to implement it until Nov.
     
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  10. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    :hmmm:

    What is this Vault Dweller? A Project Eternity style countdown teaser? Just tell us! ;)
     
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  11. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    We're switching to RTwP. It's like TB but better.
     
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  12. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    :yeah:
     
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  13. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    But did you build it from the start for RTwP?
     
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  14. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    :lol:

    Here's my crazy prediction - orthographic projection camera hack. Or at least something weaker but similar in effect.
     
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  15. quasimodo Augur

    quasimodo
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    The bioware fans are in for a real treat.
     
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  16. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
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    Cool stuff. :thumbsup:

    But I think I prefer dodge over block even more now.
     
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  17. Silellak Liturgist

    Silellak
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    My theory? An actual turn-based stealth system like VD once said they had on paper, but scrapped. Could be wrong, as that might be too massive of a project, but that's my guess.
     
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  18. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    It's not the stealth system. We're tweaking an existing system not adding a new one. My comment in the update wasn't meant to tease, but to indicate that we pay attention to constructive criticism and while we can't change everything, we're constantly working on some improvements.
     
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  19. EG Nullified

    EG
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    Even less walking?
     
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  20. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Oooh I know.

    You talked recently about improving "teleportation", changing it to a fade out/fade in thing where you can see the character walking a bit.
     
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  21. Volrath Arcane Patron

    Volrath
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    They're fixing their camera.
     
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  22. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    The camera can't be fixed. Well, maybe it can be, if we focus on it exclusively for the next 6 months, but it's a luxury we don't have, and overall, the camera is very low on the priority list.

    Making teleportation more visually appealing is still planned, but it's not something to be excited about.
     
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  23. Fryjar Augur

    Fryjar
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    Realistically, keeping in mind what kind of criticism Vince was open to and which not my money is on adding controllable companions or mercs (which would eliminate the need for extensive banter dialogue):
    - Battles become tactically more interesting.
    - As a side effect the complaints about combat being too hard / impossible for certain non combat focused builds are easily fixed, thus giving even diplomat chars more options to tackle quests.
     
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  24. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Fryjar What do you mean? Additional mercenaries being added to the game to assist the player at all times, or gaining control over existing allies in those fights where they participate?
     
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  25. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
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    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Six months :(, man Thursday sure seems a long way off...
     
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