Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Tower of Time - party-based real-time isometric dungeon crawler

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Infinitron, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    18,470
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    It is not a bad game,but better buy atom.....or you just buy me disco communims!
     
    ^ Top  
  2. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    Ah, right, disco communism comes out soon. I don't have a lot of faith in it tbh, I'll wait and see opinions first.
     
    ^ Top  
  3. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    18,470
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    It looks pretty fun to me. Nothing bad with playing something unique from time to time.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    Of course there isn't, as long as it's good. But that good thing is still in question.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    ^ Top  
  5. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,600
    Exploration is best. You will enjoy it.

    Atom is worse.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. Gibson Educated

    Gibson
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Messages:
    112
    I actually had a decent amount of fun with this game.

    AND it's currently only around 7,50€ on GOG.com - more than worth this amount of money.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    12,155
    Really underrated. Story and characters are OK, but the reason to play it is the combat. Highest difficulty doesn't play around, your shit will get slapped.
    Didn't really have an issue with it being RTwP tbh. Combat is a lot slower than most RTwP games, you will be doing a lot of positioning, CCing, etc.,
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    I read and watched some reviews and decided it's worth the 7ish European dollars. I don't like the randomly generated loot, but if the combat makes up for it I'm gonna get over it.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Rpguy Cipher Patron

    Rpguy
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Why don't you like random generated loot? in any case you can craft gear.
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    It's a hack and slash staple that doesn't really work in games where you can't farm, and even hack and slashers have unique items, just their drop is random. It's much cooler to get a unique item from a boss than the same old Generic Axe of Randomness +3. Not only that, but it's a much better incentive to defeat bosses. The crafted gear is random as well, no?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. Rpguy Cipher Patron

    Rpguy
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    743
    Yeah you have some control but in the end it is random.
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    So, I installed this to give it a quick whirl and see what's it about, and so far I'm quite impressed by the technical performance. It runs great, it switches languages and screen modes on the fly, and the loading screens are pretty fast without an SSD. For a first try of an indie company, they did sure manage to outcode and outoptimize all other AA RPGs that have come out in the last 5 years. The way it transitions into combat is kinda weird for a RTwP game, but whatever. I hope it won't continue giving me only a single enemy type each wave like the very first fight with the skeletons did (first only warriors, then only archers, then only mages). The character trees look impressive. I'm also pleasantly surprised there actually are fixed, unique items to find, they are not only randomly generated, but I expect it's gonna have the same problem D:OS and D:OS2 have, the unique items are going to be quickly replaced with better randomly generated ones.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    So, after exploring 50% of the first floor, I ...kinda like it. It's an unapologetic combatfag RPG, but storyfags would also find some aspects of it appealing, the atmosphere is good and the story is surprisingly post-apocalyptic and cryptic. I'm playing it in German, however, and even though I've reached a point where I can comfortably read most of the text, the novelty factor of another language might contribute to the weirdness factor a bit, so take it with a grain of salt.

    I'd describe the combat as "RTwP done right" with a few caveats. The devs felt it necessary to include both cooldowns and mana while all abilities up to now are instant cast, I'd say that was a mistake. A lot of abilities are really strong, and they are made stronger by being instant cast, the cooldown and mana cost are barely noticeable when the ability lasts so long that you can have it up almost constantly while being able to regen its mana with the help of Aeric's totems in the meantime. I have to play more, but it seems to me that a casting time would've reigned in the more powerful abilities and given even more prominence to positioning and thinking ahead. Your squishies being caught in the open is very dangerous, but given the instant cast of abilities, there's almost always an answer to bad positioning, whether that is Maeve's Shadowstep or Aeric's Summon Ent. The Shadowstep being instant is good, but the Ent taunts basically everything around its radius, immediately freeing Aeric from a bad spot. It's worth noting that enemies do have casting times, you don't.

    That's probably the weakest aspect of the combat system, everything else makes a lot of sense in RTwP, the strong focus on positioning and movement, the limited amount of abilities a character can have available at any one time (a character has access to a lot of abilities, but is limited to 4 in any given fight), which alleviates the need to constantly juggle 4832489239 abilities, the slower pace of the gameplay in general, the up-to-now non-existent single-target damaging abilities, etc. I can't stress the last point enough, it's so obvious now that it has been presented to me. The amount of purely damaging spells/abilities I have access to atm are 2 (Maeve's Arrow Rain and Aeric's Ice Storm) and both of them are AoE. Take notes, Sawyer.

    I was discouraged to see that you can only ever choose one upgrade path of any given ability, rather than picking and choosing which upgrade down the tree to get. The character building options, including itemization, might be the most disappointing thing in the game, even if the trees look expansive. The attributes are fairly obvious to distribute, given how they are only 4. Kane is an absolute beast of a man who the might of a mountain can't bring down, so using a 2H or dual-wielding not only allows him to retain his tankiness but also makes him outdps Maeve in certain circumstances.

    I'm still undecided on the combat format, especially since there's no resource management, everything is available at each fight and each fight is a self-contained entity. Which I foresee is going to get repetitive if they don't change the composition and difficulty of fights fairly regularly. Speaking of, the encounter design is also non-existent, the arenas throw a bunch of easily dispatched and same-y units at you more with the hope you'll get overwhelmed than any sort of serious attempt at a more cerebral challenge. The bosses are kinda MMOish, in that they have a set pattern or a set of abilities they cycle through and you have to react to what they are doing. I'm playing on hard btw, I might switch over to epic soon. I hope these things get better as the game goes along, but hope is a cruel mistress.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 2
    ^ Top  
  14. Monkeyfinger Augur

    Monkeyfinger
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    636
    Switch to epic now, hard has nothing to offer an experienced RTWP player.
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • WTF am I reading WTF am I reading x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,743
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    So finished this on Epic now and lol that ending

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    You didn't though. In fact, the writers of course had you do the exact opposite: go to as great lengths as possible NOT to tell me about something that logically would greatly improve the odds of your plan's success. Not because there was a good reason, but because despite the plot's lofty ambitions the writers had the skills of creative teenagers with a cute idea and just heaped contrivances on top of it until it kindda-sortta worked. So no, you didn't "try to tell me", because if you had, there would have been no reason not to just simply reveal the entire truth at levels 6+, and maybe even before the game started. Lolpolacks I guess
    Anyway, the first 3 or 4 levels of this game are downright cool and a really nice play. The combat works at the low level and the exploration does to. Like Blackguards, the game is hyper-focused to its benefit, and the first few levels are fairly open while still giving you the pleasure of exploring something hand-crafted. The item system is both too simple and needlessly complex: there are 4 (!!!) different, seperate upgrade systems for all items besides being able to craft every possible combination of item as well. However what it really boils down to is just a Diablo-style generation of every possible combination of stat, neatly divided into tiers. Such a system would be sweet in a Roguelike, but here it seems like a baffling inclusion at odds with the rest of the game's core designs.

    On the one hand, nothing is wrong with the system as such but on the other, it doesn't really fit, which is a real fucking shame, because there's a lot of depth and a few cool uniques, so one can't help thinking they should have spent all that systems design energy on just hand-crafting most items and placing them in set containers. Seeing as how the rest of the game is all about going through hand-crafted stuff with a hyper-focus, it's weird how it stands out.

    The town and buildings is also feature creep if I ever saw it. There is just no reason for this game to have a simple-yet-still-needlessly convoluted system of blueprints and building management, leveling up with gold, instead of just handing you XP that you spend.

    Anyway, like I said, the system is well balanced for fun and enjoyment on the first 3-4 tower levels. From then on out, sadly, the game really degenerates. Firstly, the levels become super-linear, even if the game tries to hide this in various ways. Secondly, it stops feeling like an RtwP RPG and starts feeling like you're just playing Warcraft 3 except you control 4 heroes. The enemy is still just waves of more or less generic units. Floor 5 and 6 are pitifully easy even on epic, to the point that you just auto-walk through most fights. Then 7, 8, 9 and 10 pick up in difficulty again, but it's the sort, at least on epic, that doesn't make you rethink strategy that much. Rather you just optimize the shit out of some OP team comps and win that way. Besides the Orc Warleader (what a great cunt, loved him), the only time I switched tactics after level 4 was around level 7 when I switched out Kane for Kaela, making my team Kaela, Whisper, Maeve and Aedric. That this team comp can steamroll epic should raise a huge warning-flag in itself. At this point the game can almost one-shot all these characters if you don't put points into Life (which you shouldn't, unless you're a n00b), but it doesn't matter: 2x op single target, 1 op area clearer and 1 op healer can crap on the hardest enemies because on the off chance something attempts to damage them - they can just summon or kite. Level 7+ could have been an adventure in fast-forwarding and creaming the game with that strat if I didn't elect to swap around and play with different comps to force myself to get the difficulty higher. And all the game really needed to push me off such cheeese would be more movement for enemies.

    It ties to combat itself not being designed for high level fighting at all. Skills at that point become divided into 3 tiers: horrible, useless stuff that you'll still take because even with only 4 skill slots per character, with the exception of Whisper (who just slots in 4 AoE-spells and spams them on cooldown) only 1 or maybe 2 of them will be important and make a difference. Then there are those one or two, which are "steoroids" that will make your character God-like. And then there's the third kind: "good spells" which may look different but boil down to stacking AoEs of different colors on top of each other and watch everything blow up. Even on Epic, you can safely ignore the games superflous Resistance-system (armor against non-physical hits), because AoE-casters are going to stack their skills on top of each other anyway, and if one doesn't do much the others will still rape anything from elites to bosses.

    Lol, and I almost forgot, which is kind of a point in and of itself: remember that fun "you can draw spells" mechanic? Yeah it's only used on 3-4 skills and none of them are that good since you can instead just use ACTUAL AoE spells that cover a giant area. On the first couple of levels where the gameplay still functions, Kane's Wall-spell is very powerful to control the battlefield. Later it becomes completely useless as waves of HP-sponges require optimized damage-outputs: control is completely useless.

    Also I

    Show Spoiler
    never fought Sleath after the reveal - probably missed something I guess?
    Final score of this game is meh+/10. I enjoyed the first couple of levels, the effort put into the game and what it attempted, but in the end it is nowhere near as good as other, similar games like Blackguards. However, though the story is poorly written past a certain point when the complexity buries the inadequate writing team under its weight, there's a bunch of really cool ideas in there that still has you interested leaving you to sort of forgive the jank. At least if you, like me, enjoy really campy oldschool RPG-type stuff that tries very hard to be different. It's just really too bad that the weirdness is introduced so soon rather than just filling up the last couple of levels (like Wiz and M&M typically handled sci fi in fantasy). The characters are at points genuinely interesting and get you hooked on their specific designs, I especially enjoyed the weird take on the frost giants. This is how you do "it's-like-D&D-but-it's-not", Josh Sawyer. Well except for Miss Edgy (Whisper), she can just go fuck herself. Maeve and Kane's relationship is the most vanilla of the stuff, but it's actually really sweet and aaaaaaaaaaawwww :love: at times, until it degenerates into complete Teen TV-show levels of WILL THEY OR WON'T THEY.

    But the final score reflects the fact that after level 4, your enjoyment of the game will be wittled down more and more until at the end you're just slogging through it to finish it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,743
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Also whoever made the story cinematics visual style, music and hired the voice actor gets a gold star. That stuff's quality is far beyond the rest of the game as far as production values go. The somber post-apocalyptic fantasy vibe in those really gets you feeling like you're a teenager in a basement with your bros going "man that's just so cooool dude heheh"
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    Even if we ignore the weird and nonsensical itemization, what really lets down this game is the nonexistent encounter design. It's always the same thing, waves after waves of same-y enemies that you mow down by the hundreds if you even have a modicum of self awareness. Even epic isn't challenging at all, if you want something to challenge you, you should try to do the toughest challenges as soon as possible. I managed to get the 2-handed axe from the orc challenge on the first level with 3 characters and Kane tripled his DPS right there. That's good, though, but my point is the wave design makes it very easy to destroy encounters (presumably) made not only for a party of 4 but also for a much higher level by having good cooldown management. It's an ambitious game and I'd like to see more from this studio, but they have to change quite a lot of stuff.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    ^ Top  
  18. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,743
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The challenges are a bit more... well... challenging, but if you take a look at the man behind the curtain, most of them are only more difficult because they spawn more enemies with higher HP faster than regular encounters. Not because they're "designed" well.

    I suspect if the developers could go back in time and change only 1 thing to make the game better, I think "throw out the enemy spawns and make actual combat encounters with a set number of enemies from the beginning like Blackguards" would be the correct choice. In fact, if you take a step back and look at it, it's a mystery they didn't do this. Who who who on the team suggested designing the game around slow portal spawns of masses of enemies? Why doesn't the game just do like any normal RPG would except with the Blackguards-ish "set encounter area" on top?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    Yes, they are challenging because they throw more enemies at you and that's it. It's kind of weird design tbh, as if someone was having hallucinations of King's Bounty while playing Dota in a fever dream. I applaud them for creativity, but the execution isn't very good.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    So, I'm halfway into the third level and I'm still kinda liking it. There are quite a few cool twists and turns to keep you on your toes, the challenges are indeed challenging and I even had to change a few builds here and there to defeat one of them (the biggest swarm of the beasts, those mosquito things hurt a lot), and the game is BIG. With better itemization and encounter design, this could've easily been a contender for GOTY.

    The challenges give you sick weapons that triple the DPS of the appropriate character, so there is still that to work towards and it's not everything random all the time. The issue I have with them is that they kinda trivialize the difficulty of the main game a bit, they let you utterly annihilate everything once you get them. The game also tells me Maeve is the queen of physical dps, but I've given Kane two elemental swords and he does twice, or even three times, as much DPS as her, sooooo.

    A lot of fights also require Aeric to be in your party, since only Kane has a heal otherwise, but the totem is arguably better. I don't know if I like that, is it even possible to go without him? Perhaps it would be if you build up defensive characters, but it's faster and smarter to maximize DPS on everyone and have Aeric heal them up. He also does respectable DPS if you give him the Staff of Death, but it reduces his skill effectiveness by 40%, so yeah, you have to kinda choose between that or skills unless you have ridiculous amounts of mastery.

    Speaking of DPS, the skills that do damage usually can't keep up with the normal DPS your weapons do and mastery doesn't increase their potency enough for it to be worth using damaging spells as opposed to any other kind of spells or abilities. There are a few exceptions, like that swarm fight where I had to make everyone do as much AoE damage as possible to burst down entire groups of the mosquitos, but that's about it. This also has the unintended consequence of leaving Meave with only 2 truly useful skills, that AoE marker that increases everyone's damage and the teleport because they don't rely on mastery at all. I kinda want to replace her eventually, but the Frostling character I got is melee, while both the dwarf and Kane are already melee. I have to wait for another one. Btw, he is just a worse version of Kane for now, he has similar skills (jump instead of lunge, water wall instead of stone one, which is worse) but no healing and buffs like the group armor Kane has. Perhaps when we don't need any more healing or Kane's wall, he's gonna be better due to the weapon buff he has, but for now he's just worse.

    I've read here that once you get to the 5th floor, the level design worsens, but we'll see.

    Also, they are making another game that is coming out next year - https://darkenvoy.com/

    It's a turn-based RPG. There are some suspect claims, like "inspired by X-Com (they mean the nu ones) and D:OS" and the gameplay trailer features those absurd cover mechanics, but we'll once again see.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,743
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    It's totally possible to play without Aeric later (in fact later he's kind of an unnecessary crutch in a lot of comps), but in my mind the most OP comp after level 6ish is Maeve, Kaela, Whisper, Aedric (yes, all the squishies) like I write in my fuckhueg post. OP if only because it gets trash fights over with the quickest, lol. Possible there's an even better comp with the first three substituting Aedric for something else, but I didn't bother to find it.

    But damn, if you're only on level 3 you're still at the good stuff and the fairly balanced gameplay experience. It will gradually decline, but the decline isn't steep enough that you can't enjoy the next few levels as well. The elemental level is one of the first instances of a fairly linear map but it's so fucking huge and content-filled you should be getting a kick out of it.

    Why is that suspect? I'd write that on the website of any RPG I was making marketing for today. No reason not to try and lure the general public with stuff they love.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,743
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Dark Envoy looks interesting except it seems it has a similar skill system. Besides the portal spawns it's the worst thing about ToT, because from level 3-4 on out you have enough mana regen to spam skills on cooldown, and like I said above, only 1-2 skills per character really make a difference. That makes the whole system really uinteresting to engage with in gameplay.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  23. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    Suspect claims according to us, not the mainstream ;p ToT's skill system and encounter design heavily encourage spamming abilities on cooldown with a few exceptions, which is bad. As for Dark Envoy, only the icons seem the same, but they have entire rows of abilities thia time, so I wouldn't say it's not changed.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Lacrymas Arcane

    Lacrymas
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    9,755
    I don't think any other game has polarized me so much as this one. I enjoy the setting quite a lot and there's always something new to pull me back, but the encounter design..................... I only ever seem to be capable of playing this in short spurts because of it, even though I want to see what happens next and what crazy shit we are going to find. I think they nailed the exploration in the sense that it's a joy to scout out the tower and imagine how this cornucopia of scenes could've functioned before the world basically ended. Normally, I'd deride this sort of patchwork-y approach to area building, but it somehow ends up making this sort of twisted sense and you know why everything is where it is. I do also know, however, that it leads to drying up of ideas at one point, I just hope it comes later rather than sooner. But, yeah, that encounter design, man, I just reached the fourth level and it's already become quite repetitive and fights feel like a waste of time because of it, my chars are so decked up with ridiculously powerful gear from the challenges it's impossible to lose or even come close to anyone falling. Every time I exit the game, I say to myself "yeap, that was probably it, I'm done", but I get this strange urge to fire it up again the next 1 or 2 days. It's weird.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)