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Against the Storm - Fantasy roguelite city builder

Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,323
Location
Illinois
https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1336490/view/5309220323997279603
Sure wish they let us vote to tell them to ignore this Twitch garbage. In fact the whole patch seems a little questionable since some of their rebalancing just moved stuff into higher hostility levels which just exacerbates the issue of hostility kinda being the #1 issue in every game, which in turn makes any hostility reducing cornerstones and perks so much more valuable.
 

Gerrard

Arcane
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
11,837
I just love how the rainwater mechanic is completely irrelevant and unnecessary to win any game, even after they reworked it.
 

Elttharion

Learned
Joined
Jan 10, 2023
Messages
1,045
I am itching for a good city builder game. Is this in a good enough state or should I avoid it for now? This was the one who caught my eye the most but I am also considering Dawn of Man and Farthest Frontier. Thanks
 

Quatlo

Arcane
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
936
I am itching for a good city builder game. Is this in a good enough state or should I avoid it for now? This was the one who caught my eye the most but I am also considering Dawn of Man and Farthest Frontier. Thanks
Its good, I don't think anything is going to be flipped upside down with development, maybe some mechanic being changed here and there, new content, etc
Bear in mind that its not a city builder where you develop one single town, you have limited time to finish a mission (by collecting reputation points by exploring the map, having high morale or completing randomly chosen side quests)
Its more like a rougelite card deck builder when it comes what buildings and buffs you get to choose from. But its fun to "make do" with whatever you've rolled since every building can make multiple resources, some more efficiently than the others but you are almost never stuck because you need resource X and its only from building Y, its also from couple more (but more expensive) and from merchants.
 

Elttharion

Learned
Joined
Jan 10, 2023
Messages
1,045
I am itching for a good city builder game. Is this in a good enough state or should I avoid it for now? This was the one who caught my eye the most but I am also considering Dawn of Man and Farthest Frontier. Thanks
Its good, I don't think anything is going to be flipped upside down with development, maybe some mechanic being changed here and there, new content, etc
Bear in mind that its not a city builder where you develop one single town, you have limited time to finish a mission (by collecting reputation points by exploring the map, having high morale or completing randomly chosen side quests)
Its more like a rougelite card deck builder when it comes what buildings and buffs you get to choose from. But its fun to "make do" with whatever you've rolled since every building can make multiple resources, some more efficiently than the others but you are almost never stuck because you need resource X and its only from building Y, its also from couple more (but more expensive) and from merchants.
That roguelite part sounds pretty interesting. Looks like a good spin in the formula. I just noticed I have a discount in the farthest frontier bundle because of Grim Dawn so I am probably going to grab both. Thanks! :salute:
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,323
Location
Illinois
I just love how the rainwater mechanic is completely irrelevant and unnecessary to win any game, even after they reworked it.
It's a bit fucky but I like that it's optional. If you're using rainwater you also have to invest in blight management which in some maps/difficulties can be a pain in the ass depending on how much fuel you have available. Similarly while you don't always need rainwater it can help when your situation sucks except for one crucial line of production, then you can crank up the water to get a better chance at higher yields and speed up work. Honestly the geysers seem more questionable to me just because while you get a bunch of water of that type, you're at the mercy of RNG providing the geyser. And if you're mainly wanting rainwater for a single building then the standard collector's fine. I suppose geysers are better if you're trying to supercharge everything but then you're also having to man a bunch of geysers and if you're going that hard on rainwater then you'll need to spend a lot more on blight management so eh.

But its fun to "make do" with whatever you've rolled since every building can make multiple resources, some more efficiently than the others but you are almost never stuck because you need resource X and its only from building Y, its also from couple more (but more expensive) and from merchants.
That's one of my favorite things about the game. I've seen people bitching about buildings with overlapping jobs and how some buildings are strictly better than others (More total stars of production efficiency) and not wanting to level up since that adds more buildings to the draft but that's part of the fun. You're leveling up and getting permanent bonuses to shit but now that you're presumably a more skilled player they make the drafting part harder by watering it down so you have a more difficult time getting what you want. Then you gotta decide if you're going to live with that inefficient building you picked earlier or if it's important enough that you want to use a precious draft to scoop up a more efficient one later. Rainpunk can be wonky and I've bitched before how it feels like forest hostility has too much emphasis and warps cornerstone drafts around it but loading up a map and drafting buildings is still really fun.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,323
Location
Illinois
https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1336490/view/6659175566886354000

Rejiggered events, giving you choices on how to handle them and your rewards for 'em. Haven't given it a whirl yet but IN THEORY that could be a nice change. Could also fuck the balance by making the requirements too weird/spread out but we shall see. They're also adding a slight alignment/reputation system to the game where how you handle events adds points to empathy/corruption/loyalty which they claim they're gonna expand in the future which also might be neat provided it doesn't fuck up actually just building your damn towns. They also nerfed harpy reputation gains which is a bummer but I suppose makes sense since they were so much better for it than the rest.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,323
Location
Illinois
https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1336490/view/3725084125969993245

Relatively small patch today but it's taking a stab at un-shitting the small glades which is nice. I don't think it'll be enough since "A bad merchant" and "A resource drain that can provide copper and coal" and "A deer that runs off into a dangerous node so if you open THAT OTHER NODE within time you get something" is worth the hostility from cracking a small glade but small glades are so bad right now they need all they can get. They also apparently decided to stay in early access a bit longer and add more to the game even though they'd knocked out the shit they said they would. Their next big goal is to make each global world cycle like a mini-campaign rather than the current half-assed faction system which basically just boils down to trying to earn more meta progression. They do mention adding a failure state to the world cycle which I'm not sure what that will mean, if it's going to just start the mega-storm immediately and start over or what, but interested to see what they do with it.
 

Demo.Graph

Arbiter
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
948
I've tried it for a few hours.

It's a nice little production chain game, that to me looks like a nice time filler, but definitely not a classic.
I found the game to be aesthetically pleasing and with some promise mechanically. But I think that it has some dumb design decisions that are probably impossible to fix.
So the game is mediocre by design.

The pluses are:
- nice art style, music, general feeling, setting has some promise;
- rather tight balance;
- adjustable production chains with variable I/O that should potentially offer a possibility of creating mechanically different settlements that integrate into local map conditions.

The minuses are... well, the game design in general.

First, the devs went for a 3d-engine, probably because of some dumb "we're in 21 century" technological reasoning.
They had enforced this decision with a geographical setting of "eternal forest". Probably because modeling complex terrain in 3d engine is harder. However the maps become functionally similar: you have forest you cut through to reach glades ("goody huts"). That's it. No rivers, mountains, creeks, etc. It's the same forest wall everywhere, and every mission you steamroll all over it. Even if the map implies a different biome (like, "we're in the jungle") the change is purely numerical ("when you cut wood you also get some insects").
Compare it, e.g., to the maps in Caesar or Stronghold. Every mission is visually and mechanically different there.
And the maps themselves are significantly larger, since 2d engines allow you to make hundreds of squares-wide maps.

Secondly, there's a limited amount of functionally different resources.
The game has several gatherer camps that feed off limited resource points. Gathering stone and gathering meat are functionally the same: you build a camp for 2-3 meeples, the meeples come to a resource node randomly placed on the map, hack at it and return with the loot to a warehouse. When the node depletes, you either move the camp or destroy it.
It has tree walls that you can cut through via lumberjack camps (that are otherwise completely equal to other gatherer camps).
It also has farming. You build a farm near "farming plot" resource nodes randomly placed on the map, seed the plots, time passes, meeples harvest stuff.
It also has mining. You build a mine on top of "mineral" resource nodes randomly placed on the map, meeples get in the building, comes out with an ore. When the node depletes, you destroy the mine.
(it also has ranching, though I haven't played long enough to unlock it)

Compare it to raw materials in Stronghold or Caesar series.
In Stronghold you have deers that run around the map and hunters physically go to shoot them. Hunters can be killed by wolves or enemies (or shoot enemies). You can hunt out the game completely and then starve out if you have no other source of food.
You also have grain farms and apple orchards that can be placed only in lowlands, near the rivers; you see where the lowlands are, sometimes they're in places that are hard to defend.
If you don't want to be defenseless, you have an option of cow farms, that are large and unproductive but can be placed on the highlands.
There're stone nodes for quarries and iron and those are unlimited (because medieval folk can't realistically mine all the stone out of earth, FFS). Iron and oil nodes are usually in swamps or other hard to reach and/or hard to defend regions.
Oh, and trees sometimes throw off new saplings that (very) slowly grow, so if you're careless you can deplete all the wood on the map (you also can preserve some for reforestation; and it's not even a viable mechanic, just a curious feature).

e.g. Compare the maps here.


They're visually very different.

The same goes for Caesar (though I remember it more vaguely). Clay is usually on the river shore, the fishing ports obviously require rivers, and farming plots comprise of small (or not) valleys of fertile soil. Oh, and trading ships physically move over the map.


Again, maps are visually pretty different.

While we're at it, traders in AtS seem to arrive at your trading post via orbital insertion. Maps have no road connections to your capitol (even though lore implies that it's really important). Your starting plot is completely surrounded by forest from all sides, always, since you've probably came via this.
61rOXaUov0L._AC_UF894,1000_QL80_.jpg

Thirdly, production chains and engine building.
The game loop consists of you trying to create a production chain in a limited time.

The difficulty of the game comes from
1. you discovering what resource nodes are present on the map by cutting trees, simultaneously increasing the difficutly (more cutting - more maluses),
2. choosing 1 out of 3 building blueprints after completing resource gathering quests,
3. completing enough of those quests to get buddy points from your employer,
4. doing it all on 3 global timers of: "forest gets angrier", "your employer gets angrier" and "meeples are opex resource sink".

At its heart the game process isn't inherently different from the one in Stronghold or Caesar (gathering army to kill invaders or hamstering resources for caesar are both economic tasks).
But functionally, the fact that you're always, always are optimising vs two obvious timers and a few hidden ones makes all the missions look similar. Devs have locked themselves in the same loop of gradually and almost linearly increasing difficulty in each mission.
They don't have an option of, say, beginning the mission with a crisis the player almost loses to, then gradually rebuilds, then crisis repeats at the end of the mission.

The devs are also punishing the player for success. Without an external threat, the difficulty comes from your pops getting whinier as a reward for your expansion, because of "forest and weather". Even if you burn up all the trees in visible range around the downtown and nobody has died yet, your hipster meeples would still bleat that it's time to get scared, give them some booze or they'll run away.
It's a lazy game design.
And thank god that the game has no global warming.
 

Jaedar

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
9,758
Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
I tried the demo for this. It's kinda ok but I don't think I'm interested in the full thing. The idea of making your towns different every time because you get access to different recipies is interesting, but I think it also doesn't quite work when you get missions you can't fulfill because you have no way of making trade goods or whatever (and I can only imagine the frustration if you get a negative event you can't complete because you lack the ability to make stone or whatever).

I also strongly suspect the full thing would quickly get really grindy, as I don't see different biomes / meeple races being likely to change all that much.
 

Dickie

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
4,208
Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
The game's out now. I guess I'll download the demo to check it out later.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
8,715
Location
Italy
it seems like an entertaining city builder/anno roguelike. but after the two mission tutorial i had enough already.
slightly small but plenty irritating oversights in the interface, it needs to show way more informations despite being already cramped with tiny numbers and tiny icons.
 

Nirvash

Liturgist
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,055
Is nice, lv 6 and doing veteran maps, rock tree area kicked my ass.
I like the "make do" resources/building randomizer but i still can smell some op strats.

The game's is alot like a scenario based anno x frostpunk.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
8,715
Location
Italy
I like the "make do" resources/building randomizer but i still can smell some op strats.
if you can start with a couple farms, you're set. otherwise anything goes. some maps are not meant to be won, especially if it's a seal map.
the game is not bad, but repetition is extreme.
 

Axioms

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
1,433
I like the "make do" resources/building randomizer but i still can smell some op strats.
if you can start with a couple farms, you're set. otherwise anything goes. some maps are not meant to be won, especially if it's a seal map.
the game is not bad, but repetition is extreme.
Once you have unlocked all the meta stuff you can win essentially any map. Well unless you are playing Prestige 20 I guess then sometimes you lose.

Prestige 1 is ironically the easiest setting.
 

jackofshadows

Magister
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
4,421
Yeah the game isn't that hard once you unlock the tree shit and learn the ropes. First prestige 20 I won I didn't even have all the upgrades.

I agree with some of the criticism from Demo.Graph above, game really could use more variety in terms of geography and other stuff but it's still great as is. Note that I fucking love to optimize in games so here's some bias involved. But to me it's the best city builder ever.

A bit funny how advices from 1st page are outdated as shit, a lot has changed since then. Some were questionable either way though. Like there're no mandatory recipes prior to your start, that's the whole point. You could still argue in terms of tiers for both recipes and cornerstones. Some are very situationable at best or near useless but still there's no must have ones I'd say.
 

Nirvash

Liturgist
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,055
I like the "make do" resources/building randomizer but i still can smell some op strats.
if you can start with a couple farms, you're set. otherwise anything goes. some maps are not meant to be won, especially if it's a seal map.
the game is not bad, but repetition is extreme.
Yes, farms are op as fuck, infinite wheat/vegetables for top commerce/morale food or even fruits for wine.

Still made me lose cuz i had no flour production, lol.
 

Grunker

RPG Codex Ghost
Patron
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
27,351
Location
Copenhagen
Played a little of this. It doesn't quite offer the "build towards a utopia sprawl" like most builders however by paying this cost it solves an old builder issues and keeps games spicy and evolving. I think I might enjoy this one.
 

jackofshadows

Magister
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
4,421
Yes, farms are op as fuck
Yes and no. W/o perks, w/o luck to get enough fertile soil, w/o humans they aren't worth it, you may wanna invest in camps fully instead, just to pick something strong against hostility like my favorite one protected trade to offset the need in exploration. Otherwise - sure, just sitting on your ass (meaning just 3-4 glades max) and winning.

That said, for any biome other than marshlands, a farm (depending on races you've got) is the best embark bonus choice imo. And that's bad design wise.

By the way, the biggest flaw of this game and by far still is the fact small glades are almost always subpar choice. And not because they're that useless but because dangerous ones aren't intimidating enough.
 
Last edited:

Nirvash

Liturgist
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,055
Yep, got a map lacking humans, i lost.

Lv 7... "ranch"? So you can have infinite meat? This changes everything.
 

jackofshadows

Magister
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
4,421
Ranch is an extremely important, key building. Meat is one thing, which is pointless in marshlands but it's also a source of leather and therefore waterskins. Then again, if you don't have lizards and have more viable ways to get vessels (if you even need them) then opportunity cost > ranches anyway. Opportunity cost is everything is this game by the way and I love it.

Some screens for thouse who can appreciate means here
3918CF28B76A9961F45EE14929D96E08F845E083

actually that was just a mod for timed orders but basically a win from a get go in practice
5F79A32AEF511959FB8667579CB4F7F5E55B1202
see the corruption levels
0C53FE56C4BF6EEA1F8EB7F715C7A939F9527C42

artificially dragged a game
D544B1FC80E57432A8A1D0B04BE808F7DCA9406B

wtf even is this. bug or easter egg?
04618D0524375064ADBB33D6990750983AED4F28

one of tools in that game to drag it, nice resolve levels right
76A4EA08E622BFBA2912649471CA3D7BF81B0A90

contrary highest levels of resolves I could get
3AC44DC48BDF11D345BE14994825DAEAD245B9F3

honestly this biome = easy mode
A512F0BB630B6D8A7E091A9DE2EB137C8571010A

6283E650820C8BEB693A026107DDB5B66F45045F

this is a screen from the last seal closer, so far I've no idea how to trigger the newest queen's hand trial, probably need to end the cycle.
45CE7CC3DE0BB4EF31D9D86FF299303E9A25768E

this building was yet again mvp in that instance
D2B96C9D37C5C0EAAFAE686294F503EB6A9D1E9B

you can see that I've had the best cornerstone in the game here a la map hack (ancient ritual or something), will see if I'll able to get by w/o it (probably wiil, this wasn't like super-duper hard).
FD03E98C8A05D43F6E0FEC5EA99CC97E964E76DD

I've prefered to easily win on 11 prestige or so small games but with mods and choose every time extra fragments. Prestige 20 isn't that fun tbh.
448685E615D00E1B2848CF14668BB521BB18CB9D

With this thing the sacrifice altar becomes really useful (usually I don't even build it).
 

jackofshadows

Magister
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
4,421
Oh fug, foxes? How many races are there?
Five.

Have failed twice making Paradise achievement. The problem is that once you fullfil everything, you win too quickly before every worker actually use every service they need and eat every snack they like. So I need to either have much less population at the point of turning everything on or start doing it earlier on reputation scale which isn't easy to have all the recipes for the needs, I think I'll try to just cheese it with trading: stack up shit and turn off right away. So the only necessary buildings are the service ones.
 

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