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Review Knights of the Chalice – A Heroic Fantasy Adventure

Admiral jimbob

gay as all hell
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
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Wasteland 2
The wonky perspective annoys me, which shames me, because the game seems to be great underneath. It bugged me in Ultima 7 too, everyone seemed to be leaning weirdly and it confused me deeply. Should still give it a try, though, the combat definitely sounds appealing.
 

Elwro

Arcane
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Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
The demo is different from the main game... and it's damn fine. It lets you level many times so you can get a hold on what the game offers.
 

Ogg

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Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
Thanks for the review. I still wasn't sure of what to expect from the game. You know, with all those codexers trying to show off how hardcore they were. Darth seemed more honest here, pointing out both qualities and limits of the title (peculiarly the lack of party customisation which is a big turn off). I now feel like giving it a try, but I already know it won't be the GOTD for me.
 

Radisshu

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Grunker said:
If you allow pre-buffing the player can pre-buff before every single battle in the game, even the ones he didn't anticipate, by saving and loading.

Does it make sense for a party of adventurers tp have this kind of precognition?

Not in a bit. So see, your argument of "pre-buffing makes sense" is faulty. Allowing pre-buffs makes as little sense as does the alternative.

Uh, no, not at all. Metagaming cannot be excluded either way, and save-loading will still occur. Why wouldn't a party of adventurers in a dungeon full of monsters stay buffed? Oh, right, because the gaming engine wouldn't let them.

Grunker said:
Furthermore, what makes sense doesn't really matter in a game like this which is all gameplay. So the dev took the decision of "no pre-buffing." What does this mean for the gameplay? It means that there's an extra strategic layer.

No, it means there is a different strategic layer. Choosing which spells to use before a combat (long-term effects) and which ones to use in the middle of combat (short-term effects) is another strategic element.
 

Zed

Codex Staff
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I'm with Radisshu here. I prefer games that requires some prep work before encounters. BGII comes to mind.
 

Darth Roxor

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Though the problem is that in all games I played, pre-buffing gave too big of an advantage and was often encounter breaking. Not to mention unfair advantage.
 
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People actually like to pre-buff ? It's the most tedious, flow breaking feature in any rpg.

Also, the game looks beautiful.
 
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Darth Roxor said:
Though the problem is that in all games I played, pre-buffing gave too big of an advantage and was often encounter breaking. Not to mention unfair advantage.

Agreed.

You cannot have it both ways; either you allow no pre buffs as a level playing field, or have all enemies themselves fully pre-buffed which, in turn, requires the player to pre-buff their characters at all times, making the whole thing pointless.
 

Radisshu

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Darth Roxor said:
Though the problem is that in all games I played, pre-buffing gave too big of an advantage and was often encounter breaking. Not to mention unfair advantage.

But removing it altogether is, I think, a cheap way of "solving" that. Better AI (with more competent usage of dispelling) would be one solution.

Blackadder said:
Darth Roxor said:
Though the problem is that in all games I played, pre-buffing gave too big of an advantage and was often encounter breaking. Not to mention unfair advantage.

Agreed.

You cannot have it both ways; either you allow no pre buffs as a level playing field, or have all enemies themselves fully pre-buffed which, in turn, requires the player to pre-buff their characters at all times, making the whole thing pointless.

Well, enemies should be pre-buffed in a situation where enemies pre-buffing makes sense*. If they're actively attacking you, or they know you're coming. If they do not (if you've managed to get through a dungeon without triggering any alarms, silently removing looks out etc), they shouldn't be.

* (this could actually be dependent on the highest INT or WIS score of the enemy group - if all the enemies are idiots, they won't pre-buff. are there any games where enemy INT scores affect their general behaviour?)
 

Berekän

A life wasted
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I usually never pre-buff in any game, as I find it slow and boring, so the absence of this feature in KotC doesn't bother me.
 

Fezzik

Cipher
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Nov 2, 2008
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515
Excellent work, Darth Roxor, the sort of review for the codex to be proud of. Objective and in-depth.

Not to mention you manning up when I fagged out.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
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A good, well-balanced review. I wish you had used crystal clear pngs with the 960x720(b) resolution though. I like KotC's graphics and they're poorly represented by those low-fov color-faded, compression-artifact filled jpegs.
 

DemonKing

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Dec 5, 2003
Messages
6,064
Call me a graphic whore, but I don't know if I could handle playing a game with those early 90s graphics any more (although I'm tempted because the combat engine sounds good).

Is it based on D&D? It seems to have quite a few weird concepts there like Muls which come from the Dark Sun world.
 

Grunker

RPG Codex Ghost
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To the "graphics whores": Seriously dudes, it's a matter of forgetting your preference. A couple of years back I felt the same way, but it took me one hour forcing myself to play, what was it... World of Xeen, maybe? To get used it.

Once you're used to it, the graphics whore in you chokes and dies.

And trust me - it really isn't worth forgoing all these great games because of graphics preference. It's only your mind that wants to be more easily entertained. It's easier for it to measure the pleasure you'll get out of watching hi-res Miranda-boobs than pixelated Centipedes. Don't let that first assumption win and you'll be able to dive into the ocean of good indies with old graphics or old games you just never got around to playing.

In a manner of hours you'll be playing all quality games regardless of graphics, and you'll never regret the hour you took making yourself get used to "old" graphics again.
 

Antihero

Liturgist
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May 8, 2010
Messages
859
Thanks for the review - made me give the demo another chance. I'm not a graphics whore, but I wish the enemies wouldn't rotate 90 degrees like they're lying down... that and the font still. Graphics and perspective are otherwise good enough.
 

Sick Bum

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Ok, I have gone through this a few times and given up, but I have to wonder if this review is aimed at inciting me personally due to butthurt in previous threads.

1. Buffs. This is one of those topics that has some merit on both sides but ultimately it's such a huge part of DnD spell system simply cutting them out changes the dynamic greatly. It shouldn't be hailed as great, especially since the time limits on spells are such that you can't simply have all your buffs on at once. As pointed out, of course your party should buff before a big fight they know about, and in an intelligent campaign the enemy buffs when and if they are able to and it makes sense. In toee it's very handy to keep your fighters enlarged at all times, especially since it allows you to use weapons you otherwise might not in ways you wouldn't, and because toee had reach, the most difficult to implement yet most important tactical element in DnD. It's a different story to try to fight some giants when you get smashed simply for entering their attack radius, and it's a lot of why the game becomes a cakewalk later.

2. Arrows of slaying being neat. They are a game ruining safety net for morons.

3. Clerics nerfed. Sort of, but clerics have become super uber in the last few DnD iterations so they are still quite strong ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THEY CAN SOMEHOW RAISE DEAD AND RESSURRECT MID COMBAT, which is a game destroying flaw if you have someone smart enough to realize that fireballz and moar fireballz is not the most effective way to run spellcasters.

4. Fighters suck and mage awsumz. Here you show you are not someone who should be reviewing a DnD game. Mages moar good becuz moar fireballz! A lot of people think mages suck until they get fireballs, and are glad metamagic feats let them cast more of them, and believer more spellcaster firepower is the way to tackle all problems, but that's just due to being clueless. Mages are usefull at all times but they slowly lose ground until at the end you have fighters that can dish out 250 damage on a full attack reliably, and can top 500 with criticals. So you can slaughter multiple dragons in one round, obliterate major demons, etc. as soon as you can close on them. Clerics have a lot of power and 4 clerics (especially in this game) could take on anything and just laugh at whatever you threw at them, with decent builds and spell usage (which admittedly is beyond many but what can I say?).

5. It's cool to have lame ambushes with low level monsters that have extreme advantage be the hard fights in many dungeons, while the boss monsters are all weak and lame. I guess here is the biggest contention, some people just love the layout of the dungeons. Other people, ones who are not apologists or wackos, realize it's mostly bugfuck crazy and upside down. Even funny is when people say but toee has bugbear! That's like saying I'm tired of all these human fights. Yeah there's bugbears, fighters with all sorts of weapons, shamans with cleric or mage levels, bugbears supported by ogre magi or giants. All kinds of encounters that actually make sense and have interest, instead of some weird encounters that I'd laugh at in a roguelike runthrough. hurhur I fought llolth 5 fights in this time. roofles!

6. Ai. Well, if you think AI is good, you are full of crap, or as rest of review shows simply don't have much grasp of wtf is going on in combat in the first place. How many times have I seen a monster that can do real damage stop and try to grapple my fire elemental or fighter or do some other dumb shit like that? It's every combat, even though it wastes a whole round and draws attacks of opportunity. So instead of being a hard encounter many become laughably easy. Plus the AI will wait on spells all the time, even though due to rules nerfing waiting on spell is absolutely pointless in this game and just leads to loss of attacks. So you get AI that favors choosing options that amount to doing nothing over any other option. Sounds good to me.

7. Interface. Well, interface is not that good. It is just kind of random bullshit and the context menu seems bugged so that I constantly lose my ability to do 5 step moves. This is at times when I know I am allowed to do them according to the rules. It goes away whenever I exit and come back but it annoys the fuck out of me. Context menu also stays locked on right side and can cover enemies in combat, and well, overall it's just a crap interface that has a nav style like a really bad web page. You get used to it in time but it is not too hot. To top this off, for me it runs windowed. I didn't put serious effort into trying to get it fullscreen but playing it at 1920x whatever the height on my desktop is can be pretty annoying.



Conclusion: I only make corrections here so it sounds harsher than a full review would if I took time and effort to be fair and balanced. This is a good game if you like DnD and can handle the crap graphics and ridiculous dungeon decisions and keep in mind you had best get used to crafting but just because it's indie doesn't mean people should outright lie about the game and just make bullshit up, as many here have done. Also, most of the people waving the flag are obviously pretty fucking clueless about DnD rules, or for that matter even what an rpg is, let alone what a good rpg is like or how to make a game system. Hopefully some of them will stop being so smug and arrogant in their shocking ignorance some day, but since it's been the same shit the last ten years from the same 6 guys I doubt it.
 

Grunker

RPG Codex Ghost
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1. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! U stooped. You didn't even use an argument. Just said: "In an intelligent campaign..." and "It's very useful too..." Why is it better to be able to prebuff, when it makes as little sense as the alternative, so the difference between the two becomes that not being able to removes a tedious mechanic and adds an extra process to the battle?

2. Somewhat true.

3. Not really sure you're even making a point here.

4. You do realize that Wizards of the Coast had to make a little book called Tome of Battle - The Book of Nine Swords for the sole reason that their fighters was completely unplayable in 3.5 right? RIGHT?!?

5. Where did you find these bugbear-shamans in ToEE?

6. I have never, ever had my fighter grappled unless my mage was otherwise incapacitated.

7. Here you're just rambling. The interface is bad because..? Try using arguments instead of just statements. I've never heard about your GUI-bug by the way, have you tried posting it on the forum?

Conclusion: It's funny how you throw around "people are clueless about D&D rules" yet maintain that fighters and mages in D&D were balanced. It always amuses me when people LOL at other people's intelligence and then make some kind of absurd claim.
 

Achilles

Arcane
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
3,425
Grunker said:
To the "graphics whores": Seriously dudes, it's a matter of forgetting your preference. A couple of years back I felt the same way, but it took me one hour forcing myself to play, what was it... World of Xeen, maybe? To get used it.

Once you're used to it, the graphics whore in you chokes and dies.

And trust me - it really isn't worth forgoing all these great games because of graphics preference. It's only your mind that wants to be more easily entertained. It's easier for it to measure the pleasure you'll get out of watching hi-res Miranda-boobs than pixelated Centipedes. Don't let that first assumption win and you'll be able to dive into the ocean of good indies with old graphics or old games you just never got around to playing.

In a manner of hours you'll be playing all quality games regardless of graphics, and you'll never regret the hour you took making yourself get used to "old" graphics again.

Great post :salute:
 

hanssolo

Educated
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
863
Sick Bum said:
Also, most of the people waving the flag are obviously pretty fucking clueless about DnD rules, or for that matter even what an rpg is, let alone what a good rpg is like or how to make a game system.

So what makes an rpg? and what crpgs have a superior combat system to this game? KotC is hardly fucking groundbreaking, but it's certainly better than it's contemporary indie and AAA peers.


edit: Grunker, Xeen is beautiful. do not understand.
 

Darth Roxor

Royal Dongsmith
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Sick Bum said:
ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THEY CAN SOMEHOW RAISE DEAD AND RESSURRECT MID COMBAT

And. Nothing. Else.

4. Fighters suck and mage awsumz. Here you show you are not someone who should be reviewing a DnD game.

Where the fuck did I write that fighters suck?

Mages moar good becuz moar fireballz!

I see the meaning of the word 'hyperbole' is alien to you.

Mages are usefull at all times but they slowly lose ground until at the end you have fighters that can dish out 250 damage on a full attack reliably, and can top 500 with criticals.

250 damage, but to a single opponent. Now compare that to two mages who can clear whole rooms with each casting a single dehydrate.

(which admittedly is beyond many but what can I say?).

Subtle, very subtle. Sure, I guess you can just make a team of 4 clerics that is a walking dreadnought that can't be harmed, but have fun making every fight last 30 minutes due to pitiful damage and little sources of said damage.

5. It's cool to have lame ambushes with low level monsters that have extreme advantage be the hard fights in many dungeons, while the boss monsters are all weak and lame.

:retarded: fire and frost giant bosses were definitely not weak and lame, so was the slaver HQ, and don't even get me started on the black dragon at the end of the mountain pass.

Other people, ones who are not apologists or wackos, realize it's mostly bugfuck crazy and upside down

Yup, it is upside down. It's overkill and often doesn't make sense, but you know what? I don't give a flying fuck as long as it plays well.

Yeah there's bugbears, fighters with all sorts of weapons

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW

shamans with cleric or mage levels

One every three hours?

bugbears supported by ogre magi

One every three hours?

or giants.

Single giants/ogres that appear in almost each encounter and become as bland as the hordes of bugbears?

How many times have I seen a monster that can do real damage stop and try to grapple my fire elemental or fighter or do some other dumb shit like that?

You mean one of the monsters stops to immobilise and potentially render useless one fourth of your team. Aaaaaaand it's a dumb thing to do?

OK! Sounds dumb as shit!

Plus the AI will wait on spells all the time, even though due to rules nerfing waiting on spell is absolutely pointless in this game and just leads to loss of attacks.

Like four archers with slaying arrows waiting for you to cast anything in order to instagib you or easily break concentration if you have death ward.

OK! Sounds useless!

lots of bullshit about the interface

I can see I'm not the only one who is clueless playing the game, then...


Also, 'sup Drog.
 

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