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Library Of Ruina

Discussion in 'jRPG Weeaboo Discussion' started by Kruno, May 15, 2020.

  1. Kruno Arcane Village Idiot Zionist Agent Shitposter

    Kruno
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    Turn based JRPG from ProjectMoon who made Lobotomy Corporation, an SCP Foundation simulation.

    An Alpha version battle video:


    How is it now?
     
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  2. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Hey, sequel to the best worst game ever.

    Anyone has any first impressions?
     
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  3. CyberModuled Savant

    CyberModuled
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    I'm about 35 hours into the game and it's been a good time. Simply put, compared to Lobotomy Corp, Ruina feels like Project Moon made an actual game this time instead of just a trial and error masochistic simulator with a neat story attached (mostly).

    Looking at the alpha video, the game has definitely changed beyond just a UI overhaul so to quickly explain how it plays, it's essentially a mix of a standard card game with a heavy emphasis on turn based combat with turn orders and attack damage dependent on RNG dice rolls. Players build a deck of nine cards for a party member along with equipping a "page" which serves to give the character different stats in their health/stagger meter, resistances/vulnerabilities to the three attack times (slash, pierce, blunt), and attributes. At the start of every turn, the player and enemy team roll dice to represent turn order and the player adjusts where each attack die goes to attacking an enemy. If you have a higher value than an enemy die attacking another player, you have the opportunity to "clash" with them, meaning they'll attack you and the card that's being played instead of who the AI was targeting. Once the attack phase begins, characters begin fighting between each other based on the cards used which are also dice roll dependent for what damage number gets played. Aside from lowering an enemy's health bar for a kill, the game incentivizes doing stagger damage as completely staggering an enemy cancels their attack turn, leaves them open for free attacks next turn, and halts their AP regen and page drawing. Of course, the same can happen for a character on your side which is what clashing can prevent so one character who's has low stagger can avoid being staggered with a different character tanking it.

    While I lack deck building experience to really say if the systems around cards are balanced and diverse enough to keep someone who's played the more modern rogue like card game darlings as interested, the actual turn based stuff during combat feels equally important and the most engaging part of it as even with what can be considered a good deck, the game expects the player to adapt if they're in a bad situation depending on turn order. Nothing more satisfying than breaking an enemy's stagger meter early into a round and proceed to fucking decimate them for the rest of the turn and the next. This isn't even mentioning a ton of other variables to consider during combat (status effects, defense/evade skills instead of attack skills on cards, ranged attacks, abnormality pages, emotion level which affects the rate at which books for enemies can drop, AP represented as "light" for card cost, etc.) that the game gradually presents so there's a lot to keep in mind the farther you get.

    Regarding the structure of the game, it drops the roguelike elements of Lobotomy and is a fairly linear experience now with "Scenes" acting as Chapters while still having a few similar elements such as unlocking floors (which in the context of this game, gives you more parties to customize around and depending on some receptions, lets you swap between parties during combat scenarios that have multiple "acts" to them). The farther you get in the game, it begins letting you branch off to try out different fights in the order the you want, but eventually need to do them all to progress farther in the game. A common piece of criticism some have for Ruina would be the "grind" which I find ironic given most of the reviewers come from playing Lobotomy Corp and quite frankly, the grind that comes out of this game isn't even close to being as tedious and mind numbing. While there is the undeniable need to redo some fights for certain books (to "burn" them to get special cards and pages like a pack of cards and because sending out an invitation requires books from previous fights to initiate a new story battle) once you find a build that works well to defeat a certain group of enemies, just use that build again and you'll be fine unless you barley won out last time because of lucky dice rolls on attacks (and even then, it just gives the player the opportunity to better optimize their build which only helps for future fights).

    Gameplay aside, the rest of the game is an overall improvement over Lobotomy despite being very different. Just like the structure, the story is more linear in nature and instead of playing as a semi-self insert character, the player views the story mostly in the perspective of a Grade 9 Fixer, Roland. Angela and the rest of the Sephirah from the prior game make a return as well. The premise of the game is to attract different people from The City via invitations and by killing them, turn them into books for information so Angela can eventually make, "the one perfect book." Just like Lobotomy Corp, the story pushes various themes of existentialism, societal corruption, human experimentation/exploitation, and so forth. It's a lot more blunt compared to even Lobotomy Corp due to getting a look into the lives of the people going into the Library before fighting them but it overall does a good job emphasizing the utter desperation and dire circumstances most of them are in to even sign their invitation to try and get what they want out of the Library.

    To accompany this, the production value of Ruina is much higher than Lobotomy Corp. There's a lot more art assets during VN cutscenes (more character expressions and custom art frames for story moments) along with Korean VAs. OST is phenomenal too. There's a lot more tracks to the game compared to Lobotomy so it's nowhere near as repetitive to listen to (minus the regular menu theme) plus each floor has its own three part theme that dynamically changes depending on the emotion level of the player/enemy party. Has some vocal tracks by a group called Mili as well which are all good as they normally accompany a boss to change up the pacing and tone of fights.

    The game is still technically in Early Access as of writing but it seems the ending of the game was added months ago and all they've really done since is minor QoL features (as they seemed contractually obligated to "full release" it with the Xbone/Gamepass release in August). I can definitely recommend this game a lot more than Lobotomy Corp for someone interested, though it's worth mentioning that you should go in with knowledge of the first game as it's a direct sequel narratively.

    tl;dr, the game is very good and people who played Lobotomy Corp and were fascinated by its world but turned off by the extremely mundane gameplay can play this one knowing the gameplay is fairly engaging and stays fresh with a variety of different enemy encounters and new mechanics presented overtime. I'm a lot more optimistic about Project Moon's future output of games if they can keep up the incline in quality. As a reminder, their next game (Limbus Company) will be a DRPG and comprise of an entirely new cast of characters (aka, new people don't really need the full continuity of the prior two games) so hopefully more people here would be willing to try it out because of the genre.
     
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  4. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    I wish this wasn't a deck builder because it looks very interesting. I'll just have to wait and check out their next game.
     
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  5. Kruno Arcane Village Idiot Zionist Agent Shitposter

    Kruno
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    It is out!

    I am going to play it now!
     
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  6. Shackleton Arcane Patron

    Shackleton
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    FYI- this is on Gamepass now. Just wishlisted it on Steam then checked GP on a hunch and there it was.
     
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  7. Kruno Arcane Village Idiot Zionist Agent Shitposter

    Kruno
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    If you are a combat fag, like myself, you will love this game. Massive customisation and turn based combat. This game is all combat.
     
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  8. Shackleton Arcane Patron

    Shackleton
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    It's also pretty hard to get to grips with. I've had to read a couple of guides and watch youtube videos just to try and figure out the combat. Seems like there's a lot of depth there, just wish it was explained better in-game.

    Hint for anyone else trying to figure it out: turn off the 'Quick combat'. It's on by default and resolves all the dice automatically but too fast to see what's going on. With it off you can see whether you've won or lost the rolls and how it affects the fight.

    Nowhere near got it cracked yet, but still not lost a fight so must be quite forgiving early on. I read it gets a lot more challenging later though.
     
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  9. CyberModuled Savant

    CyberModuled
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    The sad part is, that Ruina's tutorial is still technically an improvement over the garbage that Lobotomy pulls on the player (where it throws you in an absurdly unrealistic day scenario to teach the player the bare minimum on how to play then proceeds to throw them into the regular game and unsurprisingly get fucked).
    If you have any specific questions though, you can ask here. I'm 80 hours in and near the end so I've seen mostly everything the game can throw at the player.
     
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  10. Leonard Novice

    Leonard
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    The game felt great to play, but I think it's too long. I've definitely had a case of ending fatigue, where I just wanted it to end during the last 10-20%. But it felt a lot better than Lobotomy Corporation in that you had constant progression and always have new things to do, instead of doing the same thing over and over.

    Endgame pacing spoilers:
    Show Spoiler
    The last 30 hours being just a chain of marathon fights and 5 of them feeling like the final battle were probably the biggest contributors to the ending fatigue.


    I have no idea what they intended with the floor system, but it feels mostly superfluous. Unlike LobCorp, you don't need to keep your floors stacked, since 1-3 (usually 1) floors participate in battles. There's no reason to just not stack all the strongest key pages on the one floor, and trade them around if you have to use some other floor. That's the optimal tactic. But it feels like the encounters weren't balanced around that, so if you have your five strongest gold cards on a floor, it trivializes the challenge. The game is more interesting and challenging if you don't do that.

    The balance gets even worse when you get
    Show Spoiler
    The Red Mist, who can beat most encounters by herself


    And sure, you can just not use that, but it feels disappointing to rely on self-imposed challenges for that.

    The differences between the floors are also somewhat of an unused potential - you usually want to use most realized floors, because having extra librarians and abnormality pages makes a huge difference.
    Midgame spoilers:
    Show Spoiler

    The difference between having EGO pages and not in particular is colossal, and you don't fully realize most mid level floors and all the top level ones until the very end of the game.


    This means that unfortunately, there's not many reasons for using mid and top floors, and you don't get many opportunities to play with their abnos.

    I wish the game design would enforce the necessity of using all the floors evenly, it'd make the balance closer to intended, without having to gimp yourself.

    But still, the game is great, I can't recommend it enough.
     
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  11. CyberModuled Savant

    CyberModuled
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    That's a genuine shame to hear.

    Show Spoiler
    Given how Star of the City rank gives a mandatory 3v3 and 4v4 fight with the Cane Office and Thumb early on, I was hoping they'd have more specialized receptions to accommodate middle floors at the very least.
     
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  12. Shackleton Arcane Patron

    Shackleton
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Ok, here's something that's been bugging me I can't seem to quite grasp. Why do my guys sometimes attack from the left of the screen in a clash? I've beaten Shy Look but I did it by stacking burn and I think that's not really how you're supposed to judging by it's passive.
     
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  13. CyberModuled Savant

    CyberModuled
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    As Ruina was originally going to use an auto-battle system of sorts, they decided to keep how characters can move around in the environment despite the change to turn based. So for example, later in the game once you unlock multiple speed dice for characters to use, you're going to more often see the characters whizzing back and forth around the environment to reach different enemies depending on who's clashing with who and sometimes that just results in one of your party members going from attacking an enemy who was on the left side of the screen to then coming from the left side to attack an enemy who might've been moved to the right side of the screen from attacking one of your party members. Regardless, it has no real effect on the gameplay and is just a visual thing (just like how characters could get smashed into objects into the environment, it's purely visual). Regarding abnormality fights specifically, based on 2020 footage (didn't pick up the game myself until 2021) the game originally positioned the player's party and the abnormality the same way a normal reception would but somewhere down the line, ProjectMoon changed it have them swap places to how it is now. Why they changed it? I have no clue.

    As for Shy Look itself, you're fine if you stacked burn to beat it. Hell, I'd say you should start getting used to learning how to stack debuffs as they're very useful in general (especially for particular abnormality fights down the line). In general, the abnormality fights in Ruina do their best to emulate how an abnormality functioned in Lobotomy Corp (having to attack it when it's "smiling" so it doesn't get stronger roll numbers for its offensive dice is Ruina emulating how in Lobotomy, it was best to only let an employee into Shy's containment room when it was in a good mood or else they'd get negative results and take massive amounts of damage during an observation).
     
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  14. Shackleton Arcane Patron

    Shackleton
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Ah right. /facepalm, I thought when they talked about 'face' making a difference for some reason I thought it meant 'facing' as in right or left attack direction. Probably because I was already wondering why sometimes I attacked right or left. But of course it's a timing thing and you have to attack when his actual face changes! (I'm not spoiler tagging because it's very early and hardly much of one.)

    Oh well, did it dirty so to speak.
     
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  15. Kruno Arcane Village Idiot Zionist Agent Shitposter

    Kruno
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    I have 12.4 hours on the game now. More customisation gets unlocked even after 8 hours. Insanely fun game and an anime story.
     
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  16. Retardo Educated

    Retardo
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    Should I try it if I'm not into Lobotomy corp and grind, but have an interest in deck-builders and weird weeaboo shit?
    Are plot lines totally serious, or more like Dorohedoro, where creepiness is mixed with wackiness?
    Is there a lot of grind?
     
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  17. CyberModuled Savant

    CyberModuled
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    For the most part, yeah. The Dorohedoro comparison isn't too off but more because of the weirdness of certain groups who go to the library. Tone is definitely on the more serious side overall (though there's still humor injected in the dialogue here and there as well as more lighthearted scenes you unlock later into the game).

    As for grind, it's not too bad personally. To get every key page/combat page in the game, you're expected to redo fights a couple times. However, once you beat a particular reception, it's not that difficult to do it a second time, gives the player the opportunity to optimize their decks, or simply just try out different builds. Just remember that whichever book you need the most, let said enemy stay on the field as long as possible until they're at a high emotion level which is when they drop the maximum amount of books when killed (indicated by the top part of the combat UI).
     
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  18. Retardo Educated

    Retardo
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    Thanks, will give it a try.
     
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  19. Retardo Educated

    Retardo
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    Well, I'm 5 hours in, reached library rank of 8, and it's super fun and enjoyable, solid contender for GOTY.
     
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  20. CyberModuled Savant

    CyberModuled
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    Man, what a cool fucking game.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    (Binah's realization can take a fucking steel rod up the ass though)

    Purple Tear is a lot of fun to deckbuild for since it's the only deck which lets you style switch between four decks with stat buffs depending on which one you use. Wish more key pages allowed for more interesting things with the decks.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
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  21. CyberModuled Savant

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    Finished, 153 hours in.

    Show Spoiler
    Yeah, the endgame stuff was a drag. Maybe it's dumb to complain about ProjectMoon making so much ending content, but the way it's shoved down your throat (10 (more like 9 since Argalia was ez) bosses, followed by another five phase boss, followed by a final realization (aka, 5 abnormality fights), an encore fight with Blue Reverberation, then fighting an Arbiter and Claw member to wrap it up) isn't particularly fun (or maybe that's my fault for trying to rush though it all). Doesn't help I'm very mixed on the Reverberation fight as a whole. Best part about it had less to do with the bosses and the fact it's the first time the game somewhat demands key pages to be spread out evenly between floor since floors lock the key pages onto where you equipped them until you finish the "Lower, Middle, and Upper" floors. The Blue Reverberation themselves were very mixed in quality, especially compared to how fun the last tier of Star of the City fights got (Xiao, Distorted Yan, Purple Tear). It really does feel like a scale of just "okay" (8 o'clock, Gears, Elena) to "a joke" (Philip, Puppeteer) to "fucking annoying" (Greta, Bremen, Yesterday's Promise) between their respective gimmicks and having large healthbars and/or heavy resistances to status ailments or attack types.

    Positively though, The Black Silence fight was great in terms of a challenge, spectacle, and the track made for the last two phases. The encore was a fun victory lap finale as well.

    Overall, I'm satisfied with how the story ended and the character development Roland and Angela had. I especially like how the ending is a sharp contrast to Lobotomy's true ending in the sense that it was a lot more optimistic despite the circumstances. Makes sense why Limbus is going to be about a different set of characters since I don't imagine we'll be seeing these characters for a while.
     
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  22. Leonard Novice

    Leonard
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    Some development information, endgame spoilers:
    Show Spoiler

    Originally, when Blue Ensemble fight was added, the page lock was in effect for the whole ensemble, not per layer, so you really had to outfit 10 floors of unique keypages and decks. And that was before they added lategame general receptions, so the key page pool was much smaller. It was, and still is way cooler challenge, but I understand why they changed it - for the whole game you can just swap a set of 5 keypages and decks between floors, so it was pretty brutal to require to outfit everyone out of the nowhere and was a pretty huge change. I think the current system with cards being unlocked after finishing the layer is a good compromise, but I think it'd be better if you had to keep all the floors outfitted at all the times from the start instead of at the end.

    Oh well, wasted potential.

    The other thing, is that The Black Silence fight at the end was originally Keter realization - but the Korean and Chinese fans spammed Project Moon with negative reviews and death threats demanding Real Keter realization, dragging out the endgame even more. That caused the CarmenKeter realization to be added, ruining the pacing.
     
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  23. CyberModuled Savant

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    Show Spoiler
    Sucks to hear about the latter especially. Definitely got the impression Black Silence was supposed to be the realization given it has the same motif as the others (five phases, Roland distorting into different entities, each phase having its own gimmick and attacks, using the Roland abnormality music for the first three phases).

    Guess that explains why Keter Realization is the only realization where you can switch in and out key pages between each fight since I get the feeling ProjectMoon didn't really have the heart to balance it for one straight fight if they were getting review bombed for something that fucking minor of all things. All the more petty now that I learned they reworked the credits to remove some art slides of the librarians working or relaxing because of their bitching too. God forbid, these characters aren't miserable or in deep thought all the time...
     
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