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Preview The Age of Decadence Demo Preview

VentilatorOfDoom

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Tags: Age of Decadence; Iron Tower Studios

In one way or another we got our hands on the Age of Decadence demo beta and decided to pen a preview. This article, too, will be added to the new and improved content system as soon as it is up.

... and here it is. Here's a slice:

Those of you familiar with Vince D. Weller’s (a.k.a. Vault Dweller) take on how an RPG should be like, probably have certain expectations when it comes to how The Age of Decadence ticks. Let me immediately put it this way: judging by the demo it looks like the game does indeed deliver on the promises. The demo was hooking enough for me to play it several times in a row, trying out different backgrounds and fiddling around with an array of different combat builds, having fun. Bodes well, does it?​

Read on about how it delivers.
 

Admiral jimbob

gay as all hell
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Wasteland 2
Another weak spot is chance in combat. The random number generator can make a huge difference. I went through the same combat encounter a couple of times without adjusting my strategy and I would get destroyed 3 times out of 4, while absolutely destroying my enemies on the fourth try. It can be source of a lot of frustration but when it works out, oh, it can be sweet.
I SEE WE HAVE A TRUE FALLOUT SEQUEL ON OUR HANDS

Seriously, can't wait for the demo. I'm sold regardless, but it's good to hear they haven't bitten off (much) more than they can chew and have delivered well.
 

hiver

Guest
Excellent preview. Thanks everyone.
Great little surprise for a morning coffee.

Everything described is as i pretty much expected it and sounds great.
Im sure there will be enough coverage from various sites once the Demo comes out, especially when they start screaming as the game combat pummels them into smithereens over and over again :D
While replayability, meaningful options and consequences will surely raise some eyebrows as well.

Would love to see alchemy working in the Demo, as the rest of the nifty stuff, all special moves for all weapons and so on.

Not having seen any of it i would risk a suggestion of making prices of various goods and equipment in traders more expensive so the various stuff isnt easy to buy. And making merchants stock very limited, but varied in between different sellers of same or different goods.
 

Stinger

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Is there any particular mechanic to rep being generated based on killing people? For example do you avoid rep if you stealth kill people with no one noticing and generally don't draw attention to yourself vs killing someone in a crowded street with everyone watching?
 

VentilatorOfDoom

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Is there any particular mechanic to rep being generated based on killing people?

There are two different stats for that, bodycount (includes also dialogue-killed victims I believe) and combat. The "combat" stat is the *real deal*, it depicts how often you went up against impossible odds yet emerged vicotious. Both are factored into intimidate checks.

Apart from that you have a reputation score for each of the factions.
 

VentilatorOfDoom

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What are the current release plans for the demo?

The content is done (by that I mean not the original content, but the extra quests and dialogues added as a result of the testers' feedback).
At the moment Oscar and I are going over the balance (combat, skill checks - for example, the thieves guild's questline's checks are too low, so you can go through the quests without failing and having to seek/try alternative ways; skill point rewards - looks like we were a bit too generous there), while Nick is busy fixing bugs.

The balance shouldn't take more than a week. The bugs will require more time. We'd like to release the demo in February, but if it's not ready, it's not ready. We're definitely close though.
No clear release date, but we're a talking about weeks now. Not years.

 

felipepepe

Codex's Heretic
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I'm really looking foward for this game, the review made me want it even more, but there is one thing I can't fucking stand:

w7hEh.jpg


This texture is SHIT. It's horrible, amateur, too poluted, distractive, indie-ish and bland. It looks like they really just places a .bmp on the screen and cut some holes on it. And it's not only on the character creation, but on the UI at all time as well!

JohfH.jpg


I really hope it's temporary, for the crafting menu shows great design and good taste, also adding a quite unique look to the game.

EDIT: Here, a quick & rough comparisson of how the dark design works better IMHO:

sLbnb.jpg
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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The old interface is temporary. We have a full set of new interfaces (like the crafting one), waiting to be implemented.
 

Black

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To be honest, all those options, face, beard and so on, don’t seem to do much, it all looks rather same-ish.

Heh, so much for deep choices and consequences if having or not having a beard doesn't do much.

as a rule of thumb, the bigger the number, the better. For example, if you want to be good at sneaking, make the sneak-number go bigger by putting points into it. If you want to be good at dodging blows, put points into Dodge. If you want to cause massive mayhem with every very strike of your dagger, put your points into Critical Strike. You want to have the edge by crafting epic weapons and armors? There’s a whole crafting skill exactly for that. It’s that easy!
Oh, does Codex cater to the CoD audience too now?
 

curry

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It's called "having a reputation". I'm sure you've heard of the concept.

Yeah, I've heard of "having a reputation". It means that if you assassinate someone without ever getting caught, suddenly people are more afraid of you because their spider-sense starts tingling when you are around.
 

VentilatorOfDoom

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It's called "having a reputation". I'm sure you've heard of the concept.

Yeah, I've heard of "having a reputation". It means that if you assassinate someone without ever getting caught, suddenly people are more afraid of you because their spider-sense starts tingling when you are around.
Yeah, that's exactly what has been said. Because when I said "That’s right, NPCs in The Age Of Decadence know when you kill people frequently" I actually meant to imply all those people where assassinated and no one ever knew about it.

Great display of comprehension skill on your part.
 

Country_Gravy

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Any DLC for preordering?

How many Microsoft points does it cost?

What are the steam achievements?

The interview section obviously fails to ask the tough important questions.
 

Shannow

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While curry is trolling, a reputation that factors in whether there were survivors/the whole thing was a secret stealth assassination/etc would be nice.
Vault Dweller have you let any non-oldschool-RPG-nerds play the demo? Just to get an impression on how they might react to it? And how much do you care about the game actually selling decently vs making an RPG the way you think an RPG should be? (I don't see any auto-dichtonomy, btw. Actually I think certain types of games that are considered "dead" would sell OKish if people bothered making them, like you did. Just interested in your POV/expectations.)
 
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"The game is awesome!" Proclaimed VoD, cum dripping off his chin as a tortured expression grew upon the jagged landscape which he calls his face.
 
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Turn to page 34.

"I'm VD's alt." Claims VoD as his pockets bulge with money and a steadily forming erection. Suddenly his face grows even more grim than before, you fear that if you remain near you will be destroyed by the gritty reality of his mature choice and consequence.

Will you stab him in the eye with a dragon dildo? (page 45)
Will you donate to the Codex? (page 5)
Will you praise SV's LP? (suicide)
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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While curry is trolling, a reputation that factors in whether there were survivors/the whole thing was a secret stealth assassination/etc would be nice.
Here is what we have:

You kill someone, your bodycount rep stat goes up no matter what. To some degree it's for you to keep track of your killing sprees, but we check it in dialogues to give fighting men a "persuasion" option:

[body count] “I take it you don’t know who I am.”
[body count] “I’ve been very busy the last few days, killing people who got in my way. I don’t mind killing a few more, but it’s getting tiresome.”
[body count] “Killing folks has always been easy for me. It’s not a talent that many people admire, but every now and then comes a time when you want someone dead. A <man/woman> of my skills might come in handy.”</text>
[body count] “Miltiades may have made a fool out of you, but I’ll make a fucking corpse out of you, unless you put a leash on your apes and get the fuck out of here.”
[body count] You step closer to Cassius and let him see you for what you are – a remorseless killer. You look at him until you can feel his fear, until Cassius understands how close he came to dying. Then you start talking. “If I let you go, you’ll probably do something stupid. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking there's some way around this. That if you can get away, get to your people, they can protect you. Everyone thinks that. Right up to the end, when they're looking up at me, choking on their own blood, they still think someone's going to come and save them. But no one does. And no one will save you, if you cross me, do you understand?” “I do,” says Cassius quietly, “I understand. I’ll leave, I promise.”
Etc.

Then we have combat rep, which tracks your participation in "suicide" missions, and then we have faction reps, which will have some consequences:

“You’ve gotta be kidding me, <charname>! After all you’ve done, I didn’t think I’d see your face anytime soon. Kill the <son a bitch/bitch>.”

Now, RPGs aren't real life sims. They offer you abstract concepts that shouldn't be taken literally. RPG towns usually have less population than a small village, so it's very easy to kill people "without anyone noticing", simply because developers avoid placing a shitload of people on the screen. So, when you kill some guy when nobody's around, you are not a fucking stealth ninja who walks unseen.

There are some cases (mentioned in Elwro's impressions, I believe) when the game lets you kill people without anyone knowing, but they don't come often (only when such an option can fit the design).

Have you let any non-oldschool-RPG-nerds play the demo?
Yes. We posted a lot of impressions on our forums:

http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,2419.msg78715.html#msg78715
http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,2419.msg78174.html#msg78174


And how much do you care about the game actually selling decently vs making an RPG the way you think an RPG should be?
While it would be nice to make RPGs for a living, we didn't try to make a game that sells. I mean, we all know that on the list of things that sell well, TB games with text adventure elements are probably at the very bottom (if they are on the list at all).

I wouldn't say that AoD is what I think RPG should be like either. It's a game we wanted to make. If people buy it, we'll make more. If people don't buy it, well, I'll know that we did do something (and I'll never bitch about other RPGs again).
 

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