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Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:17 am
by BlueSalamander
The game starts in Maadoran, a city similar to Rome in the Roman Empire. The city is described as having been devastated by a terrible magical blast which also left a sickness in survivors. That reminded me of the ending of the book Last Argument Of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, where a wizard defeats his ultimate foe by destroying half a city, and some of the survivors like the Colonel West later die from a wasting disease. However, your character cannot cast spells in Age of Decadence.

In this demo you get to fight in the arena of Maadoran 20 times. If you survive, you become the arena champion. After each fight, you can sell the spoils and buy new equipment at the merchant on the right of the arena's entrance. There is a survival guide for the demo at ... 208.0.html. You can download the demo at

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The character I beat the demo with had 10 in strength, 10 in dexterity, 8 in constitution and 4 in perception. She's a hammer specialist. In the beginning I put my skill points 80% into dodge and 20% into hammers, and later on, a bit more into hammers. By the end she had 239 in dodge and 189 in hammers. When you have a high dodge you can fight naked and still perform better than if wearing heavy armour. With the light hammer you can attack four times (each attack takes 3 Action Points and you have 12 APs with a dexterity of 10) and with the heavy hammer you can do two aimed attacks per turn (each aimed attack will take 6 APs).

I've tried fighting with a long spear too and it works quite nicely but in order to make use of the ability to interrupt someone's approach you have to finish your turn with the enemy outside your threat area (as the interrupt takes place only when the enemy tries to enter your threat area, and not when he moves into your adjacent squares).

I've found that putting any amount of points into the Critical Strike skill is a mistake. Instead put most of your points into either Dodge or Block (if you use shields).

Keys you can use in the demo:

mouse middle button: when clicked, rotates the view
mouse wheel: when rotated, zoom in and out, or slides a merchant's wares up and down when trading.
right click: walks to
double right click: runs to
left click: interact with, or attack
right click on the icon of your equipped weapon during combat in order to select a special action like whirlwind attack
Escape to bring back the options
I to bring up the inventory
C to bring up the character screen in order to level up
To trade, walk to the merchant on the right of the starting spot, then left click him
To fight, walk to the arena master, the man in red robes, and left click him
To exit the arena after a fight: left click on the arena's door (after looting the corpses of course)

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- the game should give more information on the effect of choosing a given weapon as your main weapon, the effect of abilities and the maximum possible level for any skill (I'd suggest a maximum of 200). It should explain why adding points in your main weapon skill actually increases your skill with other weapon types too
- when set to use DirectX (D3D) the game is very unstable on my computer, with crashes everytime a large building comes into view (the game is much more stable with OpenGL rendering)
- graphics are much too dark and there isn't any gamma (brightness) slider in the options, and in the inventory some dark items are hard to see as they lack a clear outline: items really need an outline OR a brighter background colour when trading items
- clicking on someone you want to talk to should automatically prompt the player character to move to that person and start talks (currently the game requires the player to move to the NPC first).
- sometimes, knife throwers and crossbow users shoot at a weird 90 degree angle
- any damage inflicted should flash on top of the victim in a large font, so that there's no need to read the log all the time
- the game should start with your own weapon equipped
- when you finish your turn with 1 or 2 remaining APs, these should not be lost but added to the AP total on the character's next turn.

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- the coloured squares indicating how far you can move and where you can attack (D&D Tactics had that too), and the tooltip that indicates the AP cost to move (should appear immediately though)
- the percentage chance to hit displayed as tooltip
- the special consequences of attacks, like being disarmed, knocked down, knocked back a few squares, or being made to limp
- the crowd cheering whenever you succeed on a special hit
- the animation speed slider, essential
- the AI knows how to disarm, throw a net, take a step back before using a polearm, etc. That's really nice.
- good challenge from beginning to end
- very good sound effects
- at the end you are given of choice of joining either one of two houses, it's a more interesting choice than the standard choice between good or evil.

My conclusion:

It's a great combat engine and a very interesting setting. I'm looking forward to the full game.

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:14 pm
by quasimodo
I agree that this is a really fun TB combat system. I took a bunch of different builds through this demo and I liked the long spear + dodge build the best.

The most interesting thing about the game is there will be many different ways to finish the game and the combat is just one path. The devs say you should not try to make a Jack-of-all-trades character; you will need to create a specialized character and stick with it to be effective. Thus there will be a lot of replayability.

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:28 pm
by BlueSalamander
Since fighting that Papa character and losing, I'm partial to the hammer and morningstar! :D

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:58 am
by VentilatorOfDoom
I played a 2handed hammer dodger. Move, Aimed Torso, Move, Aimed Torso, Move, Aimed Torso, normal Attack, Normal Attack, Move Aimed Torso, Move, Aimed Torso, normal Attack, Normal Attack. *Yawn*

The game would desperately need a spell system or alchemy or something to make the combat a bit more interesting.

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:39 pm
by quasimodo
If AoD was a party based game I might agree, but I found with a single character the different weapons and attacks were enough to keep it interesting. The combat encounters were different enough that I didn't find myself using the same tactics every time.

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:00 pm
by BlueSalamander
Some of the tactical aspect comes just from choosing the right gear, for example against a lightly armoured opponent 4 fast attacks with the light hammer can be more effective than attacks with a two-handed war hammer. Against someone with a good accuracy and a high number of attacks (like the last opponent) it can be better to use heavy armour rather than the usual dodge + light armour. If your chance to hit is more than 50% aimed head can be better than aimed torso, and if more than one opponent is there, whirlwind can be better.

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:21 am
by Demiath
During my (admittedly brief) time with the demo I found it to be willfully obtuse with exactly the kind of impenetrable gameplay mechanics which have given old school RPG a bad reputation among non-hardcore players. The clunky camera controls and ill-advised attempt at 3D graphics didn't exactly make things better, either (I liked the detailed fullscreen menus and inventory, though). I was somewhat excited about the game before testing the demo but let's just say I'm not checking Iron Tower's website impatiently for news any longer...

Re: Age of Decadence combat demo

PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:49 am
by VentilatorOfDoom