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 http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/in ... 208.0.html. You can download the demo at http://www.irontowerstudio.com/.
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)
- 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.
- 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.
It's a great combat engine and a very interesting setting. I'm looking forward to the full game.