CSG update #6 - factions overview

A generation ship is a perfect ant-farm where different societies can coexist within a limited space, influencing and affecting each others' development while fighting for that limited space, which adds “the end justifies the means” pressure. Let’s take a look at the various factions and groups:



The Protectors' one truth is the Mission, and the sole way to ensure successful completion of the Mission is to follow the Old Ways. The ways of the fathers, forefathers, and Founding Fathers are together the beam upon which the Ship travels to our ultimate destination. The mutiny, which through their steadfast and timely intervention was thankfully aborted, was the ultimate betrayal of the Old Ways, of everyone who had come before, the nullification of every sacrifice and every life dedicated to the Mission.

Sworn to regain control of the Ship, the Protectors will subjugate anyone who threatens the Mission. Over the last century they have managed to expand their enclave somewhat, but the Brotherhood is deeply entrenched. To overcome them with violence would result in a massive loss of life, an unfortunate consequence which itself would endanger the Mission.

The Protectors are governed by the Mission Control Council, which appoints the Mission Commander to implement their policies and decisions. Failure is regarded as a deviation from the Mission. As such, Commanders are twice as susceptible to death-by-misadventure as the average citizen.



The Brotherhood was formed to liberate the people from the iron shackles of the Ship Authority. Though their first sally -which the fossils of the old world denigrate with the term "mutiny"- failed to completely achieve this aim, the Brotherhood was successful in establishing themselves as a power to be reckoned with. More importantly, their ideals of liberty and freedom are now discussed everywhere.

The Brotherhood's initially pure goal, to free the enslaved wherever they may be, has unfortunately been sullied by the practical concerns of democracy. If the Brotherhood had had access to the older histories they would have realized that democracies beget their own factions, factions which cannot be put down with violence for now they are within. The Executive Council was also forced to consider issues like the right to vote, and whether it should be granted freely to all, or earned through service to the state. The first generation earned their rights rebelling against the tyrants, whereas the youth of today have forgotten even the names of those heroes. Easily swayed by rhetoric and bribed with cheap comforts, these layabouts could hardly be less concerned with such abstractions as liberty and universal suffrage.

To bring freedom to the Ship entire must involve war, and no war may be won without sacrifice, nor may battles be managed by committee. The unwillingness to back high ideals with bloodshed is, as far as the Council is concerned, the reason for the recent losses against the Protectors. Yet any attempt to limit majority rule must be interpreted as a retreat from the ideals upon which the Brotherhood's very identity is based.

If every decision, even those which mean death to some of the Brotherhood's own citizens, must first be approved by a majority, how is it possible even to start?



As inevitably happens in dark and challenging times, some citizens turn to God for reassurance, the promise of an end to pain and hunger. Or failing an end, at least a purpose.

The Church of the Elect rejected both the Protectors of the Mission and the Brotherhood of Liberty as worldly fools distracted by politics and their own egos. Teaching their adherents that they were chosen by God, the Church frames the journey of the Ship as a centuries-long test of faith. We all face a series of difficult trials, yes, but with a very definite end.

When the Ship arrives at her destination, Judgement Day awaits every citizen. The righteous will be welcomed into the Promised Land of Alpha Centauri-4, while the unrepentant will be returned to the Hell from which we fled -Earth- to suffer for all eternity.

Led by the Chaplain-General, the Church of the Elect is a militant organization. While Christ was undoubtedly a man of peace, what he preached on Earth does not strictly apply in the void of space. Extraordinary challenges require exceptional measures, for even Jesus can't do much for an unarmed man.



When a small percentage of children in the Habitat were first born deformed, they were immediately shunned. Superstitions – that their deformities were contagious, that they were radioactive – swiftly followed and they were branded Mutants. The young were abandoned, and those whose defects didn't manifest until later driven out of the Habitat.

As the number of outcast Mutants grew, they began to settle in what had come to be known as the Engine Room, the vast open space providing access to the Ship’s engines and reactor. With the condition of the fusion reactor degrading to dangerous levels, and the number of volunteers for jobs in areas exposed to radiation remaining few, the Mutants approached the Habitat to negotiate the Covenant, a pact granting the Mutants protection from harassment and violence in exchange for their maintenance of the engines and other vital ship systems.
 
Out of necessity, engine work and electronics were taught to the outcasts by Engineering Officers, and out of "charity" Christianity was introduced by the missionaries. Over the decades, the isolated Mutant collective became increasingly tribal, and the confused worship of both science and religion led to a theocratic, caste-based society. Believing themselves chosen by a higher power, the Mutants declared their disfigurements not a curse but the Mark of God, the physical manifestation of their destiny to save the ship, and thus mankind.

Now the Mutant priests hide the stigmata of their kind behind masks depicting beatific metal faces, and their Consecrators regularly tour the Habitats, to seek out children bearing the Mark and to spread the word of God. Frowning upon (or more aptly, fearing) such blasphemy, the Church of the Elect claims that the Mark of the Beast is the proper name for the Mutants' affliction, but as long as they tend the Ship's engines they remain inviolable.



At the heart of the Ship sits one of its deepest mysteries: the House Ecclesiastes. A simple, unadorned facade belies the importance of this temple, and the curious visitor is welcomed by nothing more than a centuries-faded relief spelling ECLSS and two well-maintained turrets. Only senior faction representatives are granted audience here. All others are turned away.

The monks of House Ecclesiastes are the keepers of many secrets. Deep within the zone, they are said to meditate on the very essence of Life and Death, but their practice is not one of philosophy. Their rituals are crucial to the systems that allow every citizen to survive. The burden of their knowledge is so heavy that they have cast aside all other earthly concerns, caring not for wealth, pleasure or power. Thus their motto: He who increases in Knowledge increases in Sorrow.

With few exceptions the needs of these ascetics are modest, but whatever they request, they promptly receive. In return they offer nothing but the continued supply of air to breathe and water to drink.

Generations will come and go, but the Ship is eternal.

Freemen

Recognizing neither the Protectors of the Mission or the Brotherhood of Liberty, the Freemen submit to no one's laws. These ruffians have no respect for titles, tradition, or any rules restricting their right to live in whatever manner they choose.

Refusing to trade their principles for the comfort and safety -and the subjugation that goes along with them- of the various squabbling boot-licks of the Habitat, the Freemen have chosen to settle beyond its borders, where they make a living as scavengers, traders, and highwaymen.

The center of their domain is one of the Ship's capacious cargo holds, now a container town. Aptly named The Pit, it is dark, cold, and lawless, a place where a person might go to secure an illegally modified pistol, or a flask of alcohol fermented in a disused cooling duct, and end up with a blade in the gut instead. As the Pit offers nothing of value to either the Protectors or the Brotherhood, it currently enjoys all the freedoms a citizen could desire.

But however much the Freemen shout about their ideals, should the situation change these anarchists may find themselves truly liberated — from all worldly laws and cares.

Colony Ship RPG - early in development

Our long-term project is a colony ship RPG inspired by Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky. We want this game to feel and play differently from AoD. The core design (turn-based, choices & consequences, non-linear, text-heavy) would remain the same.

  • Character System

    Expect the same 6 stats (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Per, Cha) and 18 skills grouped in sets of three:
    • Melee (Fist, Bladed, Blunt)
    • Firearms (Pistol, Shotgun, SMG)
    • Energy Weapons (Pistol, Rifle, Cannon)
    • Science (Medical, Mechanical, Computer)
    • Speech (Persuasion, Streetwise, Trading)
    • Stealth (Lockpick, Pickpocket, Sneak)
  • Party-Based.

    It’s a fundamental change that affects every design aspect, most notably content “gating”. If you have 3-4 party members, most likely you’ll have all skills covered.

    Charisma will determine the number and quality of your party members. The party size will range from 2 to 5. Experience points from quests will be split between the human party members (a droid will have its own leveling up mechanics and won't cost you any XP), thus a smaller party will be able to gain levels faster.
  • Party Dynamics

    Typically, RPG party members serve a purely tactical role, giving your more bodies to control in combat and access to different combat abilities. In a sense, you’re role-playing an entire squad as outside of combat there is very little (if any) difference between the character you created and the characters you’ve recruited or created next.

    It works great in RPGs that are mostly about combat, but calls for a different approach when it comes to non-combat gameplay. The main problem is that party members offer nothing but combat benefits (occasionally, freaky sex to relieve combat stress and party banter), giving you very few reasons to treat party members any differently than the main character.

    In short, the problem is that in most RPGs party members are mindless zombies lacking any free will, agenda, goals, etc – the very qualities that separate an actual “character” from a zombie. Thus, our main design goal is to create proper characters that have a will of their own, as well as agendas, beliefs, goals, and other infuriating qualities.

    Unlike the player’s character, the party members will have a complex personality & beliefs system that would determine their reaction. Most likely these stats will remain hidden from the player and you’d have to figure out what you’re dealing with by talking to them and observing how they act/react.

    We're planning to go with 10 traits (values ranging from -5 to +5) strictly for the purpose of reacting to different situations and the PC's choices.
    • Religion (-5 means raging atheist, +5 means true believer)
    • Politics (-5 filthy liberal, +5 glorious conservative)
    • Loyalty (-5 treacherous scum, +5 loyal to a fault)
    • Volatile (-5 comatose, +5 always ready to fly off the handle)
    • Connving (-5 honest abe, +5 Miltiades)
    • Opportunist (-5 a man of principles, +5 what are principles?)
    • Idealism (-5 cynic, +5 starry-eyed idealist)
    • Greed (-5 above money, +5 can quote Gordon Gekko)
    • Altruism (-5 selfish bastard, +5 For the Greater Good!)
    • Agreeable (-5 doesn't play well with others, +5 gets along with Hitler)
  • Feats & Character Levels

    Your characters will gain levels using experience points from quests. When you level up, you’ll select feats, unlocking or improving your abilities. The feats will be an important aspect of character development (i.e. they won’t give you minor bonuses but help you develop your characters along specific paths: lone wolf vs squad leader, offense vs defense, gunslinger vs sprayer or gadgeteer, melee vs ranged, which will go beyond which skill to develop, etc) and make as much of a difference as the skills levels.

    We want the skills to determine your chance of success with certain tasks and the feats to define what you can do and how you can use these skills to maximum advantage. For example, not every guy with points in Pistol is a gunslinger, not every guy who travels alone is a Jeremiah Johnson when it comes to survival, etc. Basically, the feats will define your character much more than your skills.
  • Skills & Learn by Using

    You will not gain XP for killing, talking, sneaking, picking locks, using computers, fixing mechanical things and such. You will not increase your skills manually. Instead your skills will be increased automatically based on their use.

    Instead of counting how many times you did something, we’ll assign a certain value (let’s call it learning points) to each activity (attacking, killing, fixing, sneaking, convincing, lying, etc). So killing a tough enemy or repairing a reactor will net you more points than killing a weakling or fixing a toaster. Basically, it will work the same way as XP but go directly toward raising a skill that did all the work.
  • Gadgets

    While melee builds will be viable, most enemies will use guns. Ranged combat will be dull if everyone just stands there, firing their weapons and dodging bullets. It needs cover but we don’t want to place cover everywhere, which means we need gadgets to make your own cover (among other things):
    • Depletable energy shield (absorbs x damage)
    • Reality distortion field (THC penalty against you)
    • Optical illusion a-la Total Recall (chance that enemies will target the illusion)
    • Cloaking field aka Stealth Boy
    • Stasis field (holds enemy, no damage can be dealt)
    • Brainwave Disruptor (don’t leave your home without Psychic Nullifier)
  • Factions

    While factions will get a lot of attention and play a large role, you won’t join a faction but will remain an outsider, free to work for and deal with all factions, which fits the setting better as these factions aren’t guilds but different hubs. However, many quests would have conflicting interests and reputation would play a stronger and more immediate role than it did in AoD, so you won’t be able to please everyone for long.

    In addition to your reputation, which will play a much bigger role in the game (the main quest is sort of built around it), we’ll add two important stats that will be affected by your actions: faction strength & morale (your actions might increase or lower both or increase one and lower the other). More on that in the future updates.

The Age of Decadence is now available



The Age of Decadence, our first but hopefully not the last RPG, is now available. If you've been following it or playing it in Early Access, you know what to expect (if you did play an earlier version, please delete prefs.cs file from your Documents/My Games/Age of Decadence folder before starting a new game). If you've just discovered it, "stay awhile and listen".

The most commonly asked question is:
What Kind of Game Is It?

It’s a very different game than anything you’ve ever played. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the RPG genre hasn’t really been explored yet and most RPGs follow the formula that didn’t change in 20 years. While there were always games that strayed off the beaten path – Darklands, Planescape: Torment, King of Dragon Pass – such games were the exceptions that only reinforced the rule.

The Age of Decadence is an experiment, an attempt to explore a different direction, taking you back to the PnP roots of the genre. It doesn’t mean that the game is awesome. In fact, there is a good chance that you won’t like it, precisely because we took too many liberties with the established design.


So What Sets The Age of Decadence Apart From Other Games?

1. The Setup

Traditionally, many fantasy RPGs are about killing things, clearing up dungeons, and being a hero. There is nothing wrong with mindless fun and wish fulfillment, but we want to offer you something different. To quote Tom Chick (Quarter to Three's game critic):

"But Age of Decadence wants nothing to do with kobolds, just as it wants nothing to do with Doo-dads of Unimaginable Power. The overarching idea is a crumbling society divided among three noble Houses, each fumbling around in its own version of darkness to comprehend what destroyed the world. That’s the central mystery. It plays out like noir in that you are the detective, piecing together what really happened from differing accounts, all vividly written with clear voices and efficient prose. And like a detective in a noir yarn, you can’t help but become part of the central mystery, effecting an outcome you might not have intended."

The Age of Decadence is not a game about killing monsters or exploring mystical lands, but rather, surviving amid the greed and brutality of your fellow humans and carving out a name for yourself. Good and bad are purely relative. It’s a world of scheming and backstabbing in which your words and actions have the potential to forge alliances and sow discord, and your path is never certain.

You get to play with seven different factions: three Noble Houses and four 'professional' guilds: merchants, assassins, thieves, and the army, all fighting for power or influence; over 100 named characters, over 750 ‘generic’ characters with unique IDs taking part in violent take-overs, assassinations, and power grabs, and over 600,000 words of dialogue: a well-developed and thought through world, believable characters, realistic motivations, but no elves, dwarves, magic, and wizards in fashionable, pointy hats.



2. Combat’s difficulty

Another design aspect worth mentioning is combat difficulty. It’s a hard game.

Combat difficulty is integrated into the setting. You can’t say that the world is harsh and unforgiving and then let the player kill everyone who looks at him or her funny. The game has to be hard, dying should be easy, and you should have reasons to pick your fights.

You aren’t a powerful hero who can defeat anyone and save the world and it is the difficulty that reinforces this notion. Make the game easier and we’re back to the powerful hero setup. So unless you’re a natural born killer, watch what you say and think before you act or you’ll end up dead before you can blink.



 

3. Choices & Consequences

Choices are what the game is all about - crafting your own narrative via a variety of choices that alter the story, playing field, and your options down the road. From multiple quest solutions to branching questlines you'll have plenty decisions to make and consequences of said decisions to deal with, which is what makes the game incredibly replayable.

Starting the game as a mercenary and joining the Imperial Guards will give a completely different experience, different quests, different content and points of view than, say, playing the game as a merchant (less buying low and selling high, more scheming and plotting to gain advantages for the guild), a praetor serving a Noble House, or an assassin.

The questlines are interwoven, forming a large, overarching story, so playing the game only once will be like witnessing events from a single perspective, which is limited by default. You will have to play the game several times to better understand what’s going on, piece everything together, and see the full effect of the choices you make.

The Big Question: Should You Buy The Game?

Try before you buy. Even if everything I said sounds exactly like your kind of game, try the demo first. That’s what it’s there for. It gives you access to the first Chapter, consisting of 3 locations and about 30 quests split between mutually exclusive questlines and decisions.

What's Next?

We'll continue supporting the game and paying attention to your suggestions and concerns (as long as they fit the core of the game). During the next 3 months we'll work on extra content because why not? I dislike DLCs, so we won't charge anything for all extra content related to the game.

Our short-term project is a party-based dungeon crawler set in the AoD world. One of the characters mentions a prison-mine called The Second Chance and you'll be given an opportunity to escape it or die trying. This game will use the existing assets and systems.

Our long-term (i.e. a full scale RPG) project is a "generation ship" game, inspired by Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky. We're aiming to create a different experience with the same core ('hardcore', TB, C&C). So, combat will be turn-based but focused on ranged rather than melee (earth-made laser guns - rare but powerful, ammo even more rare, so save for special occasions - vs crude ship-manufactured firearms favoring burst rather then precision), level up to distribute skill points and unlock new feats, focus on the individual and more dynamic C&C, focus on exploring rather than working your way up in a faction; you'll be one of the 'freemen' who aren't born into a caste-like faction, more traditional open level design.



We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us over the years. We wouldn't have made it this far without you.

Aug update - First ending, fixes, and improvements

tl;dr
a LOT of fixes and improvements, you must restart Ganezzar (i.e. use a save game BEFORE you arrived to Ganezzar) to see them.

New content:

  • Two quests continuing Hector/Darganus questlines, featuring Miltiades
  • The very first ending* of the game (ask Bennie to perform the ritual on you)
  • Minor conversations with Varro and Athanasius after the siege
  • 6 death descriptions (some assassins quests, scorpion, construct, Faelan, the breach fight)

Improvements

  • You can save after IG3 fight, increase skills, change gear, etc, before going to Maadoran.
  • Improved the Ordu camp's visuals, added alchemy ingredients.
  • Added a few extra options in some of the Teron encounters.
  • You can explore Teron after the MG questline is over.
  • You can interact with some artifacts in your inventory to identify or activate them.
  • Livia got a brand new portrait.
  • Improved Ganezzar's visuals
  • New and improved models.
  • Confirm box for dropping an item.
  • Added "none" hair option for female characters
  • Alchemical items' prices are now modified by their level.
  • Changed Shorty's trading inventory.
  • Raiders' camp CS check increased.
  • Minor IG4 tweaks (combat and flow)
  • Increased the price modifiers for crafted items.
  • Increased material needed for repair from 0.2 to 0.5.
  • Gaelius now has the Crimson Eye on him.
  • Merchants start with the commercium ring.
  • Added civil SP reward for giving Hamza a fake name in MG5
  • Increased ingots rewards in the well.
  • Vitus gives you more steel and a few sharpening stones.
  • If you are affected by the "camera bug" in which you can zoom out forever, press the Center Camera button to fix it (and remember to report the issue!).
  • Tweaked some Teron's compound infiltration checks and added an option to investigate the dining room if you killed the patrolling guard.
  • Increased Livia's training.
  • Removed the need to click on the gate to leave Ganezzar and increased the size of the trigger for players first entering the city.
  • Praetors are no longer forced to see Meru right away when they arrive to the city.
  • You don't have to take Meru to Al-Akia right away when you join House Crassus.
  • Grifter now starts with a dagger.
  • The Abyss is closed for maintenance after you arrive to Ganezzar.
  • Reduced whetstone base price to 50 (from 100).
  • CS Training after AG1 increased to 10.
  • You are no longer forced to take the gold or return to Levir in TG4.
  • Added etiquette and lore checks with Lorenza in MG4.
  • Lowered the cost of higher skill levels
  • Rebalanced the MG questline, more CHA and extra checks in some quests.
  • Rebalanced the lore checks to use the entire 1-10 scale.
  • You can now place one-handed crossbow and bolter in the belt bags.
  • Broken armor lowers weight and price.
  • Feint no longer selectable if you have a shield.

Fixed:

  • Serenas taking more money than intended in HD questline.
  • Loop in IG4 if you convinced Strabos to tell you what he knows.
  • The first wave did not appear in IG6 if you didn't do anything at the Ordu camp.
  • Inverted info for the sharpened weapons' strikes and damage.
  • Siege of Ganezzar when you travel there from Caer-Tor.
  • Silver tongued devil rank added incorrectly in MG2 (belongs to TG3).
  • Being able to ask about poison if the mine situation was already solved.
  • Trading bonuses description.
  • Power armor should no longer be damaged.
  • Camera issue after talking to Strabos at the end of MG6.
  • Tower guards dodging instead of blocking.
  • Escaping Zamedi as a thief or Daratan praetor should no longer show the Teron ending slides or end the game.
  • Distracting the guards in TG3 properly sends one of your man to take care of the crossbowman.
  • Crash when fighting Hagnon as IG is his tent.
  • Passability in Mountain Monastery and Dead River that allowed you to "fly".
  • Camera issue after passing the IG trial in Maadoran.
  • Being able to join the expedition as an HA praetor twice.
  • HA praetor being able to suggest going through the tunnels.
  • The Ordu killing the IG triggers a proper ending.
  • Proper Ganezzar state after HA taking over Ganezzar (with guards/ordu).
  • Ganezzar's medicus now has dialogue.
  • Loop in Meru's star chamber dialogue for praetors wanting to join him.
  • Portrait issues with Decanus in the mines.
  • You can report to Gaelius if Meru dies during the Al-Akia event.
  • Streetwise/impersonate check with the raider leader in Aemolas village.
  • Passability of siege elements in Ganezzar.
  • Sneaking into the mine and activating the machines take you to Gaelius, not drop you in Maadoran.
  • Being to enter the barracks after MG2.
  • A wrong version of the bringer of storms is no longer sold in the exotic emporium.
  • You use the robe when you disguise yourself to get the power armor.
  • You can now leave Darganus' house.
  • The guardian properly takes the ring in all situations.
  • The game ending notes the guardian is locked inside the tower.
  • If you return to the tower, the guardian will attack if you ran away with the ring.
  • Livia's fight not granting SP.
  • IG questline becoming MG questline in Al-Akia.
  • Narrative and bugs in post Abyss Ganezzar quest.
  • Slide text error in Balzaar ending.
  • Commercium questline is no longer available to all in Ganezzar.
  • Ganezzar traders have proper inventories
  • You can no longer escape combat in Darius tomb by clicking on the sarcophagus.
  • loop in the gem quest.
  • You can't finish MDN AG questline and then join HA as a praetor.
  • Added CS training and body count to several CS checks that were missing it.
  • Workers not carrying objects when loading a save.
  • Cleave critical now ignores armor.
  • Meru's loremaster not appearing when he should.
  • Transfer All no longer transfers unlootable items.
  • scorpions having no attack and defense skills.

Combat Balance:

We hit the word limit, so you'll have to take my word for it.

Release plans:

We’re planning to release the game in October. So far we’re on track and we fixed a lot of issues in the last 2 months, as you can see. For the next 2 months we’re switching from monthly to bi-weekly updates to respond faster.

We’re planning to release the final location by the end of August. At that point the game will be content-complete. We’ll test, tweak, and polish through September and early October (so far we’ve allocated 6 weeks) and release.

Thank you for your support and don't forget to restart Ganezzar to see the changes.

July update - Maps and improvements

As I mentioned previously, our plan is to go over everything, add all missing or requested content (like alternative solutions), improve flow, fix bugs, etc. The temple (the final location) will be added last.

Improvements, big and small:

- Instead of charging into the breach you can infiltrate a gate tower ninja-style and open the gates.
- You can now travel to the Monastery's inner chamber either via Zamedi (if you know how to use the console or via the portal in the sewers.
- You can peruse the databanks in Zamedi, Hellgate, and Monastery.
- Added a diplomatic option in Al-Akia in the IG questine.
- Added an option to attack fake-Meru.
- You can now craft ammo for bows and crossbows.
- Faster starting time.
- Inferiae's Guardian body looks broken.
- Added a warning if you leave the chargen screen with unspent stat points.
- You can keep unspent SP from character creation when you start a new game
- Added a healer to Ganezzar.
- If you return to the abyss after the fog is cleared, you'll see your old pal Galath.
- Completed the PA questline, returning the PA to Valla (or keeping it for yourself).
- Improved Teron's mining outpost quest. You can leave via the map, the decanus has the key for the chest, you are no longer railroaded in dialogue when the raiders attack.
- You can now wander around Teron after the praetor questline is finished, you are no longer forced to travel to Maadoran.
- Activating the Blue Steel mode in the mining outpost has consequences and rewards.
- New town maps for Teron and Ganezzar.
- Game doesn't end when you end the Ganezzar chapter, only way to end it is to find the temple.
- You now have an option to sabotage the ritual with Meru.
- Optimized projectile lifetime and velocity, resulting in faster turns when ranged characters are involved.
- Added more instances of civil SP rewards.
- Added the option to use your own poison at the outpost. It checks for both poison vials and leaves, and the outcome depends on your alchemy level.
- Improved Al-Akia exterior visuals and flow (chance to save on the expedition).
- Improved the narrative of HD questlines in Ganezzar.

Fixes:

- If you don't accept Varro's offer to join the guild the first time, the option doesn't disappear.
- Fixed issues with tower cellar in New Teron.
- Fixed issue with not being able to leave the tunnels after killing Glabrio in IG8.
- Fixed narrative issues with Faelan and Meru in Al-Akia.
- Fixed issue with inn stairs in Ganezzar.
- Fixed Dead River and Hellgate achievements.
- Fixed issue in AG9 with the entrance to the guild appearing on a side wall.
- Now you can give Bernie the "spear" even if you didn't agree to search for it (or he refused to share his secret).
- Bernie properly leaves when you give him the spear.
- Fixed PA quest endless loop with Esdras.
- Fixed rare issue of black screen when loading a savegame.
- Fixed issue with TG ganezzar questline not starting if you went with Levir to the catacombs.
- Fixed issue with HD armor reward in Teron.
- Fixed narrative issues with Antidas on New Teron versions.
- Several level fixes to Teron levels.
- Fixed bug with Feng not appearing in Terom MG when he should be, plus bad teleporting when talking with him.
- Fixed bug with Aemolas appearing in Terom MG when he shouldn't be.
- Fixed issues with map screen and repeating intro in Al-Akia when sent by HD to blow up the place.
- Fixed issue with IG7 triggering when you exit Al-Akia in other questlines.
- When talking with Soldiers in the Hangar, House Aurelian being destroyed is recognized.
- You can no longer take the inferiae portal if Maadoran was destroyed.
- Fixed Specter phrases.
- Fixed ending issues for when Meru dies in Al-Akia.

Changes:

- The alchemist at Teron's Inn now sells you some alchemy ingredients (free ingredients removed).
- You can open hellgate's entrance door with the key.
- Changed text on Maadoran gate, opens the world map.
- Teron Bandit Camp quest now grants 10 SP (was 5 SP).
- Convincing Carrinas to go to the inn in HD2 grants 2 civil SP.
- Dellar doesn't take the mining outpost power tube from you.
- Teron Doctor name changed to Medicus.
- Power Armor Gauntlet weight set to 0 (It's part of the armor).
- Characters created with block higher or equal to dodge get a buckler on character creation.
- Regeneration works outside of combat.

Combat Balance:

- Reduced Power Armor shield to 6 DR, increased vsCS and vsRanged to 35.
- Anubis PA mode now grants HP regeration, 1 point per level. RA mode gives +2 STR, +2DEX, +2HP Regen.
- Pickaxe and shovel can now attack diagonally.
- Healing balms stop bleeding if used in combat (but doesn't restore HP).
- Rebalanced fights with the assassin and the merceneary at the vignette. Combat changes since their original placement made them harder than intended.
- Entangle duration increased by 1.
- Throwing weapons had wrong damage values, they were higher than they should have been for the AP cost. Plus also wrong passive effects values.
- Balanced crossbow damage, min damage higher, max damage lower, in general.
- Hammer knockdown effect activates on hit, damage reduced, costs less AP.

Well, that's about it. More content, improvements and fixes coming next month. As always, your support and feedback are highly appreciated.

June update - 21 out of 22 locations are now available!



New content:

- 2 new locations: Hellgate and Dead River
- 2 new enemy types: a spider-like constuct and a giant scorpion



- a loremaster who lost most of his marbles, an elder who can't show you his face because he's too pretty, and 2 new items (the Divine Spear and a homemade protection amulet)

- a second conversation with your 'friend from the other side'; keep in mind that the Aegis suit will protect you from the 'elements' but not from the 'friend' who will kill you unless you're working for Balzaar now.

Improvements:

- Darius' armor, Al-Sahir's armor, and Bringer of Storms (broadsword) have unique icons.
- Nets now appear on affected characters' models.
- Rebalanced stats of unique weapons and armor.
- Balanced the number of nets found on traders.
- Balanced and added dialogue checks to improve flow
- Added more civil SP rewards.
- Tweaked armor and helmet crafting schematics.
- You can now craft Lorica Hamata (chainmail).
- Buying price now goes from 125 to 100 percent (before: 150 to 100).
- Antidote is available earlier, more levels.

Fixes:

- Fixed camera issue after asking the blacksmith to repair items.
- Critical strike to arms reduced dexterity instead of strength.
- Nets' effect doesn't stack anymore.
- Fixed most (hopefully all) coordinates issue and crashes in old and new Teron
- Fixed dialogue illustrations' issues in certain screen resolutions.
- Added armor damage chance to all weapons
- Added a proper conversation with Cado in MG Teron. Now all issues with repeating quests and teleporting should be fixed.
- Fixed issue with Aemolas and some merchants teleporting in new Teron versions.
- You can't attack Faelan while under his control anymore (when he forces you to fight your comrades).[/list]

What's left?

- the final location (the temple) and the associated endgame content
- the monastery's lower level, accessible via portals
- to be able to use the console at the tower of Zamedi and access the databanks
- negative reputation effects
- extra quest options, like infiltrating a tower instead of charging into the breach or being able to talk your way past the Aurelian soldiers
- extra quests like Lord Miltiades long awaited arrival to Ganezzar (only if you vouched for him and said that he's the noblest of men.
- extra flavor like the body of a certain 'god' being displayed for a few coins, minor conversations here and there, extra training, etc.[/list]

We'll save the temple for last and focus on everything else for now, improving and polishing the experience leading up to the temple.

Once again, thank you for your support and patience. We wouldn't have made it this far without you giving the game a chance.

May update - added Ganezzar, the ruins of Al-Akia, and Hangar



It took us almost 9 months of work to finish the third Chapter. Some of you have participated in the opt-in beta, so you know what to expect. For those who've been patiently waiting or just joining us, here is an overview:

- the third city and two related locations
- 20 new quests, 10 side-quests and situations, over 30 new NPCs
- new items (new uniques, artefact, new armor - lorica hamata, power armor with 4 different modes and 3 power levels)
- tons of system changes and various improvements
- helmet and shield crafting, various Crafting improvements
- improved balance, more skill points
- new achievements, updated journal pages
- improved combat feedback: attack tooltips and combat panel.
- optimization (the game should run much faster especially in the cities)
- proper endings

Due to the system changes, we *strongly* suggest to start a new game. You should be able to use your existing saves but they won't have all the scripts and changes.

Overall, 19 locations out of 22 are now available. We estimate that we'll need 3 months to finish the remaining locations (since none of them is a city).

What's left are the temple you were sent to find and two locations leading to it (dead river and hellgate). We'll start on Dead River tomorrow and keep you posted.

Since the beta is over, we're switching to monthly updates - expect the next update in early June.

As always, thank you for your support and patience.

Ganezzar beta - week 10

Almost there.

1. CONTENT

Here is the list of all currently available content for the 3 'beta' locations:

  • Ganezzar’s Faction questlines (HD, HA, HC, MG, AG, TG, IG)
  • Maadoran is destroyed scenario
  • House Aurelian is destroyed scenario

Ganezzar’s side quests and situations

  • Plague (unlocks Dead River)
  • Elias (unlocks 2 questlines)
  • Trader’s blackmail
  • Power armor quest
  • Zealots when you enter the city
  • If Arena champion – the fort
  • Hector’s quests
  • Darganus' quests

Ganezzar’s NPCs to talk to:

  • Philosopher
  • Preacher
  • Cartographer (quest-related)
  • Nobleman
  • MG clerk
  • Guard at the stairs
  • Local guide
  • Zealot near the pillar of skulls
  • Refugee
  • Mercenary
  • Annalist
  • Feng
  • The Second Acolyte
  • Zealot in the tavern
  • Amulet trader

Al-Akia

  • The ritual (need Meru)
  • First of the Magi’s Log
  • Administrator’s Log
  • Qantari Sword
  • Aegis (artefact)

Hangar:

  • Ship: need the jellyfish artefact and either the mantra or high Lore to pilot
  • Gunner’s log
  • Captain’s log
  • Ghost Hand (artefact, in case you couldn't get one at the pass)


All this content is in. Today's updated added another arena (the fort, only if you're the champion of Maadoran's arena, otherwise keep walking), Hector and Darganus' quests, honorary mention of your pal Miltiades, the annalist, the Second Acolyte (if there is the First Acolyte, why not the second?), Claudia - a charming country girl with the heart of gold and her own portrait, your old pal Feng, extended conversation with Varro about his motives, and probably something else.

What's still missing?

  • The final Hector/Darganus' quests.
  • Tower infiltration to open the gates (siege only).
  • Journal (we're half done but didn't have a chance to finish it).
  • Achievements


We should be able to do everything but the achievements in a week. If there are no issues with the existing content, we'll end the beta and release this content to Early Access.

2. VISUAL AND MISC IMPROVEMENTS

We added the long awaited Legatus' tent, some siege elements, improved Meru's throne room, added new houses and interiors.

We also added new portraits, several new items and new icons for the existing unique items.

3. SYSTEM CHANGES

  • Armor can be damaged in combat and repaired. Damaged armor has lower Damage Resistance. Take it to your local blacksmith for repair or repair it yourself with the magic of Crafting!
  • Hardened and Hardened Edge techniques no longer increase damage or DR. Never liked it, didn't have anything to replace them with. Until now! Now they increase armor's hardness (defense against damage to DR not your health) and weapon's hardness (chance to damage armor's DR)
  • But what about my damage? Not to worry, my good man, buy yourself a sharpening stone and go nuts. Keep in mind, the stones come from a mine up north and are somewhat of a rarity, so use them wisely.
  • Now you can craft helmets and shields! Aint that something?
  • Now you get up to 4 techniques (that's like twice as many!)
  • Changes to armor stats and block (lower penalties, higher DR to compensate for damage and removed Hardened technique); the Imperial Armor will turn you into a juggernaut.



* * *

Some pictures for the easily amused:


Claudia


Hector


Meru continues on his journey of self-discovery


Hammer creatively called That Which Kills, Darius' armor, one-handed spear (as requested) called Vindicator.

Ganezzar beta - week 7

This week's changelog:

  • Added a House Daratan quest if Maadoran or House Aurelian is destroyed and if you rejected Lord Meru's offer.
  • Added a conversation with Meru at the ruins of Al-Akia (when you enter the complex)
  • Added 'plague' side quest
  • Added an opportunity to blackmail one of the traders
  • Added the first quest in a longer branching side quest chain and corresponding characters - find Elias in one of Lowtown's buidlings to get the ball rolling
  • You can continue to Ganezzar from Maadoran's catacombs
  • Fixed a coordinate bug in the outpost near Teron when climbing the fence
  • Reduced armor penalties for blockers (cut in half)
  • STR is now the governing stat of Block (once again and in light of recent changes)
  • CON provides a small defensive bonus; we're considering a larger bonus to reduce armor's penalties (which makes sense)


The next update will be released by the end of the month. It will include:

  • visual improvements and art assets
  • new side quests, probably 4-5, maybe more
  • new characters to talk to (working on an annalist who can tell about House Crassus' origins as we speak)
  • extended conversations with the faction leaders (personal stories and such)
  • hopefully new portraits - Hector needs one
  • possibly a couple of items requested by the community: a custom short spear and a sledgehammer
  • journal entries


As always, we thank you for your support and patience.

Ganezzar beta - week 6

This week's changelog:

  • Added 'House Aurelian is ruined' scenario
  • Added two NPCs in Ganezzar (a philosopher and a preacher in the Temple district)
  • Added option to break the siege with the ship and a proper chapter ending
  • Fixed issues in 'Maadoran is destroyed' scenario
  • Combat AI changes - the enemies will target unprotected heads
  • Block changes aimed to support lightly armored blockers (wip):
    - Increased the base defense for block for each skill point from 10 to 15.
    - Block is affected by armor defense penalty.
    - Increased chance to fully block attacks.
    - Decreased dodge mobility bonus per tile.

We're almost done with the faction questlines. One last quest and we can start working on the side quests, the visuals, and the journal.

So roughly, we'll add that faction quest and some side quests next week, the remaining side quests the week after, the journal and possibly achievements by the end of the month.

As always, we thank you for your support and patience.

Ganezzar beta - week 5

This week's changelog:

  • Added 'Maadoran is destroyed' scenario that comes with several Mind Shield checks
  • Added two NPCs in Ganezzar (a nobleman and a MG clerk), presenting a slightly different reaction to the religious fanaticism
  • Added filler NPCs in the upper districts
  • Improved Al-Akia exploration (text, visual improvements, the Qantari quarter, etc)
  • Improved the combat AI


We started working on the combat AI. Step 1 - more regular and power attacks (before the enemies switched to fast attacks too eagerly, so now they will hit less often as their THC will go down but it would hurt more). Step 2 - aimed attacks, already working on our end, will be added in the next update. Step 3 - special attacks and alchemy.

Also, we're working on an exciting (well, I'm excited!) armor change. If all goes well (i.e. we test it and it would actually work well and not just on paper), you would be able to damage enemy's armor DR and since we're all about equal opportunities, the enemies would be able to damage your armor.

Anyway, for next week we're planning to add an option to break the siege using the ship, so get your saves ready. You'll need the jellyfish artefact (it's a must) and either the mantra from Antidas' treasure room or high lore.

'til next week!

Ganezzar beta - week 4

This week's changelog:

  • Added House Crassus questline
  • Added the ruins of Al-Akia (first pass, will be developed further in the upcoming updates)
  • Added two NPCs in Ganezzar (a guard and a local guide)
  • Added descriptions in Lowtown
  • Added several new Dodge animations
  • Fixed Critical Strike's bleeding effect
  • Minor interface improvements (new talk icon, fade on dialogue start, AoO/IA tooltips on tiles, etc)

Some notes:

  1. The issue causing NPC who should be gone or dead to return should be fixed or seems to be fixed. For now it's fixed in the beta only, so if you're playing the beta and run into this problem again, please post detailed reproduction steps.
  2. The fight involving Faelan (where he takes over some enemies and turn them into allies) is too easy at the moment. The difficulty will go up once we improve the combat AI (the next task for our programmer).

Plans for next week:

  • "Maadoran is destroyed" / "House Aurelian is ruined" questlines
  • Al-Akia exploration improvements
  • Visual improvements
  • More NPCs and text descriptions

That would complete the faction questlines and allow us to focus on Ganezzar's side quests and visuals.

Ganezzar beta - week 2

This week's changelog:

  • Added House Daratan questline
  • Added two NPCs (one shows up only when the city is under siege)
  • Removed the 'horse travel', now you can exit the city via the gate and use the world map to travel.
  • Fixed the combat loop in AG7
  • Added gunner's log in the Hangar location
  • Fixed infinite XP loop when talking to Gaelius after Zamedi
  • You can now travel to Ganezzar after killing Gaelius in the AG questline
  • Added a combat panel showing your Attack and Defense stats (it's pretty cool even if I do say so myself)
  • Hovering your mouse over the enemy shows the THC breakdown
  • More tooltips and minor improvements (like color-coordinated textbox)

In the next week's episode Lord Meru will join the Dark Side. Stay tuned.

Ganezzar beta - week 1

As I mentioned in the previous announcement, we’re planning to update the Beta on a weekly basis until the third chapter is completed, then we’ll go back to monthly updates until the game is out. So, week 1...

Week 1

  • Added the Aurelian Praetor questline
  • Added the ‘Hangar’ (to unlock talk to the cartographer Domitius sent you to)
  • Added the power armor quest (at the moment the quest is available to all regardless of whether or not you got the quest in Maadoran)
  • Added a new NPC near the ‘pillar of skulls’
  • Added tooltips for the attacks
  • Added traits descriptions
  • Fixed various scripting issues and bugs (antidote should be working as advertised now)
  • Fixed journal crashes (hopefully for good, but if you do get one, let us know and describe the steps to reproduce)
  • Added filler NPCs to Lowtown in Ganezzar
  • Made visual improvements
What to expect next week:
  • Daratan Praetor questline
  • *Possibly* Crassus Praetor questline (there is a lot of stuff there so we might push it to week 3)
  • new quests
  • new NPCs
  • Improved Ganezzar (art, filler NPCs, text descriptions)
  • Various design improvements and fixes
Power armor

It’s working but it’s still rough around the edges. There are 3 modes plus an optional 4th mode. Right click on the armor’s icon in the inventory to interact with it. Once it’s charged, you’ll be able to go through the different modes the same way you go through different attacks. There are no tooltips yet to explain what does what, but they are coming. Play with it (keep in mind it’s work in progress and the very first iteration of the armor), then post your thoughts and suggestions. As usual, we’ll go through them and improve the design with your help.

As always, thank you for your support.

Jan update - Ganezzar beta is out

The beta of the third ‘chapter’ is now available to anyone who has the game in their Steam library. To access the beta build, right click on the game in your Steam library, select Properties, click on Betas tab. If it’s set on “None - Opt out of all beta programs”, change it to Test – Private Testing Branch.

Enter the Access Code (‘blacksheepwall’), click on Check Code, and wait for Steam to download the files.

About this beta. It’s a 'work in progress' build with many rough edges. It's in the same state Teron and Maadoran were when we released them to the testers, so for us it's business as usual (except for releasing it to all Early Access’ patrons rather than to the closed beta testers). For people who just want to play the next chapter expecting a few odd bugs here and there, it might be not what they expected.

To remind you, we put the very first playable build on Dec 24. We spent the next 3 weeks improving it, testing, moving things around, tweaking, etc, so the chapter is in a much better shape, but at this stage it’s still about functionality rather than form.

It would take us at least 4-5 weeks to bring it to an ‘enjoyable’ level and another 2-3 weeks to get it to the same state as Teron and Maadoran.

What makes a game city a city? In AoD it’s:

  • Interconnected faction quests that are the foundation. They are the hardest, most time-consuming development aspect. Scripting them is a nightmare.

  • Side quests that aren’t connected to anything. They are isolated situations that fill the city with activities and random things to do. They are a pleasure to write and script and can be done in 2 weeks at most.

  • Static NPCs and visual touches that would make it *look* like a city

  • Things you can click on it and read descriptions or interact with.

So far we did a rough implementation of the faction quests, which means that the city is fairly empty and lifeless, which can be jarring. So if you want more, wait a few weeks.

Now that we did release something, we will update it on a weekly basis, improving the foundation, adding all the missing things, and making it an enjoyable and atmospheric location, so stay tuned.

December update - beta in January

Two days ago we put together the first playable build of the upcoming 3 locations (Ganezzar – the third city, the ruins of Al-Akia – the birthplace of the Gods, and the ‘hangar’ giving you access to your very own flying ship). As I mentioned earlier, we discussed whether or not release it now as a questionable New Year gift or sit on it for a couple of weeks.

In the end we decided to wait and push the update release to Jan 19, which gives us about 3 weeks of work. This date won’t be changed or pushed back, so consider it a promise.

It’s tempting to release it now for the sake of saying that we did release an update in Dec. After all, we’re still in Early Access and work-in-progress is the norm here (in fact, that's the idea). Still, I think that if we take some extra time to smooth over the rough edges, your experience will be a lot more enjoyable.

So, the silver lining here is that after 6 months of work we’re very, very close and almost ready to get this ball rolling. The third city was the last major hurdle to overcome and soon you’ll be able to play it.

* * *

Since I don’t have much to add here, I’ll entertain you with our design process. As I mentioned previously, towns are the hardest, most time-consuming locations because of the multiple interwoven questlines with double-crossing and multiple solutions. The amount of scripting that goes into it is huge and it takes a long time to sort it out.

So step 1 – I write the faction questlines. It takes a while. For Ganezzar we needed 4 guilds: the Imperial Guards, assassins, thieves, and merchants. Plus 3 praetors: a praetor serving House Daratan who did not ruin House Aurelian, a Daratan praetor who did, and a praetor serving House Aurelian (they all have different paths to follow). Plus the main quest and key side quests (like the power armor quest). Overall, that’s 24 quests right there. Usually, it takes about 3-4 days per quest. When the quests are written, I enter them into the database, do ‘basic’ scripting that allows us to run through dialogues, and pass them to Oscar who is our artist/designer.

While I’m busy writing, Oscar is busy putting locations together, while Nick, Ivan, and Mazin are working on programming tasks (for example, now Nick is working on the power armor, which is a very unique item that requires its own interface), extra animations, and 2D art (portraits, icons, the aforementioned interface, quick concept art, etc). It takes about 4-5 days to fully implement a quest, so overall that’s ((3-4)+(4-5)) x 24 = 168-216 days right there (5-7 months) just to do the basic implementation.

Step 2 – the first draft:

When we have the first drafts of both the locations and the quests, we put them together, add ‘advanced’ scripting (usually checking events and variables) that allows us to run through and jump between the questlines, and see what we got there.

Basically, there is a difference between quests ‘on paper’ and an in-game questlines. Sometimes the difference is minor and can be disregarded (i.e. ‘sure, it can be tweaked here and there but overall it’s ok’), sometimes it’s not and you have to go back to the drawing board.

So, after debating it back and forth we decided that everything looks good except for the merchant guild’s questline's flow. The first quest (technically, the 7th quest) was quite good but required being sent all over the place. It was moved to the House Crassus questline as it fits it better. The merchants’ quest in question had to be replaced which is one of the reasons for the delay to January. I finished writing it last night and it’s a fun quest which will require you to perform miracles and dabble in the mysterious arts of faith healing.

Step 3 – once the first draft is discussed and approved, we start building it up. The faction questlines are a solid foundation but it takes a lot more work to turn ‘a place where quests take place’ into a city with its own atmosphere. It needs:

  • side quests
  • flavor characters to talk to
  • ‘diaries’, messages, flavor text (various descriptions)
  • various intros and endings
  • expanded conversations with main characters
  • new quest options that become clear after you play through several times

Step 4 – balance, bugs, minor things like journal and reputation

So now we’re at Step 2. I don’t think we can jump to Step 3 in 3 weeks, but we can do quite a lot, which will make your experience more enjoyable. Overall, we did release the first two towns when we hit Step 2, so it's sort of business as usual but we released it as a beta to testers. Now we're about to release it directly to Early Access, hence the desire to ensure that we give you more rather than less.

Overall, for those who’re curious about our progress rate, we released the first 3 locations in March 2012 (which included a starting town). It took us 20 months to do another town plus 6 extra locations, which were released on Nov 2013. It took us 13 months to release 6 more locations, add different states for the starting town, and almost finish the third town. Another month and we’re there.

Thank you for your support, patience, understanding and encouragement.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Recent previews and impressions

RPG Codex:

"Where I think the non-combat and combat gameplay both have their foibles, this is where Age of Decadence truly shines. The writing is top notch. I found myself reading in great detail all of the stories from the storyteller, and all the related conversations. The descriptions of what was going on in the world were just fantastic, and the setting really feels fresh. There is an air of ambiguity to everything that is so refreshing in this age of “GATHER ARMY TO FIGHT DARK EVIL”-level of storytelling.

Additionally, the quests are designed to be radically different each time you play through them. You can choose to piss everyone off – and there are multiple ways to do that. Each character I play through feels like I’m just getting one piece of a larger story, and playing through the same area with a different character you can see different angles and how things can play out differently.

Vault Dweller has always been about choices and consequences, and this game tackles that in spades. It seems like every little thing you do will have some effect on the game world. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s massive – it’s always interesting, though. The way you treat people you meet, the decisions you make when deciding who to side with in conflicts – they all have long-term effects. Forget seeing all the content in one playthrough. Shit, forget seeing half the content in one playthrough. This is a game that will cut off quests as you go. But where a door closes, another one opens."

RPG Codex second preview

* * *

4Players.de:

"Das rundenbasierte Kampfsystem von The Age of Decadence folgt zwar auf den ersten Blick klassischen Regeln inklusive Aktionspunkten, Trefferabfragen und Lebenspunkten. Aber es ist trotz des ärgerlichen Fehlens physikalischer Deckungsabfragen angenehm komplex: Je nach Bewaffnung stehen einem zig Manöver zur Verfügung – nicht nur schnelle, normale oder schwere Hiebe, sondern auch Wirbelangriffe, Finten mit Positionstausch, lokale Attacken auf Arme, Beine oder Kopf sowie gezielte Stiche in Arterien, um für eine Blutung zu sorgen. Man kann Feinde zurückwerfen, entwaffnen, blocken, vergiften. Nach einem Rechtsklick auf eine der meist historisch belegten Waffen wie dem römischen Gladius oder dem ägyptische Sichelschwert Chepesch, erkennt man alle Manöver samt ihrer Kosten in Aktionspunkten."

4Players.de preview

* * *

IndieRPGs:

"So, what did I think? On first impression, the Age of Decadence is very much my speed: a deep, non-linear wRPG with lots of well-written dialog trees and choices that impact your play experience down the road. Your choice of character background determines how you start off the game, and has real effects on how other characters perceive you. AoD also features a fairly deep action point-based, turn-based combat system (one that I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to show off during the video, but which you can try for yourself in the game’s freely available demo)."

IndieRPGs preview

* * *

PC Guru magazine:

"Despite the fact that the Age of Decadence is unfinished, it has so much content, depth and unique gameplay elements that it is nothing less but a game that every fan of the genre must have in their library."

* * *

Game Star:

"Age of Decadence richtet sich an eine ganz genau Zielgruppe, und die kann sich das Oldschool-Rollenspiel bereits im Early Access-Zustand ohne schlechtes Gewissen zulegen. Das Spiel läuft rund, bietet schon jetzt einen enormen Umfang und kann auch spielmechanisch überzeugen. Die Kämpfe sind zwar bockeschwer, entwickeln aber einen unglaublichen Reiz, und man ist stolz wie Oskar, wenn ein harter Gegner endlich bezwungen auf dem Boden liegt.

Zudem kann ich die Facetten der Geschichte erleben, auf die ich grade Lust habe. Interessiert mich die Vergangenheit nicht? Dann lass ich sie links liegen. Rollenspielneulinge sollten sich aber erst einmal die öffentliche Beta anschauen, denn wer nicht gewillt ist in diesen Titel Zeit zu investieren, der bekommt auch nichts zurück."

Game Star preview

* * *

Pixel Related:

"Still under construction but available through Steam’s Early Access, The Age of Decadence strives to be the sort of RPG that changes the way you play the genre. Similar to the way that Dark Souls wowed gamers years ago by bringing difficult combat back into fashion, The Age of Decadence is making huge strides in creating a world so brutal that it’s impossible to be the knight in shining armor. It gives you something you’ve never experienced before, in a way that forces you to wake up, pay attention and adapt to the game world around you. I tried to resist the force of that change. But I’m glad I saved my game first, because as predicted, I died. Now, I encourage you to take on that same worthy and exhilarating challenge."

Pixel Related preview

* * *

Canard PC magazine:

"Comme dans la vie. The Age of Decadence est horriblement exigeant. Mais, il n’exige pas n’importe quoi. Il exige du joueur de la prudence et de l’humilité. Et une touche F5 en bon état, aussi, pour pou- voir quicksaver toutes les dix secondes. Que ce soit en matière de combat ou de dialogue, le bébé d’Iron Tower passe son temps à piéger le joueur, rendu naïf et ridiculement confiant par des années de RPG le plaçant dans le rôle d’un surhomme. Oh ! la possi- bilité de monter une arnaque à la sortie de la première taverne ? Ça doit être une quête facile. Paf, vous ratez votre skillcheck, une bonne occasion de faire de la thune et de booster vos compétences sociales. Ah ! Une jeune fille agressée par un bandit, un contre un c’est jouable. Pif, la meuf vous poignarde dans le dos tandis que le gros bras détourne votre attention. Je m’arrête là : ce jeu est un champ de mines qui, si vous avez du bol, vous entraînera au cimetière. Ou, pire, directement sur une voie de garage."

* * *

Core RPG:

"The Age of Decadence — игра, адресованная самым хардкорным фанатам жанра. Здесь нет эпических сражений с драконами, спасения галактик и секса со всем, что передвигается на двух ногах. Если вам нравятся длинные, великолепно прописанные диалоги, эксперименты с ролевыми механиками и выборы, заставляющие применять голову по прямому назначению — The Age of Decadence, без сомнений, можно приобретать прямо сейчас."

Core-RPG preview

* * *

Igromania:

"Задания, судя по тому, что мы имеем, обещают быть интересными. Очень много «разговорных» квестов, где хорошо подвешенный язык и соответствующие навыки (а также тугой кошелек) позволят разрешить ситуацию миром. Игра компенсирует недостаток красот атмосферными описаниями окружения и собеседников — подобное мы недавно видели в Shadowrun Returns или когда-то в Planescape: Torment. Читать и вникать в беседы — отдельное удовольствие, и за этот пункт беспокоиться не приходится.

Однако если за своими словами не следить или рискнуть сунуть нос куда не следует, дело дойдет до боя. Сражения здесь пошаговые, механика их напоминает оFallout, только с поправкой на эпоху. Они чрезвычайно непросты, и об этом игрока даже заранее предупредят. Если персонаж у вас сугубо мирный, его легко забьют и бросят на съедение крысам какие-нибудь отбросы из трущоб. Здоровье, очки действия и шанс попасть в цель очень сильно зависят от выбранного пути развития, и у интеллектуала и дипломата шансов выжить в бою почти нет."

Igromania preview

* * *

IGN Russia

"Первый воинский «билд» я абсолютно по-дилетантски запорол. Привычка «вкачивать» мордоворотам силу и телосложение сыграла со мной злую шутку: без приличного восприятия боец просто не попадал по врагам. Жалкое зрелище: вооруженного до зубов римлянина в металлических доспехах и с огромным щитом забили ножиками охламоны из подворотни. В The Age of Decadence щит исполняет не декоративную функцию: в пошаговых боях воины им честно отражают (а иногда и отводят) удары. Обычный мужик (или женщина) со щитом – это просто кусок мяса для большинства встречающихся тут противников (даже одиночек!), но умелый ветеран может выстоять даже против четырех подлецов разом.

Бесславно погибнув в подворотне, я взялся за ум и начал вчитываться в описания характеристик, навыков и параметров. Это заняло какое-то время – никто и не обещал, что будет просто, – но в итоге маленький городок был усеян телами моих врагов. В другой раз я создал классического дипломата: бонус к урону – минус (!) десять процентов. Зато высокий интеллект. Ту же самую главу я преодолел, ни разу не вынув меча из ножен (только зря его купил). Естественно, некоторые бои можно избежать лишь одним способом: не нарываться на неприятности. Подвешенный язык не гарантирует безопасность. Если вы видите в трущобах очень странных господ с копьями и кинжалами, то их, наверное, не стоит спрашивать о последних событиях в этом районе."

IGN Russia preview

 

 

October update - improvements, changes, and fixes

Our October update is a bit late but as you all know, better late than never is a principle we live by. The Steam build will be updated tonight - a bunch of tweaks and fixes, but no new content as Ganezzar remains our top and only priority at the moment.

So what’s taking so long, you ask?

A lot of scripting, which often takes time to figure out. It’s kind of like a puzzle. When you have tightly interwoven questlines, you often don’t have much room because what you can do in the remaining ‘quest space’ is limited by the events established by other questlines.

Usually we start with ‘broad strokes’.  We start with the siege mentioned at the end of your Maadoran adventures (if it wasn't mentioned then you arrive to Ganezzar before the siege or maybe even participate in the events that triggered it). Obviously, there should be two main outcomes: the city is taken vs the siege is broken, House Aurelian vs House Crassus.  Logically, the Imperial Guards will play the role of a ‘kingmaker’, whoever they side with wins. The thieves were tasked with helping House Aurelian, which makes sense (they use the tunnels for smuggling and thus best positioned to be able to find a way into the castle). The merchants will start in the pro-Meru camp but should be able to switch sides instantly. Plus they have the secret weapon – the Sellsword legion and, if you switched sides already, the Antidas-Carrinas alliance, which was created for this very opportunity to kick ass when least expected (a shaved knuckle, so to speak)

Meru will be actively trying to bring back the Gods (kinda now or never situation), the Aurelian and Daratan praetors will be scheming and plotting in a jamesbondian manner, giving knight-diplomats everywhere a bad name.

That’s the big picture but the devil is in the detail. Logically, each path should be ripe with double- and triple-crossing opportunities. What if you fail carrying out one of the thieves’ task and are caught and delivered to Meru? Failing is a logical outcome. The only question is what to do with you after, kill outright or let you live. If we let you live, you’re now working for Meru and your goal is to lead the army into an ambush, which is interesting because it gives Meru a chance to break the siege without relying on third parties and being in their debt. But if we let you talk to the thieves (instead of going straight to the ambush), you should have an option to tell them what Meru’s planning and do a triple-cross. Again, it’s logical, it’s not an option for the sake of options, most players won’t even see it as to trigger it you need to be playing as a thief and fail at a certain point, but it adds quite a lot and is a nice reward for those who do fail and discover a hidden branch.

Or let’s say that Paullus agrees to side with Meru and break the siege in exchange for ‘valuable considerations’. What if you tell him what Meru is really up to? How would he react and how it would affect everything else? What if you don't tell him? It's kinda cool to have a very different outcome just because you casually mentioned something.

Now, multiply it by several questlines and you’ll get some idea of what we’re dealing with. Plus the different ‘starting points’. If you’re playing a praetor, you can be a Daratan praetor who did the right thing and talked Serenas out of raiding the Slums, in which case the siege is on. Or you can be a praetor who helped Serenas to ‘step off a cliff’ and House Aurelian is no more. In which case, there is no siege and Meru’s free to do whatever he wants.

Anyway, after months of work (I think we started in May and worked through the summer and fall), we’re almost there. We’re aiming to release the first, admittedly rough version (like the first Maadoran build) in December.  Thank you for your support and patience. Since AoD isn’t and will never be a top seller, it’s fair to say that this game wouldn’t exist without people willing to support us and stand by us.

September update - improvements, changes, and fixes

First and foremost, we're still working on Ganezzar. It's coming along well but at a slower pace than we've anticipated. Too much work (as we didn't cut any corners and didn't shy away from any options or consequences), not enough hours in a day. We'll post some screens and concept art on our forums in a few days, so you're more than welcome to visit our forums and participate in design discussions.

As for this month's update, it fixes most issues in "new Teron", adds balance changes, expands some dialogues (for example, you can discuss the situation with Antidas when you return to Teron), and numerous tweaks and changes, adding flanking, mobility bonus, a new crafting techique, and god knows what else.

Fixes:

  • Fixed issue with Feng not being in Teron when you get back to town.
  • Fixed issues with Map travel in new Teron.
  • Fixed issue when talking to the healer in new Teron.
  • Fixed issue when talking to the undertaker in new Terons.
  • Fixed issue when talking to the storyteller in new Terons.
  • Fixed issue when talking to the innkeeper in new Terons.
  • Fixed issue when exploring the smithy's interior.
  • Fixed issue when exploring Feng's house.
  • The Arbiter is now properly recognized for critical strikes checks.
  • Fixed issue that sent you to Old Teron after the ending with the alliance between IG and Daratan.
  • Fixed issue that broke Paullus conversation when you arrived from Caer-Tor.
  • If you go to the camp after Teron has ended and you've never been there, the description of the raiders is no longer triggered.
  • Fixed issue that if you destroy the mine when everyone has been killed, you stay inside the mine.
  • Fixed coordinates issue with Tiberius cage.
  • Fixed issue with respawning deleted characters (for example, Hermon's Gang after being killed and bodies deleted).

Changes:

  • Added more kadura leaves to traders.
  • Poison damage changed from 5,6,7,8,9 to 3,5,7,9,11.
  • Increased potent poison extra damage from 2 to 3.
  • Poison now lasts on the weapon for 20 hits.
  • Displayed hidden INT check when entering the Abyss.
  • Reduced INT bonus by 5 overall. Now it goes from 0 to 30.
  • Showing the map to Domitius now gives you 5 SP (instead of 15).
  • Increased the price of the arena trader's unique item from 600 to 1200, and the trading check is increased from 4 to 5, lowering the price to 800.
  • Increased the price of the exotic trader's unique item from 300 to 600; the trading check lowers the price to 500.
  • Increased the price of the ordu trader's unique item from 200 to 400; the trading check lowers the price to 300.
  • Increased the price of the ranged weapons' trader's unique item from 250 to 500; the trading check lowers the price to 400.
  • Increased the price of the imperial weapons' trader's unique item from 500 to 1000; the trading check lowers the price to 900.
  • Increased the price of the shield trader's unique item from 200 to 400; the trading check lowers the price to 300.
  • Reduced combat SP from fights.
  • Constitution now gives a bonus to block (strength doesn't).
  • The balanced technique no longer lowers the weapon AP, but adds THC: 3 at level 2, 6 at level 4, 9 at level 6, 12 at level 8 and 15 at level 10.
  • Implemented serrated edge technique, increases CS: 3 at level 3, 6 at level 5, 9 at level 7, 12 at level 9 and 15 at level 10.
  • Implemented flanking, side hits give 5 extra THC/CS, back hits give 10 extra THC/CS.
  • Dodgers now get a "mobility bonus" of 3 points for each passable tile around them.
  • Armor sets have been rebalanced, increased dodge penalties for all armors, and lower CS defence for lighter armor.
  • Increase Bash success chance by 10.

Combat Balance:

  • Teron: raiders: There is one less raider, all raiders have 1 point more in attack and defence; Esbenus has a masterwork gladius, wounded raiders have 5 HP less.
  • Teron Bandits: Fight gives 5 combat points.
  • Mining Outpost: There is one less soldier, all soldiers have 1 point more in CS.
  • Mining Outpost: Fight gives 5 combat points outside and 4 inside.
  • Maadoran Gate: the thugs: Increased attack and defence by 1, increased CS from 1 to 5.
  • Basil: the thugs: Increased attack and defence by 1, increased CS from 2 to 5.
  • Quintus: the thugs: Increased attack and defence by 1, increased CS from 2 to 5.
  • Leon's Mercs: Increased attack and defence by 1.
  • Senna's Guards: Increased attack by 1.
  • Valla's Mercs: Increased attack, defence and CS by 2.
  • Lord Varus' sons: increased CS by 1.
  • Arena: Thief has 1 CS more.
  • Arena: Zealot has 1 CS more.
  • Arena: Isatis has 1 more attack and CS.
  • Arena: Yochan has 1 more attack and CS.
  • Arena: Raider has 1 more attack, defence and CS.
  • Arena: All barbari have 1 CS more.
  • Arena: Nicander has 1 more attack and 2 more CS.
  • Arena: Bendidoros has 1 more defense and 2 more CS.
  • Arena: Sarpedon has 1 more defense and 2 more CS.
  • Arena: Ordu warrior has 1 more CS, ordu archer has 2 more CS.
  • Arena: Butcher has 1 CS more.
  • Arena: Mack has 1 CS more.
  • Arena: All triarii have 1 attack more.
  • Arena: Al-Sahir has 1 CS more.

That's about it. Now, keep in mind that these changes aren't set in stone. We have an opportunity to try different things and see what works and what doesn't. If we went too far somewhere, we'll scale it back.

As always, your feedback is vital and much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

August update - back to Teron

Welcome to update # 8. It’s a big update that adds all kinds of things but very little new content, unfortunately.

1. You can return to Teron now. There isn’t much to do there yet as the unfinished quests have been resolved without you (thanks for nothing) and new content will be triggered by the events in Ganezzar, which hasn’t been released yet.

So much like Caer-Tor, the new Teron maps (there are two actually, one where the Imperial Guards took over, the other where House Daratan reigns supreme and the town is swarmed with mercenaries) are nothing but a foundation on which new content will be build.

Still, you can walk around, chat with people, admire Antidas’ grave, stop in front of crucified Miltiades, meet a mercenary captain who will replace Mercato if you had him killed, and report any bugs and consistency issues (people who should be dead being alive and kicking, etc).

2. We split the Teron map into 3 to improve performance. The old map included the mine and the raiders’ camp, which wasn’t the best way to handle it. Now Teron, the mine, and the camp are truly separate locations, which - in theory - can cause all kinds of issues but hopefully won’t.

We tweaked the mine location a bit, replacing the old tower with something equally Roman but more combat-friendly, plus made it easier to explore it outside of text adventure. Overall, there is less ‘teleporting’ now.

3. We tweaked Alchemy as per very helpful players’ suggestions

  • Added more reagents to Maadoran and Teron alchemists' inventories
  • Increased poison damage by 1 point for all levels.
  • Bombs and liquid fire no longer miss.
  • Bombs critical chance (knockdown effect) is now 50 - (victim's constitution - 6) x 15.
  • Alchemy level 9: Black Powder Bomb (Frag) has vsDR 5.
  • Alchemy level 10: Berserk potion homeostasis gives 3 DR and takes 5 HP at the end of the effect.
  • Alchemy level 10: Neurostimulant (Eagle Eye) gives 25 THC bonus.

4.Difficulty

As many of you noticed the difficulty takes a nosedive in Maadoran. One of the reason for that is that the metal bonuses greatly increase your offensive and defensive capabilities. Each metal adds 2 points. Whereas in Teron adding 2 points is a good bonus (and iron weapons are harder to find), it's relatively easy to buy high quality gear in Maadoran and increase your damage output and/or DR by 5-7 points, which is too much.

So, the no-name crafted items are removed from trader inventories (if you want them, invest in Crafting). Some of them have been replaced by much more expensive unique items. Coincidentally, each metal now adds only 1 point, so getting your hands on some blue steel will increase your damage/DR by 3 instead of 6.

We also tweaked some stats of unique items to make sure they are consistent with the overall balance.

5. A number of bug fixes and minor improvements.

* * *

As always, thank you for your continuous support and patronage. This update is a stepping stone toward a much larger update which will include 3 new locations, so your feedback and suggestions will be much appreciated.

July update - new characters and items

We're still working on Ganezzar, which is coming along nicely. I'd say we're half done now and the hardest part is behind us now. At this stage we have all the questlines and they flow, interweave, and arrive to logical conclusions quite nicely. They are more focused and interconnected and as a result there is a larger number of options and double-crossing opportunities.

Thus this update is also light on content as Ganezzar is a priority for us as we want to release it as soon as humanly possible.

So, what’s in this update?

  • 13 new Achievements
  • A new conversation with Lorenza
  • If you had a pickpocket encounter in Teron and decided to take Livia to Cado (thieves only option, obviously) instead of killing her or letting her go, you can meet her in Maadoran now and get a glimpse of the role she's going to play in Act 4 (endgame).
  • You asked for a good dagger and we listened. If you manage to save a trader upon arrival to Maadoran, he'll reward you with a nice custom jambia.
  • A new merchant in the Slums who can sell you an axe called Black Dow.
  • Added text explaining what happened if you leave the Monastery area without doing anything and return later when you're good and ready.
  • Added a text-based option to sneak into the vaults as well as the dialogue options depending on how you handled the raiders.
  • Fixed an older dialogue that wasn't triggered correctly - after talking to Old Azra and learning that she spent her youth in Maadoran, you can ask the street 'guide' about her.
  • Fixed a number of minor bugs including the critical strike issue in Aemolas' village

As always, thank you for your continuous support and patronage. If there is something you wish to see in the next update, be it specific items (that won't require new animations), different character types, or certain characters' viewpoints or past, let us know and we'll do our best to add them.

June update - new characters and various improvements

Right now our focus is on Ganezzar, Al-Akia, and the Hangar (aka Chapter 3, which should be released by the end of the summer). It’s a big chunk of content and we’re working 12-14 hours a day to deliver a quality chapter with a unique theme, atmosphere, and quests.

That’s why this month’s update is a bit light on content as we simply didn’t have time to add new locations or quests. So, what’s in this update?

  • 6 new characters to talk to

    We added a healer and an annalist to Caer-Tor. The healer can tell you more about the camp, the annalist can tell you about the history of the Imperial Guards and the demise of four Noble Houses.

    We added a youth and a guard to the Monastery. The youth can tell you about the lower, sealed chambers and what this place was before the war. The guard can offer his perspective on your visit and what it means for the locals (hint: nothing good).

    We also added an assassin and a farmer in Maadoran. The farmer can talk about, well, farming and dealing with the Commercium, the assassin is an intro character when you first come to the city and approach the guild.

  • Now you’re able to leave Caer-Tor after completing Paullus’ quest and explore other locations or return to Maadoran.

  • A number of bug fixes

    • AG4: Added an option to attack the beggar to avoid a progress lock if you don’t have a dagger, or money, or decent bodycount rep, or any points in Trading skill.
    • TG3: Fixed a Charisma check at the gate.
    • Maadoran: Changed Calvus’ text to reflect the actual amount of gold received.
    • Monastery: completing the quest by talking to the healer gives you skill points.
    • Monastery: Fighting your way through gives you skill points in addition to the satisfaction of the job well done.
    • Saross: Finding the hidden chamber showers with your skill points.
    • Arch: Now you get skill points for both having a pleasant conversation AND killing Esbenus and his merry bunch of slavers.
    • Inferiae: Escaping the tower with your life – yeah, you guessed it – gives you skill points.


  • Engine optimization to improve performance and loading time

  • Improved the collision system and building/floor system

  • The “journal crash” should be fixed (at least we fixed what we suspect was the issue there), if there are any other issues, they will be easier to pinpoint due to changes in the crash submission system.


As always, thank you for your continuous support and patronage.

May update - new location and improvements

New Location: Caer-Tor 

It’s the Imperial Guards’ headquarters and thus available only to the Guards after dealing with the Ordu. This isn’t a ‘single stop’ location and it will remain active (new quests and solutions to other quests) until the end of the game, so you’ll have reasons to revisit it later. 

At this stage, you’re still viewed with suspicion (on account of being associated with a rogue commander), so step 1 is to prove yourself once again. Should you succeed, you’ll become an agent of destruction who can be instantly disavowed and whose screw-ups or even involvement cab be blamed on said rogue commander. 

Characters of interest: 

Dux Paullus who rules supreme, Legatus Raenas who’s a bit too young but extremely loyal and not very bright, Legatus Carbo whom you’ve already met, three Centurions, and a Quartermaster with an exceptionally sunny outlook. 

Improvements and changes: 

  • You can now properly explore the chamber at the bottom of the Abyss (before it was done via the dialogue window). 
  • Added Snipe attack for the scoped crossbow – a high AP attack that removes the THC distance penalty (but adds a penalty for close combat attacks) and increases Critical Strike chance. 
  • Increased the effect of the regeneration potion to 4 HP per turn. 
  • Reduced Khopesh and Shamshir counter-attack bonus to 10. 
  • Increased the effect of hammers’ knockdown attack to 2 turns.

Fixes: 

  • Abyss: Fixed the SP loop on leaving without touching anything. 
  • Aemolas village: Fixed a critical strike issue when you kill a raider while sneaking. 
  • Aemolas village: Fixed the 'ghost NPC' issue when you kill the raiders via the sniping text adventure. 
  • Aemolas village: Fixed 'getting the gold twice' issue if you sneak in first and then kill everyone. 
  • Inferiae: Fixed the portal issue when you sneak inside, activate the portal and try to escape through it. 
  • Inferiae: Fixed 'combat not starting' bug when you sneak inside, activate the portal and then attack the demon. 
  • Zamedi: Fixed an ending slide error when you ran away from the demon and end the game.
  • Zamedi: Fixed 'escaping the tower' SP loop. 
  • Mountain Pass: Ramirus no longer sells infinite ghost hand gloves. 
  • Mountain Pass: Fixed 'questioning Ramirus' issue. 
  • Monastery: Now the villagers will go hostile if attacked after leaving the location and coming back. 
  • Misc: Fixed wrong tag showing merchant instead of grifter. 
  • Misc: Fixed wrong rank showing Legionary instead of Mind Shield. 
  • Weapons: Fixed an issue with hammers not getting the passive bonus increase. 
  • Weapons: Fixed an issue with swords and bows not getting the CS passive bonus. 
  • Weapons: Fixed the stats of the scoped crossbows.


As always, we’re very grateful to the Steam community for their support and willingness to try new things. We couldn't have made it this far without you, guys. 

April update - 5 new locations!

Welcome to update #4. It’s a ‘major’ update for us (and a big chunk of content, bringing the number of available locations to 15 out of 22) and we’d like to introduce it properly to make sure that the players won’t miss the new locations (which is easy to do since the game is non-linear). Without further ado: 

Aemolas’ village

This location is available only if you: 

  • Helped a group of refugees get into Teron 
  • Talked to Aemolas after and were deemed trustworthy enough (positive Word of Honor reputation) to be asked to retrieve his stash.

The village is full of raiders, but there are quite a few options there, including a rare opportunity to put your scoped crossbow to good use or have some double- and triple-crossing fun. Sorta like a menage a trois where everyone gets fucked but you. 

The Library of Saross

Available only if you talked to Abukar the Mad and learned about his trip to the Library. It’s an important location because: 

  • You finally get to use that sphere you found at the beginning of the game (IF you found it) 
  • You learn more information, provided you can get into the hidden chamber and translate the message 
  • You can unlock an optional and very creepy (but extremely rewarding) ending. Naturally, you don’t get that ending right away, but you unlock the path that can lead you to it. If you have the balls. 
  • Unlock the Arch and Inferiae locations.
The Arch

There are two ways to unlock it: the above-mention Library or faithful service to Lord Meru. Since the latter isn’t available yet, look for the clues at the library. So, what makes this location special and why should you care? 

  • You should. You really, really should. It’s that place where you wave Kansas good-bye. 
  • You will finally be able to use both the eye and the glove. How exciting. 
  • You will meet your old pal Esbenus. Unless you killed him, in which case you’ll miss out on a beautiful relationship. 
  • You will make new friends. Powerful friends. From the other side. 
  • You can unlock Inferiae in case you failed to do so at the Library.
Inferiae

It's a desert village sitting on top of a place of power. Points of interest: 

  • You’ll meet the very first character who’s actually been inside the temple you’re seeking (thus confirming that it does exist, among other things). 
  • Play your cards right and you’ll be thrown into the ‘underworld’, which unlocks a bumpy ride that will lead you all the way to the top (of one of Maadoran’s minarets). The Eye thing will come in handy there. 
  • You can unlock another location that will lead you to the temple. For obvious reasons this location isn’t included in this update. 
  • You can learn how to use one of those fancy semi-sphere consoles. 
  • You can learn more lore stuff and connect more dots.
The Monastery

You can unlock this location by becoming a repeat customer of the healer (heavy wounds only). Impressed by your badassery (or at least your ability to survive the most grievous of injuries), the healer will ask you to fetch an ancient elixir that will improve your self-esteem and cellular regeneration, whatever that is. 

Points of interest: 

  • Raiders 
  • Ancient mysteries and sacred liquids 
  • Chambers deep inside a mountain 
  • Huge doors that can’t be opened by mortal hands 
  • Moral choices (must have morals in the first place to qualify), otherwise just join the raiders and have yourself a lovely day, full of plundering and pillaging.

The next month’s update will add another location - Caer-Tor, the Imperial Guards’ headquarters, which will introduce Dux Paullus and unlock the path to yet another ending where the Guards becomes Templars – the guardians of the temple. 

The remaining 6 end-game locations will be released when the game is out. We’re aiming to start the final beta test in June and expect it to run for 2-3 months. We’ll continue to update and improve the Early Access build on a monthly basis, adding more content (characters, dialogues, items, etc) and general improvements. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

While your saves should work, we recommend starting a new game to avoid any scripting issues.

March update - new quests, characters, and improvements

Our third update is out, officially making it a pattern! What’s in it? All kinds of cool things! Step right up and take a look! 

Places to go, People to see, Things to get: 

  • Changed the area around the temple in the Slums to make it look like a busy little bazaar. We added a new, rather colorful character who greets you when you enter this square and introduces the area. 
  • Added another character and his followers near the tower of Zamedi. He will provide a fresh perspective on the tower and share valuable insights with you. 
  • Added a new artefact (a mechanical eye). You can acquire it and, in the best traditions of the Planescape Torment, swap it for one of your own. The eye doesn’t shoot lasers (would be totally cool if you did though), but it can see into other planes, which makes it a rather useful thing to have ... in your eye socket. 
  • The hammer crowd complained that they don’t have a cool hammer, so we gave them … *drumroll* … the Perforator! It’s a handy spiked hammer with a unique icon. 
  • 3 journal pages (not the entire journal yet, but it’s a good start). Now in addition to Quests and Techniques, you get Lore (to collect what you learned from different people in one place), Items for all the Artefacts you managed to get your hands on, and Characters to keep track of people you double- and triple-crossed. The Characters page has only the portrait and the intro text for each character; the effect of your actions will be added in the upcoming updates. Overall, you get 17 Lore entries, 29 character entries, and 15 Artefact entries. There will be a lot more in the full game, obviously. 
  • Added several rare alchemy components in the tower’s library. 
Quest Improvements: 
  • The trial-by-combat is now more customer-oriented. You will be offered a crappy weapon of your choice and even a shield! 
  • Now you can fight Hamza in MG5 if you decide to go to the meeting alone. Aso, you can convince Strabos to tell you what he knows without having to fight Hamza in IG4. You can thank Brandon and his 'smart soldier' and 'tough trader' characters for this suggestion.
  • Now you can handle TG5 peacefully by paying the assassins crew a visit and discussing the situation with them, which means that now you can play the entire thieves questline without having to fight.
  • Now you can get the key to the tower of Zamedi as a Daratan praetor and thief (not only as a Gaelius’ faithful servant), which should make the game more open. We’ll extend this option to the assassins in the upcoming updates. 
General Improvements: 
  • The scroll in Feng's house increases Lore to level 2. If you have 2 or more, you get 5 non-combat skill points instead.
  • The scroll in Antidas’ palace increases Etiquette to level 2. If you have 2 or more, you get 5 non-combat skill points instead.
  • The workbench in the blacksmith house increases Crafting to level 2. If you have 2 or more, you get 5 non-combat points.
  • Coltan either teaches you some Alchemy increasing it to level 2 or gives you a bunch of reagents plus a bottle of liquid fire, if you skill is 2 or more.
  • In Belios house in Teron you get a couple of quicksilver roots instead of a flat Alchemy increase.
  • The amount of money you can give to Reggie has been reduced to reflect the adjusted economy.
  • Added money and reputation rewards for the Arena fights and rebalanced SP gains.
  • Infiltrating the palace now awards some SP.
  • Fixed miscellaneous issues, dialogue loops, camera angles, icons, and such.

Keep in mind that while your save games are still compatible, some changes won’t take any effect until you restart the game. 

As always, we’re very grateful to the Steam community for their support and willingness to try new things. So far, we’re on track for the next month update which should include 5 new locations. We did 2 locations in February and should be able to do the remaining 3 in March. Stay tuned! 

January update - achievements, new characters & quests

Our second update just went live and we’d like to thank you for your support and feedback, which helps us improve and refine the game. 

While we have our own milestones, we’ll continue to release monthly updates based on the feedback we receive. For example, the initial feedback was: 

  • need a tutorial to learn the system without having to restart the game all the time 
  • need more info on the character screen to understand the system better 
  • need more traders in Maadoran and better inventories 
  • more alchemical ingredients

So, that's what we added in the first update. The second main request is more content for Maadoran. Namely, more quests (especially non-combat quests for loremasters, thieves, and grifters) and more characters to talk to in general. In fact, more characters to talk to (and more worldbuilding) is request #1. 

So Update #2 adds: 

  • 65 Achievements to track your progress and playstyles. 
  • 3 characters you can talk to (a storyteller in the local inn – his story is related to what Cassius tells you in Teron, if you escort him to the palace; a beggar (near the entrance to the Slums) who served Antidas during his war with House Aurelian, and a clerk working for one of the caravan masters in the Gate district). 
  • A small adventure for loremasters and explorers of long-forgotten places; to initiate, enter the Slums and talk to the man standing near a well to the left of the entrance. 
  • An arrival of a caravan (an intro quest; just walk towards the arena when you enter the city)
  • A quest revolving around a gem surprisingly similar to the one Feng tries to sell you. To initiate, talk to the owner of the rug store in the Trade district. 
  • 2 unique weapons we didn't have time to do before; explore the lower level of the tower of Zamedi to get this ball rolling (disclaimer: crafting skill required). 
  • Training with Kemnebi and Erebus. 
  • Increased carry weight (you’re welcome). 
  • Historically accurate “wolf” helmet and capes – generous contribution from Lexx, one of the community members 
  • Bug fixes, balance fixes, reputation tweaks, quest reward tweaks (money and skill points), etc.

Enjoy the game. 

December update - tutorial, gui changes, improvements

First of all, we want to thank you for your support, for giving the game a chance and not giving up after dying in the first fight. Means a lot to us.

We're going to update the game regularly, adding more quests and quest solutions, characters, items, techniques, locations, and improving the overall design and visuals, so stay tuned for more updates.

The launch highlighted many issues and generated a lot of feedback, so we spent the last 4 weeks working on the first update. Notable changes:

  • A long overdue tutorial. Now you can fight in a mini-arena against several opponents before you start the game, which will make it easier for new players to learn the system, without the story elements getting in the way and the need to make a new character every time you’re killed. It replaces the awesome difficulty mode, which wasn’t really that awesome or helpful.
  • A new and improved character screen! Now with 50% more info! Must see to believe!
  • 6 new traders in Maadoran with improved inventories and unique items to spend your hard-earned money on.
  • Speaking of your hard-earned money, the economic reforms aimed to deliver prosperity have failed and wiped out everyone’s savings. So, no more running around with pockets full of gold. A free soup kitchen DLC will be added later.
  • A truckload of bug fixes, balance tweaks, reputation adjustments, quest improvements. For example, now you can talk your way out of the ambush in the merchants guild’s questline, have more options during the infiltration of Gaelius’ palace, options during the fight at the Antidas’ compound , Antidas dying now lowers the morale of the Daratan guards, reducing their attack and defense.
  • More training. Earning more skill points and weapon bonuses has never been easier. Just talk to many ever-helpful NPCs (like Dellar and Feng) and they will gladly impart their wisdom unto you (may require high reputation and charisma, terms and conditions may apply).
  • The crafting techniques you have now will no longer have to be acquired in-game as we don’t want you to invest valuable points into Crafting and then fail to find more than 2-3 techniques. New, appropriately rare techniques will be added instead. So, you keep what you have now as your standard set of techniques and get rare techniques if you’re lucky.
  • We’ve started adding alchemical ingredients that you will be able to gather at different places. The demo alchemist will stick around until we finish it.
  • The game now features a built-in crash reporting system. Send us a crash report, and we will know when, how, and how the hell your game crashed!

For a complete and detailed list of changes, check here: Update 1 Changelog

Also, we’re working on Achievements (will be added in the next update). The first batch is 65 achievements tracking your adventures and glory, but we’ll probably have around 120-150 due to the high number of different things you can do in-game.

Sneak preview:

  • Interrogator
  • On His Lordship’s Secret Service
  • "Good Morrow to You, Magistrate!"
  • Under New Management
  • “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger... And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you."
  • Killed more people than malaria (for men of much violence and fans of Justified)
  • "Is life always this hard?"

Achievements Icons Preview

Well, that’s about it. So, go try the updated demo and EA and let us know what you think. Thank you again for your support. We would have never made it this far without you.

Now Available on Steam Early Access - The Age of Decadence

The Age of Decadence is Now Available on Steam Early Access!

The Age of Decadence is an isometric, turn-based, single-player role-playing game set in a low magic, post-apocalyptic fantasy world, inspired by the fall of the Roman Empire. The game features a detailed skill-based character system, multiple skill-based ways to handle quests, choices & consequences, and extensive dialogue trees.

Traditionally, many fantasy RPGs are about killing things, clearing up dungeons, and being a hero. Now, there is nothing wrong with mindless fun and wish fulfillment, but we serve a different meal here. Quoting from one of the reviews:

“Well, if you want a hardcore, heavy metal roleplaying experience that challenges you, this is the ticket. Otherwise, take a pass. The game is vicious, both in its lack of morality and its merciless systems. If you want to be the hero of a story, run and don’t look back. If you want to be Attia of the Julii or be a power player, this is your RPG.”

The focus of the game is not on killing monsters, but rather on dealing with fellow humans and factions, trying to survive – easier said than done – and making a name for yourself. Naturally, to accommodate all that scheming, plotting, and backstabbing, we give the player plenty of choices, from multiple solutions to quests to different paths you can take through the game. You (and your actions) will determine who your friends and enemies are. There are no default good and bad guys.

Steam