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

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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

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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

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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."

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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

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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

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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."

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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