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Age of Decadence August Update
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 2 September 2013, 17:10:22Tags: Age of Decadence; Iron Tower Studios; Vault Dweller
There was no Age of Decadence update last month, due to Vault Dweller and his team being too busy changing stuff around for the game's R4 mechanics revision. This month's update is a report on the game's current state:
Before we get to the impressions, let me explain the state of the game to you first. When we decided to tweak a few things and add a few attacks, we couldn't add them to the existing system and Nick had to rewrite it from scratch, vastly improving the code and the overall system (less stuff hardcoded, more stuff open to scripts to play with). So, the framework is solid, but there are a lot of minor issues due to the volume of work required to put everything back together and lack of time as Nick had to focus exclusively on the DS demo to deliver it in time for PAX.
Same goes for the scripting issues and characters still standing here and there when they shouldn't. All this stuff is easy to fix once you know where to look and will be fixed within a week or so. We could have delayed the testing by another 2 weeks, but I figured that we had enough to start and get the ball rolling.
Last but not the least are minor visual issues, but we should be able to fix them in 2-3 weeks.
I asked the testers not to sugarcoat anything (no reason to lie and pretend that the game is better than it is, since 800+ people will get their hands on it sooner rather than later). Keep in mind that the current focus is on combat issues, so the testers are given pre-set characters with high stats and a truckload of SP to ensure that they fight more and die less.
This is followed by the impressions of the game's playtesters. Here's one of them, by Vahhabyte:
Correspondingly, the number of opportunities and quest solutions grew geometrically, even at the current beta stage of development Maadoran is full of action, boiling with both hidden and shown subplots and intrigues carried out by ambitious NPCs with elaborated deep personalities and realistic motives.
Teron was like a kids playground, a hatchery in which the PC matured to become a provincial celebrity, in Maadoran you're starting as an almost-nobody again, as a disposable stranger to serve as a pawn in this time really epic games, ruthless and large-scale ones. One single action into which you are drawn can lead to immediate and dramatic consequences for a faction, at that you still benefit nothing from that, being merely a pawn. Being a pawn you can shift sides of the board, but at both sides you're still treated as a pawn, even if your mission is connected with vital matters, like whether Maadoran should prosper, united under one reign (which clearly implies ridding of the treacherous competitors) or lie in ruins, raided by ravenous nomads.
Becoming a queen is hard and for sure it requires more than just high body count and damage per turn, which often could work out in Teron. Maadoran is more intricate, its civilized ('nothing personal, it's only a matter of job') ways of conflicting are often more exquisitely deceitful and bloodthirsty than the blunt clashes in Teron.
The scale of opportunities in Maadoran is epic, sometimes you can feel the presence of the ancient magi, through their mysterious artifacts or war, and just like in Teron they merely tease you, posing more questions than giving answers.
Reaching these mysterious depths of lore is, again, optional, instead one can concentrate on fooling, using or killing people, progressing with one's career with a faction and expanding one's set of opportunities, status, gold reserves and masterwork weaponry arsenal.
The fights in Maadoran are very many, at this point I cannot estimate their overall difficulty due to the beta's limitations, but since the blood and sweat covered Arena from the combat demo is back along with its 'three peaks of difficulty', and elsewhere in the city you're normally attacked by no less than 3 (up to 7!) iron-wielding skilled fighters, many combat encounters will require smart investment of every single SP you got and tricky tactics; many battles will definitely leave you with 1-10 HP left. Besides, so far I've seen no allies who would join you to save your ass in Maadoran.
And, as usually, all these fights, except for the Arena path of the champion will be optional, all situations resolvable or avoidable in peaceful ways, provided you got the necessary skills or reputations.
Just like in the case of Teron it may take only a couple of weeks to explore 1-2 paths of accomplishing a faction's set of quests with good outcomes, but exploring the most interesting (and rewarding) solutions [like raiders leader's story in Teron] and discovering all special exciting opportunities [like Feng's legend in Teron] will require much more time and flexibility in your playstyle.
Sounds pretty awesome. As you may know, the city of Maadoran will be featured in AoD's upcoming pre-order exclusive beta release. Pre-order here if you'd like to check it out.