Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Incline Eyestabber is the luckiest guy on earth [Ironman game]

Discussion in 'Iron Tower Studio' started by Eyestabber, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Make America Great Again Eyestabbergender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    There you have it, folks. I got lucky on EVERY SINGLE FIGHT, can you believe that!? RNG must really love me! :happytrollboy:

    Seriously now...

    This video is definitive proof that proper character building can and WILL succeed every time. Ofc, you don't really have to go crazy like I did, with an uncut ironman game just to prove a point. I believe giving yourself something like 2 reloads per city is pretty "fair", if you consider that getting insanely unlucky is not that hard.

    My build was nothing surprising, it was centered around the 4 skills that are, IMO, the best combat skills in the game, namely: Axe, Dodge, Crafting and Alchemy. I went full combat with stats: 10-9-9-4-4-4. I started going with 10-10-8-4-4-4, but I realized 11 AP armors are simply much better than their 12 AP counterparts. The 1 extra AP isn't really worth it.

    And now that my game is finally up, I wanna share some thoughts on AoD's combat system.

    About combat in general

    I LIKE the combat system. For a game that is supposedly "not about killing people", AoD sure boasts a pretty strong and fun combat system (once you use the oh-so-important $pref::Video::animationSpeed = "4" console command). The people insisting that the system is simply about whacking the guy in front of you and praying for a merciful RNG simply never bothered to explore all the options the game gives you.

    There are tons of different and fun things you can set out to do in AoD. Cleaving people with an axe, like I do in the video, is pretty straightforward and effective. You can also grab a spear and kite everyone to death. Crossbows and liquid fire? They are a hybrid's best friend. Bombs? I had tons of fun during a playthrough on which I maxed out alchemy before Haran's Pass, winning that fight simply by spamming bombs while my allies enjoyed 100% THC against every single Ordu warrior. I saw Shadenuat posting about killing Agatoth with throwing knives, gotta try that too.

    The bottom line is: there is a LOT you can do in AoD combat. It may not be as rich as say D:OS (because it's a low/no-magic setting), but it sure as hell is richer than Fallout.

    About RNG "lolrandom"

    RNG was there from the very beginning, playing a part on every single RPG in the history of forever. AoD got singled out because, for the first time in a long, LONG time, the odds are stacked AGAINST you. You're usually outnumbered, your enemies have a lot more dice rolls than you do. And that's when bad things happen. I should know.

    I lost one of my ironman runs because Dellar scored two criticals in a row against my guy, dropping him from 55 to 15 hp in a single turn. What did I do wrong? Nothing, really. I simply won the RNG lottery in that fight. I could've given up right there since I had "proof" that RNG can screw you. In fact, I was really pissed off when it happened. But then I cooled down and realized that none of that would've happened if I never tried to tank Dellar in the first place. Next Kingslayer fight I used bolas against Dellar. Success. By the way, the playthrough on which Dellar fucked my game was the last failed attempt at recording this video.

    So, yeah, RNG gonna RNG. If you wanna preserve your sanity, I suggest saving regularly and reloading when your 75% THC attack against Dellar misses 5 times in a row. But here is the thing: you can ALWAYS avoid the RNG lottery. Dellar can't crit you if he is attacking your ally, or if he is immobilized, or if you're attacking him from outside his range (diagonals FTW!). As I said, there is a LOT you can do in AoD combat.

    Personally, I admire the resolve involved in sticking to a TRUE RNG system. VD could've saved himself some pain and criticism by either adopting a pseudo-random algorithm instead of a truly random one OR simply by making the game a bit easier. None of those things happened and I applaud the AoD team for not caving to pressure and sticking to their guns.

    About BALANCE (yes, really)

    "Balance" is an ugly word here in the Codex. This forum is full of people who believe Josh Sawyer invented the notion of balance. Not only are they WRONG, they are also giving that hack a credit he doesn't deserve. Balance has been an important consideration in every game you've ever played. It should be noted that balance should NEVER be the "end goal" of game development, but it IS an important thing to consider.

    AoD is VERY well balanced. I know I said dodge >>>> block and the character in my video is obviously a dodger. But from what little I messed around with blocking, I noticed IMMEDIATELY that bows and crossbows are no longer the WMD I always considered them to be. I think AoD's balance feels good because they clearly chose asymmetrical balance of going for that same-ish symmetrical bullshit. Axes and swords in AoD are more like apples and oranges rather than green apples and red apples.

    Weapons in AoD aren't meant to be just a cosmetic consideration, each and every one of them brings a passive to the table and every single one of these passives gets to shine in a particular situation. THAT is how RPG balance should be done. There are no "trap" options in AoD, but that doesn't mean you can't make wrong choices. Learning from your mistakes is part of the fun in AoD.

    When you compare AoD to PoE the difference of "balance philosophies" becomes obvious. In PoE you have tons of different weapons, but they all end up doing the exact same thing. Weapons from different classes have the same damage and speed factor. In the end, the "choice" boils down to choosing whatever you think looks best. In AoD weapons from the same AP cost have the same damage, but different stats and completely different passives and move sets.

    Choosing between Axe and Sword is not about deciding which looks best, but rather whether you want a STR or a DEX based weapon and whether your fighting strategy relies on direct damage or DoT. And after that, you have to decide if you're going for one handed + consumables or two-handed. One handed? OK. 4 or 5 AP? Regular attacks to the body or aimed arterial strikes? CS or no CS? Decisions, decisions! And every single one of them MATTERS. A lot.

    And then you add crafting, alchemy, nets, and bolas to the mix. Crafting and alchemy are amazingly good. They reward the player's investment properly. There is nothing worse than investing a lot of time and effort into a skill (say, Crafting 10) only to realize "WOW, my legendary blacksmith guy can make a sword that deals 10% more damage than a regular sword! 10%!!!! Thanks Obama!". That's not how AoD works.

    When you invest on something in AoD, you WILL get your investment's worth. A regular iron gladius deals 8-13 damage for 4 AP at maximum STR. At minimum STR? 5-7. A maxed out DEX character has 12 AP, while minimum DEX investment results in 6 AP. Maximum CON gives you 60 HP, while 4 CON gives you 30 HP. Every character building decision MATTER. Every investment pays off.

    The end result of all that is a HUGE discrepancy between a good player and a bad one. A good player will consistently choose correctly, and in the end...well...just look at how my guy Maximus Murderus one shots Crassus Legionaires near the end of the video. A bad player will choose poorly, resulting in 1/5 game reviews by butthurt morons, who complain about getting killed too fast while their defensive skills all rest neatly at skill level ONE (yeah, there is a review like that).

    Final Words

    I really enjoyed AoD. I have more than 200 hours of gameplay and I really need to get around to writing a review in the lines of "the game is not that hard, you're just dumb". Someone gotta counter those butthurt Frenchies... :lol:

    As for the video, I uploaded full HD footage. It took literally four days to upload (1mb upload FTL :negative:) and it's also taking some time for youtube to process and publish the 1080p version of the video. But I hope full HD will be available in another 24 hours or so. I'll be adding some timestamps later this week, for people interested in "that one fight against X that is REALLY hard and impossible to beat without LUCK".

    Well, I hope you guys enjoy the video! :P

    Vault Dweller hivemind The Brazilian Slaughter Irenaeus II LF_Incline Commissar Draco
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
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  2. tgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Dude. This. Wow.
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Ellefgender: ⚧ Deplorable

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    Will have to finish my Merc playthrough first before seeing how much easier you did it. Mad effort though :salute:
     
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  4. Make America Great Again Eyestabbergender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    Wait until you get to the Glabrio fight, right after one of the thieves hits my guy with bolas and everyone starts whacking me for free damage and my HP drops to fucking 12. You can almost FEEL the tears of desperation on my end. That eagle eye neurostim and that liquid fire vial were THE most tense moments in the video, probably one of THE most tense moments in my entire gaming career. You'll notice that I stand still for a while right after the bolas rape, considering my options (and swallowing TEARS...). But in the end, fucking Glabrio and his buddies ALL got one shot by my axe's fast attack. My build was THAT stronk. :martini:
     
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  5. Vault Dwellergender: ⚧ Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    :salute:
     
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  6. tgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    t
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    I'm at the 1:30 mark right now. Doesn't really look like there wil be any problems ahead, but if you say so... :)
     
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  7. Irenaeus IIgender: ⚧ Unwanted Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

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  8. Cthulhu_is_lovegender: ⚧ Savant

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    When i grow up i want to be like you. (or a fireman).
    :hero:
     
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  9. valcikgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I believe that Eyestabber should be renamed to Bonebreaker now.

    Don't worry, this game can defend itself without any trouble. The more characters I tried, the more I'm addicted!
     
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  10. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    I mean, this is obvious to anybody who actually tried a full combat build.

    The issue is that for decades we've all been conditioned to play hybrid, and AoD does very poor job at sending the message that things are different. It should make it crystal clear to new players that hybrid is essentially advanced-mode. I get the whole no-hand-holding philosophy, but I think in this case the game is tryharding to be too hardcore for its own good.

    Impressive job, in any case :)
     
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  11. Tigranesgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    That post is a Great Post, my good fellow. I will only add: we love RNG when we can use it to achieve unlikely victories. We love fucking over the enemy with RNG. It is another unique achievement by AOD that it teaches you what it feels like to be on the wrong end... without any cheating or unfair rules.

    I will watch the video, even though this probably means I'll put work away and start an ironman game...
     
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  12. Make America Great Again Eyestabbergender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    As soon as the next update is released I'll attempt another ironman game, this time as Dagger/Dodge/CS assassin. I believe it will be easier since the Boatmen can skip most of their fights with high enough CS. But it will be a great video to showcase how critical strikes work in this game. We'll see!

    Well...yes. But between going "EUREKA, THAT'S THE BUILD AND ROUTE FOR AN IRONMAN GAME!!!!" and actually recording the video, an entire week passed. Once you get it all right, the biggest challenge is to REMEMBER everything you're supposed to remember. Forgetting to see Miltiades after his ambush in Teron, for example, ruins his questline. Forgetting to go to the gate and pay Aemolas' entrance fee ruins his questline. And so on.


    SIDE NOTE: why isn't my video's HD and Full HD versions available yet? Should I be concerned? :roll:
     
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  13. Make America Great Again Eyestabbergender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    NICE! 720p is already available!

    I'm guessing 1080p is next...

    Oh yeah: 38:00

    >Dellar is immobilized.
    >Chugs berserker potion
    > 95% THC. YOU GOING DOWN, MAN!
    >...and miss!

    :0-13:

    Such luck, much RNG wow!

    Agatoth too: Couldn't miss bolas at a BETTER opportunity! xD
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
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  14. Goralgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    Nicely done :salute:. There should be custom achievement for people like you.

    I find it funny that people will still say that you got lucky + you had a pure build and knew the game and it would be impossible with a different build. And there are people who can't pass the training fights...

    Anyway, any negative review saying that combat is impossible unless you're lucky should be changed to positive with the link to your video.
     
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  15. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    That's why I never understood why people bitched so much about jamming in WL2. It was hilarious when it happened to NPCs.

    Of course, I wasn't trying to imply that it was easy thing to do :)
     
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  16. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughtergender: ⚧ Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    This is a fantastic topic, Eyestabber!

    Pretty much what I think.
    Sure you can play as someone who just wacks the enemy in front and prays to the merciful RNG, and even win, but that a) boring and b) Only works for ultra-concentrated combat characters, try doing this as a hybrid on a combat-full guild and you will get rekt. Some fights (I'm thinking Slums Ambush, Windowmaker, Zamedi Demon, Agathoth) will destroy anyone who thinks he can just beat the game by knowing how to left click. I beat the Windowmaker at 2 HP because I perceived almost too late that my usual hoplite tactics didn't work on Windowmaker, so I switched to my standby block tactic - Aim:Legs, kite, Aim:Head, because Windowmaker has no defensive skills. Had to thrown a bomb to slow him down. I pretty much won by stabbing his head until his brain turned into mush before he turned me into mush.

    Any limitations in the combat system are because its a single-character system, not party-based. The team fights in the game do contain a fun foreshadow of how party combat would work in AoD.

    About Fallout vs AoD comparisons:

    Yes, the combat system is definitively superior to Fallout. I think its exactly because its not a game about killing people that the killing people part is so good - if the player can become a man-god in the middle of the game and kill entire towns, then there's no point in NOT killing people, therefore non-combat gameplay is just a waste of time.
    Fallout 1/2 suffer a lot from that aspect, which I consider a problem of increasing HP making the player go from loser to average warrior to demi-god who has a big enough HP bar to take a sniper rifle shot to the head and survive. Crits are pretty much the only thing keeping the player from being a God the moment he gets Power Armor.

    (I do wonder if AoD's combat is better because its easier to balance than Fallout, tho. Is it easier to balance melee-based late antiquity combat or sci-fi firearms-based post-apoc fighting?)
    To be fair to Fallout, I have a feeling the combat system suffered due to the change from GURPS to SPECIAL. May have been a design issue tho - Tim Cain adopted Turn-Based because he liked X-COM. Still, considering Arcanum, I have a feeling Tim Cain could't design good combat to save his life.
    Fallout is sorta the watermark of CRPG combat - its good for what it is (was) at the time, but aping Fallout combat almost twenty years later just out of "lol its like Fallout" would be ridiculous. This is important later on, watch this post.

    I think the big victory of AoD is that it helps destroy the "Good Story/Exploration OR good combat" paradigm of yore. We know much more about what makes good RPG combat than in 1998, why not apply that? Remember when hybrid TB/RT combat was considered a good idea and possible way to appease everyone? Well, certain games (Arcanum, X-COM Apocalypse, Fallout Tactics...) helped us bury that notion. Today hybrid TB/RT combat is considered one of the greatest heresies - you either design for TB or RT, both will get diluted if they go together.


    I agree.
    Returning to Fallout 1/2: The games are great, but they suffer from horrible balance.
    Autistic examples in spoiler:
    FO1:
    Show Spoiler
    - Lasers are almost useless because Metal/Combat/Power Armor have immense laser resistance. FO1 endgame you're fighting against many dudes in metal armor or Super Mutants and their resistances are either Metal or Combat equivalent, that means only a good char build with laser can even hurt them, when it comes to energy, Turbo Plasma or Alien Blaster is the way to go. On your side, because of the immense laser resistances, a good part of the Super Mutant enemies are pretty much harmless once you get Metal Armor, and with Power Armor they pretty much don't exist. Deathclaws could get you with crits. Heck, THE MASTER, who is supposed to be a hard final boss fight, uses lasers and becomes nearly useless because of it. The Nightkin that spawn on the corridor of Revulsion are way more dangerous. Considering like 1/4 or 1/3 of Super Mutants use lasers, it seems lasers were meant to be stronger.
    - (hardened) Power Armor is a little TOO good on the original. Lasers? Lolwhocares. Miniguns? Lolwhocares. The only things that threaten you at the end game are plasma rifles, rockets and flamers. In FO2 Hardened PA is still great but between gauss, Avengers/Vindicators, pulse weapons and more widespread plasma, the end-game foes can still touch you. Even APA ins't invincible.
    - Big Guns is one of the worst weapon skills, too few weapons and nothing cool like Turbo Plasma.
    - AP ammo is useless. In FO1's case this is actually a coding problem - there's a .exe bug that makes ammo modifiers not apply, that means there's essentially no difference between ammo types whatsoever in Fallout 1. I think that without the bug the ammo would still be useless because FO2 didn't change the modifiers but had no bug.
    - The AI can't do anything regarding a player that pops in and out of cover to fire, other than mindlessly running at him/her.
    - Aimed Shot cheese problems. Eye Shot is the way to go once one achieves a certain level of accuracy.
    - There's too much of a cookie-cutter build thing going on. Pretty much any build is a variation on the cookie-cutter Small Guns/Lockpick/Speech, max PE/IN/AG, dump ST/EN/CH build. Fallout 2 suffers from this too. The wildest build you can do and remain viable is doing a low IN play-through.

    FO2:
    - Lasers suck even more, which hits the story because the Salvatores are made out to be laser-toting murderous muthafuckas, but in-game they're pathetic.
    - AP ammo still sucks, but that's because the way the modifiers are done is crap, not the bug.
    - All the weapon skills can be good... except throwing, Throwing is total crap.
    - There's a lot of oddjob weapons that can't hold a candle to other counterparts. Like the still-sucktastic Assault Rifle, the FN-FAL (totally unrealistic), the 9mm Mauser (good gun, wrong part of the game) Saw-Off Shotgun, etc etc.
    - The AI still sucks, it also now becomes useless and starts to run away if a leg is crippled.
    - Still with the Aimed Shot cheese.
    - The large amounts of crits at the end-game are the only things stopping HP Bloat from becoming a serious issue.



    Exactly!
    Closest thing to "Trap" is the Trap Skill, but even then you can do some stuff with it over the game.
    I'm learning from every mistake, every time I play.

    I wonder how much of AoD's quality is founded on the fact it had PLENTY of time to get tested, and there was feedback and more feedback, changes, etc. Remember when AOD's system was a lot more Fallout-like, with a general skill point pool (rather than Combat, Social and General?), and putting individual points rather than 1-10 grades? Not to mention different passives, different aimed shot effects, etc?
     
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  17. Viatagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Wow. That's beautiful. I was supposed to be sleeping now(1 AM here) but after I started the video, I couldn't stop watching it. I'll go back to AoD(did quite a few fights run, my character was quite weak at combat) after doing my Marathon of Wizardry games. I'll try a CS Assassin next. Play a little with it and enjoyed it(though I didn't focus that much in CS which I saw it was a stupid idea after a hour or so). Still, great video, man.
     
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  18. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughtergender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Eyestabber, any interest in doing a pt-br review? I got a site that would gladly publish it, I want to do my own too but you know, YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT SEVEN TIMES and all that.

    Something else from me, regarding Fallout, Arcanum, Jagged Alliance 2, AoD combat and even Fallout 3 and Underrail:

    I have a feeling that at some point, all these people who learned about CRPGs like the original Fallouts got to play games like Jagged Alliance 2, X-COM and Silent Storm, often from hearing about it on the internet, and even other games with similar mindsets, like Deus Ex. Then they agglutinated in many sites - RPGCodex, NMA, Duck and Cover, Vault BR, etc. Then we started talking to each other, recommending games, discussing experiences, etc. Then we started to notice we weren't getting the games we wanted - what we got instead was mostly mindless crap, the proto-popamole of the times. We discussed a lot about it, because we had no idea why our computers were better than ever and the budgets bigger but gameplay stopped advancing since the 2000s. We all agreed about one thing, through: We all wanted something like Fallout, but with better, more tactical combat. In short, we wanted Fallout + Jagged Alliance 2.

    Then came the end of Black Isle, the fall of Interplay, Oblivion, the selling of the Fallout License to Bethesda and then the abomination that was Fallout 3.
    Don't forget: Fallout is the quintessential Western CRPG. It is considered the first "modern" CRPG. If not Fallout and Diablo, the West would have been conquered by jRPGs and we would now be playing Age of Desu which thinking about the possibility has me raghgaaarth fuuuu kreeeéééeé rrrrriiiuuurarrrgh.

    Now, AoD is not Fallout: Jagged Alliance, but it came from the same family tree. It is based on Fallout, but is clearly different in design and ways it does things. What I call "Fallout with JA2 tactical combat" was the direction Fallout series would undoubtedly go towards, if Black Isle still existed or it was brought by Troika or Obsidian. In a way, we are all orphans.

    Don't forget: We truly love our classics, like Fallout, Arcanum, Baldurs' Gate, etc. But we can't help seeing the flaws, exactly because we love it. We don't want the new games to repeat the same mistakes. This is a big part of how and why Vault Dweller does things, he learns from the mistakes of earlier games.

    Now, here I am talking about Fallout 3, but as we say it here: There are evils that come for the better. Fallout 3 gave us a lot of new people entering the fanbase, and many of these joined our side. Fallout 2 modding would have never reached the level it did without Timeslip. It was Fallout 3 that beget Wasteland 2, and it also helped beget many new RPGs.

    Notice that all these "Fallout but with better TB combat" games have more or less a common origin: They're either from the RPGCodex, related communities, similar communities or from people who saw that those communities were a potential market. AoD was born here, Underrail was born here as Timelapse Vertigo, Wasteland 2 was made to catter to the Fallout/CRPG community which was orphaned after Fallout got turned into Oblivion with guns (rather than at least Deus Ex + Fallout!).

    So there's a time, a place and a setting to this. We're not seeing a large influx of RPGs after a time of drought for nothing. There are droughts and floods, after all. Age of Decadence is ironically, the harbinger of the Age of Incline!

    (btw I hope Styg doesn't disappoint us and forget that RPGCodex is his Alma Mater as well)

    So there's an entire family tree of RPGs that allowed us to reach here, and we could easily backtrack them all. Tracking them all would be interesting.

    Anyway, end tangent.
     
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  19. Make America Great Again Eyestabbergender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    Yeah, I think I'm gonna write ONE review, copy paste it to Steam and Metacritic and then translate it to portuguese and publish it on vaultbr.

    Gotta get the edgyness right first, tho.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again Ellefgender: ⚧ Deplorable

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    Sort of ironic that the best two games of 2015 are single character TB games.
     
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  21. Irenaeus IIgender: ⚧ Unwanted Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

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    Fallout 4 isn't TB.

    Show Spoiler
    :troll:
     
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  22. Make America Great Again The Brazilian Slaughtergender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Belém do Pará
    Indeed.
    Underrail should be considered a 2016 game, through, December is pretty much 2016. Its not like you can finish Underrail more than once in 2015 unless you have the entire end years' to yourself.
     
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  23. anus_poundergender: ⚧ Arcane

    anus_pounder
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Parrots:
    5,913
    Location:
    Yiffing in Hell
    Implying a true rpg fan wouldn't have cancelled all end year plans upon hearing of underrail's release date. :rpgcodex:
     
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  24. Viatagender: ⚧ Arcane

    Viata
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Parrots:
    2,446
    Location:
    Water Play Catarinense
    What kind of event did you go that they gave you the honor to decide what true rpg fan does?
     
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  25. Irenaeus IIgender: ⚧ Unwanted Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

    Unwanted
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    Parrots:
    3,251
    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Desespero
    Bethesda Fall Out 4 Launch Party
     
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