Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Review RPG Codex Review: Dungeon Rats

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. I'm With Her Mustawd for prison Arcane

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    Click here and disable ads!

    FTFY
     
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  2. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

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    Both games are great.

    Though here you are not that much forced to make "right" choices in character generation. In Blackguards 1 if you went with something other than archer-mage, you had extremely hard time.
     
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  3. agris Arcane Patron

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    To be fair, the good fights are like puzzles. I know that sounds reductionist, but it's true in DR.
     
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  4. Make America Great Again Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    It may have dungeon in the title but it doesn't appear that this was ever sold as anything other than a combat crawl.

    Additionally, in the distant past, VD made a distinction between "tactical RPGs" and "dungeon crawlers"

    Tactical Rats would be a pretty weird title though. :\
     
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  5. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

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    Yeah, internally we even called it a "combat crawler", but well, it's not really a genre, and dungeon crawler stuck, creating wrong expectations that were not intended.

    About things that will be in the next update is a re-balance of alchemy ingredients, we fixed the AI retardness with doors, made acid more useful, character facing during combat, better weapon progression adding steel forging earlier, tweaked a few of the creature fights to make them more interesting, among other things.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  6. agris Arcane Patron

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    don't forget about grouping weapon types in the crafting screen :D
     
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  7. Cadmus Arcane

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    it is
     
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  8. Dicksmoker Arcane

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    You're going in completely the wrong direction. Next they need to do a platformer, then an adventure game, and then a shooter, a Total-War-style strategy game, a space sim, and a sports game.
     
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  9. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

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    Already done. A sneak peek on the changelog:

    - You can select characters on the placement phase via clicking on the combat queue.
    - Crafting screen now separates schematics in weapon type, and armor material, plus they are ordered alphabetically.
    - You can see the THC, CS and ADC on area of effect attacks.
    - You can now select your character facing during combat for 1 AP.

    - Base block is 25 (from 15).
    - Increased chance to fully block attacks.
    - Increased regular shields hardness.
    - Increased crude shields vsRanged.
    - Shields vsRanged no longer added when dodging (it's taken into account if block + vsRanged is higher than dodge).
    - Increased base critical rating to 15 per CS point.
    - Tweaked berserk potion progression (Max is 40/10 from 50/5).
    - Doubled antidote effect.
    - Made acid vial stronger and available earlier. Now all of them do HP damage. Reduced throwing range. Increased AP.
    - Splash Acid adds AoE similar to bombs.
     
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  10. Aenra Guest

    Aenra
    I haven't had time to sit down and play it yet so i cannot comment on the review. Soon though!
    What i can say is that from all i've read so far? My only complaint would be length*. If only it could've been longer and a bit further developed in the non-combat aspect (more feat checks, applications, etc). So basically longer :)

    I love their combat, i love their sense of humor, i love their honesty (they gave me demos) and commitment. And i also love that unlike most, they stuck to what works (TB) and looked elsewhere for improvements and variations. I don't need devs wasting time on new, elaborately-worded, TB variations or on presupposing what i "want". I decide that. So anyway; i hope that they go for a DLC-like expansion for DR. Needless to say, D1P. Iron Tower was the surprise of the year(s) for me. Bought AoD twice, bought DR twice and i still feel i haven't been thankful enough. Keep them rolling.

    *and yeah, i know why it isn't longer. Man can wish though.
     
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  11. agris Arcane Patron

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    Elhoim nice! sounds decently harder across the board, except for the dodger alchemists.

    Aenra I can't speak for you, but the game is short enough that you can genuinely enjoy a second play through immediately after your first, while never feeling like it's dragging. I don't know my first game's length, but my 2nd was probably around 8 - 10 hours.
     
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  12. Make America Great Again ERYFKRAD Arcane Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Better than the tranny review.
     
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  13. Stakhanov Learned

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    A good review that sums up the game's strengths and weaknesses fairly. I disagree with some of the conclusions and emphases, which I'll list here for the aim of discussion (or do we need to inject the typical drama into a Roxor review? THIS REVIEW IS DOGSHIT AND IT HURTS MY BUTT).

    This hardly seems like a damning critique as it's rare to fight any enemy type more than 2 or 3 times, compared to say a standard RPG where you might fight 4x99 goblins 50 times or the Deep Roads level banality we have these days. Besides the utterly broken constructs, I don't find this to be a particular problem. The ants are a tutorial but one with enough sting in its tail to show people where they are going astray with their junk builds - see the Steam forums where people complain about these fights being unbeatable. But the ant queen, those fucking worms, the ant warriors of doom, etc...these fights require planning and/or different tactics or you are gonna get fucked.

    Makes sense, the game is tuned to playing with a party, is it not, so? The solo mode is an optional, extra layer of difficulty like ironman. Given that the solo mode is in the game, that doesn't mean complaints from that perspective are invalid, but they don't represent the core of the experience.

    While I agree that it's not really important, there are missed opportunities to be noted here. Given that this studio has shown some craft and creativity with its writing and approach to reactivity in AoD, it would've been nice to have more than a "how did you get here?" approach to dialogue and characterisation.
    For me, here's one particularly egregious example. You can cut down one of the NPCS, Roxanna, off a FUCKING CROSS and does this change her reaction to you an iota? No, she remains the same snarky bitch with her wry smile. No gratitude, no romance option? 0/10. Or if you lead Marcus against his former boss., or just well anything, really. If you recruit the Three Stooges maybe they could react tragicomically to each other's inevitable deaths, rending their clothes and gnashing their teeth, cursing the PC with their dying breath for taking them away from the safety of the campfire.

    I don't think it'd be trivial to have NPCs to have different responses to the events, it would at least add some replayability and flavour to the world, as well as giving something to high-CHA characters who have little to do other than recruit people and brew potions/blacksmith.

    I think this is perhaps the one time the criticism is unfair because the game's advertising on Steam, and the comments VD made in the forums here, made it abundantly clear this was a combat-centric campaign from the beginning. From the Steam blurb: "Dungeon Rats is a turn-based, party-based RPG set in the Age of Decadence world and focused on squad level tactical combat. If fighting your way out of a prison mine - and frequently dying in the attempt - is your idea of a good time, you've come to the right place." So the conclusions you draw from this mistaken premise are shadowboxing. Although the points you make about resource management are true, if simply because you can trivialise fights in the game by throwing enough bombs at the problem, and are never really in danger of running out of critical ingredients. On the other hand, it means you are never hopelessly fucked even on solo where the odds are so crushingly stacked against you.

    In conclusion, the notion the game is a false advertisement is a heavy, and unjustified charge. I think it should be retracted. In some ways I think the game is a step forward from AoD, if only because it focuses on a particular area of strength from that game, the combat, makes some quality of life improvements, adds depth with party-based combat and shows a strong understanding of what makes encounter design meaningfully challenging. I think there were opportunities for narrative and world development that could and should have been taken, and would have improved the experience overall. Nevertheless, Iron Tower Studios has risen in my estimation after this game because they've shown an understanding of what made their previous game great and expanded on it in a meaningful way, given the scope of the project.
     
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  14. zool Savant

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    This. As I already stated in the Dungeon Rats thread, this is my biggest complaint with the game - such a shame as it wouldn't have required that much additional work and would have given a lot of flavour and replayability to the game.

    After having gone through the game once, liking it but being disappointed by the lack of character interaction, I hardly see myself going for a second playthrough simply because of this.
     
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  15. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    http://www.irontowerstudio.com/

    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...n-crawler-is-now-officially-announced.110956/

    Here's some more info about the non-combat aspect:

    [​IMG]

    edit: oh derp you meant the game no the revioo nvm
    still keeping the gif tho cuz :agenda:

    On a fundamental level, the scorpions, the elder scorpions, the scolopendras and the black scolopendras (and to a degree also the ants) are nearly identical. "I'm a monster that hits you with one attack that also poisons you while being immune to poison myself", they only differ in some numbers. You could just as well replace them all with a monster called "bug" and have it progress along a track of: Bug, Elder Bug, Battle Bug, Black Bug. You fight those for much more than just "2 or 3 times", it's just the skin that changes to fool you.

    I disagree. To me, the solo mode is a parallel playstyle that is as equally viable as going with a party. It is definitely NOT an extra layer of difficulty when by the end of the game you can have your character max 4 skills, use the stat machine thrice, stock up on 500 rations and never run out of buffs because there's only 1 character to use them on.

    There are many things that would be nice to have. However, this aspect was not supposed to be a focus in Dungeon Rats and thus it has been kept to a minimum. Criticising the game for this would be as sound as bashing Doom for its lack of storytelling.

    see above
     
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  16. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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    I'm pretty sure that after the patches you can't stock up 500 rations. Rations were nerfed.
    Elhoim
     
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  17. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    I finished that solo playthrough last thursday, so it was "After The Patches" (tm)
     
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  18. Make America Great Again Zed Duke of Banville Arcane Patron

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    But Dungeon Tactics would have been a better title. +M
     
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  19. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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    Post a save with 500 (300 will suffice) rations and I'll believe you.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    Mówisz, masz.

    Will a screenshot be enough?

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Stakhanov Learned

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    For fuck's sake, Roxor. Congrats, you found two instances where they used the term dungeon crawler. It's pure semantics, as well as still being wrong because even if you still somehow thought this was going to be UU or some shit, there is plenty of information available about the games' features. Those misleading fuckers not giving us any more information about the gaem!! :roll:

    http://irontowerstudio.com/dungeon-rats-features The same information they have on their steam page. I see nothing misrepresented here.

    From the release thread on the Codex:
    Or the trailer which bluntly states to kill everything stupid enough to get in the way.

    Retract the statement. Or are you so tendentious that you're going to hold onto your precious, mistaken belief that is immediately dispelled by 2 mins of reading?

    On a more philosophical note, does every game in a genre have to have a laundry list of features, or is there simply a family resemblance, a la Wittgenstein, between very distinct games that allow us to compare them? I would say the latter. Otherwise games could never evolve or experiment by adding and removing elements. Do you really think exploration and traps and shit would make this a better game?

    And only one character to do damage or take damage, get netted, etc. Not to mention that the SP distribution will work out better for a party than just one character regardless, even if you can't make each party member as individually skilled.

    The stuff about the critters is not really incorrect, but I don't think it's a big deal in a game this lacking in fat. The constructs, on the other hand...

    That doesn't change the fact that there is writing, characters and dialogue, and it almost entirely sucks shit, as you mentioned. Doom doesn't have a party or info dumps. The 'bag of stats' approach costs the game imo. And since narrative is part of the game, some simple steps to improve it could make a better game, and it would have a mechanical function given that high-CHA characters have more recruitment options. I think it'd be unreasonable if it'd either somehow detract from the focus or would be too costly or time-consuming to implement, and I don't think it falls into either category. I'm happy to be corrected by the devs on this point.
     
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  22. Prime Junta Arcane

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    Good review. Concise, well-written, as well as fair and balanced. I will no longer use "Roxorian" as a synonym for amateur hatchet job. :salute:
     
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  23. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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    If you were Infinitron I wouldn't believe you because:

    [​IMG]
    Plus you could have taken the screenshot before the patches. Ale rodakowi wierzę.
     
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  24. Make America Great Again Zed Duke of Banville Arcane Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    On a solo playthrough, wouldn't you be able to rely entirely on healing potions if you so chose, since the amount of alchemy ingredients doesn't change with the number of party members, and therefore finish the game with (almost) all rations intact?
     
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  25. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    It's a fresh screenshot taken just 5 minutes ago. Even still smells of a photographic developer.

    thx

    Nope.

    Nigga, the game reveal newspiece and the main site state outright that this is a "dungeon crawler", and I'd probably find more if I bothered looking for more than 2 minutes. If those instances don't matter, then I guess everything is relative and the next time, I'll bash the Colony Ship game for not having enough RTS elements because why the fuck not. Take some damn responsibility for your friggin' words.

    Plus, when I posted this in the content forum, VD also threatened not to cover my shilling paycheck challenged my points, saying that "to him, a dungeon crawler is..." and that dunjin rats according to his definition is, in fact, a dunjin crawler.

    If we go via "family resemblance", then we can just as well state that an RPG is a game where you play a role, ergo Halo.

    And no, it's not about a "laundry list of features", because that leads to design by checklist, the result of which is Star Wars EP VII or Wasteland 2.

    Plus, if you really propose this supposed "family resemblance", tell me where is the supposed resemblance between Dungeon Rats and, as I said in the review, the most basicest crawler you can find, i.e. Lands of Lore? I'm waiting.

    Initially when writing this, I even wanted to say that Dungeon Rats is basically a turn-based Dungeon Siege 3 instead of Tower of Doom, but I figured that would go way too deep into trolololo mode. Nevertheless, if you take Dungeon Rats and start comparing it to Lands of Lore (or fuck, any crawler you can find) on one side, and with Dungeon Siege 3 on the other, you'll find that the list of features coincides dangerously close with the latter.

    Yes.

    Depends. A single guy gets 100% SP that he can spend on everything. In a party, the SP is divided, but the characters still need to go for max weapon skill and doge. Solo, I could go 9/9/9 axe/doge/alchemy and 10 craftung, pumping axe to a max 10 during the final waves. Meanwhile, with the SP distribution from a 3-man party, the best I could do with my main character (dagger guy) was 10 dagger, 10 doge, 6 CS, 5 alchemy; 10 hammer 10 doge, 6 crafting with Marcus; and 10 xbow, 8 doge and 9 CS with Roxana (where I probably shouldn't have bothered with an additional raising of neither CS nor doge anyway, but that was a first playthrough, so bleh).

    Solo dude could largely "get it all". Party couldn't get it all. Solo dude even had full meteor gear by the end, FFS.

    Quite fortunately, you can just press 1 at every dialogue window until it all goes away. And if the Doom example is not to your liking, then how about any Might and Magic game? Those are also rpgs with writing and characters and dialogue, and there the writing and characters and dialogue also matter precisely as much as in Dongeon Rats: 0.


    Yep.
     
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