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Author Topic: AoD January update  (Read 12890 times)
Wened
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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 05:48:52 AM »

How about a screenshot of this graphical improvements? :>
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Oscar
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 08:12:46 AM »

It's nothing major, plus we already posted some screens of the slums before.
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MidnightSun
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 08:22:30 PM »

You have spent a lot of time on Teron. I am curious as to progress on the other two major locations. How is the polish there? Is it close to Teron and the game could be ready soon after demo release or are the other two cities a long way from being done? It sounds like you're working on the beta a lot, has the attention on areas that are not in the beta dimished a bit?
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Esquilax
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2012, 09:10:01 PM »

It's nothing major, plus we already posted some screens of the slums before.

Yes, but I am an easily amused next-gen gamer, so shiny pictures would stimulate my ADD-addled lizard brain.
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Dicksmoker
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2012, 12:54:34 AM »

Seriously, the graphics have looked good for a while now.
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Vince
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 08:21:43 AM »

You have spent a lot of time on Teron. I am curious as to progress on the other two major locations. How is the polish there? Is it close to Teron and the game could be ready soon after demo release or are the other two cities a long way from being done? It sounds like you're working on the beta a lot, has the attention on areas that are not in the beta dimished a bit?
They are roughly in the same state as Teron was when we started beta-testing (back in August). We haven't touched them since and worked only on the demo areas. With a small team it's impossible to do otherwise.

One step at a time. If the past is any indicator, we'll take our time but we'll get there, slowly, but surely.

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Vince
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 09:00:27 AM »

Beta update:

The bad: a lot of crashes, glitches, and other unpleasantries. We're fixing them as fast as we can.

The good: the impressions are favorable so far:

"[spoilers removed]

Now at this point, I'm getting tempted to re-roll, but I. can't. give. up! That's the thing about this game - it kicks your ass, but you don't mind as much as you would in many other games because it's fun and because you know that you can do it, you just need to try harder. I had one more idea, and it was that maybe if i took off my armour just before the text adventure I'd succeed in sneaking and thus enter the fight with more HP. It worked, and one time out of God knows how many tries, after at least an hour of trying, I was so, so, so close to beating it I could taste it. But in the end, I had to give up and re-roll an entirely combat-focused character in order to progress. Even then, the fight wasn't by any means easy, but it was doable at least.

You can read into this in two ways: for those of you who like a good challenge and adored the struggles of the combat demo and even went further and tried to take on the assassins and other 'extra' fights in the combat demo, congratulations - the demo will have all the challenge you've no doubt been craving. If you're like me and were hoping to hedge your bets a little bit and roll a silver-tongued assassin or something, well, I hope you're a lot better at the game than I am.

Personally, I do like a good challenge but I wouldn't mind the game being slightly more welcoming to people who aren't 100% focused in one area. It's good that you can't be good at everything like most games nowadays, but I think AoD might take it slightly too far. Though, again, it may well just be me being a tard and allocating my skills in a non-optimal way or not choosing the right attack options - I remember being stuck on a fight in the combat demo for ages and ages. Eventually, I asked for advice and with that person's advice, I won the fight immediately on my next go. I really did try a bunch of different tactics, attacks, weapons and positioning in this case though, so who knows.

TL;DR: Overall, I found it to be a fun and very challenging experience. If you want a game that doesn't pull punches, is well written, and where your character's skills matter so much that even a few can mean the difference between success and critical failure among a sea of modern games where you can just roll your face on your keyboard and still be relatively successful, you won't be disappointed. I played for quite some time and experienced about 5 crashes and about 4 serious bugs that forced me to reload. Other than that, the bugs I experienced were very minor, so I think the demo is very near to being release-worthy.

[a few posts later]

Argh, so close just now... Just too hard for me, I'm afraid. And this is with a fully combat focused character - I'll go as far to say that it is literally impossible to do this with a character that puts points into non-combat things. If that is not true then I must really, really not understand how to play. Going to shelve this character for the time being, I think. Edit3: Nope, I'm some sort of masochist or something, I finally got through that damn fight. It's too hard, but I did it. Again, this really does show how good the game is that despite a fight being too hard I persevere, because in the vast majority of games I wouldn't bother - I'm not someone with the patience to put games on the hardest difficulty levels, I usually just go with normal or hard at most, but this game begs me to continue playing despite the difficulty. It has something special about it, you guys have done a good job."

...


"Wee! Just finished a nice playthrough of the assassin's path. Very cool stuff, but I'll leave the stuff specific to Assassins in the other thread. So, general impressions!

Graphics, after my initial kerfuffle, ran smoothly and looked quite pleasing. The writing is also very good, balancing the depressive and brutal nature of this dying world with hilariously dark humor. The poster for recruitment of the imperial academy got a laugh out of me. lol

The 'encounters' throughout the city were great! None of them felt like filler and I actually walked around looking for them. And this is from someone who generally dislikes the faffing about present in most cRPGs, unlike most other players. The main difference, I think, is that they are short, and they usually have good justification. Either they're happening to you, or you have a good in-character reason for doing it, unlike other RPGs where I go "Why the hell am I doing this again? Oh, right... XP and loot. Ok." So these encounters in the demo had me gripped, which is more than I can say for most other cRPG "sidequests".

One more interesting design choice in the game is that it feels like the world wants to screw you over. The combat is difficult, and you are usually outnumbered. Most people you meet are trying to swindle or cheat you. And if you put yourself in the wrong position, you're just screwed. Surprisingly enough, I liked that. It goes well with the whole post-apocalyptic feel of the game. Trust me, I don't automatically glorify a game just because it's hard, but it is all about consistency between the world and the game system, and here I feel this "everything trying to screw you over" atmosphere works nicely. Just remember to temper the stick parade with a bit of carrot every now and again and things should be fine.

Which brings me to my first suggestion. Story-wise I feel that every character that asks for my trust is a crook or a bastard, and that may not be a good thing. Off the top of my head: [spoilers removed] ...

... This not counting all the backstabbing the houses and guilds are up to.

I get that this is a harsh world, everyone is fighting for survival, not much space for the meek. However, if EVERYONE is trying to cheat you, then mistrusting becomes an easy choice. So, the suggestion. Doesn't need to be for the demo, it can be in the next areas... Why not add one or two innocent encounters, where trusting someone is the right thing to do? Why not add an honest and innocent character, even if a minor one? This will leave the players a bit off-guard, since they're not expecting it, and the contrast between this small candle of innocence and the brutal world around it will only reinforce how everyone else is crooked and jaded. It's a matter of contrast.

I am not asking you to turn AoD into a peaceful and carefree world, or create a utopic palace full of ponies in the middle of Maadoran. Just a small and brief light, in order to make the shadows that much darker. And if you would say that an honest and moral person would die in this harsh world, then show that character dying! It will hammer home the point that AoD's world is amoral and without mercy."

...


"I finished the Assassin's quest, and liked it quite a bit. To me there was a massive difficulty spike between the second and third mission (the the one where you fight against four imperials) but due warning was given and the fight is not truly impossible. I went through quite a few encounters before trying the last mission. I focused most of my points in dodge, critical strike and dagger. Here are a few thoughts:

- Some people say dodge is useless, but to me it worked. It's worse than in the demo, that's for certain, but still serviceable. I was dodging about half the attacks I received and managed to survive the battle against four imperials without using a single net and leaving everyone alive. Mind you, I have not tried using a shield yet, so take my claims with a bit of salt.

- On the same 4 imperial soldier battle: are they all programmed to focus on the player? Because that's what most of them did, even if that was actually detrimental to them. In that battle I managed to win without much trouble by kiting the soldiers while my friends shot them full of holes and then killing them when they got weak. [we'll tweak it - Vince] If that was the intended strategy then I have no problem with that, it was still a tough and interesting fight. But if you want to make it difficult for everyone to survive then making the AI hit your allies when convenient would be better. Poor hammer guy never managed to lift his weapon in the whole fight. Despite being crippled and very far away he still tried to reach me while the two other crossbow assassins nearby shot him dead.

- I like the camaraderie between the assassins in the guild. It really gives a feeling that you are all in a group together, instead of just being "the place where you get quests".

- I went for the "kill the imperials" ending, and it was awesome. Seeing the aftermath of your guild's attack on a whole battalion of soldiers gave the whole thing a sense of gravitas, as if I was part of something world-changing, seeing the consequences of my choices in front of my eyes. Helping the guild master kill the centurion was icing on the cake. Props for that sequence, it was worth all the reloads. "
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erbgor
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 09:43:22 AM »

Very nice! A bit spoiler-y at the end, though. I don't really mind all that much, just a warning for those who do.
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callehe
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2012, 04:36:07 AM »

 Approve

MOAR


please
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egalor
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2012, 08:08:06 AM »

Me: finally, I decided against participating in beta. Apologies.

This is because I look too favourably at this game to have its integrity and completeness ruined by unfinished bits of it.

Just release the game, and I'm buying it no matter the price.

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Vince
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2012, 10:35:06 AM »

Approve

MOAR


please
Random stuff:

"Major performance issue: The AI sometimes takes a very long time to decide on their move. During the fight with the 6 Daratan guards on the Teron streets (the one where they get mad at you for killing people), when you put some distance between you and them, a single enemy takes over 10 seconds to move making the fight pretty much unplayable.

Major bug: Another issue with that fight is that you can still trigger the preacher event (and probably other events too) during combat (see the screenshot).

Major bug: Sometimes enemies can hit you through closed doors. In the screenshot: the guard pointed by the cursor hit me. Log attached, here's the relevant part:
(click to show/hide)

Major improvement: Probably too much to ask, but it would be nice if innocents ran away when a fight is happening in the vicinity."

...

"Critical bug:I had a CTD after I talked to Linos, when after the night of Carrinas' assassination he says that there is a choice regarding the Imperial Guard and "let this be your call". I pressed "1" (I think there was only one option) and the game crashed. I reloaded, did exactly the same things I did before, and the game didn't crash.

Sadly I didn't have the Engine Watch running. The system only told me this:

Code:

AppName: aod.exe    AppVer: 0.0.0.0    ModName: aod.dll
ModVer: 0.8.1.1784    Offset: 00436968

Major bug: I admit to alt-tabbing to copy screenshots into Paint. Anyway, I noticed my map looks like this (consistently): [removed]

Minor bug: After I died in combat after saying "hand the prisoner over" to the raiders, the screen went black and only white borders and the mouse cursor was visible. When I clicked, the main menu appeared."

...

^ As you can see we still have some issues to deal with.

...

"Congrats to everyone who managed to win the Vardanis fight. I tried 10 different builds and only managed to kill one of them once. It was glorious Smile I learned quickly to take nothing for granted in this game. I'm not the unbeatable hero in 90% of the other RPGs. Then I played the assassin vignette and was a killing machine. Though still not that easy for some fights. Got killed in the second quest for them.

Assassin vignette:

*The Aurelian Spies quest* - My first thought when arriving at the house of the spies was to go straight to the back of the house and either climb through the window or listen/look inside the house. An assassin, in my mind, would not want to go into a situation blind. Not sure that's technically feasible, but would be a nice option if it was easy to do.

Overall I'm loving this game. It's exactly what I imagined it would be like. Thanks for bringing me on."

...

I'm loving it. Been trying a mercenary tonight, focusing on sneaking and axe/crit. It's my first time playing AoD since the combat demo. It's damn difficult. My character sucks at pretty much everything except sneaking and assassination (the [critical] thing in dialog). Most encounters heavily outnumber me as well so even though I'm playing as a mercenary, I'm trying to avoid combat.

The only real annoyance so far has been the long periods of time in dialog-mode without the possibility to save. I'm thinking of the Palace infiltration scenario in particular. On one hand, it has made me try out more paths early on in the scenario. On the other hand, I still haven't successfully gained an audience with the house master because I always end up dying "trying things out", resulting in a reload from the very start of the scenario. Wallbang

Well... there is another, minor annoyance. It's pretty clear that saying "We'll see about that" in the right context will result in combat, but I'd still like to see some sort of indication that combat is initiated by choosing that option. [attack] "We'll see about that", perhaps. I wrote down several small things. I'll find the appropriate threads and post there.

It's a very good game.  Salute

...

Just finished a playthrough as a merchant, without a single fight. This was MARVELOUS. I wrote down a few things, one of which is certainly a bug, and made some screens with typos; will post in the respective threads. But my "general feedback" is that the game is GREAT!

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Lorin
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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2012, 12:29:52 PM »

heh, i guess that means that i am not in the list of the new beta-testers. Fait enough. It's what i get for making only one post... well, at all.  Ok, let's wait for a demo. And read this wonderfull-wonderfull post of experience what you could (and will, eventually, i hope) have.
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Vince
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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2012, 02:30:20 PM »

We couldn't invite everyone at this time, but we're planning to let more people try it as the game gets more stable.
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callehe
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« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2012, 07:43:59 PM »

guys,

wow, seems like there is still alot of bugs to take care of even after all this fixing... makes me respect the development process .

also, I hope that you take the improvement suggestions to heart, but please wait until adding new features until demo release...!

Keep up the good work, hope to see a smooth running experience demo soon!

please go on posting impressions, very interesting to read!
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Vince
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2012, 07:01:34 PM »

"I have played the demo a bit more, and well... I kind of take back what I said. Sort of.  

While as I said there aren't many honest characters so far, which impairs the ability of the player being fooled since you automatically assume everyone's a cheat... But I HAVE discovered many more sympathetic characters.

Feng is kinda sympathetic, once I had him talking about his past. The con girl is sympathetic as she expresses her happiness on the simple fact she can sleep in an inn now. Even Antidas, of all people, is kinda sympathetic as he struggles against the pathetic decline of his house and the grandiose prophecy of his destiny that only ended in failure.

Playing the game more, and with different characters, revealed different facets of these characters as well as different sides of the whole plot. It is... Interesting. With a capital I.

I still feel part of what I said is relevant; despite these characters being sympathetic, they're never trustworthy. But now that I've played more the world of the demo feels more... Humane, somehow.

Sorry if this is all sounds vague, it's hard to convey with words. I will have some more constructive feedback after I've played and finished the game with all builds."  

...

"Just convinced [removed] and helped [removed]... That. Was. AWESOME!  Shocked Panic Grin
Really, really good ending, and one that although a bit tricky certainly felt very satisfying. Just as in the ending of the Assassin questline, you feel the world has changed and you were a part of those changes.

Other than that and some bugs I reported in another post, I loved that whole questline. Very interesting and full of intrigue/scheming, as it was supposed to be. Smile"

...

"Jesus, the game certainly does hook. I don't think I'm going to stop until I've played every class. Then I've probably got to replay a few."

...

"I've recently been added to the beta team for AoD and that game is everything Vince said it would be. It's unique among indies and even old-school games. I'm trying to think of comparisons, but it combines the best parts of so many games that it's misleading to say it's actually like any of them."

« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:46:10 PM by Vince » Logged
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