The Din Crowd: Din’s Curse New Demo

By Kieron Gillen on August 4th, 2010 at 10:20 pm.

I've used this shot before, but the whole 'worst buddy movie ever' vibe still amuses me.

News of Torchlight II reminds me that I meant to post about the new version of the Din’s Curse demo that was released a week or so back. If you imagine a line whose two poles are labelled “Mainstream!” and “Indie!”, then Diablo III would be off to the left, Torchlight would be near the middle while Din’s Curse would be way over on the right. Well, there’s rogue-likes past it, but it’s still its own determined thing. Din’s Curse does the single-player/co-op thing, dynamically generates both towns and dungeons and uses similar dynamic world tech to Soldak’s previous Depths of Peril. Improvements are mainly in the UI, with a new perspective and shadow options, but if you haven’t it’s worth taking a trip down this unusual take on the genre’s dungeon. And here’s some old footage…

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35 Comments »

  1. Daniel Klein says:

    This looks absolutely fantastic. Played the demo for a good half-hour or so. Will buy the game now.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Crikey. Job’s a good ‘un.

      KG

    • qrter says:

      Tom Chick wrote a good piece for his own site a little while back, describing nicely why the game is an interesting one – insert click here.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      Yep. This is why I read RPS. Where else would I have heard of this? I can tell from the way I can hardly stop playing now already that this game is going to provide me with hours and hours of fun.

  2. Urael says:

    No such luck here, chaps. Apparently the curse is for the demo not to run on my Win7 64 bit machine. I can’t even open the options from the menu without it crashing. Ah well, this is probably what I get for attempting to play new games after my bedtime.

  3. DD says:

    I was really on the fence about buying this before. Played the demo for a good hour and loved it. My main concern was the longevity of the game. I didn’t want another torchlite that got boring after playing through once. Anyone have some sage like advice for me?

    • Lobotomist says:

      I have followed both games long before their release. I also did beta for Dins Curse.And have it played them both for long time.

      Dins surely have better gameplay mechanic, multi classes and dynamic quests. But graphic is just horrid. I pleaded them to do something about it in beta. But nothing….Even Soldak oldest game Depths of Peril has much better graphic.

      In Dins you just go trough empty mazes. For me its a immersion breaker.

      Torchlight on other hand is simpler but offers much nicer experience by its look and feel.

      On the end i would say that Torchlight wins , for me at least.

      If only they could fuse both games in one ;)

  4. pakoito says:

    I played like half an hour and the skillsets are not appealing to me. Torchlight was mildly fun from the box, this one feels more like a task to finish than a game to enjoy.

    • Krikey! says:

      Hybrid class is where the fun’s at. I once tried a Trickster/Firemage before. Go stealth, run into a room full of monsters, surprise them by unstealthing and unleashing torrents of fiery fury upon them, hilarity ensues when you burn yourself to death by accident too.

  5. Javier-de-Ass says:

    SOLDAK!!!!!!!

  6. Freud says:

    The video didn’t really make the game look appealing. Combat looked pretty slow and very repetitive. Torchlight got the tempo of the combat just right. You want to wade into hordes of monsters and only sometimes get overwhelmed. Here it looked like you had to retreat from two monsters often.

    The event system sounds pretty fun though. In every other game like this we are told the city is under threat but nothing ever happens to the town. Here it does if you take too long. Brilliant idea.

  7. Daniel Klein says:

    So, quite a bit of playing later, here’s why I decided to buy the game:

    I’ll start with the dull one. The game gets ARPG mechanics just right. Hit and dodge chance, damage scaling (strength scales on both ranged and melee), quasi-free identify (if you don’t pay for identify, it takes a while), etc. The drop rates feel great; greens and yellows are rare enough that they feel awesome when you do find one, but at the same time drop often enough that you get those great “+10% magic find or +2 dexterity?” conundrums (the answer is, of course, always get magic find early. This was a trivial decision, but there are much less trivial ones).

    The game is hard. Good-hard. Not frustrating-hard, but hard enough that achievements feel earned.

    Merchants are meaningful. They sell good things, and the prices are non-trivial. This may sound stupid, but this is so hard to get right. Torchlight, for instance, has absolutely pointless merchants.

    And of course, the dynamic dungeons. The things that attack your town. That there is a fail condition more meaningful than “you died” makes things so much sweeter.

    Yes, graphics aren’t great, and combat is a little fiddly. For instance your character kinda glides on while performing a ranged attack. No matter: combat is responsive and that weird gliding thing actually works as something you can learn to master and use to your advantage. If anyone’s familiar with what Starcraft 2 commentators are calling the “scoot and shoot” mechanics of the Protoss Phoenix, you can do that in here as well (if you can click fast and precisely enough).

    I have a real weak spot for ARPGs. I’ve played a LOT of them. Obviously the mother of all addictions was Diablo 2. I’m constantly looking for something else that does the same to me. I’ve gone from roguelikes (zangband represent!) to everything modern and shiny (like Torchlight). I’ve played massive amounts of Titan Quest, Hellgate London (yes, I did like it), Mythos (sooo much Mythos), and Dungeon Runners (yawn). So far I was convinced Torchlight got closest to what made D2 great, but there was stuff missing. Multiplayer, very obviously, but also a meaningful endgame. The enchant mechanism, while great fun, actually BREAKS a lot of the game. There comes a point when it is always better to keep enchanting your current weapons, making new drops meaningless. The original game solves this by giving you a small disenchant chance, but this is not a satisfying solution. It’s highly random and a huge catastrophe at some point. So you turn it off with a mod and try to compensate by making enchants more expensive, but it doesn’t really work. Just having that mechanism in the game makes lategame item hunting so much less enjoyable. Torchlight had a few inconsistencies in its attribute mechanics as well (when does Magic work on skills? When is it strength? When is it weapon damage?) (the answer is, it depends, on the skill, but that’s not very helpful).

    I will no doubt play quite a bit more of Din’s Curse. Possibly this will tide me over until D3, or TL2, whatever comes first.

    • luckystriker says:

      Thanks Daniel, that sounds pretty great. Will go and give it a shot now.

  8. John Peat says:

    I’ve been playing Depths of Peril for ages now and it is AMAZING – it may not look that great but the depth of the game is truly impressive.

    This isn’t your regular Diablo-a-like, the world’s created in Soldak’s games are alive, things change, unsolved quests have consequences later etc. etc. – there’s so much going on over and above the need to whack things with your mouse…

    and yet that aspect of it is rock-solid too!!

    They’re not exactly bargain basement games but Soldak is a mostly one-man-band and he deserves reward for creating such wonderous toys…

    p.s. Dins Curse is a more trad. game – Depths of Peril has a diplomacy/guild conflict system which you’ll either love or hate – you can probably do without both games but – well – upto you!!

  9. Krikey! says:

    Din’s Curse is to Torchlight/Diablo, as Rogue Spear is to Call of Duty. I’m not a huge fan of ARPGs, but I caved in and bought Din’s Curse. It’s more than just a Diablo clone. The fact that the game is so interactive – epic random cave-ins, setting huge rooms on fire, watching rival monsters fight one another, betrayals, attacks on townspeople – keeps the game alive and brings something to look forward to everytime you play, rather than just clicking monotonously. In fact, there is no story: you create your own epic adventure by the end of the town.

    I’ve always likened Din’s Curse to the potential Diablo killer when talking about this game, but that’s because of the innovations Din’s Curse brings to the table. Because while the latter will likely yield the greatest polish possible, the other is like a diamond in the rough – mediocre graphics, tired music, and gameplay that will wow you.

    On top of that, the developer support is top notch, even for an indie developer. Suggestions and feedback are taken so seriously, I’m sometimes afraid the game will go off the rails in its eagerness to please :S

    Er, on to experiences. I coaxed my buddy into buying this game. I was playing a Sorceror/Defender hybrid, while he was playing a Firemage/Defender hybrid. Both of us pumped skill points into our tornado skills, which were really insanely powerful. There was only one problem: it would rattle the dungeons and create cave-ins due to their volatility. We were busy trashing up this large room, where dark elves and wargs were fighting saurians. We laughed at their puny attempts as they noticed us and stopped their fighting to come take us down; the room was being thrown into chaos as we stopped them in their tracks with our tornados.

    And then rocks came crashing down on us and we died.

  10. Daniel Klein says:

    Must. Sleep.

    Must. Stop. Playing. Din’s. Curse.

  11. MartinNr5 says:

    Can anyone telle me more about the co-op/multiplayer?

    How many players does it support? How well does the multiplayer game mechanics work? Can you jump in and out of a game?

    Opinions, anecdotes, facts – all are welcome!

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      Harlander says:

      Also, does the co-op work in the demo? I’ve a few like-minded chums who I often make forays into co-op RPGing (such as ToMENET, the most literal interpretation of “online roguelike” I can think of) – if we could try it out in co-op I’d reckon I’d be much more likely to grab the full thing.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      Oh man. TOME. That was the best roguelike developed by a French man. Which is a very narrow category. I never really got into TOMENET.

      The multiplayer is disabled for the demo, I’m sad to say, so I’ll report back once I made a friend also buy the game.

  12. ZephyrSB says:

    Was hugely impressed with Depths of Peril, but equally dissappointed by Kivi’s Underworld. So this is Soldak back on form? I’ll have to give it a shot…

    • Krikey! says:

      Definitely. I too was disappointed by Kivi’s. I thought it was underwhelming compared to Depths of Peril; I wasn’t hopeful when Soldak announced Din’s Curse. After having read some of the features list, I was more hopeful, but still skeptical.

      And then, I tried the demo, and was hopelessly hooked.

    • John Peat says:

      Din is much more like DoP but with more focus on you and your adventure (and Co-Op) without all the Guild and faction stuff

      Kivi was poor – so much so I’d assumed Kivi came BEFORE DoP :)

  13. Maxheadroom says:

    I like my ARPGs but I was bored after about 30 seconds of the video. Given how virtually every comment here is piling on the praise though I’ll give it a go

    the demo at least

    • MartinNr5 says:

      The demo lasts a lot longer than the video gives impression of. I got a solid 3-4 hours of fun out of it until it became too hard (you’re capped at lvl 5 in the demo).

      Might buy it depending on how co-op is.

  14. Steven Peeler says:

    MartinNr5: There isn’t a set limit on the number of people that can play, you can choose whatever max you want. The host can’t leave, but everyone else can jump in and out if they want to.

    Lobotomist : We have added more detail to some of the levels, but I think we might have another good pass on the levels in an upcoming patch.

    • MartinNr5 says:

      Thanks! Always nice to get the word straight from the horses mouth. :)

      I’ll do my darndest to get my brothers to buy this so that we can give it a proper co-op run.

  15. Jorlen says:

    I can’t recommend Din’s Curse enough. I’ve easily logged in 150 hours in the game since it’s release and I’ve since bought a copy for my brother and we now play online. Multiplayer is solid, we never have any problems. The hybrid class system offers plenty of choice / versatility and the game is almost infinitely replayable. This game is definitely worth your attention!

  16. PixelLord says:

    The Demo level may go up soon just to sink the hook in deeper. :) I’m hooked as well. I’d love to see this game catch on like a few other game have. Then Soldak might be able to get half the world hooked on this fun! ( well, maybe 1/10 of 1% – that would still be 6 million players). The next new patch might even have a few new effects for your pleasure! :)