Oh Look, The Age Of Decadence Public Beta

Well well well. After writing about Dead State earlier today, I now discover that the public beta demo for long-awaited Age of Decadence has been released. It would appear that everybody in the world is trying to download it at the moment and I’m probably not going to help matters by doing this but here’s the only working link I’ve found over on RapidShare. Because it’s downloading quite slowly I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet but here’s hoping it’s as good as it looked when Kieron spoke about it in olden times.


  1. mckertis says:

    “which is lending its engine”

    I thought it was Torque…

    • Premium User Badge

      Adam Smith says:

      You thought right. I wrote wrong. It is too late in the day for accuracy.

      • Elhoim says:

        Actually, for Dead State we are using a modified version of the AoD modification we made of Torque 3D.

  2. apocraphyn says:

    I hope that all of the time they’ve put into this hasn’t been for naught. The world needs more decent CRPGs. Download faster, you infernal file!

  3. Khemm says:

    I loved the combat demo they released… in late 2009/early 2010 I think, so frankly, I’m ecstatic to finally see what they’ve been cooking for all those years. Downloading from rapidshare, sloooowly.

    It’s a stupidly ambitious game for such a small team.

  4. hammoudith says:

    There are torrent links for it from the forum.

    link to demonoid.me
    link to file-upload.net

    EDIT: can someone update the main article with the torrents?

  5. TheWhippetLord says:

    Still looks to be a splendid game. Sadly their merchandising site is struggling for me atm. Hope a lot of people are buying their splendid mugs and therefore ensuring that I get AoD ASAP. :)

  6. utharda says:

    If you haven’t been following this, GET IT NOW> NOW NOWWNOWNWONWONOW.NOW.

  7. PredOborG says:

    I can’t believe this!!! The Combat Demo was out about 2 years ago. I was so exited I was checking the website for news every day for 2 months. Then I realized the game was annouced at 2007 and something inside of me died.

  8. a passing bee says:

    Extremely excited about this!

  9. Fumarole says:

    I’ll be waiting for the full game to experience it in all its glory, as the Vault Dweller himself intended.

  10. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Looks like they’ve polished the visuals quite a bit. It’s now got a clear art style and some personality rather than being a murky brown mess.

    Hopefully they’ve improved their tutorial a bit. I tried the demo way back when, and it was a little less user-friendly than I would have preferred.

    • Khemm says:

      There was a tutorial? It was a combat demo meant to test various combat-oriented builds, I don’t recall there being any tutorials.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        Well, maybe that was the problem. I just remember not really understanding the combat system, and when the demo is nothing but the combat system…

        It was a while back, so my memory is hazy.

  11. Paul says:

    It is very good judging from first impressions, but it really needs possibility of enlarging text fonts, because it is pretty much unplayable at 1920*1200 for me.

    • Khemm says:

      Run the game at a non-native res for now. I’ve read on their forums that will be fixed. Here’s a list of known issues:
      link to irontowerstudio.com

      – There will be more filler NPCs with schedules.
      – Alchemy is not implemented.
      – There will be better GUI support for higher resolutions.
      – Sometimes music stops playing.
      – There will be more sounds for text actions.
      – PC model in the character creation and inventory screens looks dark with HDR on.
      – There is a small section when a game loads that you see the models being loaded. Will be fixed in the final version.

      • FCA says:

        Am I the only one bothered by the kerning of the font? Especially the “i” is somewhat weirdly placed a lot of the time.
        Other than that: good first impressions.

  12. FunkyBadger3 says:


  13. derbefrier says:

    Never heard of it but I am a sucker for a good crpg. Will download when I get home. So since I am lazy to look myself what games is this comparable too? What should I expect from this game?

    Edit: nevermind I took a glance at the site this game sounds pretty fun can’t wait to try it

  14. Allafif says:

    Played it for a while, got frustrated and stopped. I really wanted to like this, but it feels like I’m struggling with the interface to do anything.

    It also seems to be like the old Fallouts in that you’re terrible at everything by default.

    • Khemm says:

      If it’s anything like the combat demo, you cannot be a jack of all trades.

      • Allafif says:

        Right, that’s fine, I just wish you could specialize a bit more at the beginning.

        I think I might have more fun just avoiding combat as much as possible.

  15. brulleks says:

    Having re-read Kieron’s original article, I had to laugh at the line: ” Well, it’s (2009) shaping up to be a great year. Dragon Age, Divinity 2, Diablo 3…”

    • BoZo says:

      Like reading old PC Gamer; “With Duke Nukem on the horizon…” (2001)

  16. Brun says:

    So as someone who’s completely uninitiated, what kind of game is this? It looks like an old school CRPG but I’m guessing it’s not using a D&D ruleset.

    • mazzratazz says:

      It’s basically a mixture between a text adventure (no real exploration in here, most of the out-of-combat interaction takes place through dialogue screens) with shitloads of skill checks and choices and consequences, combined with a single-character turn/grid-based combat system with lots of tactical depth and high difficulty. Your character build and choices influence how the game plays out to extreme degrees.

      They’re not using any proprietary ruleset like DnD, as far as I know it’s entirely custom-built (but has been fine-tuned over years and years).

  17. TormDK says:

    I’m going to save myself for the retail game, but this looks like something I’ll be tossing money at!

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Me too. I’ve been looking forward to this too much to play a beta. I’ll wait for the final version.

    • phlebas says:

      Likewise – but I’ve already tossed them some money, because MAP.

  18. Mungrul says:

    It’s very good, if a little unpolished so far. There’s lots of excellent conversation skill checks for those of us who like the talky option, and thief seems to be fully fleshed out too. I’m a little confused about using thief skills though; can you use them whenever you like as in Fallout / Arcanum, or are they limited to special scenarios?

    • Dragatus says:

      Limited to special scenarios. They come up whenever it’s apropriate.

  19. ResonanceCascade says:

    Wow, this is looking a lot better than the combat demo from a while back (which was not bad to begin with).

    This and next year are looking absolutely great for old-school RPG goodness.

  20. megazver says:

    Won’t load past the chargen screen for me. Just sits there at the loading screen for ten minutes.

  21. Ed123 says:

    Reviews from the prestigious RPGCodex community are mixed.

    • Oozo says:

      That must hurt. When I still used to visit the site, “Age of Decadence” was basically the great hope and savior that was mentioned whenever a game didn’t live up to their standards. So, if it’s not what they were hoping for – is there no hope for the RPG Codex after all? One would assume.

    • almondblight says:

      Reviews at the Codex have been mostly positive, they just haven’t been uniformly positive. Because, you know, nothing at the Codex is liked by everyone.

      • deadfolk says:

        Including the Codex itself.

        How I love that place. I must go back and visit at some point.

  22. Sardukar says:

    Ye-ah, the RPGCodex community are pretty vitriolic in their opinions. Not where I’d go for anything like a fair review. Of anything.

    Playing it now – text is an issue on higher resolutions, yes. Load screens a quibble. Actual game looks really deep and very stat-dependent. Suspect I’ll be making more than one character. Trying a Merchant who sucks at making deals and is doomed to get in scraps with people much meaner than he is.

    No idea about the setting – haven’t followed the game development. Graphics are adequate as is UI and controls.

    • Ed123 says:

      I’m not sure where you got that idea from. Codexers are very fair and open-minded about role-playing-games, especially when they come from favoured sons like Vince D. Weller.

  23. Eclipse says:

    Is this project still active? It’s a lot more interesting than Dead State for me, any date for the release?

    • neomysInt says:

      On Thursday.

    • Dragatus says:

      Release date is Thursday, but nobody knows which week, month or year. Considering the demo contains about 25% of the full game and has been in private beta test for half a year, I don’t expect to see it released any sooner than 2013.

  24. InternetBatman says:

    I would check out their site every few months, but eventually I stopped because nothing ever changed. It’s good to know they’ve made major progress.

    • Vince says:

      We update our front page once a year or so (on account of not really giving a fuck), so if you want to see the progress, check our forums.

      • Squirrelfanatic says:

        That response sounded a bit like something Derek Smart would have said.

  25. Lokik says:

    It’s a wonderful demo. It has a few bugs of course (trying to stab the bandit leader with a dagger in hand = “[fail]Too bad you don’t have a dagger”), but seems fairly polished, the dialogue is interesting, character portraits and art style are beautiful, lots of different weapons, clothing and skills… In a nutshell: Take my money already!

    • Dragatus says:

      IIRC you need a light dagger (Jambia, Pugio or Sefet) to stab people in dialogue. The long daggers (Khanjar and Yatagan) don’t work.

  26. Splotch says:

    Downloaded, installed, played for 60secs, uninstalled. Just not my type of game i guess :(

  27. RegisteredUser says:


  28. RegisteredUser says:

    Go to the forum thread, there are torrents that are 9000 times faster than rapidsh..

  29. Valanthyr says:

    Tried a mercenary, died during the first fight.
    Tried an assassin, died during the first fight.
    Tried a praetor, and guess what? Yes, died during the first fight.

    Sorry, uninstalled.

    • Wizardry says:

      Err… this game isn’t any more difficult than other cRPGs.

      • Imbecile says:

        No the combat really is much harder than other CRPGs. Plenty of quotes from Vince himself and guys on the Iron Tower forums to back that up. The idea is that there is an incentive to avoid combat because its very difficult, though I’m not sure they havent overdone it…

        • Dragatus says:

          The combat is brutally hard at first. But once you figure out how to build a monster character it becomes much easier. I’ve personally made characters that could single-handedly take on 7 raiders or the 5 Aurelian soldiers at the mining outpost and live to tell the tale.

          The main tricks are to get good armor (possibly something you’ve crafted yoruself), pump up a defensive skill (I personally favor Block, but Dodge also works), and drop the expectation that you’re entiteled to slaughter everything the game throws at you just because you’re the player character. ;-)

          And in the demo Constitution is actually a dump stat even for warriors. It will be better in the full game where you’ll need it to explore the Abyss, but for now there is no point in making it any higher than 6.

        • Valanthyr says:

          The problem being that when this is your very first encounter, your ways to avoid combats are scarce and inefficient. They actually failed me before my weapons did.

          I’m all for high challenges in games, especially deep engrossing cRPGs, but please, let me first build up my skills, feel involvement in my character and appreciate the game background and atmosphere before crushing me miserably.

          • Dragatus says:

            I’m guessing you’re talking about the assassin vignette. You can avoid that fight by having an average Charisma or by taking the default stats and investing into a high Critical Strike skill.

    • Infinitron says:

      The developer approves of your decision.

      • Evil_This says:

        The developer agrees because the developer is a pigeonholing developer who clearly doesn’t comprehend gamers and built a really piss-poor, inconsistent game.

        This may be a “public beta” but basic consistency issues that shouldn’t exist in any game do. The method to move screens/maps around is wholly inconsistent, there’s no indication of where you are inside of the game (ie, not even an arrow pointing north), for crying out loud the freaking *pointer* isn’t even consistent through the game, switching to your computer system’s default arrow on 40% of the screens. This is after *how* many anticipatory years in development? The game’s an “RPG” but dialogue options are incredibly scarce, with essentially no real roleplaying allowed.

        At one point in the forums there, a player asks about why his high charisma character can’t get any sort of persuasive/charisma type options in a particular scene and the dev answers with, essentially, it wouldn’t be realistic. Meanwhile, the only way in this game to build even a barely passable fighter is to put none of your starting stat points in Strength or Constitution, and put none of your starting skills into any of the weapons. I’m sorry, what you cry “for realism’s sake!” and yet the best melee/tank build includes none of the “Realistic” aspects of being a fighter/melee? Yes, I see your wisdom there.
        Add to this the remarkably closed-ended method in which skills are used (only as checks, not directly usable by any means) and the very linear story path/world interaction.

        This game will likely not make it past this beta period, and if it does it’ll be a $1.99 special on Steam because the basic combat/interaction code for the game is nonsense, and the “roleplay” is more like “knowing which options to choose”. It’s far less open-ended roleplaying game and far more like reading a choose your own adventure book – except instead of your finger in the last section you read, you have to save every chance you get because the very next decision you make (no matter your skills, no matter your actions to that point) can make you dead.

        Honestly, after about 100 player builds and most of the day spent playing this garbage, you’d be better off playing the original Europa Universalis or D&D Daggerdale, or hell, Fable 3.

        • evilhyde says:

          There are tons of roleplaying dialogue choices: possibly more than any other rpg out there. Only, Vince believes very much in skill-based choices with consequences rather than flavor roleplaying ones, and you can’t see most of them unless you have a high enough appropriate skill/stat/reputation. This is a design decision to encourage replayability and to discover new options with a new character, rather than have then all laid out for you.

          Yes, the particular example given from the beginning of the mercenary questline didn’t have a persuasion option – not every situation has one – yet by far this game still has many persuasion (as well as many other non-combat dialogue skills like streetwise, trading, lore, etc) than most other rpgs.

          As far as the combat build discussed, they were talking about min maxing a fighter based on the assumption that defense > offense when fighting the larger battles later in the game, and health is the weakest link on the defensive side, with armor and defensive skills like block and dodge being more valuable. This is why the idea of having higher intellect and lower strength and constitution on a fighter. EDIT: intellect in order to have more skill points for block, etc.

          That doesn’t mean this is the only way to play a combat character, and it was primarily a suggestion for the large scale battles. I have played the mercenary questline with high strength & constitution and neglected my block in favor of sword, and still beaten the first two in a row battles as well as some other fights. I got stuck at the large imperial guard fight, but then there were lots of other quests I could have done to increase my skills or bought new armor, and this was only my first major playthrough. Again, replayability is one of the key selling points of the game.

          The game does have a high learning curve. So did the combat demo, and many who played it thought most of the fights were impossible, but replayed it a lot and learned the mechanics more, and eventually could beat every fight including the final inn battle (myself included). That may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a point that the developers are pretty set on, and it does have a niche audience that enjoys it.

          This is all actually deja vu from when the combat demo was released, people were complaining about how some of the fights must be broken they were so hard (the Ordu), and Vince kept saying “play more you will get better” and nobody wanted to believe him, but it was true. People replayed a lot, learned the mechanics and different tactics, and got better until they beat those fights, and then go so much better they beat them with multiple combat builds (again, myself included).

          Vince has a very blunt style of writing, and I noticed that you are taking his actual advice as a personal attack and thinking you have tried everything and he just isn’t listening, but based on my experience from combat demo AND this beta, you are wrong. The fights are doable, but it does take trying different tactics and changing around a few skill points or stats here and there.

          If you don’t like a game that is so hard and takes a lot of replaying to beat, this is really just not your game. Not everyone will enjoy an rpg that plays this way, and that’s fine.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            So it’s more like a puzzle game?

          • evilhyde says:


            It’s an rpg with a lot of scripted text adventures that use your skills, so it has something of an adventure game feel if that’s what you mean.

        • Infinitron says:

          Okay, whose alt are you?

          • icetroll says:

            I quite enjoy the performance by Vince so far. It is not healthy for him in the long run, but sure funny. “Don’t like the game? Well, bite me! I don’t need your filthy money.” Sure you don’t, Vince. I guess you love your marketing position and want nothing more then to spend the rest of your life like a grumpy marketoid you are.

          • Vince says:

            @ icetroll:

            The game isn’t for everyone. No game is. I have absolutely no problem with people not liking the game, but some people who don’t like it stick around and bitch endlessly, expecting me to change the game to please them. They back up their complaints with “well, don’t you want my money?”

            No, I don’t. The goal was never to sell the game to everyone and their grandmas, but to see if we can find enough people who like the game for what it is.

          • icetroll says:

            Now I feel a bit guilty for baiting you. I understand your position. And there is (almost) nothing wrong with it. But you’re a 40-something dick, who is unable to be anything else. You just can’t let it go and accept/ignore a stray “your game sux” without responding in tone. It is mildly entertaining (for me), but does not bode well for your career plans.

          • Reefpirate says:

            I for one support Vince’s approach… Games aren’t and shouldn’t be democracies, where every whiner on the forums gets an equal voice in the design. You want a different kind of RPG? Go make it yourself. For now, Vince is making this type of game, and if you don’t like it don’t buy it. Let the market decide eventually whether there’s enough people who like his approach.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            I want games made by people like Vince.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Played a Grifter and was having great fun!

      • FunkyBadger3 says:

        Just noticed, the splash screen has a Glen Cook quote!


    • Dragatus says:

      Someone immortalized your words in a trailer: link to youtube.com

      • icetroll says:

        A trailer? Why not a digital tombstone engraving? Vince, apparently, doesn’t have any issues with people not enjoying his game, and even said repeatedly that he is aware that his game might not be everyones’ cup of tea. Yet his reaction on a simple and not really offensive statement of fact (“uninstalled it”) is “Good fucking riddance”.

        As for codexians, I find it sweet and amusing how some people look for an “intellectual challenge” in RPG combat. I almost want to know what such a person might be doing for life? Being a marketing man certainly fits this picture, but they can’t all be marketoids, can they?

        • evilhyde says:

          That trailer is beautiful, and I can’t stop laughing!

          @icetroll, you are trying to hard, you’ve broken the first rule of trolling. Vince didn’t make that video, though I’m sure he would probably agree with the sentiment. Hard games are fun, and yes we enjoy taking pleasure are the weak new generation who whine cause they haven’t learned the enjoyment of failure.

          • icetroll says:

            You may enjoy your “hard games”, but why don’t you make the next step in evolution and learn the “reading-with-understanging” thing? I never claimed Vince did the trailer, I claimed Vince said “Good fucking riddance” in response to the poor chap that dared to uninstall the product of Vince’s 8 years of hard labour.

          • Vince says:

            @ icetroll:

            It’s not that he ‘dared to insult my game’. I don’t expect everyone to like it and I understand why someone wouldn’t. We made a lot of design decisions that won’t sit well with some folks.

            It’s the “died on the first fight, tried a different character, died again, uninstalled” notion that I think is kind of retarded. Is it some sense of silly entitlement to completely destroy and ‘pwn’ your first opponent? Some fucked up expectations?

            It should be noted that some of these fights are optional and all can be avoided with other skills, so these fights in no way block you from exploring the rest of the game. Anyway…

          • icetroll says:


            And you absolutely couldn’t resist saying what you think about someone’s gaming preferences? Well, I believe there is no need for me to repeat what I think about this peculiar drive of yours.

            BTW there is nothing strange or ridiculous in expecting the rpg minigames (and combat is one of those) to be rather simple and not tedious. AFAIU your game has a simple WIN button for all other minigames, but the combat minigame is somehow very different, it is the tool to rape those poor sods who wanted to role play a combat character. Your decision, but there is nothing retarded in disliking the idea of spedning even one hour on mastering a rather tediuos minigame (figuring out how those relatively undocumented stats/skills work and then figuring out which one of a finite number of tactics works for a particular encounter). The other extreme – the WIN button – is also somewhat problematic as it moves a lot/most of roleplaying into the character screen.

          • Vince says:

            @ icetroll:

            Commenting on what other people say or do is a time-honored internet tradition, isn’t it? Looking at your posts here, I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

          • icetroll says:


            sure, but there is one non-marginal difference, though: I’m just fooling around here, resisting the mild urge to flame you, while you are here in semi-official PR capacity.

          • Vince says:

            @ icetroll:

            Did I say anything here? Did I say anything to Evil_This, for example, who attacked the game because it stole his lunch money? No. So, what are we talking about?

            link to rockpapershotgun.com

          • icetroll says:

            @ vince

            Lol, I kinda expected your attention span to be a bit wider. Just a couple comments ago you called Valanthyr’s comment ‘retarded’. Or was it failed Bluff roll?

            Also, did you expect that being a jerk on two official Aod fora is somehow invisible?

            But I do admit that you are unusually timid lately.

        • Reefpirate says:

          I don’t know what your beef is with ‘marketoids’, but you seem to live in a bizarre fantasy land where consumers of art are always right. Quite often they are wrong. “I don’t like the way you painted this portrait, there’s too many shadows and it’s all dark and stuff. You should totally change the painting or else I won’t look at it.” Good fucking riddance indeed.

          • icetroll says:

            Boy, oh, boy. You definitely must try learning one day the minigame called Reading and its more advanced version Reading With Comprehension. It might significantly improve your overall gaming experience. You know, in those awkward moments when a game expects you to read something. Sure, you can invest a few points in Persuation and Bluff and then keep clicking the WIN button, but believe me: with comprehension it’s more fun.

          • evilhyde says:

            Only a few posts in, and already the same reading comprehension cracks and bad rpg jokes. You really are a terrible troll, ice.

          • icetroll says:

            Well, it’s not my failure that hardcore-turn-based-combat-rpg fans can’t read.

          • evilhyde says:

            That’s no excuse for having such a small repertoire of material. Even if you are picking at the same wounds, try a different approach at least. I mean, -maybe- the bait was ok the first cast, but the second delivery will definitely fall flat.

            Work on it. Or switch to just plain flaming. You might do better there. Hopefully.

          • icetroll says:

            But I’m flaming you. What would be the point of baiting a person who can’t read?

    • Imbecile says:

      This definitely needs to go here – though no one will ever see it :P

      link to irontowerstudio.com

  30. bluebottle says:

    Rolled a Loremaster for my first character, as I’ve always longed for a decent talky route through an rpg (instead of, say just being able to avoid 1 in 10 fights or getting a 10% discount on items). Thoroughly enjoyed it. Think I’ll roll a combat character next, and experience some of the masochism.

  31. konjad says:

    I’ve uploaded the beta to mediafire, in case other links are dead again. I had to split it in 2 parts with 7zip, so you have to unpack it.

    link to mediafire.com
    link to mediafire.com

  32. pertusaria says:

    First minor niggle – clicking the different classes on the character creation screen resets and wipes all your clicking on stats and skills up to then.

    I can see why this is, as a basic assassin is completely different from a basic drifter, but I wish I’d copped on to what the class selection bit was earlier. I tried clicking where it said “Drifter” under my name first, and moved on to other stuff when that didn’t work. Ah well.

    Other than that the character creation is neat – I like how you can change the character’s looks using pretty much the same system as in The Sims.

  33. RegisteredUser says:

    No target zones; you can’t switch between char/inventory screen with keypress but need to ESC first.
    No orientation or balance to what you can fight or not..nothing really to do but die..for something that was supposed to have sophisticated combat all I see is a one-click-and-pray system and that’s it.

    All hopes go over to Dead State instead..

    Which, btw, has new screens:
    link to deadstate.doublebearproductions.com

    link to deadstate.doublebearproductions.com

    link to deadstate.doublebearproductions.com

    • MastodonFarm says:

      There are target zones (and multiple attack types)…try right-clicking your weapon.

  34. evilhyde says:

    Public Beta R2 is out! Lots of nice changes. Among them, Combat has been rebalanced to be more intuitive when building a character (defense isn’t 100% king now) and opening fights in particular are much easier. You are also not forced directly into the vignette, and can wander around the limited opening area and even buy & equip gear and save your game.

  35. Vince says:

    A new trailer for the easily amused:

  36. Galbraeth says:

    I just downloaded the demo, and am enjoying it. I seriously enjoy a hard game and all, but I think the first part as a merc seems a little unbalanced. I’d think starting out that the initial couple fights probably should’nt be the place to show us how shitty our build is lol. It seems like a trial of luck to get through the first fight with my dumb ass axe wielding merc… I swing *miss*… Assassin swings back (4 times mind you) *3 connect, two rupture organs, 1 disarms me* … okay um fast attack… shit I miss again….damn that 43% seem more like 15% oh well… Assassin attacks me again 4 times, 2 hits, one critical, second disarms me again… awesome okay Im dead. Try again, rinse and repeat over 30 times…. wow wtf is going on? my guy is not that much of a gimp?

    Anyways, I’m thinking there could be a little grace period for first time builds to actually establish a character before humiliating them and grinding them into shit sauce until they realize their build isn’t working? At least to put a few easy skill points towards getting my pc up to par?… Just a thought. I guess I’ll re-roll, because I am pulling my hair out lol.