Fallen Empires: The Age Of Decadence

Age of Decadence belongs to the diminishing group of games currently in development that I first took am interest in because of a post on this ‘ere website long before my ugly mug was ever on the ‘About Us’ page. I spent some time with the demo at the end of last year and my interest levels rose so high that my Wonga alert sounded at full blast. I was expecting something similar to Baldur’s Gate but the reality is something else entirely. The game is now available on Steam Early Access, with 60% of the content included and the complete set of features from the finished product.

There are no heroes in Age of Decadence, or at least none that I could control, and even the lightest spot of combat is potentially lethal. In contrast to the many procedurally generated games in the world today, AoD is carefully handcrafted from moment to moment. That means every fight is about more than hitting things and levelling up – there’s always something for the player character to learn or collect, and there’s an intricacy to individual interactions that most RPGs don’t even strive for.

There are over 100 combat encounters in the current version, more than 70 quests with multiple solutions and consequences, and over 350,000 words of dialogue. I’m hoping to spend a full day with it sometime soon so that I can share some thoughts but it’s sounding like I might need a full week.


  1. Gurrah says:

    They took their sweet time.

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Oooo, sounds delightful. I’m replaying Baldur’s Gate 2 in the guise of the “Enhanced Edition” at the moment and it’s fantastic, if balls-to-the-wall difficult. I hope this will fill some of the gap between that and Project Eternity.

    • Niko says:

      I’d say it’s more Fallout (1 & 2) than Baldur’s Gate.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Age of Decadence is much closer to Fallout than Balder’s Gate in everything but technology. It focuses far more heavily on skill-based interactions, and you can use your skills with everything. It’s a compelling experience even if the writing is fairly weak in some places.

      As such, its real competitor is Wasteland 2 and another Obsidian made Fallout if it ever happens. Quite honestly, I haven’t seen parts of either that suggest superb writing or a clear graphics advantage, so it might be a bit of a good rivalry between the two.

      • Dave Tosser says:

        Age of Decadence comes from an alternative universe where Arcanum wasn’t the only big budget game to out and out steal Fallout’s mechanics. This is a good thing.

    • Carra says:

      Having played neither, should I start with BG1 or BG2 enhanced edition?

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        I think BG2 is a little more beginner friendly early on, though not by much.

        To be honest, If I had the choice knowing what I know, I think I’d play 2 first and then treat 1 as a prequel. But that’s just me, there are a lot of characters and callbacks to 1 in 2.

      • Opiniomania says:

        Hey :) Storywise, definitely BG1, but if you’re looking for content aka ‘things to do’ then BG2. You miss some of the references and such, but it’s no biggie.

      • InternetBatman says:

        BG2. It keeps the sweet spot going till right before the end, but it may be a little overwhelming at first. Balder’s Gate 1 is punishing to play for the first 2-5 hours. BG1 starts you off at level one, and in the D&D system of the time that meant you were a fighter that had never picked up a sword before or wizard that could only cast two individual spells a day. This makes the difficulty murderous (especially as a wizard), until you get around level 3.

        BG1 has a great exploration system, and you feel like you’re in a living world a bit more than BG2. The writing and combat are better in BG2.

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          MercurialAlchemist says:

          I definitely enjoyed BG2 much more. Many of the quests in BG1 were bland, and the BG2 NPCs (especially the companions, which have their own quests) are much more complex and interesting. Combat can be tough, though, especially if you don’t have the right spells ready.

        • malkav11 says:

          I don’t know that I agree that BG1 feels more like a living world. There’s an incredible density of encounters and NPCs and secrets and things in BG2 that simply isn’t there in BG1 to nearly the same degree.

          And I think you’re leaving out the most painful part of starting at level 1 in 2nd edition D&D: randomized HP so low that even the burliest fighter stands a reasonable chance of dying in a single hit. (Mods (and perhaps the EE) allow you to automatically get max HP rolls, which helps a little but you still have the approximate resilience of wet tissue paper.) Baldur’s Gate compounds this by instantly losing you the game if your main character dies (no matter how many other people may be in the party). And of course access to resurrection magic at such low levels is pretty limited as well.

          Me, I’d stick to BG2, which is a crazy long game and absolutely the best in the series. If you simply must know how things started and manage to get through the entirety of BG2 + expansion, then yeah, go back to BG1.

          • humbye says:

            Right, I registered just to reply to this comment. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you should try the Big World Project (google it). Note that you will need both BG1 plus its expansions, and BG plus its expansions (Throne of Bhaal, et al). What this programme does is port BG1 into the BG2 engine and lets you play the whole saga as one complete and unbroken story, rather than having to port your character from BG1 to BG2 (which I understand, is something of a pain, since the rulesets in both are different). This means you play the whole thing in the vastly superior BG2 engine.

            Take a look and see if it is for you. I tried this out as both: 1) A complete noob to the series (this was about 3 years ago); 2) A complete noob to modding BG in any form.

            It’s not very difficult to set up, but it will require some time (it downloads quite a few things, its a megamod after all) and some extensive reading to decide what you want and what you don’t.

            Edit: Gaaaahhh! Sorry, meant to reply to Carra.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        Look at it this way, you’ll want to play both so start with the first one. It’s not quite as good as BGII but is still an excellent game, but playing BG1 after BG2 is kind of redundant. Just do them in order and have the full experience.

      • Vivi says:

        Whether you play BG1 or BG2, you shouldn’t play the “enhanced” version of either. Get the Fixpack, then get the high-res mod, and then enjoy the game without all the new content bugs.

    • Continuity says:

      Actually its looks are deceptive, its not the same type of RPG as Baldurs gate or Fallout at all, its something completely different – not to say that its bad (its actually a great game).
      I would put it down as having much more in common with those old choose your own adventure books, just with more branching and much better combat. It very much plays out as a branching story with many, many branches.. but you can’t just wander around them as you see fit, when you make a choice several doors are slammed permanently shut. This gives it massive replayability, but its certainly not your typical open world game where you’re free to explore all the content, within the confines of the branching story system its actually very linear and directed.

  3. Niko says:

    I have waited 4 years for this, I can wait some more.

  4. InternetBatman says:

    Can anyone who knows more about the game fill me in on the relationship between Age of Decadence and Dead State? Is it like Obsidian and InXile, where they share technology but mostly work separately? Or do many of the crewmembers do double-duty?

    • cpt_freakout says:

      I’m not sure if they share some base tech (they might); IIRC Brian is friends with some of the AoD devs, and so they let DoubleBear use their forums as a departure base for Dead State discussions. I’m sorry I don’t know much else, but perhaps that’s all there is to it.

      • Continuity says:

        My understanding is that they are actually mostly the same devs, and the deadstate started out as a side project that they would log a few hours in whenever they could. Of course things have changed after the kickstarter.

    • OscarV says:

      Oscar from Iron Tower and DoubleBear here. We share the same base engine and some team members, but the design in each game is completely different.

  5. Andy_Panthro says:

    I really enjoyed the demo, especially the differences between character types.

    It gives off a very Fallout-y feel, but with a more Classical-era background rather than the 50s B-movie stuff.

    It’s been a long wait, but I’m looking forward to playing a finished version (so won’t be trying the early access).

  6. SillyWizard says:


  7. biggergun says:

    AoD was in development for so long that I’ve grown out of fanatically liking old-school RPGs while waiting for it.

  8. Paul says:

    This is going to be the most hardcorest RPG of the hardcore ones, mark my words.
    And I am damn curious about it. Does Vince Weller have what it takes?

  9. Dave Tosser says:

    link to rockpapershotgun.com This thing from 2008 sees Vince coming out against those who dared to speak not in favour of turn-based combat. It’s a worth a read just so you remember those dark years where something like this was literally supported by hard work and alpha pre-orders, before Kickstarter took off and our nostalgia returned to beg for money. Warms the heart to see a man so fanatical about his preferred combat system.

    • biggergun says:

      As far as I remember from my days on the official forums, Vince doesn’t consider anything that is non-isometric or non-turnbased a game. Not sure about warming of hearts, but one indeed could admire his dedication.

      • Vince says:

        I *prefer* turn-based and isometric, which doesn’t mean that I don’t consider anything else a game. Games like Daggerfall, Darklands, Planescape: Torment, Ultima Underworld, Bloodlines, Gothic, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, etc have been among my favorite games for years.

        • biggergun says:

          Not Skyrim, then.

          • Nick says:

            well no, because its kinda shitty.

          • biggergun says:

            Ouch. I really liked the furry elephants.

          • Shooop says:

            Looking back on it, I can say it had the right idea of the open world, but when you actually pay attention to the things going on, it’s way too easy to count all the seams.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Vince Weller’s online persona is a massive jerk, emblematic of the worst of the codex. I’ve decided that I’m going to ignore what I think about him while playing what is shaping up to be a decent game.

      • Vince says:

        Unlike you, of course, who is always polite and well-mannered, and who never speaks ill of others. You, sir, are an inspiration to us all.

        • Dave Tosser says:

          It’s great to see you’re on patrol, Vince. Sometimes I see people playing RtWP games and just wish you were around to tut at them for me. Age of Decadence looks quite good indeed.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Well, I thought I’d stop any rush to canonize you as an eccentric fan rather than a belligerent lurker, or an attempt to defend the bluntness behind comments such as:

          “And no, I don’t really care who’d think what and how my comments would affect sales. I’m making this game on a bold assumption that there are some people out there who are interested in complex games that aren’t made for retards.”

          “The graphics can blind 75% of your audience – we don’t want that, do we? – so don’t post any screens.”

          as honesty rather than needless aggression.

          • Dave Tosser says:

            Are you suggesting there are video games that aren’t turn-based and aren’t isometric, and these might be worth playing?

          • Vince says:

            I’m aware that our visuals won’t win any awards. As for the other comment, sure, I could have phrased it differently, but it wouldn’t change the fact that games are being dumbed down to appeal to wider and wider audiences.

            There was a time when a million copies sold was a phenomenal result. Not two million copies are being cited as a break-even point. With terms like these, who can afford to take any risks?

            BioShock was much weaker than System Shock 2. BioShock Infinite is a weak shooter on rails. Latest XCOM and Civ don’t come close to their venerable ancestors. Bioware’s BG games now look hardcore as fuck (which they never were) compared to all the shit we are getting lately. Obsidian got 4 mil just for saying that they will make a game like BG. That’s how times have changed.

          • biggergun says:

            Obsidian got a lot of money, though. As did pretty much anyone promising a spiritual successor to any classic game out there and all the people making novel creative indie games. So sad it won’t stop the impeding gameapocalypse of doom.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I don’t think they are anymore. The newest generation has come in and is hungry for more and better content. Spiderweb sold a gazillion copies on Humble Bundle. Everyone and their mother salivated over Grimrock. Even on a AAA level Dishonored and Deus Ex: HR had more fans among the press than Assassin’s Creed 3. It’s not where Thief I was, but its moving well. Games aren’t dumbing down, they’re expanding to meet differentiated needs.

            That said, I’m really glad you guys are making AoD. You clearly thought a lot about the impact of skills on the gameworld and it shows. But I react viscerally for being called retarded for liking Bioshock, when I like Spiderweb just as well. Sorry for dredging up the past.

          • Shooop says:

            To be fair the responses he quoted were very idiotic. But he didn’t focus his frustrated response at them and used a far too broad stroke. Not everyone on this site is a fan of “Left Mouse to win!” games. In fact, they make up the minority here. Why they are here when IGN would be much more to their liking is anyone’s guess.

        • dethtoll says:

          You know, I hate RtWP games too but I’m not a massive dick about it.

    • BockoPower says:

      “Age of Decadence will be released when it’s done. That’ll probably be this Fall.”

      I remember reading similar thing a lot between 2007 and 2010 :(

  10. sektor666 says:

    combat is nearly impossible for a character not focusing solely on combat skills. and diplomatic approaches consist mostly of guesswork (of which skill to upgrade) and abusing the save/load function. it’s relatively easy to hit a dead end and at times it feels like a cross between a bad gamebook and an old sierra adventure.

    oh, but the writing is ok.

    • Premium User Badge

      MercurialAlchemist says:

      Oh, but I actually played the combat demo repeatedly when it came out years ago! I remember combat being hard, but pretty tactical. Light characters with daggers were definitely overpowered, IIRC. Did it change much in the current version?

      • Vince says:

        A LOT of things changed, so I’d suggest to give the demo a try. It’s been updated to R4.2 and is available on Steam (free of charge, of course).

    • Vince says:

      Combat is hard at first, but gets easier as your understanding of the system grows. Skill checks won’t be an issue if you don’t treat them as random skills and try to build a logical character instead. For example, a merchant should have good INT and CHA, persuasion (the art of convincing), streetwise (the art of manipulating and bullshitting), trading (more than selling items), and a bit of etiquette (the knowledge of social protocols).

      • sektor666 says:

        i hate to come across as ignorant, but there isn’t really THAT much to understand about combat, other than that when you’re outnumbered (which is most of the time), you’re pretty much fucked, unless you’re able to find a chokepoint (doesn’t happen very often) and fight enemies one by one, in which case they can often kill you eventually by way of attrition, since you can’t heal wounds mid-combat or flee encounters. and weapons don’t do a lot of damage, so obviously maths are on the more numerous side of every encounter.

        as for the skills – what you’re saying is true, vince, but every now and then choosing a dialogue option while lacking a specific level of a specific skill simply takes you to a ‘game over’ screen, and forces you to revert to an earlier save in order to redistribute xp differently and hopefully pass the dialogue successfully. it’s really not that much fun at all. some of those really need a secondary skill check to at least give the player a chance of surviving, or SOMETHING. i’ve been super hyped for this game for god-knows-how-long, and now that i finally got to play it, i find playing it more of a chore :(

        i can totally dig the whole ‘PC is not a demigod and is for the most part no different from an NPC’ thing, but really, the adventurer mode in dwarf fortress follows more or less the same ideology, and combat is much more bearable there somehow :s

  11. Opiniomania says:

    Looks like the retrophilia is still going strong.

    • Max Planck says:

      To me, it looks like it will be absolutely hundering.

    • Shooop says:

      In a case like this, I’m kind of glad is it because it’s something that’s not another “Hey guys let’s just recreate an Atrai 2600 platformer and nostalgic gamers will throw money at us!” cash-grab.

  12. Big Murray says:

    What is with this trend of releasing games before they’re finished? Finish your goddamn game, THEN release it. RPS shouldn’t have to be doing WIT’s or Impressions of games which are only 60% complete.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Making money as an indie artist isn’t easy, and every project, indie or not, operates at a loss while in development. If you’re a giant corporation, you have the layers of infrastructure and the borrowing power to cover those costs. If not, you probably need to find other ways to fund development and fill the cupboard while you’re at it. Selling access to betas is really just a transparent version of things all the corporations already do.

      If you don’t want to fund an unfinished project, don’t. It’s clearly marked as Early Access on Steam, so no one’s being dishonest.

    • Vince says:

      It’s an extended demo, basically. A pre-order bonus.

      The public demo (chapter 1) had 3 locations. The ‘early access’ release (chapter 1 & 2) has 10 locations. Each chapter has its own intro and ending slides and is fairly self-contained. The chapters are well tested and have all the features.

      I understand that it’s not for everyone, of course, but so far it’s been well received.

    • Shadow says:

      What is with this trend of releasing games before they’re finished?

      Where have you been for the past 10+ years?

      Now seriously, I suppose most early access games choose to release early because they need the money to continue development, and I’d rather give them that option than let potential gems fade into oblivion due to lack of funding. So far there’s been nothing negative about the phenomenon, and it’s too soon to be drawing conclusions from it since early access is a quite recent thing, all things considered.

      In time, we’ll see what’s the ratio of games which blossom into full products versus those who stay in early access mode forever. Hopefully successes will be far more common, but since every failure will undermine the credibility of the whole mechanic, there needs to be precise regulation and requirements in place for early access candidates. For example, off the top of my head, a given game shouldn’t be eligible for early access on Steam if development isn’t expected to conclude within a year. Things like that.

    • nonadventurer says:

      “RPS shouldn’t have to be doing WIT’s or Impressions of games which are only 60% complete.”

      So you’re saying RPS shouldn’t be doing previews? Well, I disagree.

      There’s also nothing wrong with being able to play about half of the game when you’ve preordered. Quite the contrary, it’s pretty cool. Naturally, you’re also free not to preorder and just wait for the complete game. It’s a win-win.

      • Big Murray says:

        Except that none of us are experiencing games at the same time anymore. The entire cultural experience is lost.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Unfortunately food isn’t free. Neither are electricity, water or fuel. What are small indie developers who aren’t backed by a large studio meant to do for money whilst developing full time for several years?

    • Shooop says:

      He’s trying to get people interested, spreading the word. If he leaves a good enough impression with the people who were interested enough to back him, they’ll talk about it and maybe more people will get interested.

  13. Jimbo says:

    Nobody alive today will live to see this completed.

  14. nonadventurer says:

    The early access build is really good! Well worth my euros.

  15. SillyWizard says:

    Ah ha ha ha this demo is hysterical. (But where the eff does Fung live?!)

    I’m repeatedly being shanked to death while strolling around as a grifter. I feel like in most games this would annoy me, but for some reason I’m having a fun time with it in AoD.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Hmm. Now that I’ve been stabbed to death by a friggin loremaster about 20 times, it’s less funny. I guess I should stop picking fights with him….

      • SillyWizard says:

        Okay so now I’ve completed the demo twice. (One playthrough took approximately 8 minutes, because Cassius is a twat who doesn’t know what’s good for him.)


        While initially I had fun playing the demo, I have to say that my take-away is that it’s a game with a lot of arbitrariness. It’s nor “hard-core” so much as “don’t try to do anything outside of these several very specific paths we’ve put in the game without giving you any hints about.”

        I guess it’s hardcore in the same way that Zork is hardcore: guess what the dev wanted you to type in order to proceed. Except with AoD, it takes way longer to load up a new game and try again.

        As I said, I played primarily as a grifter, and so I loaded every possible point into street smarts and persuasion and etiquette, in a few different combinations. And here at the beginning of the game I discovered that you have to focus all available skill points in one or two things to get anything done. You can’t be an unusually charismatic pugilist, for instance. No. You have to dump everything into one family of skills. And that ends up really limiting your options.

        I wanted to play a grifter with a sort of loyalty to other grifters, so once I met up with Feng and he asked me to get rid of some competition, I tried. But there’s no way to build a grifter that’s grifter enough to get in good with Feng, and kill Cassius (which is important, because the non-lethal interactions with Cassius won’t get him out of the picture.)

        And finally, at the very end of the demo, I was arbitrarily killed on a highway unless I just happened to dump a bunch of points into sneakiness — a behavior that the game had heretofore discouraged me from trying, as attempting any sort of well-rounded character invariably ended in my death. (By “just happened to” I mean “save scum.”)

        Save scum — that’s my problem with the game. It’s the kind of game that encourages you to save before making any decisions, then reload whenever things don’t work out so you can tweak your character/responses and hopefully luck in to the dev’s “right answer.”

        Maybe it’s too early to tell. Maybe the demo is all mangled to provide just a tiny taste of the game. It seems like there’s a lot of promise there, and I’d be interested in checking it out further — if it turns out skills aren’t as rigidly implemented in the full game.

        (By the way I think I might have run into a pretty consistent bug: after receiving the quest to find out who is supplying a mining operation in the nearby wilderness, initially I was able to bribe any one of several merchants for more information. But after making a lot of different versions of the grifter (who is unplayable unless you build him just right, which is annoying in itself), frequently the merchants wouldn’t give the dialogue option which forwarded the quest. I dunno. Maybe I was doing something differently very consistently to change the situation, but it didn’t seem like it.)

        • SillyWizard says:

          I just want to reiterate what BS it was to have an ambush at the end of the demo like that, that your character can “sneak” by with 3 ranks of the sneak skill, or perhaps can fight his way through if he’s not a total limp-wrist like my grifter was.

          I was really excited to be able to play a character that was able to avoid any violent confrontations — fortunately, since he was apparently the weakest person in the town, judging by the violent confrontations I found myself in during my first several play-through attempts).

          So at the end of the demo, (spoilers, but who cares really), making the particular choices I’d made, I had united 2 factions in a marriage made in heaven and put them into position to usurp the standing of the town’s erstwhile most powerful faction. The two factions I’d helped were suddenly quite fond of me, and both of them separately gave me a bunch of gifts, experience points, and opportunities to pursue in the larger town down the road.

          What the demo did not give me was an opportunity to equip myself for the journey before throwing me into the middle of the ambush. As a non-violent character, I was never given the option to perhaps hire a body-guard or three (despite having tons of ill-gotten gold by this point), or even hit up the blacksmith and pick up some fancy armor to help me just in case.


          It was kind of like a “fuck you for trying to play a different kind of character.” Which makes me sad, because I really had enjoyed the game while it seemed like running cons on NPCs was a viable option.

          • Shooop says:

            Yikes. Did you mention that to the devs? Because from what I hear that’s not what they’re going for in this game.

          • sektor666 says:

            unfortunately this is what a significant part of this game is like. in some places you *need* to have a particular build that the devs had in mind for a particular situation in order to survive. so on the one hand it’s non-linear, but on the other – each ‘line’ has to be played in a very specific way :/

          • Vince says:

            What did you expect? You threatened a Centurion (i.e. a man of violent nature), forced him to do what he didn’t want to do, and thought that was the end of it?

            You had 3 options there:

            – convince the local lord to wipe out the survivors of the raid
            – convince the Centurion (one of the survivors) to join the local lord
            – threaten him and force him to do it

            I assume that you tried to convince him, but failed. At that moment you should have gone to the lord and told him to kill them. If you can’t convince either of them, then your persuasion-lacking merchant deserved to walk into that ambush.

            For the record, you have 2 ways to avoid the ambush. If you can’t…

          • SillyWizard says:

            Every available point I’d earned had gone into my persuasion skill-checks, meaning:

            The player has no option but to play precisely the way the devs have decided each class should be played, meaning that: there’s room for error; no room for experimenting with unconventional/whimsical builds; the player is expected to search out every scrap of hidden opportunities for experience, because missing one or two potential skill-drops is the difference between life and sudden game-over.

            In my numerous attempts to complete the demo, I tried to build a grifter with a pretty smooth tongue who could also: pick locks; sneak; suck up convincingly to the upper crust. Each time I found myself dead in a ditch, until I discovered that I had to have these certain specific skills at certain specific levels at certain specific times.

            Great, so I was trained not to branch out at all. Which worked great: until the game expected me to branch out and get some ranks in sneak to survive one totally different kind of encounter than I’d had to deal with up to then.

            It’s not that the only option I found at that point was outside my current skill-set. It’s that the game had slapped me down so hard for trying that kind of thinking before, that it was extremely jarring when suddenly the gears were shifted.

            Again, I had a fun time with the demo for the most part. There’s just something about the suggestion of lots of options vs the reality of extreme rigidity which says “arbitrary” to me more than “hardcore.”

            I guess what rubs me the wrong way is that it feels like a game that should have a lot of gray. When confronted with a skill check, you either pass or you fail. It’s white or it’s black. What’s the point in having the option of putting 2 ranks into street smarts, or lockpick, or sneak, when the minimum required to ever pass a single skill check is 3 ranks or more?

            I think it might be beneficial to simply include some buffer events (at least sometimes) when the player is heading down a path which is likely to lead to his death. Have 3 ranks in street smarts when 4 is required? Fail the primary skill-check, sure, but maybe have an option for a another, less beneficial result than was initially being targeted. Something between death and victory. Something grey.

            Maybe what the devs are looking to make is a game that highlights the thin thread between life and death. It’s all about the dying. It’s just sort of a slow-paced game with a large time-requirement to expect people to start over time and again, which will lead to event-memorization and save-scumming. So…why not some warnings occasionally to let people know when they’re in over their heads?

        • BrandonAD says:

          You can’t be an unusually charismatic pugilist, for instance.

          Sure you can. I’m playing an intelligent and somewhat charismatic soldier right now, starting as a mercenary and joining the Imperial Guard.

          5 str 10 dex 4 con 6 per 8 int 7 cha
          Started the game with 3 in persuasion, streetwise, & trading and 4 dodge 2 sword.

          No trouble doing the combat parts that I needed to do with this build. I haven’t done every side quest fight like I would on a pure combat build (I probably could with some reloads), but I’ve more than made up for it by solving quests with talking. Got one group of enemies to destroy another, pulled a con on a Lord, and got some quests and information through charisma alone. All while killing both Cado’s and Miltiades’s thugs and doing combat missions for the Guards.

          As far as that dead end you hit with the merchants… I ran into the same thing on another build. I didn’t have the persuasion to get Mercato to do as the guild wished, so I just threatened him (without any skill) thinking it was too easy, and sure enough it came back to bite me in the ass. But I didn’t save scum, I just chalked up that build / play through as a loss and rolled up a new character. Later on I came back and played the same quest line, changing the order I did some quests, moving skill points around based on what I learned and successfully made it out of town. And I even found new options that I missed the first time, which is what keeps drawing me back to this game.

          Each character can go through pretty quick (especially non-combat), so I don’t mind starting over. That’s really where the fun is, coming up with a new character and plan, refining your combat game, finding some new quest or path that you missed despite playing that quest line 10 times before.


          Here’s a video play-through of my hybrid:

          Also, new version of AoD is out, and there is apparently an option to talk your way out of that ambush by Mercato’s men now.

  16. Quiffle says:

    I’m pretty sure this game will the Duke a run for its money as far as development time goes.

  17. teije says:

    Thought the demo was great and looking forward to this. No offense, but I’ve been scarred by other early access stuff, so I’ll wait for the full game. Take your time please. No hurry, lots of good stuff to play in the interim.

  18. muut says:

    Looks like an excellent game indeed. I tried the combat demo when it was out and got my arse whooped repeatedly. Will be nice to play a game that doesn’t cast you as a super-human demon laser-eyed ninja pirate with genetically-implanted special forces combat training, for a change. (Actually that’s not far off Blood Dragon, which was awesome, but I digress.)

    I don’t do early access since I got an ‘early access’ copy of DXHR and it killed playing the actual game for me for several years, but will be queuing up to buy this on release.

    Incidentally this was on my watch list next to The Broken Hourglass for a long time, which sadly passed away en-route. A moment’s silence for the dead please, but I’m glad that one of the two is still going strong. TO THE WINNER THE SPOILS!

  19. Shooop says:

    Turn-based games were slightly before my time, but the dedication they’ve put into this is really something else. Even if it’s not my bag I want to see this succeed just because of the fervent devotion to making it.