Blogs

Steam Review

What I am trying to post on Steam. Not sure why but Steam is being difficult in publishing it so I am preserving it here. This is the first draft so it may be a bit disjointed. I plan to clean it up eventually.

I'll start this by telling you that I've been playing TOME since it was Tales of Middle Earth. That's right, originally it was based on Tolkien's work and was an offshoot of a long lineage of games directly related to Rogue, via Moria and then Angband. There was a middle variant in there at some point called Pernband.

Some back story:
At some point DarkGod (the main dev) decided to rewrite the client because the old angband client was full of spaghetti code and it became untenable. So came t-engine. Tome was then written as a module of T-engine (all made by DarkGod for no $$ I might add.)

In Tome 3 there were Jedi!!! and other fun ideas but it was chaotic. Tome 3 was a mess, (Tome 4 was much cleaner.) But it was still pretty opaque as Roguelikes go. I would tinker with it, have fun with lost souls etc and then get bored. So I went the way of many players got involved in other games only came back periodically when I got a yen for playing with Lightsabers again. At some point, I noticed Tome 4 was progressing and downloaded and everything was different.

Gone were most of the touches of the Angband and Tolkien worlds. You can still see a few here and there but TOME had become Tales Of Maj Eyal with an original story and a total reworking of the graphics and mechanics. On and off Ive done some beta testing (though my forums account from then was deleted more than once so I guess being inactive on the forums is a good way to get culled.)

At some point I managed a couple of end games. I won once and once I sacrificed my guy (I still don't know why that doesn't count as a win...)

Every time I came back more and more stuff was added and then I saw that they had finally made the leap to Steam. I wanted to buy it immediately because I believe in the game and the devs and why not support them? But I was reticent with all the other games I have and also had to wait for money to pay for it anyway.

I probably should not have waited but I did and when I did finally get the steam version I was not disappointed with either the basic game or the DLC (which I had no previous knowledge of.)

Divergent note that tangentially relates to this review:
Bob Dylan has said on songwriting that if you can't change a song, if you can't mess with the words or change the arrangements it is dead and you should bury it. That is a paraphrase because I don't have the exact quote on hand. But this is how I feel about games. TOME is a living game, always changing.

Many pay to play games are not. They merely make some stuff they took out initially available for DLCs when the wells run dry. TOME is not like those games. TOME is developed by a caring group of dedicated players and programmers who are making an epic play experience.

Yes epic. You have a ton of races and classes which unlock as you play. Sometimes the unlock is just something you were going to do anyway but sometimes in true RPG fashion you have to investigate and figure out some puzzle or quest to get the unlock you want. And you can unlock them in something like 9 different modes. The game offers 50 levels of experience in whatever build combo you choose. As you learn more about classes and races you find yourself getting deeper into the decision making process and you realize you have many more choices than you will quickly be able to play with. This could take a long time. As is without any further changes. And the game changes from game to game so you may not always get an event or area you thought you might. And different play styles create vastly different approaches and in-game storylines.

There was a lot of discussion when Maj'Eyal became the world of the game about how terribly difficult the game was (is) so now there are multiple modes for discovering the game. The most rewarding depends on your personality and proclivities as a gamer. You can play with Easy and Exploration and virtually never risk death, or you can unlock, insanity and madness modes and play only in true Roguelike fashion (1 life, though there are items you can find to hedge that bet.) Or you could play as I do on Normal with Adventurous. To each player their own. This is an innovation I wish more devs would think about. Multiple play modes for multiple types of players means more fun for everyone.

The game has a few pit falls. It is deep so it is not hard to get into trouble if you are tired, hungry or bored. Don't do that. Play when you are fresh and excited and keep it that way. You won't complete it in a day. (The main quest line takes a minimum of 10 hours I think if you skip everything else and I highly recomend you don't do that.)

You may also find that the game lore is hard to penetrate. This is partially due to writing style and partially because who wants to read so much of it? Yes you should read the lore the first time you encounter it at the very least. You may or may not glean valuable clues from it but if you need to you can go back to it later. Once you have unlocked certain features you will be able to access ALL of the lore you've ever seen as a player.

You may notice that I am not giving a lot of specifics here because part of the fun of this game is playing it unspoiled. You can of course look stuff up or ask for spoilers if you aren't into all that.

I will say the sound effects while fairly professional are not my cup of tea. I am not really a game sounds kind of player though. I typically turn sound off in games I play and I only checked them out in TOME out of curiousity. You might find them entertaining. Apparently, also there is music. Something I didn't check out. (I am an older guy with a very staid taste in music. If it isn't Classic Rock. Folk, Blues or Soul from the 60s-70s then it probably isn't on my mp3 player. Though I do enjoy more varied styles, when I am gaming that's mainly what I listen to.)

I write all this mainly to enthuse about how much I am enjoying playing TOME again and want you to know it is worth every penny to buy it on steam. The community addons alone make the game extremely customizable.

Gandolfo in game chat, Winter Wolf on Steam.

Profile not sync'd

I recently had to reinstall Windows 7 and therefore Tome as well. Game runs normally and I can login to my account, but even then the game is not synced to my account. No achievements, no unlocks, high scores, nothing. How to fix this?

Ashes of Urh'Rok 1.0.4 is out!

My minions,

 

Here comes a small update to Ashes of Urh'Rok!

The game should auto-update it when you launch it (it may take a few hours more on Steam until all builds are updated).

 

Changelog:

  • Removed Abyssal Shield and Demonic Blood from the possible talents of random elites/bosses

 

Have fun in Eyal!

Maj'Eyal Revisited - Sun Paladin Winner (Normal Roguelike)

I first discovered ToME more than 3 years ago and somehow managed a victory with a Dwarf Fighter; It's been quite a while since then, and Maj'Eyal sure has changed (for the better)!

Since that win however, I've been dying to try my luck with Roguelike Permadeath. After picking up the 'Ashes' DLC (and a copy of the base game, because why not?), I managed to have a rather successful run!

Highlights for My Skeleton Sun Paladin


-Several Unlocks: Brawler, Necromancer, Skirmisher, Red Hair(?), Bikini(?!)
-First time:
...defeating the Orc Ambush
...clearing the 'Room of Death' (level 43)
...defeating Atamathon (level 46)
-Saved all Escorts.
-Saved Melinda

Near Deaths

Only one. The weirdling beast was extremely challenging - perhaps it was the weapon - Bill's Trunk - which I was still using when I fought him, but I found it difficult to get through his heals. This was the only time when I had to "stair hop" in order to survive. Later on though, good two-handed weapons began dropping in abundance (see inventory) - the first notable pick up was the Golden Three-Edged Sword 'The Truth', after which it was smooth sailing.

Durability

On the whole, I found this Race/Class Combination very hardy. The skeleton's 'Reassemble' and 'Bone Armour' saved the day countless times. Actually, the barrier skill seemed quite lackluster by comparison, so I mostly relied on a Shielding Rune (for the instant shield).

Second Life popped twice in this playthrough (both times I was pushing my luck/being too aggressive), while Reassemble remained unused (it was good for pea ce of mind).

Running the Chant of Fortitude, the greatest danger came from Mental Effects - I kept a Biting Gale Rune handy to clear it up - to make sure that I could always use my Teleport Rune. Providence was another option, but it is better used near the beginning of an engagement to stay (generally) free of debilitating effects.

Tactics

For a Sun Paladin specializing in two-handed weapons, Mark of Light was (surprisingly) the star of the show.

Using the fight against Atamathon as an example,

1) Mark of Light
2) Absorption Strike (lowering light resistance, damage)
3) Shielding/Reflection Rune + Execution (it's an automatic crit, which triggers Righteous Strength)
4) Flash of the Blade (deals both physical and light damage and provides invulnerability for one turn)
5) Death Dance (deals physical damage).
6) Teleport (and wait for the above skills to refresh)

Rinse & Repeat: 3 cycles for Atamathon.

What wasn't obvious at first (at least not to me), was how crucial crit chance actually is - with Righteous Strength, every crit increases both physical & light damage dealt - this effect stacks up to 3 times. Dealing high damage will result in terrific healing (more with healing modifiers), and so long as you are dealing enough damage, it will allow you to stay in the fight for 5 turns. By that time, most things should be mostly dead - if the situation still looks dangerous, you can teleport (or use "Path of the Sun" to get away).

Mobility

Although I did pick up "Controlled Phase Door" with my final category point, it was unnecessary. Path of the Sun was enough - with 2 points, you could move 8 spaces without travel time.

For opponents still out of range, three Ranks of Sun Ray results in an Area of Effect Blind (highly effective on pesky archers), while mages can be killed outright with Wave of Power.

Once in melee range, opponents who try to flee can be pursued (tile by tile) with Fearless Cleave (which applies damage in a 3-wide arc while on the move).

Category, Class, Generic Points
-Generics felt a bit strapped (as was expected, playing a Skeleton).
-Class talents felt just right - there seemed to be really great synergy, with the exception of Weapon of Wrath:

It's actually a bit of a trap - it seems interesting on paper - but the fire damage didn't synergize well with my abilities OR equipment (which boosted light & physical damage). The damage is also 'capped', which provides very little incentive to stay at a lower health (it's hard to maintain just enough 'lost' health otherwise). By late-game, with most notable enemies having resist all, the damage from this became really pitiful. The Martyrdom effect is mostly insignificant (you wouldn't want to take hits 'big enough' to make the Martyrdom damage appreciable).

For me, it was something I bumped from 2 to 5 in one go, and was fortunately able to scale back after realizing how terrible it was. I see the appeal of having a different damage type, and if this is the intent, then the cap needs to be increased or otherwise adjusted. Otherwise, the element can be changed to (light) to provide better synergy.


-Category Points were in abundance; I had two 'extra' - one I spent upgrading the Crusader Tree, the other I spent on an extra inscription slot (Controlled Phase Door). However, if I could spend both upgrading the Crusader Tree, I would!

Summary

Sun Paladin was extremely fun to play - it was great storming High Peak, going toe to toe with the bosses, and summarily dispatching both of them in a handful of turns. The defensive skill-set allows for mistakes here or there and definitely made for a smooth introduction to the Permadeath: Roguelike" Setting.

Next Game?

I can't wait to check out some of the new unlocks (or try the other classes, which seem to have been reworked since I last saw them). With 1.3 on the horizon, this seems like a very exciting time for Maj'Eyal!

Login Broken again

Apparently I am unable to login to my profile via t-engine either via steam or the 1.3 beta. though I was in the middle of chatting with an admin.

testyan

testtyan

Ashes of Urh'Rok 1.0.3 is out!

My minions,

 

Here comes a small update to Ashes of Urh'Rok!

The game should auto-update it when you launch it (it may take a few hours more on Steam until all builds are updated).

 

Changelog:

  • Removed spellsave check of Pitiless
  • Fixed Glory to the Fearscape achievement description
  • Fixed Adbuction to not cooldown if an empty square was targetted
  • Eternal Suffering Rework
  • Fixed Devouring Flames spreading
  • Compatibility with Ogres for when Tales of Maj'Eyal 1.3 is released

 

Have fun in Eyal!

Beta test of 1.3 has begun!

Please my sweet minions, go try the beta for 1.3!
http://te4.org/beta-test

Post your comments on the forums: http://forums.te4.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=43488

Do not forget to test witout addons please, it makes it way easier to find bugs!

Have fun!

Addons contest: the participants!

So, january has ended and we have 5 addons to judge!

"Bazaar: bringing shopping malls to Tome" by Dao: http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/bazaar-bringing-shopping-malls-tome
"Let there be gnomes" by Dao: http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/let-there-be-gnomes
"More Tales" by Housepet: http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/moretales
"Gray's Illusions" by grayswandir: http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/grayswandir-illusion
"Thievery" by grayswandir: http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/grayswandir-thievery

Thanks to all for the participation; I urge players to go try them and proced to vote for them when the links to do so get up (a few days at most).

Have fun!

Ugh

Its been so long since I got to the Far East with a character that I am stuck without a clue. Did the spider lair quest after dying once in the gorbat pride. then decided to go back to the vor armory in the hopes of taking out the drakes but the overpowered unique (that's what he is called) just wrecked me thoroughly. I don't see anyway to survive with my current character and get anything done. Chat is useless as people just ignore what they don't care about or understand and I haven't been able to find a reliable source of help online.

Frustrated. I don't remember the Far East being so hard before. But it has been a few years since I managed to get over there and a lot of other games between play time. I feel like there is no hope or point to continuing.

Some particular problems. My shields (I have Barrier maxed and the Artifact shield Rune, plus a normal 210 shield rune.) Don't last more than a turn. I get silenced from off screen which means I don't know when/where to use my circle of whatever its called to avoid that. Thankfully the primal infusion takes it out but then I die anyway to off screen attacks.

I managed to blink a way several times when this happened but eventually I died when I didnt blink far enough. And now all the hard work done to kill this @$#^%~!! unique is undone. I don't know that there is any point in continuing.

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