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Thread: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

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    Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    IF you are a slave to loot-based, min/max ARPGs like I am then here is a place to share thoughts on games that you think are must-play and others that are must avoid...
    A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ― C.S. Lewis

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Wolcen: Lords of Destruction - When I first started playing this game is was in very early alpha, but what drew me to it was how it's leveling system breathed some life into that skill tree system, and how open ended the system actually is. As a genre game this would fall somewhere between Diablo III and POE but, unlike those two titles, there are no defined character classes. You build a character by learning skills (both martial and magical) and build you own combo attacks. The way this works is your character will always enter combat with a full mana bar ("umbra" in this game) and spending that resource builds rage, and rage fuels your martial attacks. Using a skill earns levels in that skill, and at various points you are given an option of two separate perks for that skill (ie. do you want shoot two fire balls or have it cost half as much umbra?). THe sum total is combat that lives up to the name... when you destroy mobs it really feels like you are the lord of destruction.

    I would say the skill tree is most like POE, though, as your skill points are spend on passive augments to your active attack skills. Some of the more interesting, for example, involve unlocking spell damage that scales off of Strength to promote a sword and spell build, or faster rage build off of spell casting for the same purpose. The skill system is also build on concentric rings, and skill gems unlock in procession, like POE. THe twist is that the concentric rings can be turned such that progressing through one ring doesn't necessarily lead to a higher ring in the same field, you can turn the ring so that when you reach the end of progressing in the first ranged (dexterity) ring it will unlock the layer two tank ring, and so on.

    Lots of fun, endless character customization options and things go boooooom.
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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Warhammer 40k: Inquisitor - Martyr - This game has eaten a LOT of my time lately as it has been approaching beta release. Right now the story has not been implemented, and the game plays like a huge Warhammer 40k sandbox, which is fine by me. Unlike pretty much every other ARPG in existence, Martyr sets aside the Game+ mechanic by essentially dropping up in a game is a huge, arcing gear/level progression and a story that pretty much forces you in to a series of mini-grinds to gear up for the next stage of the story.

    While Martyr has established classes (Crusader, Psycher and Assassin) each class is hugely customizable to the point that all classes can fill the same roles in any number of ways. Character leveling is also interesting in that the skill modification skill tree (see: POE) is account based, rather than character based, so every time you start a new character you will get the number of skill points that you have earned for the account, giving each new character a rather substantial head start. Attack skills are weapon based in a system very similar to Guild Wars 2. If you run a Bolt Gun you will always have the same 4 attacks, but how those attacks are used really depend on the buffs you give them in the skill tree (to an extent) and your various gear bonuses. On top of the skill tree there is also perks that are account based. You start the game with one perk slot open and can unlock an additional two by the time you reach your account cap level of 80. These perks probably need some work as they range from fairly useless to ungodly overpowered at this point. Each perk is unlocked by completing Heroic deeds, which are essentially this game's version of achievements. For instance, you can unlock a perk that increases base weapon damage by 30% and the cost of no longer doing critical hits if you kill 1000 enemies with grenades. I've never been a guy who cares about achievements in games, so giving them actual utility is welcome.

    That said, right now there is a certain perk that makes you take 20% more damage when your health is over 50%, and take 40% less damage when your health is below 50%. This is pretty broken (and I love it) because armor and some gear offer a flat damage mitigation off of NET damage taken, so if you are hit by a net 100 damage and have 60 mitigation you take 40. With the perk active that same attack (think DOT flamethower) would do 60 damage per tick until you hit 50% health and then ZERO damage after that. My Crusader runs through missions at 50% health almost constantly and impervious to attacks with damage below about 150.. meaning I really only worry about bosses. Add to that the existence of attack type mitigations on gear and you can make characters pretty easily that are simply immune to certain attack types.

    Character based levels right now only determine which weapons you can use, and become an after thought after level 20 when you unlock the last items and weapons in the game. This could use a lot of work since there are 30 levels to go after you unlock all weapons. The only thing that happens on hiting a new level after than is you get a reward cache of some weapons, armor and gear that are usually vendor trash.

    Crafting is also pretty detailed and essential to early progression, but becomes pretty pointless in late game when you start to get kitted in relic-level gear. At that point the extent to which you can craft is in fusing a piece of relic gear to 4 other pieces of relic gear to get a much more powerful version of that item.

    Anyway, the scope of Martyr is jaw dropping. I have sunk about 80 hours in to the game and have just approached max gear score in the alpha of 1500 and just realized that the alpha only covers about 20% of the game world, with the taking place in just the first of 5 (?) star clusters. Add to that the boast by the dev team (need a grain of salt with that) that their intention is to eventually pull every race and faction from WH40k into the game through DLC. Essentially GW has gifted the developers with a previously unmentioned section of the galaxy in WH40K canon to develop as they see fit. The current quest line pits Human Inquisitor PCs against Chaos, Nurgle and Rebel Factions with future plans to deal with incursions to the sector by Orks, Undead etc. etc.

    Very excited about this game. It will be in a short beta to test the quest line, but it is a mostly finished product and will go full release in April.
    A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ― C.S. Lewis

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    There's Borderlands, and then there's everything else.
    Liberals: Demanding the freedom to write laws to take freedoms away from people they don't agree with.

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet Elvis View Post
    There's Borderlands, and then there's everything else.
    Borderlands is indeed great, though I found the pre-sequel to be pretty lack-luster. The whole oxygen mechanic was annoying.

    But I still have a special place in my heart for the third person iso-syle ARPGs. But I wouldn't mind another Borderlands title.
    A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ― C.S. Lewis

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Well, INQUISITOR has been delayed to June 5th -- which is old news for those of us following the game since the official release day was supposed to be last Friday.

    I'm not really all that worried about it though since all that seems to be missing in the game is the story line, the mechanics of the game have been pretty solid for a while.

    There is a final beta coming out on Monday that should be the pre-Final, complete with most of the story elements, so I'll probably give that a try, but I won't play too much of it since there will be one last character wipe before the final release, so I'm not going to get too attached to grinding the new toon.
    A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ― C.S. Lewis

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Wolcen: Lords of Destruction - The game has entered Beta, with a complete Act I, and it has improved tremendously since I began playing. Granted, that was alpha, so...

    The combat system really is a great step forward for the genre. There is a meaningful hybridization system between meleers, ranged and magic... thoiugh, as of this writing there is only one logical choice, or.. well, two... and for obvious reasons.

    The system works like a normal ARPG when it comes to magic. You have a mana pool ("will" in this game) that you cast spells from, but you alse have a "rage" pool that you execute melee and ranged skills with. Will works the way you expect. You enter combat with 100% of your will, it gets drained as you cast. Casting spells also dump some of the lost will into the rage pool. With this system it is possible to play a hybrid class that opens with magic and finishes of CCs with rage skills. Good system.

    As such, pure mages play just as you would expect. Rage declines over time, and some of the rage decline is sent back to the Will pool, allowing you to seesaw back and forth, but it isn't a perfect engine so you will need to occasionally prime the system with a will or a rage potion (they missed a boat here... the rage potion should totally be alcohol).. but that is where the system falters, at least in early game. Since rage deteriorates, you will never enter a fight with 100% rage, you will need to build rage in order to do moves.. that either means you spam weak attacks to build rage as a pure meleer/ranged or you down rage potions, either way is sub-optimal when a pure wizard starts ever fight with 100% Will and can just unload on enemies from the start. My beam mage obliterates everything on screen before my will runs out, and if the will does run out I also pack a pistol, a weapon whose skills use rage.

    For this reason the hybrid mage is the best class by far, with a pure mage coming in second.

    As an ARPG, though, it is really rather good. It is Diablo 3 with innovation and no set classes. In Wolcen the class system only grants you your starting skills, but you can really make your character whatever you want within the system. The one caveat being that all skills are tied to weapon type, so you have to dual wield 1H weapons if you want to do hybrid.
    A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ― C.S. Lewis

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    Borderlands is indeed great, though I found the pre-sequel to be pretty lack-luster. The whole oxygen mechanic was annoying.

    But I still have a special place in my heart for the third person iso-syle ARPGs. But I wouldn't mind another Borderlands title.
    lolwhut? Borderlands the Pre-sequel was my fav edition for one reason: you get to play as Handsome Jack! I'd kill for a mod that allows you to play him in Borderlands 2.

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Quote Originally Posted by PoS View Post
    lolwhut? Borderlands the Pre-sequel was my fav edition for one reason: you get to play as Handsome Jack! I'd kill for a mod that allows you to play him in Borderlands 2.
    I stand by my statement. If I want to play the game of watching my oxygen supply I will play Subnautica.
    A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. ― C.S. Lewis

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    Re: Action RPGs (aka. Min/Max Corner)

    Quote Originally Posted by jmotivator View Post
    I stand by my statement. If I want to play the game of watching my oxygen supply I will play Subnautica.
    The oxygen thing was only a minor annoyance in the early game. There's tons of gear to alleviate it.

    I'm a huge fan of HJ. Even my merc unit in Battletech is named the Handsome Jacks.

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