It hasn’t been too long since we posted about our last look at Ring of Pain and there’s already been a new updated demo for it. The last version was V0.8.21 while this one (got updated today, again) is already at V0.8.36, featuring a complete stat-overhaul and some UI-improvements, item effect changes and other updates. So I thought it’d be a nice idea to post about it again and maybe feature the rogue-like expert Frostilyte from FrostilyteWrites as well as Quietschisto from RNG who doesn’t really play rogue-likes in this post and ask them to write something about this demo as well. So be sure to check out their posts as well!
Note: Their posts may not be online, yet, at this point in time due to timezone- and schedule-differences. Also Frosti may still be asleep and Quietschisto may already be wasted again. Either way, if the link doesn’t work, check it out later again.
So, first up, what were the stats about before this update:
Speed previously only determined the attack order while Clarity has been rather underwhelmingly, too, and only decided the chance rolls like stealth and dodge. The other stats were performing rather fine.
Now, speed gives a bonus to Dodge and Stealth chance while still settling the attack order. So, if you’ve got a high speed-stat, you’ll be able to dodge and stealth better but also attack before the enemy. Since these chance stats have moved from Clarity to Speed, Clarity now gives you a scaling bonus to potion healing, soul gain, curse resistance (which is now a secondary stat) and also boosts your Critical Hit Chance, which results in a system where these two stats should be as important as the other stats, Attack, Defense, and Health!
Apart from that, almost all early game items have an item effect now and now also feature improved refined item card UI with icons for the item effect descriptions.
And rather than having one giant list of items, the game now has four “sets” of items that each focus on one primary stat: Mage (Clarity), Rogue (Speed), Warrior (Attack/Defense) and Cleric (Health).
Mimics will now show you two item options to choose between and you can now also reroll them to find better combos and easier get to synergies. This in itself allows the devs on the other hand to increase the game’s difficulty, which is gonna be more fun all along.
But how does the game feel or play now?
Well, we still get launched into this dark and enigmatic place that now seems more lively thanks to some great sound effects and animations that I previously either haven’t noticed too much or that were implemented into the game. A lot of the time, you’ll get stronger through items, stat upgrades and different combos but the game also seems harder with some roadblocks here and there that you often can’t – just yet – fight, like the burial grounds’ “Plague Bearer” who is just too strong for you, or the demo’s final boss.
I really enjoyed the new mechanics that were introduced into the game, as my high speed and damage stat at one point in the game allowed me to dodge a few hits of the final boss, which would normally kill you. Now, while my chance of dodging was only at 20%, the chance of dodging two hits in a row is only at 4% while dodging three hits in a row is a chance of only about 0.8% – and against these odds still managing to dodge a total of three times has been rather fun, although I was a bit scared of having to fight through the complete fight if all of the attacks would miss – especially as I didn’t seem to deal any damage to this final boss, which was quite scary.
The games’ colours still are really vibrant in the few places that they pop up at, giving the game a certain feel. The encounters with Owl and with the shadowy being(s?) that you have now feel even more mysterious, as new dialogue options seem to have been added to the game. I can’t wait to find out what these are about and what else we will learn.
And well, the decision to not give you a “Low”, “Medium” or “High” Stealth chance but a basic numerical value that exactly tells you what your odds are, was great. I really enjoyed that bit as well as the different item sets and some of the references. There are some items in the game (like the Spoon) that seem to be useless but have their own uses in some builds where your attack stat is too high to proc a different effect and there are also some other cool references like the Onion Knight suit or the patting-glove to use on the dog that you encounter and that you’re able to pat… and I found that really amusing.
One of my favourite item effects was the “teleport enemies away after attacking them” from the “something” wand of banishing (don’t know the exact name of it) as it allowed to you to teleport away exploding enemies right after you attacked them, which was always rather fun. The “Mage” set works rather well together as you get to use your souls for powerful spell effects and even better crits, adding damage or bonus stats in some clutch situations in a very magical fashion was rather nice. I always depicted a mage as a powerful caster who’d be able to always find a solution for prickly situations or who’d let hell let loose on the enemies so that works for me in this game (although the names are still subject to change, according to the devs).
Now, balancing still is a bit off. There are a lot of situations where you knew that you screwed yourself over earlier but you still manage to barely pull through as you’ve got enough stats from items to basically pull through anyway. I’ve noticed that you gain stats way too fast, which works in this demo, I guess… but if this was a finalized game, enemies would have to get a lot stronger in the next levels and a lot faster to justify your growth in power… or you’d have to nerf the Early Game of your Dungeon Crawl.
Apart from that, I really am looking forward to this game. I used to make the comparison to Slay the Spire but I was rather referring to the hype-levels that I felt about StS and this game that are quite comparable. The games feel entirely different and are both unique, despite having some characteristics that are similar. Comparing RoP to StS kind of works but at the same does not really, as Frosti also mentioned in a conversation, so, from now on I guess I won’t do that anymore.
This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!