Another look at Ring of Pain!

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:

Don’t mind me, showing off over here.

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!

A Poison spell to replace my shields up?… or rather more crit chance and attack damage instead of Visionary?

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.

The UI already looks a lot cleaner!

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.

Huh… tough decision but I think the Inner Fury might be better here! After all, cats are better.

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.

THE ONION SUIT!

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.

Hello, Darkness! My old friend :3

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.

And well, that’s it for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it. Check out Frostilyte and Quietschisto(pheles) over at there blogs as they also posted about this demo.

Anyways, cheers!

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!

An early look at Ring of Pain

April’s Humble Choice offered you the option of downloading a DRM-free demo of Ring of Pain (v0.8.21) if you signed up for the choice, so I not only got some nice games this month but also got to see how much the game changed ever since the demo I played last year in August!

But first things first: What exactly is Ring of Pain?

Ring of Pain is a card-based Rogue-like-title by Twice Different, an Indie Studio responsible for Satan’s Workshop and Bounce House. Ring of Pain features a labyrinth of darkness and small shimmers of light that you get lead through in hope of finding out who you are, why you’re there and what exactly that place is.

Owl is as charming as ever!

The game features turn-based combat where you either try to sneak past enemies or battle them, always planning ahead of time to make use of the game’s mechanics and essentially survive. You get stronger through stat upgrades and by obtaining items, though some items not only increase but also reduce certain stats. The game also features some roll-mechanics similar to DnD as well as other mechanics where you block the damage completely if you have more armour than the attacker or where you outspeed enemies.

At last year’s GamesCom, I actually also did an interview with Simon Boxer (who’s the lead artist at Twice Different, responsible for all the amazingly creepy and dark but also colourful art in the game), so check that post out if you’re interested in some more info about the game or some “weird and quirky questions”.

The story is still rather enigmatic..

Naturally, I just hopped into the game and started clicking myself through it. You get to play through a small tutorial where you also meet our guide through the labyrinth, Owl, who acts as our mother of sorts, always taking care of and helping us while also quickly killing us if we were to defy it (Don’t do it. Owl is love, Owl is life).

The tutorial brings you to the end of the first floor where you essentially meet a boss monster that tells you that you’re not ready to proceed yet, hence killing you, which is a bit of a forced ending but better than an abrupt “demo ends here, screw you”-screen!

At this sacrificial well I was able to offer maximum health to receive items… but I didn’t… guess I’m not that lucky or not brave enough!

I’ve noticed that there’s plenty of new areas in the game right now and potentially a whole bunch of areas, similar to how you can access different biomes/areas from the different levels in Dead Cells.

Some of the items work only under certain conditions. I’ve seen one that had some nice stats but would have given me more stats/value if I had less than five items equipped, which I personally found quite interesting. One of my favourite items was the Mace of Banishing that gave me quite a bit of extra damage and other stats on top of the effect of teleporting enemies to a random area whenever you attack them. I found that quite neat in situations where enemies would attack you after you attack them as they can’t get their hit off unless they are ranged. Enemies that explode on death explode after the teleport, too, damaging other foes.

There are also plenty of effects like Poison, Freeze, On-hit-heal, reflecting damage and other boni that allow a bunch of customization for you build, similar to how there’s a lot of synergies in Slay the Spire.

And yeah, I’m comparing the game to a whole bunch of games here, but mostly to Slay the Spire as both RoP and StS are card-based Rogue-likes that can be played rather fast and that feature a lot of strategizing and customization. In fact, I would even say that Ring of Pain might become “the new Slay the Spire”.

I really enjoy the darker art and the themes of it. The music and animations were really cool and I had a lot of fun with all kinds of different builds. Sometimes I’d go for a whole bunch of speed and damage, like a Rogue that outspeeds enemies and hits them hard before they can damage you… some other times I’d rather go for a whole bunch of defence and poison to parry enemies and whittle them down eventually.

And yeah, I’m hyped for this game and I’m looking forward to playing more of it when it comes out in Mid 2020. Next week there is going to be another demo with an improved build, so I’ll probably post about that one, too. If you’d like to, check out the Ring of Pain discord, the twitter account or wishlist the game on steam. 🙂

For now, though, I hope that you are doing alright over there. Hang in there!

Cheers!

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!

The Stray Sheep #19 – GamesCom-Interviews #1 – Ring of Pain!

So, for today’s Stray Sheep I’m publishing the first interview I ever did. As for context: I’ve visited the GamesCom last thursday, for the first time, and not only did I check out a ton of cool new games there, but I also talked to a lot of cool devs and even interviewed some of them, including Simon Boxer from Melbourne, Australia. He’s an artist and indie game dev.

His studio, Twice Different, is currently working on Ring of Pain, a new rogue-like-dungeon-crawler based on cards which I reckon to be the new Slay the Spire! I really enjoyed myself playing RoP and had a lot of fun talking to Simon. For my interview with him I thought of a few questions about the game and its development, as well as some “weird and quirky” questions about him, so I hope you enjoy these!

What was your biggest inspiration for the game?

“The game has a lot of inspirations and it’s also kind of a reaction of the previous game I made which was called Bounce House and it’s a game about bouncing children off a bouncing castle and it was really super colourful and cartoony. After making that I wanted to make something really dark.

And so I was thinking about what could I make using my skill-set, ’cause I was originally an artist before I was beginning to program and so I thought a turn-based card-game could be something, something that I could probably do. And so, within that small scope I [wanted to] mashup things I love: Card-games, Rogue-likes and Dungeon-Crawlers. I tried to make something that was fresh and innovated in some ways to make something new and interesting.”

What’s planned for Ring of Pain’s future, update-wise?

“We’re aiming to do an Early Access early next year, and when we’re in the Early Access we wanna be doing consistent updates with community feedback […] about new features and continue to build it out from there. There’s a lot of stuff that I want to add that is yet to get into the game and obviously, we haven’t released it yet […].”

What was the most exciting/fun part about working on this project?

“I think just having creative freedom […]. I have full creative control to decide on what direction this is project is going to take with a very dark and cryptic narrative that is laid on this world that is presented as a distorted place of fear and delusions.

So, it’s been really enjoyable to just try and decide on this work and the creative direction and just keep on improving and improving it until it becomes something interesting.”

And now some personal questions I guess. What’s your favourite game? Of all time!

“OF ALL TIME! Oh wow! I have so many favourite games, I mean, I started playing games, like, in the 90s. Some things that are very close to my heart are the Ultima series even though that’s very different, like I learned a lot playing the Ultima games especially Ultima 7 which I’ve played a lot, so I really love those and that might be something to call out.

And as for newer things, obviously Slay the Spire, as that had a big influence on my game, The Binding of Isaac […]. Yeah, I love so many different games. Like, I play Rocket League, I play FPS like Apex […], strategy and puzzle games like The Witness […], and a lot of genres, so it’s hard to find a favourite.”

Dr Pepper is the superior soft-drink, right?

“Yes, definitely! Dr Pepper is great!”

(Thank you)

Okay, so for the final question I’d like to ask: If you were a super-hero what would your hero-name and your superpower be?

“My Superhero-Name would probably be just Simon but with a P in front of it, so it’s like Psimon. And I definitely wanna be teleporting around, like I just don’t wanna use my legs anymore.

I wanna teleport around, especially between countries cause being from Australia it takes actually over a day to get to this side of the world.”

So, well, this was the first interview. I’m really excited for Ring of Pain and can’t wait for the release! As a side-note, I should mention that, since the GamesCom is such a huge convention and since I wasn’t recording with an external microphone, some parts of the audio weren’t audible.

After a while, I resolved this issue by adding “[…]” to the answers to indicate (no pun here, move on) that there’s been two or three more words that are missing. I’ve only exluded them because of the fact that I couldn’t understand them. Next time I do something like this, I’ll probably use an external microphone or even something else instead of my phone.

But that’s where this post ends. I hope you enjoyed this post! Leave some feedback if you want to and stay tuned for some more interviews that I’ll release in the following days.

Anyways,

Stay cool! And hydrated!

Note: I’ve added the pictures after I’ve published the post. I only just found the press-kit, meaning that I now have more than just one screenshot available.

This post is part of a contest/challenge called Blaugust! The goal is to post as much as possible and participants are awarded with different prizes depending on the goal they achieved. My aim is to post on all 31 days of August and if you’d like to know more about this “event”, you should check this post out.