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!

Indietail – Satan’s Workshop

Honestly, I’ve been staring at this blog post for way too long and no introduction that I could make up would be better than the description that Simon Boxer, Reuben Covington, Andrew Kasapidis, Abby Synth, and Jessi McNally came up with. What’s that about, you may ask? Well, I’ll quote it in a bit. After all, I’m reviewing a game called “Satan’s Workshop” today… Enjoy!

“Where do all the letters to Santa go? To Santa’s Workshop, right? What happens when those letters are accidentally addressed to Satan? Well, they go to Satan’s workshop. Satan is quite pleased with his new job and wants to put his best foot forward. Help Satan repair his bad guy reputation and bring joy to the world! “

Twice Different
Developer: Simon Boxer, Reuben Covington, Andrew Kasapidis, Abby Synth, Jessi McNally
Publisher: I have no clue. I guess Twice Different or the 10th Melbourne Global Game Jam? I'll link them both here...
Genre: Isometric, Sandbox, Crafting
Release Date: Early 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC
Copy was free. It's a free game. 

Well, you heard it. We’re Satan in this game and we’re dealing with the naughty kids that don’t know how to spellcheck their own letters. Some of them are being really cocky, too, demanding gifts and presents while being picky about stuff like “eyeballs” or “coal” while some other kids even behave like heathens, neglecting the fact that we actually exist and claiming that we’re actually their parents.

This game was created by a few of the Twice Different guys who are currently working on Ring of Pain and who I’ve interviewed at last year’s GamesCom! The game was created during the 10th Melbourne Global Gam Jam using Unity and basically consists of you receiving one of a few letters that were written by, presumably, children. Once you’ve read them, you start using blocks and eyeballs to construct the children’s presents, usually creating some sort of abomination that is by no means fitting to be a gift for a child… but then again, we tried. And we’re Satan. Something like that.

The music is very spooky and yet kind of Christmas-y, which I personally found really intriguing. I kind of heard some bells and other tunes that reminded me of Jingle Bells… but at the same time it’s very creepy and fitting for Santa’s Workshop, I guess? I haven’t been there yet but it probably would have some song like that playing on the radio… nonstop… yup.

As far as the gameplay goes, it’s really just that. It’s a funny idea and it gets repetitive rather fast past the first laugh but it’s free, so I guess it’s really worth the laugh and the small time that you’ll enjoy this for.

Also the game has cookies in it. Very nice. Eat them all.

Hence, I’m recommending this game (wow, that’s a short review!). Have a nice day!

Stay healthy, stay safe! Don’t buy facemasks on Amazon for 120 bucks… because they’re not worth it if you stay at home and get your groceries delivered… yup.

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!