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Blades of Rogue

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Blades of Rogue



Author: Niemand



Version: 1.0.0



Composite Score: 3.3/5.0


Best: 25.00% (2/8)

Good: 25.00% (2/8)

Average: 0.00% (0/8)

Substandard: 50.00% (4/8)

Poor: 0.00% (0/8)






Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium
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From Jewels at SV:


There is no story, there is no real objective, there is no end... Not even a way to quit 'normally'. It may not have any bugs, but neither does it have any reason to be played.


It has come to my attention that the scripting for this scenario is exceptional and that there is an end if one is so inclined to play it out. That's good for one extra point or two. Still as a player who knows diddly about scripting there remains only novelty without substance.



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From Iffy at SV:


120 levels? Come on! Shorten it a bit!

I will start out at 5.0...


-1 for being so overly long

-1 for a sucking ending

-1 for not having a plot, even if that wasn't the point (it could have been better)

-1 for something I can't remember

+2 for that awesome scripting, I don't see how you did it...

+.5 for having a script named chicken

+.5 for something I can't remember


Final Score: 4.0 ([rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating])


Good job, but it could have been better.

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From Randomizer on SV:


I'll rate this at [rating]BEST[/rating] since there isn't an interactive dialog, but pure hack and slash. Within certain limits it reproduces the old Rogue game I grew up with, but I miss the merchants that allowed you to sell off junk and pick up new items.


I enjoyed it during beta testing even though my first time through had me failing to complete the last fight to exit the scenario. It requires you to think and plan ahead in what you want your character to look like as it progresses and to hoard resources for the later fights.

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From Ephesos on SV:


Good god... I'm with Niemand on the ratings thing. Mostly, I can't see how you could give this a low score. I just finally finished it, sending a level 1 singleton in and getting a level 33 jack-of-all-trades out of it. Not a bad deal. Things I noticed:


-Scripting = Win

-Blessed Sling = Broken

-The climactic fights were intense... the second-to-last one made me use the vast stockpiles of bolts I'd accumulated (thankfully, a certain enemy's traditional weapons were not all in play), and the final fight was intimidating as anything else. Until I realized I could stand in a hallway and pick my battles with the aforementioned broken sling.

-The custom items were wonderful, though I'm still not sure what the crystal is supposed to do.

-Traps were hit-and-miss... I think there was only one time when a trap seriously messed me up in combat. A couple of monster-spawning traps spawned enemies in the darkness.

-The water system... was odd? Never figured it out, or if it was doing anything to me.

-Spell scrolls were unevenly distributed, but a welcome touch... I spent the entire scenario praying for War Blessing (needed the shielding, badly), but never got it. I did pick up Arcane Shield right before the final fight, though (I was about 12 Mage Spells short).


All in all, stellar. Hack'n'slash fun to the max, and my level 33 Champion should be proof. Now, for the random rating: [rating]GOOD[/rating]

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From Jemand on SV


Couple of things to say here. First of all, I feel it necessary to reiterate that BoR has an ending. Yes it's long. No one ever said you had to play it all in one sitting though. Furthermore, it juxtaposes nicely against all the 24 hour scenarios we have accumulated.

The windows version,in my experience works as intended. Nioca, as I recall, your computer couldn't handle AVM either. Perhaps that is the source of the problem.

I agree that a story is nice, it embellishes the gameplay. However, it is not absolutely required. If a story is all that matter, go read a book. I understand that there are a lot of them. In that respect, Blades of Rogue may appear to be contrapositive to, say, the Tales, but in my opinion it is to be played for a different reason.


From the standpoint of originality, Blades of Rogue has many things to offer that have never before appeared in another scenario, and since originality is what has gotten several scenarios, such as Echoes: Renegade, such high ratings, I think this is worth looking into. Besides the randomly generated level, the spell scrolls, the identify scrolls and several of the smaller scripts were very unique.

I won't go into the scripting in general, because it isn't hard to comprehend that it is phenomenal.

Blades of Rogue also has several embellishments that, while not immediately apparent, add a lot to the game. There are entertaining rewards to get, many of the creature scripts (the chickens) are interesting. The undead attack when they outnumber the living.


For the aforementioned reasons, I award Blades of Rogue a rating of [rating]GOOD[/rating]

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From The Lurker on SV:


Yippee! A BoA scenario that's actually difficult, and that requires you to spend your skill points carefully. Also, this is one of the few BoA scenarios where playing on Torment *can* make a difference (namely, in the later levels). I played it with a Divinely Touched/Completely Inept pure Pole Weapon warrior the first time, and I think it's safe to say I only made it because I've learned quite a bit about Blades over the years. My character traits were definetely good, but my skill point investment wasn't. I was a lot more careful the second time.


As others have said before, it's also amazingly well-coded. Oh, and chickens of doom win points with me.


My biggest problem with this scenario is that 1) you may have to endure quite a bit of boredom in the earliest levels; and 2) the loots are a bit too randomized for my taste, especially spells.


But in my opinion, a truly great scenario.


EDIT : I've finally figured out the three things the crystal indicates - very clever of you, Niemand. Also, the randomization isn't too bad if you carefully search each level, and the first levels are significantly less boring on Torment, so I'll raise the score a bit.





(Crystal spoiler : "your throat feels parched" tells you that there's at least one pool on the current level that you haven't used yet, "the back of your neck prickles" tells you that there's at least one trap on the current level that you haven't triggered yet, and "you feel a sudden itch on your nose" means that there's a secret passage in the current level that you haven't explored yet. "You polish the crystal. It shines in the faint light" is just a message that appears every time you use the crystal - it doesn't indicate anything.)


(Pool spoiler : Pools can restore your HP, or restore your SP, or give you various negative effects.)


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From Smoo on SV:


Blades of Rogue is nothing but an impressive display of coding. A very, very, very impressive display of coding. And combat. There is also the combat.


This is a hard scenario for me to rate. Well, that is not exactly true. I know precisely how much I enjoyed it and what the score to best reflect my enjoyment would be. But the reasons need explaining and the reasons are not really Niemand's (the designer) fault. I don't like the combat in BoA. I don't. It is functional, oftentimes bearable, but not something I immensely enjoy.


So when I have to wade through about 120 practically identical levels (the pools and other neat coding tricks do not offer enough variation) of hack and slash I get bored. By the way the scenario heavily suggests you use a singleton, since the scenario might not work properly otherwise. Sure, it's Blades of Rogue, but I still don't support the decision. So remove the combat and what do you get? An incredible display of coding; and, again, as a designer I am thoroughly impressed. As a player I do not know why I should care. Remove the coding tricks (keep the combat) and what do you get? Proving Grounds - with less plot.


Do I recommend BoR? For designers, sure take a look at it. For players, only for the strictest hack-fest fans.




And the automap should be killed somehow. Putting a black square on the xx_ed_which_icon of everything should do the trick.

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From Nioca on SV:


(If someone could delete my previous review...)


SUMMARY - An excellent example of just how far the BoA engine can be pushed, and how much power AvernumScript truly has. The most technologically advanced scenario to date. Unfortunately, people who don't care for Rogue style games (or scenarios) probably won't enjoy this much. It's basically one huge dungeon crawl for a singleton party, with each level being randomly generated with an assortment of enemies. At 120 levels, this scenario may take a while, and requires a bit of patience, especially with the insanely slow beginning. Anyone with skill at building singletons and combat won't be challenged even on Torment until the end. A simplistic plot serves a bit to the scenario's detriment, and only comes into play at the very beginning and the very end; the rest is pure hack'n'slash combat. There's no real eye-candy here either; it's plain stone and dark cave floors all the way. If you like combat, are willing to play through 15 levels of bowling pin enemies (40, if you're skilled), and don't mind an insubstantial plot or repetitious scenery, this scenario will likely please you. If not, it might best to avoid it. Aside from heavy combat and powerful scripting, this scenario does not have much to offer.


Enjoyment - 5

The beginning drags. Badly. The first several levels are probably the most boring things to grace Blades since Proving Grounds' dungeon. Thankfully, it starts to pick up around level 20, which is where the enemies start actually providing a challenge. The pools, secret doors, and traps help relieve the tedium here somewhat. Past level 20, it starts getting more interesting, and more challenging. However, a few levels later, the repetitious dungeon levels become considerably more apparent. Can I at least get a floor change? Perhaps a change in ambient sound? By level 80, I was getting tired of the constant repetition. The new levels were not all that new or interesting, and I started counting the levels till the scenario finished. Still, it has a few shining moments (such as when a level change wound up dropping me in a room with four rather nasty enemies, or when a hostile ghost, who had sighted me, wound up running straight past me without such much as a single swing in my direction).


Once I hit the final stretch past level 100, it started picking up again, thanks to an increase in difficulty. And the final level, which appears to be intentionally designed to be a spiral, was definitely interesting. Oh, and we can't forget those doom chickens. So it ended on a high note.


Combat - 4

As stated under Enjoyment, the beginning drags badly. The enemies from level 1-10 would likely only challenge a true beginner, unfamiliar with RPGs as a whole. Anyone even slightly skilled could play these levels on torment without breaking a sweat. The enemies here are extremely weak, to the point of triviality. I suppose they'd make a good indicator of a bad build, but still, it's tedious. At level 10, they started picking up in difficulty, and start getting interesting abilities. Ranged fighting starts to come into play here as well.


However, the combat difficulty still doesn't pick up much. While the enemies start strengthening quite a bit, two major factors are almost constantly present that keep the difficulty almost trivially easy: Numbers and Terrain. Most encounters are against a single enemy, meaning that it can never really overwhelm you unless it far outguns you (which, barring a bad build, is rare). And most take place in a large room that's accessed by a tiny, usually twisty hallway, meaning that a player can force a ranged attacker to close by dodging around a corner and can force a group of enemies to attack single-file and get picked off one at a time. Even on Torment on level 50, the combat was still failing to come close to killing me unless I got careless. In fact, only the strongest enemies seemed capable of even hitting me. Only at level 105 was I regularly challenged by the enemies I had to fight. Additionally, there were levels with 3 or 4 enemies, tops. Considering that the character gets a fully recuperated character every level (some health is restored along with all energy; which, if the heal spell is available, means health and energy are completely restored), this isn't much at all, especially considering that combat is pretty much the entire point for the scenario. In a scenario like this, there's not much to be done about the terrain issue, but I'd still like to see a greater number of enemies.


Also, I think boss fights would be perfect and possible for this scenario. I mean, why not spice up every 15 or 20 levels with a particularly nasty critter that you have to kill to proceed? It'd be possible with creature scripts, and positively easy compared to the rest of the coding. Maybe it's just me, though.


Plot - 3

Not much to say here. You're an newbie adventurer who's out of work when you hear about the legendary Dungeon of Doom and the Amulet of Yendor contained within. Skip the entire scenario, you finally get the Amulet, and teleport out. The end.


Yeah. This scenario is not about plot. At all. But I suppose a simple, unoriginal plot is better than no plot at all, or worse, a plot that's complete garbage. It still would have been nice if the plot was a little more creative and original, and if perhaps there were reminders every now and then of it, rather than the plot disappearing for 120 dungeon levels... But I digress.


Design - 5

It's a little difficult to judge how good or bad the towns are, considering that they're generated randomly. Still, as mentioned under enjoyment, an occasional floor change would have been nice. Also as mentioned, the dungeons tended to became a little repetitive. Perhaps do what the final level did a little more often and have levels with a specific shape. As it was, each level tended to seem too much like the last.


No errors as far as I can tell, which is good for a scenario built entirely on its technical premise. No typos or spelling errors I noticed in the dialog. No dialog either. tongueold.gif


Graphics - 4

Bland to a detriment. The repetitive dungeons were not helped by the fact that it was always dark cave floors with rough stone walls. The walls are excusable, being a rather tricky thing to handle. The floors? Not so much. I mean, sure, there were stalactites and moss... but if you can add pools to the scenario, you can add the occasional sleeping pad now and then.


Other than that, there wasn't anything graphically wrong with the scenario. A couple of neat custom graphics, and a color-shifted doom chicken was nice.


Scripting - 10

A technical masterpiece. Inspirational when it comes to showing the power of the Blades engine. There are still a few things that could be done to push it even further, but in the scripting department, this scenario shines. 119 randomly-generated dungeons (and one that had a set configuration) in a single town, with encounters, secret doors, traps, and so on, is one of the most powerful things ever done with AvernumScript.



Enjoyment - 5 * 0.2 = 1.0

Combat - 4 * 0.2 = 0.8

Plot - 3 * 0.2 = 0.6

Design - 5 * 0.15 = 0.75

Graphics - 4 * 0.15 = 0.6

Scripting - 10 * 0.1 = 1.0

Rounded Toward Enjoyment - +0.05



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