Depths of Peril?

So I was poking around the intarweb when I found this ghetto looking game. I read a favorable review, but I’m also looking for some input from the forum (other than a quick mention of the title in an Ultima thread that I found when I was a-googlin).

The graphics look like something I drew while drunk, but the gameplay sounds really cool. Like, “what I thought the Stronghold in NWN2 was supposed to be” cool.

The concept is awesome. This is the sort of thing that I wish more RPG makers would try (a more open-ended RPG that isn’t just about following a storyline to completion), but the only other thing I’ve played that comes close is King of Dragon Pass. I’ll definitely check this out.

Looks like a Fisher-Price “My First Diablo-clone” kinda game…but give the demo a whirl and let us know how it is.

I just played the demo and am PROBABLY going to take the plunge on the full game.

Sure the graphics aren’t super snazzy (but then again I think my system is behind the 8-Ball anyways), but I like what I saw here!

While on the surface its YET ANOTHER LOW BUDGET DIABLO CLONE, I like one of its VERY KEY differences! Competing NPC Clans! Now you are under some time pressure unlike Diablo where you can take as long as you want. Basically it throws in a little dynamic politics into the basic Diablo format that you can’t afford to completely ignore as you try to become the town leader.

Graphics remind me a bit of Mythos, which is free.

Holy shit, it’s fuckin awesome. Call me a convert! I downloaded, played for a few minutes… then skipped classes, played for a few hours… and now I’ma buy this thing!

Seriously, its the most awesome RPG I’ve played since Mount and Blade.

Random Maps
Complex NPC clan interaction system
Well thought out classes and skills (although priests are a tad overpowered… think DnD clerics)
Freakishly addictive
NPCs complete quests that you are too slow on
Failure to complete a kill quest in a reasonable amount of time causes uprisings and monster swarms
Simple party management

Quests are mostly fetch, kill count, and kill boss, with some rescues
Combat system is Diablo
Graphics look like ass
Simple party management
Buy/Sell interface needs work (stuff like space bar while hovering on gear sells it, but doesn’t buy it. And right click on gear buys it, but is used to equip gear rather than sell it)
Limited quest log (only six active at a time) - I’m pretty sure this was a balance decision, as quests are very valuable reward wise, and making it too easy to do them would really bork things
Map is highly pixilated, but has mouse over support with the dots

It shocks me that I liked this, because I hated Diablo and its various clones. The game itself reminds me of Majesty, as NPCs generally wander around questing and buying loot. I like how streamlined the party is (you can pick from any number of dudes you recruit, but only one can hang out with you in the wild), but I had issues with this when I invaded an NPC clan stronghold, as I was unable to issue targets, and couldn’t take more than one dude with me (although I did manage to pull the enemy to my base and have all my dudes charge em). This might be a feature to prevent easy ganks of enemy strongholds, and the siege WAS pretty intense as a result. The story is fairly forgettable (I didn’t even notice I was doing it!), but the core game play was so good that I didn’t mind. I’m sure it is a lot better if you take the time to read the extensive flavor text, but I wanted to get back to hacking things to death.

After capturing the town, you can generate a new world, which ups the difficulty (all the monsters are closer to your level) but allows you to keep all your dudes and gear. This was probably the smartest decision ever made by a designer, because playing without the NPC factions to trade with is pretty dull.

Summary: Excellent game with cool features but poor graphics.

Wow, that does sound interesting. Also, from the screenshots, the graphics aren’t -that- bad…

They look better than most roguelikes…

I have to admit I would try Dwarf Fortress or such if the graphics were more like this. :)

True enough, but as a solo gamer I like to be able to play my Diablo Clones offline with simulated opponents.

This is all you had to say to get an automatic download from me.

Bad? Hell, they look pretty damn nice for an indie game without a multi-million dollar investment behind it.

The person or company making it seriously needs to invest in a web designer, though. The website is incredibly amateurish.

I had the chance to play a couple of preview builds and it really sucked me in. On the surface, it’s a competent Diablo clone but the dynamic competition against the other covenants gives it a high-speed competitive twist. Well worth a look but play the demo long enough to get into some raids to really see what it has to offer.

Speaking of which, I’m an idiot. You can get all your dudes to follow you by selecting the raid option in the covenant diplomacy window. D’oh!

Also, trading is pretty weird. When you start trading with another group, there’s a big negative penalty (I think -10 for the Tiny route) in your crystal income. This over time becomes a positive amount, eventually adding significantly to your income… if you play long enough. Now that I know how the raid option works, I generally steamroll anything weaker than me fairly fast. What makes trading useful is that you can use it to support a stronger force of guards than you normally could - handy when your army is mostly weenie adventurers.

Influence is incredibly important, so be sure to do things that make people like you. Influence determines how likely the other groups are to give you free stuff, give you good deals on trades, and it also determines how much money you pull in from the city in the form of crystals. Low crystal income means weaker guards means lower power rating means harder time getting allies for raids.

Also, you should definitely take the time to adventure with your dudes, and to gear them out. Having them at low level is a serious issue when coming up against covenants with dudes all as strong as your main.

Oh, and I like that you can skip story quests in a new world to get back to the one you were on in the last world. Saves you plenty of trouble.

Death is handeled in two different ways, depending on what you were doing. If on a raid, you can die innumerate times, but each time you do your lifestone loses some health (the same is true for all your dudes). If you are out in the wild, kickin some monster butt, you get a soul debt. Until you pay that debt back, you gain XP at half the normal rate. However, to make things easier, a soul stone is spawned near where you died that lowers the amount of XP you need to grab.

Here are a couple of tips that make things a ton easier.

  1. Make sure to have at least one rogue in your raid group - these girls have an aoe ability that makes every enemy nearby slightly weaker.

  2. Go into the options menu and select autoattack. Don’t worry, it won’t turn on Dungeon Siege mode. What it does is auto switch you to a new target if your old one dies before your action is complete.

  3. Snacks are good!

  4. AI Priests do not have the ability to heal, so don’t have more than one of them. Their buffs are nice, but the lack of heals means that they’re just wannabe wizard warriors.

  5. The thief hides right next to vendors. Hold alt, it’ll make your day easier.

  6. Warriors kick ass as henches. Take them over any other AI recruit. They’re the least dependent on peripheral gear, and they generally put out the best damage numbers.

Hey Gang!

Steven Peeler (Main Developer behind Depths of Peril) would like to join the conversation!

How can we fast track him into the wonders that are Qt3?

Hopefully pretty quick.

One thing I really am not liking is that Uniques vary. A named toy should really have set attributes, if for no other reason than bragging rights.

Enh, I don’t think they have enough of them yet so they’re really just buffed up random items with names that are far beyond the standard drop level at the moment.

Tom says he’s now good to go!

Bummer. Well, I guess I could always offer some names… but I doubt The Bannana Hammock Of Choogla and its ilk would sit very well with them =D

Tried the demo and have now picked this up. Not much of a Diablo fan, I always thought Dungeon Siege simply revealed how shallow the whole damn genre was, but this is an interesting twist and I’m a sucker for living worlds and skirmish style gameplay.

The game design seems pretty well thought out in how it handles deaths, losing, new games etc.

Also, every game designer should look at this guys options screen. Full tooltips, when to increase, when to decrease, recommended settings, and full support for refresh rates, antistropic filtering AND anti-aliasing. Brilliant. He promptly drops the ball on the New Game screen, not explaining what the Covenant aggressiveness controls (I’m assuming how often they raid you), but this is a well tool-tipped game.