Roguebook: Roguelike card battler. Probably no yaks.

Hate Oblivion, Love Skyrim. Sometimes little things make all the difference.

Fair 'nuff. I obviously haven’t played Roguebook enough to know the little differences.

After the polish of Slay the Spire (been playing that), the UI here needs more polish to draw more players.

Things like lag causing misclicks during rewards screen transitions.
Also the placement of the clickable portions of the UI is quite widely separated, causing a lot of mouse movements that is very noticable in bigger screens.

Still it’s a decent attempt, hope for their success. I may back it at 10euro for the full game. It’s a good idea to let people try the alpha build for 1euro. Wish more developers would do this.

The polish is designed to be later, this is just a proof of concept alpha using the Faeria engine.

The Kickstarter has got 4 days to go and they are 95% funded.

I’m hoping they can make it as the next iteration of the game with its own engine would definitely be a lot of fun to play.

They have added 2 discounted limited tiers to help them get over the funding threshold.

One is 23 euros (+/- $25) and gets you the full game and a digital storybook. One is 40 euros (+/- $45) and is the premium version of the game. You don’t lose anything gameplay wise by going with the base version though. The premium versions gives the OST and alternate art for the heroes.

The last day(s) in a campaign usually sees a strong boost, so this is a relatively safe bet now.

A new Kickstarter update has announced that closed beta has begun.

Closed Beta Has Begun

By now, everyone in the PLAYTESTER tier and above should have received their Closed Beta invites. If you haven’t - check your Kickstarter messages, or your email inbox.

Closed Beta has officially begun!

The Closed Beta is the first time anyone is able to play the new Roguebook client we have been working on all this time, with your support.

Closed Beta opened late last week, and the feedback so far has been pretty good.

Let’s talk about what’s to come next.

Early Access and Steam

Part of the reason we’ve not been posting too much news is because we’ve been talking a lot internally about which direction we should go, based on the state of the game as it is now.

Right now, we feel like we have a fully playable game, but we are missing some critical components that really round it out. Specifically, we are missing some aspects of persistence and progression that we have planned to implement, but have not quite gotten to yet. Examples of these mechanics include “New Game+” and other super secret things that you carry from run to run.

We have decided that we absolutely do not want to release on Steam Early Access without these critical components in place, as it may turn players off from the game without having the full journey available.

Tl;dr: There will be no Steam Early Access - but instead we will still be giving “Kickstarter Early Access.”

This was released today.
Business plan: make a mediocre Slay inspired game and try to sell lots of DLC for it.

Grindy meta progression, annoying painting mechanic, terrible balancing. Truly, truly awful balancing actually, on both cards and enemy encounters.

This deserves no money and little attention. Just let it die in peace and play better deckbuilders.

Yeah, I noticed that they are selling something like 5 DLC at release. No release discount of any kind either.

While I haven’t bought it yet, it strikes me as neither of those things.

All of which is cosmetic, except for one thing which was included in the deluxe edition. 4 of the 5 are in the deluxe, actually. And it is cosmetic. While I don’t think the deluxe should have had any actual content, this gives people a way to get it separately if they wanted to. Not really a big deal, imo.

Kind of a staple of the genre, isn’t it? Doesn’t seem that bad at a glance

I think this game just isn’t for you, because to me the painting mechanic is absolutely brilliant

I’m curious about what you are referring to with the balance issues.

Yaks:

I had quite a bit of fun with the Alpha. I’ll be giving the full release a whirl this week-end. I hope my impressions align with yours. I thought it was a cool take on the genre.

Being mediocre is certainly somewhat subjective, although I am ready to defend that statement.
You don’t think it’s heavily inspired by Slay the Spire though?

I’m not too worried about power creep/pay to win from DLCs. They do have a stickied post about it on the top of their forum, so it definitely comes up though. The roguelike nature diminishes that problem somewhat as content is distributed semi-randomly anyway.
The amount, content and price of DLC is staggering though. For $8 you get 5 relics, five gems and one fight. That’s a third of full price Slay the Spire.
$5 gives you four skins for your heroes. Another $5 gives you three card backs and 10 alternate card arts.

They are saying in their very forum this is how they intend to add future content and DLC and it just seems like an utterly terrible value preposition to me. If they sell empty DLC for this much how much will actual content be?

Depends very much on the game. Slay and Monster Train have some card and relic unlocks.

Roguebook has an entire skill tree you unlock with a specific kind of currency to unlock entire game features and very notable strength increases such as:

  • three different shops/map items, including one that increases your energy
  • the ability to remove weak starter cards from your deck
  • boosts to chances to find higher rarity stuff
  • free random relics and gems at the start of the run

and more I don’t know about yet because you have to discover half the tree by buying the previous upgrades.
It’s the opposite of their claimed “add variety, not power” stance. Slay and Monster Train add variety with their small number of unlocks. In Roguebook the skill tree is pure power you have to grind to unlock and make future runs very notably easier.

Like the overall production quality of the game it makes a good first impression, yes.
After a run or two it adds nothing to the game though, and actively subtracts from it. Certain map items are visible and it makes sense to spend your limited painting to get those things. You have no basis to decide on the rest of the map though. The number of things you discover fluctuates pretty heavily.
Imagine Slay with every act randomly rolled to be between 8 and 15 nodes instead of always having 15.

This could be a long rant… I think people should play the game first.
Short version: The game doesn’t know whether it wants to go for Slays tight balancing or Monster Trains crazy multiplicative scaling. Lots of cards are unusably awful, some cards are instant win.
Enemy damage is scaled way up without being compensated for by anything except for some of the unintentionally (?) OP cards and combos.
Some enemy abilities are excessively impactful and random.
Overall the game has a very large variance in many aspects making runs fluctuate greatly in challenge, potential and player agency.

I really enjoyed Faeria and this looks fantastic. I haven’t got a moment to spare for it right now, but it’s high on the list of things to grab some time this summer. Cosmetic DLC doesn’t bother me.

I adore Monster Train but whole factions have grindy unlock conditions intended to delay access to them until you’ve played a lot of the game. Add to that few cards and relics unlocked at each of 10 levels for each of 6 factions and… I don’t see how you can call it a “small number of unlocks.” I’m fine with that, in fact I like a sense of metaprogression, but the notion that MT is light on unlocks is a strange one.

Now StS does indeed lack any significant metaprogression, but that’s just one of many reasons I’m not a fan of it.

No more than Slay was inspired by Dream Quest. I’d say Roguebook does a better job of differentiating itself from StS than 90-95% of the roguelike deckbuilders out there.

I agree the pricing on the dlc is noxious, but there are many games where people spend absurd amounts of money on cosmetics.

I’m with @Vinraith here, MT has a ton of stuff to unlock, between factions, champions for those factions, cards, relics.

I hadn’t thought about this, but you have a point here. I would argue MT certainly had some power in the unlocks, but this skill tree is more akin to something like Hades, for instance. I will come back to this in a minute.

Sure you do. There’s considerable strategy in uncovering as much of the map as possible. I get that some people won’t like the randomness of it, but I like this method as a substitute for Slay-style maps.

This is really interesting. I hadn’t considered this at all. It seems vastly closer to Slay to me, but maybe I haven’t seen enough? And your point about the passive tree is well-made. OTOH, I have to ask whether the cards you think are awful truly are. And I’ve seen some pretty broken combos in Slay. Curious what cards you think qualify as instant wins.

And the passive unlocks? Is that perhaps the crux of the matter, here? Then again, I watched a streamer doing his first run a couple of days ago, and it didn’t seem this way to me…at least any more so than Slay or any other game in the genre.

I really can’t speak to this. I haven’t seen enough of it. I have a feeling a discussion about this would revolve around whether the map traversal is skill-based.

I wish I knew more about the ascension/modifier system, as I suspect it is an important point in the discussion about difficulty tuning, but I haven’t seen it at all.

At any rate, thanks for the reply.

Terrible cards are many basic “do low amounts of damage/block” cards.
Health values and enemy damage is often more than doubled compared to Slay I’d say.
A card like “0 energy, do 4 damage” is a below average card in Slay already. Roguebook has fewer synergies than Slay, less card draw but a more generous energy income (after you unlocked wells in the skill tree). Quickstrike and similar attack cards or the block variants are basically curses in that environment.

There are many cards that are costly for small benefits over the next turn(s) that are unplayable IMO. You can’t afford to spend all you turn getting minor advantages in the future with the damage Roguebook dishes out. Lots of “next turn” cards are just too unreliable.

Instant win cards/combos are multiplicative ones. I found bleed especially OP (it basically multiplies times the number of turns). Blade twist combines both (double the bleed, add 3 bleed). There are lots of ways to duplicate/replay cards in your deck. For multiplicative cards 5-6 doublings kill the final boss without any other synergy or damage. If you do have synergy (a starting bleed value for Blade Twist, any ally synergy for Bullfrog, which doubles it’s auto damage reach turn) it goes even faster.
The rare gem “add the card’s attack damage in bleed” is insanely strong. Just slap it on any high attack (20-60 damage) card and you are basically set.

Monster Train style multiplication is so much stronger than fiddling with “addition”. Builds around gaining power and multi hits for instance are harder to make work require more component parts, and have a much lower payout.

Yeah, I’ve seen bullfrog. It ramps up pretty slowly, but I guess if you have a heavily defensive build that would be good, right up until you get a boss that removes allies.

The bleed gem does seem really good. Isn’t it half damage, though? Or is there an upgraded version? Blade twist would be an obvious candidate for an acorn gem (add two copies without gems to deck at start of combat).

No doubt bleed is very strong. I saw someone doing nutty stuff with power yesterday, but you are right that it takes more effort to build around it. OTOH, power impacts nearly every card you play ave can even be used defensively.

They could easily tone bleed down by making it decrement. It really shouldn’t maintain throughout the entire fight, imo.

Bleed does appear incredibly powerful given it does not decay and does stack from every new instance applied. I am yet to try it or see it, but I wonder whether a deck could be built around bleed stacks & defence, with little to no direct damage? Just stack the bleed & sit back and wait for em to fall over.

I am absolutely loving the overland map exploration aspects. The light puzzle-y nature just, for me, adds something that goes beyond the simple or binary “choose a path” from Slay the Spire & Monster Slayers & Gordian Quest. It also strikes me as one of the most pleasant looking but entirely comprehensible maps since, ooh, HoMM 2 and the first of the semi-recent Kings Bounty games.

Wondering . . . what do you do when you cannot see any more battles or items on the map? Do you continue using brushes or pots to find more stuff, or do you proceed direct to level boss? I am currently proceeding direct to the level boss, preserving my art supplies for the next level.

Okay, can anyone tell me if this is any good? @Therlun seems pretty cool on it, and a few folks such as @Lykurgos enjoy at least aspects of it - but no one else seems to be specifically saying if they are enjoying the experience and feel it’s worth $25 for fans of card based rogues?

I’ve played about 4-5 hours yesterday and enjoyed it. I like how you need to think about the positioning of your 2 heroes as well as card order. Both play a role in card efficiency and cost. They also affect your survivability.

Painting the map is more enjoyable to me than the pre-set routes of other games. Bit more of a sense of discovery. And the skills you unlock will progressively ensure that there is more of certain things on the map for you to find.

I haven’t managed to complete a run yet. I keep dying on the second big boss. But that’s fine by me. I’m sure I’ll get there soon enough now that I’m starting to figure out what works well and the crafting and combos.

All in all, I like it quite a bit. But I can’t say yet whether it will have the staying power of the other games.