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Author Topic: Slay the Spire  (Read 502 times)

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market squire

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Slay the Spire
« on: March 04, 2018, 08:38:38 pm »
+3

So I got this game on Steam about a month ago (http://store.steampowered.com/app/646570/Slay_the_Spire/) and must say I am super addicted, Steam says I've already sunk 47 hours into it... If anyone else tried it I would be interested in your opinion. Otherwise I can only recommend it. The game is yet in Early Access, but already very solid and has lots of replay value. They even added in a Daily challenge mode with hard rule modifiers last week.

Slay the Spire is often described as a mixture of a deckbuilder, a Rogue-like and a dungeon crawler. It is a singleplayer (PvE) game that you can play in ~2 hours per run.

The main designer is a big fan of Netrunner (he hosts the fan site stimhack.com). What bugs me about LCGs like Netrunner or Hearthstone is the metagame, that you have to build your deck in advance of the actual game, while considering thousands of possibilities and counters. In Slay the Spire, the deckbuilding part is naturally built into the game. Step by step during your run, you may add a card to your deck after each fight. There are some rare possibilities to get rid of cards as well. I really enjoy this idea of "procedural deckbuilding".

The two main "currencies" on the cards are Attack and Defend. You can see the enemy's intentions and play accordingly. This makes it quite interesting. Defending is very important because you don't automatically heal up your HP after a fight (and if you get killed, you must start from the beginning again).

The "playing the deck" part is working just like Dominion. You will shuffle quite often. There are some small differences. Cards are just played into the discard pile, so some infinite combos are possible. But they are hard to pull off because you only have 3 Energy to play cards regularly. Also, they won't work in every case because each enemy behaves differently.

You can collect Relics that give you special abilities which will make each run unique. Also there are 2 different characters to play with, each with a huge set of possible cards. One additional character will be added on the full release, but the two are already very very interesting.
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DG

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 09:06:57 pm »
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Monsters Slayers is another similar game that's fun for a while.
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sitnaltax

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 08:24:05 pm »
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I second the recommendation. (Jorbles and I both talked about it briefly on the roguelike games topic.) I've had it a couple weeks and am enjoying it a lot (just unlocked Ascension mode).

The first game of this type was Dream Quest, which is excellent but very idiosyncratic--very primitive graphics and a sometimes-devastating difficulty curve. I highly recommend it to anyone here, although I'm not sure how someone who's used to the pacing and polish of Slay the Spire will like it. I briefly tried Monster Slayers but couldn't get into it--it seemed like a watered-down but polished version of DQ. The developer of Dream Quest went on to be hired by Blizzard for Hearthstone, and the Dungeon Runs minigame associated with the K&C expansion was clearly his doing (he was the lead designer for that expansion).
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Drab Emordnilap

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 09:53:47 pm »
+1

I have 93 hours played. I'm not particularly proud of that. But yeah, it's really good.
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popsofctown

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 02:16:57 am »
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Netrunner is a lot of "work" but it's pretty fun
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werothegreat

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 08:09:32 am »
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Sooooooo it's like Hearthstone's Dungeon Run?
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sitnaltax

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 08:36:52 am »
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Sooooooo it's like Hearthstone's Dungeon Run?

Yes, that's very close. I would say the biggest difference is that you play more cards every turn and they act right away rather than building up a board.
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blueblimp

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2018, 07:09:53 am »
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Apart from the tactical encounters being quite different compared to Dungeon Run (as sitnaltax mentioned), another difference is that in DR, usually the only outcome that matters from an encounter is whether you win it. In STS, you can bring consumable potions into battle to use, and if you take damage then it persists past the end of the battle. That's a better design, in my opinion, because it makes it less likely that a single tough encounter will end your whole run.

That said, STS didn't really grab me when I tried it. Maybe I'll give it another try.
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sitnaltax

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 11:25:52 pm »
+2

I've been playing this a lot more. I'm a little surprised it hasn't drawn more attention from Dominion fans. The interplay of cards-as-a-resource and energy is very cool both from a deckbuilding and play standpoint.

A couple cards that I thought were of particular interest from a Dominion standpoint:

Battle Trance: 0 energy, draw 3 cards; you can't draw any more cards this turn. "You can't draw any more cards this turn" would be a fascinating restriction to put on a Dominion card.

One-shots: StS has a bunch of cards that trash ("Exhaust") themselves when played. Typically they are more powerful than comparable cards (others would be too powerful if stacked, or meaningless to play twice). Dominion has Pillage and Spoils, but this is much easier ground to explore in StS since you play the same deck repeatedly in various encounters.

Ethereal: The other side of the coin are "Ethereal" cards that Exhaust themselves if you don't play them. These are efficient cards, which means you have a difficult decision if you draw, say, a defensive Ethereal card in a turn you aren't being attacked. Do you play the card so you can draw it next time through your deck, or let it go and play offense instead?
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pacovf

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 06:14:56 pm »
0

I've played v0.7. It's definitely fun and worth a try. One thing it does nicely is to keep play moving along. It doesn't drag much.

The Yahtzee-style dice manipulation in particular is quite fun, but after I got used to that, I feel like the rest of the game isn't as interesting. In combat, it feels like you're usually trying to do the same thing every turn. Slay the Spire solves that with systems like showing enemy intents and combat with multiple enemies. I think that enemy intents might work even better in DD than they do in StS, because in DD you almost always have access to all your abilities every turn. (I haven't played much StS, though, mostly because of pacing.) Here's an article about the StS intents: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/02/19/why-revealing-all-is-the-secret-of-slay-the-spires-success/.

Pacing?



I've been playing some Slay the Spire. It's good, but does not necessarily scratch the rogue-like itch that much, kind of like FTL. Also kind of like FTL, a run takes one to two hours, so it's not nearly as much of a time commitment as, say, a DCSS run.

It does have fairly granular difficulty levels, which is good, because the basic difficulty is on the easier side. You might still die a bunch as you get used to the mechanics. There's currently three characters (with maybe more coming after launch as DLC?) which play very differently. I think some balance still has to be ironed out, but for an early access game it's already excellent.

I'm actually not enamored with the intent system. It's mostly there to make the existing defense system viable (pay energy for cards to block damage, with block expiring at the end of the turn), and I think StS would have been a better game with a different defense system altogether. Cards like Barricade, Blur, or heavy Ice sphere channeling somewhat break the game. But overall it gets the job done.

Something that I was a bit worried about at the beginning was the artstyle, but it's grown on me. The whole thing feels somewhat oniric and original. The newer assets look a lot better than the older ones, and the main characters have no animation (besides idling), but eh.
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singletee

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Re: Slay the Spire
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2018, 06:02:06 pm »
+2

I played an unusual strategy on yesterday's daily climb. It was the one with the Silent where you started with 5 copies of one rare card. As it happened I got Wraith Form (3-cost Power: Gain 3 Intangible, lose 1 Dexterity every turn). I had never had much success with Wraith Form before, mostly because after the 3-turn timer runs out you are unable to defend yourself due to the Dex loss. But with 5 of them...

They weren't too useful in the early game because of the high cost, and the fact that there were so many interfered with my ability to attack and avoid the chip damage with my Defends. But eventually I got my hands on After-image (1-cost Power: When you play a card, gain 1 Block). Then I was able to upgrade it to be Innate. Crucially, the Block gains from this effect are not affected by Dex. So I was able to set up the After-image effect on the first turn of every fight, likely get Intangible the next turn, and from that point on I just literally did not care about how hard the enemies (tried to) hit. I also picked up a sixth Wraith Form, an Anchor to protect me on the first turn before I had a Wraith Form out, and a Setup and Bullet Time to let me play Wraith Forms for free. Beat Big Blue Bird easily without taking damage. Success!
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