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Caravel Forum : DROD RPG Boards : RPG Holds : Break Out of Jail! (Typical fighting hold)
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7.8/10 (17 votes)
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Author Name:12th Archivist
Submitted By:12th Archivist
Hold Name:Break Out of Jail!
Theme:Typical fighting hold
Author's Difficulty:
Number of Levels:5
Number of Rooms:149
Number of Monsters:644
Version:DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale (1.1)
High Scores:View High Scores
Hold Karma:9 (+9 / -0)
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File: Break Out of Jail fin.drh (67.4 KB)
Downloaded 532 times.
License: Other
From: Unspecified
icon Break Out of Jail!  
Thanks to testers:
Kwakstur,
deftriver,
Gordius,
Someone Else,
TFMurphy,
Chaco,
Njaa,
Angry Banana,
lordatog,
The Stew Boy,
ijack7,
Lamkin,
& Hold Administrators
10-19-2010 at 04:17 PM
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Blondbeard
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+2)  
Finally here! A big, ambitious hold with a DRODishly obscure story. It also comes with an alternate ending, which is a big plus when it comes to re-playability.

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10-19-2010 at 04:21 PM
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Tim
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+5)  
I thought it was okayish. It's big, ambitious, but most of the time I was wondering whether the architect has played it himself.

I very seriously doubt that the alternate ending give much more replays than the normal path, since it doesn't deviate from the normal path a lot.

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10-19-2010 at 04:45 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+2)  
This is a relatively big (5 not-small levels) hold that will take some time for everyone to complete. The difficulty is probably around Tendry's Tale level, or perhaps a bit higher, since I believe the final level is more difficult to get through than the other levels.

There are some areas that I believe could have used polish back in the Architecture stage - for example, there aren't many free inventory slots around the hold, so swapping weapons or shields requires running back and forth a lot, and secondly, backtracking can sometimes require the player to traverse a very long path.

However, I had fun playing this through and I think this is another good example of a good DROD RPG hold. Well done!

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[Last edited by Chaco at 10-20-2010 02:38 AM]
10-20-2010 at 02:37 AM
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Lamkin
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+2)  
Yes, it's good to see this finally on the Holds board. I think it's a pretty darn good hold, too. Plus it's not overly difficult and it's not overly lengthy, either, which is nice.

As far as reaching the alternate ending, you'll have to conserve both greckles and HP to such a ridiculous extent in order to reach that alternate ending that, believe me, although it's doable, it's one *hell* of a challenge and will take quite some time and considerable effort. And, unless you're a glutton for punishment and are attempting to optimize for and reach the alternate ending on the first playthrough, you will have to replay a good bit of the hold in order to reach it after having finished only the normal ending of the hold...so yeah, there is a degree of replayability involved.

[Last edited by Lamkin at 10-20-2010 09:21 AM]
10-20-2010 at 03:03 AM
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Lamkin
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+2)  
I've found three problems involving score points for this particular hold:

1. Three out of four score points (one I haven't reached yet) in Imperial Defense don't show up at all on the high scores page after they've been reached (though they do show up on the restore screen). I've already mentioned this one to Schik.

2. One score checkpoint, "Cell Keeper Beaten!" in Cell Block A, won't resubmit a score to the high scores page...meaning there was an initial score up there on the page for me, but since then I'd optimized for a better score, yet it won't show up. It's possible that this is happening with other score points as well, but I'm not entirely certain.

3. Autosaves are often created when rooms with score checkpoints are backtracked to. Autosaves which, while they don't generate a new score, erase and overwrite the checkpoint, meaning that if you try and restore to, say, "Gray Man Slaughtered!" after having backtracked to that room, you won't restore to the point immediately after you'd defeated the gray man—you'll simply restore to the last time you'd entered the room and triggered an autosave. So, in effect, it's like any other autosave checkpoint.
(I hope I've explained this last one well enough...or that I haven't over explained it. And it's not a huge deal, really, but it's irritating nonetheless. Just thought I'd at least be giving players sort of a heads-up.)








[Last edited by Lamkin at 10-22-2010 05:35 AM]
10-21-2010 at 11:55 PM
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Lamkin
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (0)  
Okay, here's a follow-up: Rabbit asked me if I had deleted my previous copy of this hold (one of the ones from the Architecture board) before downloading and importing the copy from the Holds board. I hadn't done that, nope. I was getting high scores from old saves.
So I deleted the previous copy and reimported the hold in order to see if any or all of the problems I'd mentioned above would be resolved. Unfortunately, although problem 3 no longer occurs, problems 1 and 2 are still present.

[Last edited by Lamkin at 10-31-2010 06:26 PM]
10-31-2010 at 06:23 PM
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Penwielder
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+2)  
I looked at this hold now and then while it was on the architecture board. I never got very far into the fifth level then. Yesterday, I picked it up again for the first time since its release, and I finally beat the thing. I liked it a lot, although spending most of the day on it wasn't exactly affordable.

It's not an easy hold. This time, I did the first two levels especially well and it slowly but surely fell into place from there. I had to retry Block A a few times, and the last level knocked the wind out of me as it should, but it came out just about perfectly at the end. My general familiarity with the first four levels from the architecture process helped considerably.

Apparently I only found 40% of the secrets, so I guess I should go back and look for those sometime soon. Now, as I glance at one of the H&S topics, I get the feeling I might have missed some pretty important stuff.*

Regarding passages between Cell Blocks C and B:
Click here to view the secret text

This story is also humorously written, though it could have been touched up in a few places.

For now, I won't rate this. If I get around to playing Tendry's Tale someday, I'll at least have a frame of reference for the difficulty rating. The overall rating from me would probably be an 8 or 9, depending on the secret stuff.

*Understatement

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05-30-2011 at 08:17 PM
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mxvladi
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+3)  
Conquered (including Alternative Ending, too - and all on my first playthrough!).

This hold is true to its description - it's "typical fighting hold", without any unique scripted features in it or something. Just you, power-ups and various obstacles which require spending those power-ups. A few accessories are included, too (though, getting them is optional if you're not aiming for Alternative Ending).

I've got mixed feelings about this hold.

Its' design is far from perfect: levels are big, and there are very few shortcuts in them, so most of the time if you want to go back somewhere, you end up walking very long paths. This is especially true in the very first level. In addition to that, you get no inventory. Because of this, the whole accessory "race" takes so much longer.

Some of "choices" the player is given later on are very poor, mostly because it's obvious what to choose. For example, one of the choices I was given at some point is whether to fight 4 weak enemies, which by that time deal almost no damage, or fight 1 much stronger enemy (which deals so much more damage) *and* give up a defense gem. Choices like that make me wonder whether architect has played the hold himself (while he was in the process of making it, that is - I see that he has scores for the hold, so there's no doubt that at some point he did play through it).

Some of the bosses later on are really, really weak. I mean, it's not very common to see a boss which I can kill in 1 strike? Thankfully, at least the last boss could strike back.

I didn't really like that there're a bunch of secret rooms which hide valuable stuff. I understand that Tendry's Tale also has secrets with powerups, but it doesn't justify this hold. And TT's secrets aren't always hidden by secret walls, anyway - sometimes they are just marked as "secret" but the path to them is very clear. In this hold, secrets are hidden by secret walls... or other ways.

What I also didn't like is
Click here to view the secret text



I think that is pretty much all stuff which I thought is particularly bad in this hold, so onto the good stuff:

The hold is pretty tricky. I'd say trickier than Tendry's Tale. The Alternative Ending in particular is quite crazy, and the reason I'm giving this hold pretty high difficulty rating. But at the same time it's not *too* tight on HP/keys, so player may end up with quite a few to spare (for example, it's possible to finish hold without spending any of skeleton keys the player is given). I like the difficulty here.

I quite liked the accessory race. For some of accessories, it's not immediately clear where to use them!

The Alternative Ending boss is tough, and not beatable without pretty good optimization. It still leaves some room for error, though, so it's not *too* tough.

I also liked how one of secrets was hidden...
Click here to view the secret text



I'm giving this hold 7 for difficulty (because of Alternative Ending - for normal ending I'd give 5 or 6) and 7 overall.
07-13-2013 at 01:22 AM
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12th Archivist
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+1)  
I agree with most of these points, mxvladi. This hold suffers essentially from being a project started, forgotten about, then restarted and rushed to completion years later. (Come to think of it, that describes all my works.)

If I had more foresight, I would have added a quick transportation system to the hold, or at least an inventory. I understand that this addition would *not* make up for the massive lack of consistent polish and frequent failures of architecture on my part, but at least it would make the essence of the secret ending much less painful. I will endeavor to make all my future works with this in mind. As for the aforementioned other problems... well, those may simply stem from me being a mediocre architect. With regular and constructive criticism on the architecture boards, I should be able to rectify many future errors, but all that depends on me putting content out regularly enough to make multiple testers stay with it until the end.

To answer your (and Tim's) considerations, I did indeed test this hold during its development. However, due to the Butterfly Effect, minor edits made larger impacts later in the hold, such as a small cache of powerups added early in the hold making bosses trivial when compared to versions without the early cache. I did not test each new revision extensively and completely, unlike what I have been doing with my new RPG hold, Rambunctious Romp.

In conclusion, I hope this response sheds a little bit of light on why this hold was not everything I wanted it to be, and not a particularly good addition to the RPG Holds board. I thank you all for your comments, and I will use the advice to definitely make my next RPG hold significantly better.

Huzzah for RPG content! :thumbsup

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07-13-2013 at 05:08 AM
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Nuntar
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+2)  
I played most of this hold when it was in Architecture, so it was very satisfying to come back and complete the final version. I particularly enjoyed the aesthetic touches that had been added since I last played the hold -- some neat dialogue and cutscenes. (Though I was surprised when
Click here to view the secret text


I enjoyed it. I'm giving it 6 difficulty and 8 fun. However, those ratings are based on normal completion, not trying to reach the bonus boss. So I didn't have to do too much backtracking -- the only thing I would really flag as an annoyance problem is the rooms at the end of Cell Block A and start of Imperial Defense where you have to rotate your sword several times to block aumtlich beams, every time you pass through the room.

Also, to counter mxvladi's post above, I'll put on record that in my normal playthrough, the last few bosses were a good challenge -- I had only 36HP left on defeating the Superior Slayer! (I do, however, have an unused Speed Potion, so I might see if I can use that to get a bit further....)

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01-02-2014 at 10:52 PM
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kieranmillar
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icon Re: Break Out of Jail! (+1)  
If I were to compare this hold to one from regular DROD I would say it was like a typical Architects Edition hold. It was built primarily when DROD RPG was fairly new and is fairly ambitious, but is also rough around the edges. Nowadays the community has a better grasp on designing RPG holds, so does this hold live up to modern standards? Unfortunately I don't think so. I think that this hold suffers from some major flaws that drag down the experience.

The design of the hold is like a gauntlet, there are lots of rooms where to progress you need to kill all of the enemies standing on a trapdoor so that you can open a red door. Combined with long linear level layouts the number of meaningful choices is rather small. On the topic of layouts, the level could do with better shortcuts to reduce travel time as running back and forth requires you to pass through most rooms along the way. The main shortcut on the first level involves moving a platform so you have to return to it the same way you went across it, so it often doesn't save you any time if you want to re-explore the whole level to e.g. mop up free kills.

Progression at the beginning of the hold is very strange and tripped me up for quite a while. There is a blue door near the exit staircase that, when opened, floods the area with water. A guard will rush out and open the red doors leading to the staircase, allowing you to progress to the next level, but you are unable to return. Except you can return by standing in the right place in the entrance room on the second floor, which triggers a script that removes the red doors. And even if you do notice this, you eventually reach a dead end for progression as you need a blue key but there isn't one. It turns out you weren't supposed to spend the blue key on the door in the first level, no, you were supposed to save it for the second level, and progress to the second level by instead triggering an invisible script behind a chain of broken walls that lay past another mud mother nearby.

On the topic of scripting, the hold tries to use a number of scripted events, but they tend to be broken or poorly designed. If you trigger the scripted way out of the first level, but then also open the blue door, the guard will rush down the stairs, re-toggle the red doors closed, and then get stuck behind them, leading to getting stuck inside a cutscene. At the end of the hold there's a scripted chase sequence with an NPC that is permanently failable, requiring you to reload your game (there's a checkpoint nearby, but still, ew), and the multi-room chase makes no sense because of the way the script freezes when you're in a different room so you can just take the long way round to enter from another entrance to catch up. The secret bonus boss uses a script to drop a bridge and trap you next to her... or you can use a speed potion to just run past the bridge before it drops, bypassing the boss completely and achieving the alternate end scorepoint with a big score.

That's not the only scorepoint that's broken. A whole bunch of scorepoints are technically optional and don't need to be triggered to keep progressing, and while skipping them is not necessarily optimal, it does mean you can come back at the end of the hold and trigger them when you have huge stats for huge scores. So instead of having a range of scorepoints to optimise various parts of the game, you have a ton of them that require you to play the entire hold multiple times but ever so slightly differently at certain parts.

Some other players have moaned about secret rooms. I don't mind them myself, but if you want to achieve the regular ending, it is absolutely required that you get the grappling hook, which is inside a secret room behind a secret wall.

I had some more to say, but I'm going to stop because I'm worried that maybe I'm being a little bit unfair. It was made very early on in the life of DROD RPG after all. But perhaps this all stems from the fact that the hold is maybe a little bit too ambitious for the author at the time, and probably would have benefited from being something much smaller and simpler. It's certainly not the worst RPG hold out there though, and the fact that I stuck with it to the end and spent countless hours topping the various leaderboards that aren't suffering with technical issues on the server side (which is not the fault of the hold) proves that in spite of my complaints, the experience was still enjoyable enough.

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08-01-2015 at 01:05 AM
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