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Author Topic: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory  (Read 4332 times)

Mephansteras

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Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:30:26 am »

Rather surprised this game hasn't gotten a thread here yet.

Slay the Spire is a Rogue-like Deck-Building card game currently in early access.

You make your way up a monster infested tower level by level, fighting a boss monster every Act (3 total). So, rather light on story. But it makes up for it in mechanical fun and each run takes only an hour or two to finish. And, like many rogue-likes, it is the particulars of the run that make it interesting and replayable.

This is very much a Deck-Builder in a pc game. For those that are not aware of the board game mechanic, a deck-builder is a mechanic where you start with a small set of core cards and then modify that deck as you play, adding and removing cards to try and build an effective set of cards to use. In Slay the Spire there are two characters, the Ironclad and the Silent. Each has their own unique set of cards to play with (both starting decks and the cards they can add during play). There is a third class planned, but no information about them is available yet that I have seen.

In addition to the decks, there are also Relics that you pick up that will alter how the game works for. Some of these are minor, others can completely alter your strategy. Each class starts with a Relic that helps define how the character plays. The Ironclad has one which heals him for a small amount after every fight while the Silent has one which gives her more cards in hand at the start of every battle.

The game works by having each 'floor' of the spire be an encounter. These can be Combats, Events (which generally give you choices to make that effect your health or deck), Shops, Chests, and Camps (where you can heal or upgrade cards in your deck). Each acts also has several paths you can take up the spire. Some will meet up or branch off, others might be a narrow line all the way up to the boss. But picking what path to take (and what combination of combats, events, camps, etc you encounter) is a very important part of the game.

In a combat, you have only a few basic stats and your deck to work with. You have your health, your mana, and your cards. Mana is what lets you play cards, with each card having a cost from 0-3. By default you have 3 mana to use each round. You then draw a hand of cards (5 by default), play the cards you can/want, then discard the remaining. Repete the cycle each round as you fight the monster(s). When you can't draw any new cards your discard is shuffled into a new draw deck and things continue until you or the monsters are dead.

At the end of most fights, and often from events/shops/chests, you will be given a choice of cards to add to your deck. This is about half the strategy in the game, since what you have in your deck and how well things work together is critical to succeeding. Sometimes the best choice is not to add a card at all, since the more cards in your deck the less likely it is you'll get the ones you want when you need them.

Overall, I've been having a blast with it! Makes a great short session game and even unfinished as it is I've gotten 60+ hours out of it.

Sheesh, didn't realized I'd played that much.

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IWishIWereSarah

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 12:04:52 pm »

Played it a bit and I love it.

It's one of those games where the rewards are random enough that 2 following playthroughs with the same class don't feel the same : one will be focused on poison, the following one on blocking with spiky-armor, the next one on creating 0-cost attacks, ....

The amount of randomization makes me a bit sad, though, because it means that you do not really choose how you play. It depends much more on which relics/rare cards you get early, around which you can construct your deck.

I also like some of the refreshing mechanics : when you draw all the cards in your deck, your discard is shuffled to make your new drawing stack. It's basic, but it gives an advantage in keeping you deck small (because you can find your rare cards more often) but opens you to a weakness : some monsters put bad cards in your deck/discard when casting debuffs.
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Mephansteras

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 10:54:49 pm »

The basic mechanics of the deck builder (slowly adding/removing cards and reshuffling the deck when you need to draw and can't) are all basic for a genre of physical cards games. You may want to look into them, there are a lot of good ones out there that are a ton of fun. Dominion, Core Worlds, Star Realms, and Ascension are all pretty good. Some of those even have pc or mobile versions.

-----

Found an interesting combo. Normally I don't like Corruption (Skills cost 0 but are Exhausted when used), but it pairs incredibly with the Dead Branch relic (When a card is exhausted, put a random card into your hand). You end up with a deck that is incredibly random, but you can play 20+ cards in a single turn if you start getting powers that mesh with the combo well. I had the ones that gave you block after Exhausting a card and Draw 1 after Exhausting a card, and just ended up doing insane combos with tons and tons of block. Absolutely wrecked the run I did. Poor final boss never had a chance.
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thegoatgod_pan

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 12:38:08 am »

I've been sickeningly addicted to this. Silent is fairly easy to ascend with. Demon-dude less so. Really interested in seeing what the final character will be.

The really brutal combos for me have been shiruken+all the shiv related abilities for silent, which translates to a lot of 0 cost attacks that make themselves insanely damaging.

I also really enjoy the various ways of exhausting cards, and benefiting from exhausted cards with demon-dude.

My strategy is basically: always avoid fights if you can and take every available opportunity to remove cards from your deck.
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RangerCado

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 09:49:50 pm »

Doing an Ironclad Berserker Build... and then grabbed Pandora's Box... I now have a Debuff Deck with literally no block beyond the Self-Forming Clay Relic. This will be interesting.
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Frumple

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 10:04:23 pm »

Amusingly enough, I think my most successful run so far has been my first. Been winning with others, but the first run was hilariously dominating and a victory right out the gate. Managed to roll over multiple curse related artifacts and a good bit of strength buffing cards, the last hit I made was a base strike hitting in the 50s, 120+ hp despite not even seeing feed, so on, so forth. I nabbed up every curse I could find, gladly had an immolate or two in my deck, and lolorolled over the last act~

Most memorable fight of it was a life link trio critter fight, where I unintentionally stalled for a bit and then hit them with like a 20+ strength boosted reaping, wiping the entire enemy for more damage than their max health. 92 hp heal from it :3

... also those byrds. Those damned byrds. Those friggin' degenerate monkey bird byrds. Every time I see them is a nudge to the hind brain I should be worrying about running into a minga melon.

The zaku slimes are great, though. For whatever reason seeing them leaves me with no expectation of a heat axe, only a continued appreciation of the monoeye.
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ThtblovesDF

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 03:24:14 am »

I also enjoy this greatly, being a big fan of all card games (magic mostly, but only in person), this does singleplayer card games very right. It would be very intresting if one could have a game vs another player that beat the boss as a last huraah (spoiler: if you go first, you win).

I totally agree, silent has a lot of exploitable mechanics, while our bruiser-type just needs a bit more work, but is more newb friendly.

I just can't get to the 11th ascend, but I'm working on it.

Right now some artifacts are just broken af, others near worthless - but I like that there are bosses that counter specific approches a little (time boss for example).
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Ygdrad

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 06:58:15 am »

I overlooked this one for a long time since I didn't enjoy most card games. I decided to give it a chance after weeks of it being in the best sellers, most played, and most streamed games, it had to be doing something right. I don't regret the purchase, the mechanics and cards/relics/enemies are obviously well thought out and I've been having a blast streaming it.
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FakerFangirl

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 09:09:11 am »

Is there a difficulty curve? It looks like it has a low skill-ceiling?
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ThtblovesDF

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 10:17:16 am »

Well every run is very different, some you can stumble through if you are good at deck building and mess up the gameplay, but in later accensions it just gets really unforgiving and you have to be pretty good in everything.

The game is hard, a novice user will fail many times (see northernlion players Slay the spire, ha) before seeing the boss once and even if you are good, no run is 100% safe.

Every successful run increases the difficulty of the next run (if you want it to).

As with everything, its Early Access, feel free to set it as a wanted game, wait for a big sale and grab it, its already worth its money.
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Mephansteras

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 11:08:36 am »

I agree that skill does matter a good bit. I've gone from beating the first boss most of the time but rarely even getting to the last boss to pretty reliably able to win a non-ascension run. You can always get a bad run where you just don't get any good card/relic synergy but the better you are the more likely you'll end up picking the right cards and adapting your deck to a winning strategy.
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FakerFangirl

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2018, 12:10:58 am »

Thanks! Well I like deck-building and the scaling difficulty sounds entertaining :)
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RangerCado

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 03:35:13 pm »

I got an event that wanted me to have the Red Mask relic, or spend all my gold for a random relic. I GOT the Red Mask from the gold. x.x
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Mephansteras

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 04:20:02 pm »

I got an event that wanted me to have the Red Mask relic, or spend all my gold for a random relic. I GOT the Red Mask from the gold. x.x

Yeah, that one always gives you the Red Mask. Never had it show up after having the Red Mask first, myself. I wonder what it does?
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FakerFangirl

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Re: Slay the Spire - Deck-building to Death or Glory
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2018, 07:04:40 pm »

So at first glance the card abilities seem oversimplistic. I checked some of the Steam reviews and agree with this one:
Quote from: Gallen
If you were to have a computer that randomly plays through the game and compare it with a skilled player over 100 runs, the player would likely only be ahead by ~5 wins. Why? Because how you play is so insignificant compared to the RNG of the game. [...] It does not matter how you play, because you aren't even the one really playing the game. The computer is, you're just watching the random pictures it decides to show you, and clicking when you're ready to see the next random result it'll decide.
I don't enjoy Hearthstone so I doubt I would enjoy this game.
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