I play Age of Decadence now and it is the best single player RPG so far (single player means without companions in this case). Some things to be learned from this:

- Ignore any alignment system (good vs evil, order vs chaos, . . .). You can also ignore most descriptors (I mean things like cruel, stoic, passionate, . . .). Choice and consequence is enough.
I said something like this before, but I give an example again:
Some people do not like. Maybe they attack you on sight or they send assassins after you. This is not because you have a reputation of being cruel or evil. They hate you because you slaughtered an entire town and they know some people from there.

- I like how the skill/stat system is used in AoD to allow several possible solutions for quests. But it is not perfect. This is the worst case: You build a char who focusses on talking. But you have one skill point less than needed in persuation to solve something peacefully. You do not have enough points to raise your skill so you are forced to fight a battle you cannot win. This can mean that you have to restart the game and change only a few skill points to get past this point. This is realistic (which is a main goal of AoD) but not always fun.
The best quest I had so far was the first one in D:OS1: Solve the murder. The game did not tell you what to do next step by step, you had several ways to approach it and several skill were useful to solve it (convince others to give you information, find hidden things, pickpocket, talk to animals, . . . ).
But most importantly, every char could solve it. Thogh some chars may have it easier than others, no char was unable to solve the quest because he did not have a specific skill.

- Of course, some things need to be different. D:OS2 will be a game where you cannot avoid combat completely the entire game. So even if a char puts some points into social skills, this should not prevent him from being useful in combat. But the game should reward you somehow if you chose to use your social skills (or thief/sneak skills) instead of just bashing everything in your way.

summary: Everybody (players and developers) should play AoD. Many good things can be learned from it. I do understand that many people will not like this game (very hard, If you do not have lots of experience with RPGs or you read guides, you will die a lot until you create a char that fits your play style and does not die every few minutes.

I guess if I can finish AoD with a combat focused char, D:OS will be a piece of cake. I found D:OS1 not very difficult. For me it was just right. You had to think about what you do in combat, but the main focus was exploration.

groovy Prof. Dr. Dr. Mad S. Tist groovy

World leading expert of artificial stupidity.
Because there are too many people who work on artificial intelligence already :hihi: