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Renowned Explorers: International Society. An SRPG roguelike with emotions.

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
Steam Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/296970/
Price: $20 ($12 during steam sale, put it on wishlist at least?)
A look at the game by Total Biscuit (apparently he loves it)

Do you like SRPGs? Rogue-likes such as FTL? Have you ever thought you should be able to defeat your enemies by being tsundere? If so, you might wanna keep reading.

A few days ago I happened to catch a stream by Vinny (Vinesauce) who was trying out this game for the first time. He didn't spend much time with it because it's mechanics seemed to overwhelm him. It also didn't help that chat was being like twitch chat and obsessed on dissing the art style. Even so it was enough to pique my interest, so I scooped it up during the steam sale. I hadn't ever heard of it beforehand, no one on my steam's friend list had it, and I could barely find any mention of it on GAF. So I thought I'd make a thread since I think this game deserves a bit more attention.

The basic idea around Renowned Explorers is that it's an SRPG rogue-like that takes a few cues from other games such as FTL and then throws a whole bunch more into the mix. The game is seriously deep, extremely challenging and if you can get past the initial shock of the art, it's very charming.

You start the game by assembling a crew of explorers, who are determined to try and become the most renowned explorers in the world even more so than your stereotypical pompous rival. There's 20 explorers to pick from, and you must choose 3 whom you think might work best together. Each has their own class, set of skills, stats and abilities which will change how you tackle each play through. One of these characters will be assigned captain of the expedition, which grants them an extra unique (and very strong) ability.

The crew selection screen.


Once that's done you'll start your expedition. In each expedition you have a limited number of supplies to make it to the end goal on the map. Much like the game FTL, you get to pick and choose your path through the map. You'll encounter skill quests, SRPG battles, and other obstacles all while trying to gather as many resources along the way. Examples of the resources include gold which is used for buying your characters' equipment, research points for unlocking bonuses in the research trees, and even various treasures which give you bonuses as well as respect from the other explorers.

Example of a skill quest, hovering over each will give a breakdown how the game calculates your win percentage.


Of course, a big portion of your time will be spent in the SRPG encounters. Renowned Explorer's battle system is quite different than anything I've played before, so I might do a bad job explaining it..so bare with me. Instead of just a normal move/attack system, Renowned lets you defeat your opponents in 3 major ways. The game labels these as Aggressive/Devious/Friendly, and which way you choose will change how the battle plays out as well as what rewards you receive. Your characters have different "attacks" which will fall under one of these 3 categories. No matter which category they are in, all will effect your opponent's spirit and if their spirit hits 0 they're defeated. So what's the point you ask? Well before each encounter you're shown what rewards you'll reap based on which you've used most in the battle.

Example screen of the rewards you may earn


Well easy right, just pick the one with the most rewards? Well.... if it were only that simple. See ontop of what rewards you might win, there's also the overarching "mood" of the battle. The mood of the battle is based on what types of attacks you're using vs what type of attacks your opponent is using. These moods give substantial buffs/debuffs to your characters, and sometimes you have to decide if the extra rewards are worth the risk. Case in point. I've been running a party that mostly uses devious attacks. I came across a boss, and the rewards for devious were by far way better than the other 2 categories. Since my party specialized in being devious, I thought it was a no brainer. Well unfortunately my opponents decided to be friendly, which changed the mood and gave me a serious debuff to my defenses. I was slaughtered in a single turn.

If you see this, yo're going to have a bad time


Likewise you can use the mood to your advantage if you're smart. The 3 categories work like a rock-paper-scissors, and if you happen to swing the mood with a winning category you'll get a advantage. Knowing this you can set an advantageous mood at the start of the battle, then defeat your opponents with another category to get the best rewards before the mood has time to change to a disadvantage.

This is much better


Oh by the way, this is just the beginning. Each of your attacks also inflicts various emotions upon each of your enemies. These emotions give that individual enemy debuffs, buffs, and it even allows some of your skills get bonuses based on your opponent's current emotion.

Remember when I said you could defeat your enemies by being tsundere? I wasn't kidding, Maria likes to send mixed signals.


If you manage to make it through the expedition successfully you're sent back to home base to plan your next one. Here you can unlock abilities in the research tree, hire specialists to give you bonuses, buy new equipment and even level up your characters. After that, you pick a new more difficult location and repeat the thing all over again. Each game is suppose to be a total of 5 expeditions, I have yet to make it past the 3rd one.

You'll be seeing this a lot


Also I should touch a bit on the art style. Though the art style might put some people off, the actual animations and characters give the game a lot of personality. Each character has their own animations for each of their attacks, as well as different animations when they're attacked. This really gives each character a unique feel outside of just their skills

Maria is pretty good with being friendly. Anna who is a lot more serious tends to be a bit awkward



Overall it's a great game, and I see myself plunking down quite a few hours in it. If you're interested the game is only $20 right now, and will probably be back down to $12 when the winter sale comes along. If you're not willing to pay full price (which it is worth), then at least throw it on your wishlist and think about it come the end of this month.
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
Great OP. Will definetly check it out!

Thanks. Man I knew this thread would not get much notice..but was hoping for more than this. Oh well :(.

Also had a soul crushing playthrough after writing this last night. Got up to the 3rd expedition with a aggressive team, was cleaning house on the whole island with tons of loot. I made one stupid mistake during the boss fight and it was down hill from there. I was not a happy camper, at least that forced me to go to bed.
 

Wingus

Member
Mar 17, 2015
465
0
0
Will take note of this. You had me at FTL :)

Busy with Xenoblade Chronicles X at the moment.
 

Moobabe

Member
Mar 24, 2009
10,831
1
0
I always thought the art style looked great!

This is on my wishlist - looking to pick it up in the Christmas sale.
 

Haru

Member
Aug 5, 2006
50
0
0
This game is a lot of fun! If you're even a little bit intrigued you should definitely give it a go.
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Jun 7, 2015
4,453
3
0
This looks really neat actually! Not usually a fan of hexagonal tiles in my SRPGs, but I might give this a whirl. Thanks OP
 

QuackkAttack

Member
Feb 23, 2014
257
0
0
I've beaten the game on the harder difficulty 6 or 7 times and I still really enjoy trying to play through the game every now and again.

It's super charming, challenging, and hard to put down once you get started. I recommend it, especially if you can nab it for $12.
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
6
1,045
GA,USA
Quite a game indeed and the devs have been great on post-release support and updates---absolute diamond in the rough situation here where they just got utterly lost in the mass shuffle of releases in these past months.
 

Speely

Banned
Oct 10, 2015
6,364
0
0
Seattle, WA
Great job, Ferrio! :)

Phenomenal game and a great thread for a first gaf post (don't even have an avatar yet, eek!) I picked it up right after release on a lark since I wanted some light-hearted fun. Was really surprised by how engaging the gameplay was and how charming the explorers were. Very slick mechanics for sure.

Back then there was only one difficulty setting (which is what "Classic" is now) and that's the one that still feels best to me. The risk vs reward and replayability makes this game.

Some tips for new players (note I have not played in a while so recent updates might have changed some of this... Will check when I get home.) --

Visit every location on the first island once you get the hang of the game and have done a few feeler runs. Don't worry about the debuffs you will most likely receive due to lack of food. Rack em up. The first bosses are pushovers. Caveat: the "devious" boss can be tricky with unlucky debuffs because he is a real asshole. Nonetheless, maximizing your resources going into your second expedition is crucial to being strong enough to handle the endgame well, because it's TOUGH. The stronger you start, the more tools you have with which to make the second expedition build you up even more, and so on.

This logic can be applied in a smaller fashion for harder expeditions... Don't be afraid to chance one or two debuffs before a boss fight if it's the second or even third expedition. Oftentimes you will get a not-so-bad debuff, like Attack loss on a character who's a Speaker. Just don't chance more than one or two debuffs.

Anna is probably the best Captain due to the insanely useful nature of her captain ability, which grants random bonuses when conducting research. Oftentimes, these bonuses make progression much more densely-packed with efficacy for your whole party and can send you into expedition four and five much stronger.

A GREAT party setup for getting used to the game is: Anna (Captain,) Yvonne, and Emilia. Anna is just ace as a cappy (and pretty good on the field,) Yvonne is a balanced BEAST (and dreamy,) while Emilia is a very well-rounded support role. More importantly, all of these characters are fairly sturdy and allow for some error by virtue of their survivability. Glass cannons are fun, but allow for far less wiggle room strategically.

Emotional parties are generally more versatile than violent ones. Being able to go either Friendly or Devious is nice. Being bound to Aggressive strength can really screw you over against Devious opponents. That said, you want SOME Attack power in there for winning those encounters that reward aggression handsomely.
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
Finally beat the 3rd expedition. I have an all rogue team lead by Molly, gold is rolling in. Also Harry is a beast.
 

Karak

Member
Jun 22, 2009
13,759
2,761
1,315
www.youtube.com
Reviewed it a long time ago and it always stuck with me as an excellent title.
Edit: Oh thanks Badass I didn't see the link.
 

Sblargh

Banned
Dec 13, 2008
11,822
1
0
I remember when only me and Ferrio knew about this game.
It is too mainstream to me now!
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
You have Molly AND Harry?? That there is a lot of damage. Side note: I love Molly's spunk. Who's your third, if I might ask? I'm gonna guess: Pedro?

Ya Harry has that great aoe, and molly the single target damage. 3rd member is Philipe. And I got through the 4th expedition, hell of a haul.

 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
Finally beat it for the first time last night after 7 hours of play. All rogue team came through, the last boss was a breeze.


Time to try a different team.
 

Hubb

Member
Mar 1, 2013
5,813
0
0
East Coast
Thanks for the bump, never heard of this game but it is going on my wishlist. Read through the OP and steam page and I am sold on the game.
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
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1,045
GA,USA
New update is definitely massive, as well as apparently whatever else is coming in the final December update. I wonder what their new plan for 2016 will be considering...the wording could go any number of directions in this Patch #10 blurb, but seemingly the tidings are good regardless?
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
I have yet to try the patch, Xenoblade + other stuff occupying my time. Probably get a couple games in this weekend. The changes sound good though, some of the trees just seemed way too specific for certain crews. Maybe I'll actually get another win, still haven't beaten the game since the first time.
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
Looks like they revamped the tech tree and changed how supplies work. Love the continued support.

Checked it out.

New tree is nice, I like it a lot. Before I'd always go for the one tree that gave you 2 tools since those things were OP.

Ran with a friendly/devious crew that concentrated on research. Got to the final expedition, picked the hardest one...that was a mistake. My guys didn't really have much gear due to all the concentration to research and they got stomped in all the fights.

Lesson learned, don't pick the end level unless you know you can hang it. I would of had enough renowned to take the top spot anyways even with a lvl 4 level.
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
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Also Patch #11, the last of the year, gives you a bit more of an endgame experience to mess around with and the fact that they're now hard at work on a big old Expansion for the game due somewhere maybe ~April 2016'ish.

Still more patching in a general sense planned between January and said Expansion to boot---really doing their best in post-release support to get it all right.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
Jun 18, 2009
62,408
10
1,115
Oooh I like the look of this a lot. Style speaks to me, gameplay looks awesome and I like how they're attempting to head off the uncomfortable colonial undertones of that actual historical period with a very diverse cast out of the gate
 

Sblargh

Banned
Dec 13, 2008
11,822
1
0
I followed my own tip and got the game.
Took me three tries to get past the second exploration and nearly got past the third, but goddamn nuns and their shaming.
I am playing the "adventure mode" (which is the one with permadeath, right?) in classical difficulty.

How do y'all build teams? Right now I am literally rolling dices to see who is my leader and then picking the suggestions as the rest of the team.
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
6
1,045
GA,USA
Go all in on misc gimmick builds along a general theme---the game even often anticipates this though it was more obvious with the old research trees.

In general, you mainly just want to prioritize perks and getting each character as good at one thing as you can as well as as many other complimentary things as possible.

Like...High tier diplomat that also manages Beguiling and maybe Archaeology will tear it up on the expedition maps for their relevant nodes and supporting powers comparable to Athletes also big on Tactics, Multi-discipline Scientists, Survivalist Rogues with quick thinking, and so on. You only get a baseline with 3 out of the 4 groups though, so you've just gotta rally as hard as you can along whatever you can pivot to along with way with hiring all the relevant Specialists, Research choices, and making the most of the trinket slots while not too terribly neglecting your defenses and offensive stats directly in terms of gold spending as those too can have an influence on the adventure wheel factors alongside the base perks/quirks/class.
 

Sblargh

Banned
Dec 13, 2008
11,822
1
0
But how do you choose your captain? That's where I literally roll the dice, otherwise I would just pick cute electric scientist all the time. Because she is a cute electric scientist.
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
But how do you choose your captain? That's where I literally roll the dice, otherwise I would just pick cute electric scientist all the time. Because she is a cute electric scientist.

Usually the one I just unlocked lol. Still haven't unlocked them all. Also I like trying out different team comps, and the captain has a big part in that.
 
Feb 28, 2008
4,167
6
1,045
GA,USA
But how do you choose your captain? That's where I literally roll the dice, otherwise I would just pick cute electric scientist all the time. Because she is a cute electric scientist.

You'll eventually get the most understanding of the feel of things by cycling through all of them in turn---as each one's unique Captain Perk makes for a very different driving perk and crew member strategy.

That said, some are still likely to get their Captain Perks overhauled and changed considering some are still rather lackluster compared to some of the crazier ones---so it all comes down to watching it unfold with each update. No doubt the Expansion will greatly bolster the lot of it as well.
 

Wingus

Member
Mar 17, 2015
465
0
0
Just finished my first playthrough of this (Adventure - Classic). Didn't reach the top, but I'm glad to actually make it through the 5 expeditions. Loving it so far, and can't wait to try out other character combinations too.

Thanks to the OP for recommending this. :)


 
Dec 11, 2010
3,175
0
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I bought this on a complete whim and absolutely love it. I Made it through 5 on Normal, with all Friendly focused people because I didn't understand how combat worked at the time. I ended up with 1500 renown. I think if I knew how best to use my money/points in between expeditions, I would have done much better, but I was pretty overwhelmed in those screens. This thread deserves to be huge!
 

bobnowhere

Member
May 27, 2010
7,649
0
590
Canberra, Australia
Finished my first game yesterday, went with Victor, Kwame and Phillipe in a very speech heavy group. Apart from some annoying Monkeys in the Caribbean didn't have too many issues until the final expedition where I bombed out in the final battle. I probably should have chosen an easier location for the final one. I've now started an all girl all agressive run with Anna, Hatice and Maria!
 

Sblargh

Banned
Dec 13, 2008
11,822
1
0
Finally I beat Shangri-la!
My team was Bia as a leader (+10 campaign and a buff to grit and attack power everytime you defeat a boss with aggressive), Emilia and Charles.

The set up was basically to use Charles group taunt thing to infuriate everyone and then have Bia take advantage with physical attacks; by the end, with a master red glove and war drums, I was able to defeat the final boss in 2 turns. (I luckied out that he was in front of everyone, so I didn't had to deal with the lackeys)

Emilia is great because she has a rage basic attack, an AoE heal and is a naturalist and archeologist at the same time; which helps a lot on challenges. Charles also helps a bunch being a diplomat and a survivalist at the same time.

But yeah, Bia is a beast; double attacks in general are powerful (Yvonne has a double sadness attack that I wanted to experiment, but it unlocks on her last level; Bia gets her double attack right at lvl 3), when you pile all of the bonuses from her being confident, plus wearing a glove that matches the enemy's mood, plus the enrage debuff, it's just too much damage. And Charles group debuff is too good. Not only people get enraged, which is a natural vulnerability to physical attack, you can upgrade it on lvl 3 to cause another armor and speech defense debuff on top of that. Best debuff in the game, imo.

Funny tho, the score was only 3100 and something. Didn't even beat my own high score of 3200; but what I really wanted was beat shangri-la. I did and I feel good. :)
 

Ferrio

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
56,365
2
0
Glad you're enjoying it. I haven't been able to get in a run lately, Pillars of Eternity and steam sale has me spread then lol. I'll get that damn friendly win one of these days.