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C&VG: Sega rules out Alpha Protocol sequel


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#301
Oblarg

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I agree that I feel the shooting complaints are overstated (including Oblarg's)


Ahahahaha, what "complaints?" I never complained about the shooting mechanics themselves, other than criticizing the wonky scaling. I even went out of my way to explicitly state that ultimately they worked fine once you got used to the system.

It's almost sad how people could completely miss the point of every single post I made in their rush to defend the game from perceived criticism.

#302
Thorton_AP

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Your points were always an attempt to interpret why the game didn't grow on others (i.e. more mainstream/casual gamers) right?

#303
Oblarg

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Your points were always an attempt to interpret why the game didn't grow on others (i.e. more mainstream/casual gamers) right?


Yes. My main point was that the frustration with the shooting mechanics, while not warranted, was understandable given the inadequate tutorial and weapon inefficacy at lower skill levels. Many people came to the game expecting the shooting to work as it does in most modern shooters and action RPGs (in no small part due to the nature of Sega's marketing), and there was very little in the early levels of the game to indicate that the mechanics were fundamentally different than what they were anticipating. This lead many people to see the mechanics as broken, when in actuality they simply functioned in an entirely different fashion than what they were expecting. The implication that the frustration with the system was completely due to player stupidity and not at all due to failures on the part of the game (N.B. these failures are not the shooting mechanics themselves, rather the way in which they were presented to the player and the way in which they scaled) is incredibly fanboyish and ignorant.

Edited by Oblarg, 30 September 2010 - 10:45 PM.


#304
Crazy Tuvok

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Yes. My main point was that the frustration with the shooting mechanics, while not warranted, was understandable given the inadequate tutorial and weapon inefficacy at lower skill levels. Many people came to the game expecting the shooting to work as it does in most modern shooters and action RPGs (in no small part due to the nature of Sega's marketing), and there was very little in the early levels of the game to indicate that the mechanics were fundamentally different than what they were anticipating. This lead many people to see the mechanics as broken, when in actuality they simply functioned in an entirely different fashion than what they were expecting. The implication that the frustration with the system was completely due to player stupidity and not at all due to failures on the part of the game (N.B. these failures are not the shooting mechanics themselves, rather the way in which they were presented to the player and the way in which they scaled) is incredibly fanboyish and ignorant.


Agree that while "understandable" that people were frustrated that the game didn't function as the shooter they expected it to be it is hardly "fanboy" to attribute it to stupidity on the part of the player. Their stupidity is understandable.

I don't see how much more obvious it could have been that "the more points you invest in something the better you will be at that thing". Forgetting even the fact that this is how an RPG works, you can effing see in advance what point investment gets you. Put in x levels of pistol and damage and accuracy increase. Or a special ability becomes available. Short of putting in a tutorial that demonstrates in game what this means from a playing perspective, how much more obvious could it have been?

Not getting this is akin to saying "stealth is impossible" because you have Mike in the crouching animation , put no points into stealth and are wearing tac armor and you are detected by enemies. "But he's in the stealth crouch! It's broken!"

Perhaps this is not immediately obvious in the Saudi levels (tho I am being generous - it is pretty obvious), but again like most games everywhere and CRPGs since..always, the early levels are not as punishing on untrained/unskilled/low level charatcers.

Claiming you don't like this system is one thing - play a shooter or Splinter Cell not an RPG. But a failure to grasp the mechanics and implications - that is a bit thick. But as you say, understandable.

#305
Oblarg

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Agree that while "understandable" that people were frustrated that the game didn't function as the shooter they expected it to be it is hardly "fanboy" to attribute it to stupidity on the part of the player. Their stupidity is understandable.

I don't see how much more obvious it could have been that "the more points you invest in something the better you will be at that thing". Forgetting even the fact that this is how an RPG works, you can effing see in advance what point investment gets you. Put in x levels of pistol and damage and accuracy increase. Or a special ability becomes available. Short of putting in a tutorial that demonstrates in game what this means from a playing perspective, how much more obvious could it have been.


That's not what the problem was. The problem was that the shooting, at least for pistols, completely revolved around lining up crits, and this was not made clear to the player. You had to crit for nearly every shot, even at higher skill levels, to be effective - that people did not necessarily understand this immediately is not due to stupidity so much as due to the fact that the game never made it clear to the player (this was aided by the fact that the range limit on crits was so small at early skill levels). Also, the fact that weapon skills scaled was not bad, it's the fact that the scaling was so drastic that early in the game when you didn't have many points to spend the shooting seemed a lot more clunky than it actually was. Many people were turned of from shooting at the very beginning of the game, and I don't blame them - it's very easy to see how in Saudi Arabia players could be frustrated.

#306
Crazy Tuvok

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it's the fact that the scaling was so drastic that early in the game when you didn't have many points to spend the shooting seemed a lot more clunky than it actually was. Many people were turned of from shooting at the very beginning of the game, and I don't blame them - it's very easy to see how in Saudi Arabia players could be frustrated.


That seems reasonable on the face of it, unless one is reminded one is playing an RPG. To me it scaled no differently than CRPGS always do. It is the fight of your life to clear out the kobold mines at the beginning of BG1. By end game they are nuisance at best. No one complains, "but I have sword, I can clearly see my character swinging it and yet the lil bastard is still alive."

I'll concede that (for whatever reasons) CRPGs with gunplay seem to suffer more from (some) players' inability to abstract the mechanics of the game from the on-screen action. "I shot him three times in the head and he is still alive! Busted stupid game!" But this is not particular to AP. Maybe if it had been 3rd person ISO people would have any easier time with it (tho I am certain I have heard similar complaints about FO et al)

And with apparently no fear of repeating myself, SA could be frustrating if it were a shooter. If played as an RPG, seems like a pretty good first "dungeon" to me.

#307
Oblarg

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And with apparently no fear of repeating myself, SA could be frustrating if it were a shooter. If played as an RPG, seems like a pretty good first "dungeon" to me.


One of the problems was that, despite the whole "The Espionage RPG" subtitle, a lot of the marketing kept pushing it as an "action RPG," which thanks to other games in the market has now come to mean "shooter with superficial RPG aesthetics" rather than "RPG with superficial shooter aesthetics." The tutorial didn't do enough to present to new players how to be effective with the shooting mechanics, and thus many people who came to the game expecting gameplay resembling Mass Effect believed the system was broken when in actuality is simply worked in a very different manner.

And while the scaling curve was a bit wonky, the main part of the combat that people just did not understand was that to be effective in many situations you more or less *had* to line up a crit, while the tutorial said nothing to indicate this. Crits were not simply a "bonus" as they usually are, they were the central focus of combat (at least with the pistol). If the game had been very clear about "be sure to fully line up your crit before shooting or you'll most likely miss" there probably would have been less confusion, but alas, that didn't happen.

#308
Crazy Tuvok

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which thanks to other games in the market has now come to mean "shooter with superficial RPG aesthetics" rather than "RPG with superficial shooter aesthetics." The tutorial didn't do enough to present to new players how to be effective with the shooting mechanics, and thus many people who came to the game expecting gameplay resembling Mass Effect believed the system was broken when in actuality is simply worked in a very different manner.shooting or you'll most likely miss" there probably would have been less confusion, but alas, that didn't happen.


You know when you put it this way, I can see your point. I haven't played any of the ""shooter with superficial RPG aesthetics" (nicely put btw) except Bioshock which I never thought was put forth as an RPG. Given that, my approach was that of a much more straight forward RPG. I can see how given the experience of a Mass Effect or whatever that yeah AP would really confound your expectations. Of course those things are exactly what made it work for me.

And while the scaling curve was a bit wonky, the main part of the combat that people just did not understand was that to be effective in many situations you more or less *had* to line up a crit, while the tutorial said nothing to indicate this. Crits were not simply a "bonus" as they usually are, they were the central focus of combat (at least with the pistol). If the game had been very clear about "be sure to fully line up your crit before shooting or you'll most likely miss" there probably would have been less confusion, but alas, that didn't happen.


I'm not gonna nitpick with you on this. I just didn't see the weapon scaling as problematic (especially on "Normal" wherein it is damn near impossible to get killed. Got to the end of SA on Normal and restarted the whole game so that firefights would have some damn challenge).

Still your points are well taken. Pity then. An excellent RPG betrayed by its RPG-ness.

#309
Thorton_AP

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IMO had BioWare released AP it would have been received more positively.

#310
Morgoth

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IMO had BioWare released AP it would have been received more positively.

No doubt about that.

Still, now that it is more or less confirmed that AP rights belong to Obsidian, maybe they could hook up with Bethesda again for a sequel.

I know the chances are slim, but AP really deserves a second chance.

#311
Labadal

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If Bethesda are not interested, Sqaure Enix could be another option.

I really do wish to see an Alpha Protocol sequel or a spirital sccessor.

#312
Zoraptor

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Still, now that it is more or less confirmed that AP rights belong to Obsidian, maybe they could hook up with Bethesda again for a sequel.

It isn't really, is it? Isn't it still just what Patrick Mills believes* at this point and there hasn't been anything official either way?

TESS/ USPTO still lists AP as being Sega's, with the confirmation date being only about six weeks ago (Sept 14 2010). While that ain't the be all and end all it is a fairly decent indicator in general.

*I'm not saying he's lying or anything, he could simply be mistaken.

#313
Purkake

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IMO had BioWare released AP it would have been received more positively.

...and it would have been more polished. What's your point?

#314
Labadal

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I think his point is that Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins also had bugs, but they were not mentioned in any reviews I know of.

I had to restart my first ME playthrough after a corrupt save. Dragon Age: Origins has a few bugs, but none that are gamebreaking. Mass Effect 2 was not so buggy, but you could get stuck in enviroments and that would mena you had to reload you last save.

#315
Purkake

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AP's problems go a bit further than just plain old bugs...

#316
Labadal

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That might be true, but the only bug I encountered during two playthroughs was the "no enemy respawn" bug.

Edited by Labadal, 29 October 2010 - 11:19 AM.


#317
Thorton_AP

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IMO had BioWare released AP it would have been received more positively.

...and it would have been more polished. What's your point?


My point is that, Alpha Protocol as it stands exactly as it is (without more polish), BioWare's reputation would influence how reviewers (and many players) perceive the exact same game.

#318
Oblarg

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DA:O was way buggier than Alpha Protocol was, at least on my machine. The graphics were also worse.

Compare the reviews for each, draw your own conclusions.

#319
Purkake

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Apples and oranges, plus being unpolished and buggy are two different things.




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