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Chris, I've been a huge fan of Obsidian for a long time now, as such I'd like to see more of what you're best at: well written and heavily stat based RPGs with creative worlds feating strong philosophical undercurrents. I'm a huge fan of Torment and would love to see something like this modern (Though I'd rather see a new IP than a sequel), I just loved it's deep undertones, and emphasis on conversation and how stats tied into that.


That said, I'm playing through New Vegas now with a big dumb brawler, and am saddened by the general lack of low int conversation options and how terrible the H2H feels... If you could make a combat system that not only made hand to hand and melee weapons feel as weighted as they should, but that also had flowing combat that looked great from third person perspective, I feel like you could get a lot of attention. Especially with a lot of world interactivity (that was my favorite part of playing ShadowRun with my friends, I would always get creative with the environment around me, and it's something no Video game has been able to capture) as part of the combat.


So, yeah, more dialogue choses based on stats, skills, and your past actions (though you guys are already pretty much leading the way on this), a satisfying combat engine that feels weighted, and an original IP that touches on deep subject matter is all it would take to make me absurdly happy.


Actually you mention niche markets, here's a thought: Make a modern top-down, point and click RPG, no lead character voiced dialogue, talking heads for other characters (though maybe done in a creative way as I'd still like the world to be detailed and in 3D, I'd even like it to allow me to get in and play in first person if I so choose, but I wouldn't want that to be the recommended way to play).


One way or another, I have faith in you guys, and any game you make I'll purchase at this point, so just keep up the great work.

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Not native english speaker, so please forgive poor writing.

Okay, first of all, setting doesn't matter much, choose whatever you like guys, actially it's better not be "something 2". There are enough sequels in the world.

Many people already suggested RPG and it's definetely what I want to see most. There are several choices for game mechanics - probably something NWN2-like or isometric with hi-res sprites. Second will be very original and intresting actually. Other option is first-person a-la original Deus ex which is interesting, but means no party members and much harder to do technically. And there is temptation to include third-person view, covers and regeneration. So let's go with hi-res 2D or NWN2-like. I advice for isometric because it's easy to do and hi-res sprites looks beautiful.

Other question - open-world or locations ala PS:T. Open-world is obviously better, but possibility of doing it depends on your resources.

Very important - no restrictions. You can go anywhere, kil anyone, etc.

Morality isn't something measurable with points, all desigions should be on player's consciousness only.

Now what is really important is not dumbing game down - interesting and complex mechanics is what builds good gameplay. Add stuff to the game, not substract. Really, we have enough Skyrims and Dragon age twos.

DVDs don't worth bothering I advice steam-only release. Probably worthwile to make a Mac version seeing how fast Apple gaining marketshare (and how Microsoft wants nobody play on windows and buy xboxes instead). Definitely no consoles - consoles mean butchering controls for gamepad, simplifying gameplay, etc...


So if you guys decide to make smart, intresting PC RPG I will invest in it gladly.


And for something completely different, I always wanted to see a game, when you flying over ground (or in space) as a sentient spaceship or battle mechanism like hoverborad tank (not human pilot or antropomorphic robot) and compete with others of your kind, do quests, explore giant open world in some global goal - testing weapons, colonizing worlds fighting with organics, etc.

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What I want -



isometric/top-down perspective

meaningful c&c

strategic, preferably turn-based combat


I love old school d&d and the Planescape setting too. Over 30+ years of great content to draw from. So much untapped potential in d&d when it comes to video games.

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A time travel main story where your actions in the past are necessary to overcome obstacles in the future.


I've been thinking of something to suggest other than "do what you guys wanna do!" for a while now, and this was the primary thing I came up with. Time/time travel as a major mechanic in a WRPG is something untouched - it's fairly prominent in JRPGs, and tends to be quite well done in those that attempt it, (obvious nod to Chrono Trigger, but also the more recent Radiant Historia and Xenoblade, which are both fantastic games). It would allow you to potentially implement some interesting gameplay mechanics, (protag's faux-omniscience and ability to "change the future" in Xenoblade comes to mind), use multiple different settings, (fantasy/magic? prehistoric? industrial/steampunk? futuristic? contemporary? western? post-apocalyptic? just to name the stereotypes), incorporate multiple different skill-trees/proficiencies and party members with different specialisations according to the time-zone they're from. It'd be like taking the Arcanum formula and going wild with it. Main character a blank slate, able to forge it into whatever you please, whether it's a gun toting magic wielder, a smooth-talking cyborg, an engineer skilled at sword-play, etc. etc. Scope would be potentially massive, spanning different time-zones, multiple different areas, actions in the past affecting those in the future - it could be quite interesting. Real-time with pause(...and rewind function?) - or turn-based? - isometric RPG! I could go on and on, but that's the gist of the idea.


Hope this suggestion isn't too late to add to the pile!

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is vastly overused, and that's why it's not been seen recently



You have a very interesting point of view here. Please name at least 9 PC rpgs using a steampunk setting. Arcanum, Septerra Core... What else?

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Iiiif you're still taking suggestions, I'd like to see an isometric RPG, with walls of text, and not necessarily, but preferably a turn-based nature. I believe that this will allow you to focus almost exclusively on story, and further allow you to flesh out the world without needing to animate everything you claim the characters are saying/doing.


So characterization, world-building, setting, story. Please.

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Why are walls of text good? I don't understand this.


If you actually understand your medium, then walls of text are bad. It would be sort of like saying: Okay, here's [an/a] [obscure/popular] film of [your favourite] genre. The only catch is that you have to stop and read 50 cinema screens worth of text every once in a while.


Gaming is an interactive medium, and as such, it should be that: interactive. Walls of text aren't interactive. And moreover, quantity is bad when weighed against quality. As I've said many times before - if quantity of text mattered more than quality, then we could create a Twilight RPG, dump the text of the Twilight series into it, and it would be the greatest RPG of all time. Do you see the problem with this logic? In fact, walls of text can hugely impact games in negative ways.


Have you ever played To the Moon? If not. Do. Go on. It's over on Steam and it doesn't cost much, so stop being so bloody stingy. You go and press that button, grab your meal for the mind, and sup upon it and hopefully your eyes will open.


Gemini Rue is a great example, too.


In fact, take any adventure game and add walls of text to it - it would ruin it. We're past the age where walls of text can make up for a lack of overall quality in the dialogue, which a lot of old, isometric games did suffer from. And guess what? Fallout 2, a Black Isle game (Black Isle being the predecessor to Obsidian) did not have walls of text.


What did it have? Quality dialogue.


What's Neverwinter Nights 2 (especially Mask of the Betrayer) known for? Not walls of text, that's for sure! No, quality dialogue.


What's New Vegas known for? Again, not walls of text, but quality dialogue.


You don't need a wall of text to convey a good bit of dialogue. In fact, the game does most of the 'text' for you. The thing is is that a game provides a lot of the visuals which gives it a sense of character and identity. Imagine if Psychonauts were an isometric game with walls of text, instead of being a visually charismatic game with quality dialogue.


Just... sit there and let that perculate. Let the realisation impregnate your mind with rationality. If Psychonauts were an isometric game with walls of text. It'd be ****, frankly. It'd be completely ****.


I feel that dialogue should always be measured by its quality, rather than its quantitative properties. I think that having walls of text in a game can leave the game feeling cold and characterless, and the very poitn of our genre is that we have this great, glorious interactive medium. And Obsidian prides themselves on allowing us to interact with their stories.


You're asking for a book. But a game is not a book.


A book is not interactive (unless it's Fighting Fantasy or something, but even those don't rely on walls of text). A book provides a static story for one to peruse through, and a book is bloody brilliant at what it does, but that doesn't mean that we should turn every medium into a book, and the reason why is all the reasons I've just covered in very logical, very sensible ways.


By trying to convince Obsidian to concentrate on walls of text, you're trying to get them to do something they've never done, and you're detracting from the overall quality of the game. Yes, Planescape: Torment had a lot of text, but (and this is going to be so controversial, but screw it)... BUT... how much of that was actually as interesting as the dialogue in Mask of the Betrayer?


I'm sorry, but it's true.


I was a fan of Planescape: Torment, a long time ago. I suppose that if you're a youngling and everything is new, then PS:T may seem like the Greatest Thing Evar. But to me, it's an artifact of the past and better left there. Mask of the Betrayer did everything that PS:T did, and it did it all better, and it did it with style and aplomb. And it was glorious.


MotB is the ultimate proof that dialogue quality is far, far more important than dialogue quanitty. Again, just imagine how terribad MotB (or New Vegas, or Alpha Protocol, or Fallout 2) would have been if there had been walls of text. Like I said, it'd be like having to sit through a film with walls of text. For one thing: It'd be really horrible. For another: It'd seem really, really lazy.


Our medium has evolved beyond walls of text.


Until someone can show me that Mask of the Betrayer, New Vegas, Psychonauts, or any game with any sense of character and identity would have been better as a turn-based isometric RPG with walls of text, then I won't budge. But how could they have been?


Why do we want to go back to the dark ages?


What we could have is:


- A quality game.

- An expedition into a strange, alien world, presented with experiences that we wouldn't get from most other developers.

- A strong sense of character and identity.

- A plot put together with passion, plundered from their fertile imaginations.

- Well written narrative that excels by its quality, rather than spamming the player with walls of text that put them to sleep.

- Interactivity, a world with choices and reactions to actions, a world that reacts to the player in tangible ways (walls of text impede this, and an isometric viewpoint impedes showing you the things you're interacting with or the consequences thereof).

- A short game, but a voyage into brilliance, something that could be built upon with mods and future Kickstarter project. Focusing on giving us a few hours of replayable content that will linger in our memories for a long time, rather than the 60 hour snorefest that was Dragon Age (FFFFFFF DWARF TUNNELS, FFFFF YOU TO HECK).

- The things you experience would be tangible, your character would be experiencing them, and you vicariously through him. Rather that the Old Way of a nerd sitting in an office chair like a tumer reading about these fantastic things but not immersed at all. Why would we want that?

- A voyage of discovery is hard to express with tiny, pixellated graphics or walls of text. Every film of intrigue ever would not have worked as walls of text.


I mean, think of a game with the aesthetics of Journey (the PS3 game) or something similar, but with a truly interactive world crafted from the exemplary minds at Obsidian, interactive, and with characters you actually care about because you get to know them by their personality and actions rather than just reading Yet Another Wall of Text.


Something like New Vegas, then. But stranger and shorter.


Instead of that we could have the least immersive game possible, with terribad dialogue, just spammed onto our screens, as we read about environments that we could see with our own eyes if they weren't just pixellated messes.


I really can't understand why anyone would want a game about walls of text and isometric perspectives. Is this a hipster thing?

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is vastly overused, and that's why it's not been seen recently
You have a very interesting point of view here. Please name at least 9 PC rpgs using a steampunk setting. Arcanum, Septerra Core... What else?


I see what you did there. You baiter and switcher, you.


No, I said it was a commonly used setting, I didn't say on the PC. And really, you should know as well as I do that there have been a bunch of MMOs that have featured this setting, not to mention console games, cartoons, and so on.


And it was overused back in the '90s. I have a long memory, see. But then again, so does the world. Back in the '90s settings like that were stretched to exhaustion, because there were so many console games which involved steampunk (or subsets thereof, with strong steampunk themes).


It doesn't have to be on the PC in order to be an overused setting. Unless you're some sort of crazy elitist. I mean, there's no saying even that this KickStarter project is going to be PC onlly. Where does this PC elitism come from, anyway? I don't know what it is with PC people (which I am one of), what with their keyboards & mice only, and their console toys don't exist. Geez.


Consoles exist, okay? And like it or not, they have a massive impact on our platform, too. The PC is not some superior platform for some silly Master Race. It's just another platform, one of many. To ask me to cite PC games alone is not just intellectually dishonest, but it's silly, too.

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People are all getting far too wound up by Wulf, here. He recently got banned off of the RPS site/forums for his holier-than-thou attitude and passive-aggressive nature,


Actually, no! I was pretty much told that I was banned by Alec Meer because I pressed his buttons. How did I do this? I was getting annoyed at him and his pets for their "console toys" and "PC Master Race" attitudes.


Apparently, by holding the position that the PC is not a platform for some Master Race, and that this is as offensive as it is arrogant, I got banned. It's humiliating for Meer to be picked up on this, and I was one of the few to actually criticise him and his fans for it.


That's what I was banned for. For actually not being holier-than-thou. Go figure. I tend to find that PC users, like yourself, tend to project a lot. I'm not the one being holier-than-thou here. I'm just fighting the idea of "Master Race" notions. Like old RPGs must obviously be superior, or that the PC is the greatest platform ever. Geez. I'm just disagreeing with the hipster horde.


If disagreeing with the hipster horde makes me holier-than-thou, then so be it.


Well, I suppose it is if you have the sort of mindset where someone fighting for the respective underdog is actually being holier-than-thou for disagreeing with the majority. Because trying to make out that current RPGs aren't inherently evil, or that the PC isn't inherently superior than every other platform puts me on a high-horse.




It all makes sense.


Sigh. Internet.




Also, if I wasn't speaking a lot of truths here, why would people be getting wound up? I'm just fed up of stuffy attitudes where people are all "MONEY FOR SEQUELS!" or can't get past the idea that the '90s had the best RPGs ever, and that this era of consoles has brought the evil and vile 'dumbing down' with it.


I mean, there's a lot of that, here. Intellectual superiority. The thread smacks of it, and I've just been voicing an opinion which is contrary to what people hold as the superior opinion, the correct opinion. So, by not having the correct opinion. I am therefore being holier-than-thou/on a high horse/a troll/whatever other labels people feel they need to apply.


If there wasn't any truth to what I have to say, then people wouldn't get wound up. People never get wound up over lies, because lies are easy to ignore. I've never seen anyone get wound up by a lie. No, there's truth to what I say.


Perhaps an examination of perspectives is in order. Because all I've done is support the idea that, hey, modern RPGs are actually pretty okay and that you don't need walls of text, or turn-based combat, or walls of text, or to be an archaic RPG from the past to actually be good. The thing is is that only a small subsection of the Internet is going to be here, only a few people will have their attentions caught by this. Someone has to speak up for differing opinions.


And yeah, I have an opinion or opinions which are unpopular with those who believe their opinions are intellectually superior. I must be some kind of troglodyte for not supporting the isometric, wall-o-texty RPG, right?




Again: Oh Internet.




Ultimately, to wrap up: There is a host of opinion here that Obsidian should just try and recapture the past and try and make a sequel or try and do something archaic. And it's easy to demonise someone with an unpopular opinion. Very easy.


It's always easy to demonise the guy with the unpopular opinion.


But what I'm saying is that instead of forcing Obsidian to do exactly what you remember, ignoring their years of evolution in the process, why not let them put what they've learned to use? Why not let them experiment and do something wildly different, something that's nothing at all like the RPGs you remember.


It's just sad that potential like this could be overturned by a desire for people to just have their nostalgia satisfied. Except that nostalgia never will be. How many people actually feel satisfied when returning to those isometric, wall-o-texty RPGs? If you don't, then having Obsidian making a new one isn't going to help.




And one last thing.


Don't you think it's just a tiny bit entitled to push for an RPG which console gamers wouldn't be able to play? Once this is done on KickStarter, if Obsidian do it right, they could port it to consoles. But if we listen to the PC Master Race types, then that can't happen, because that sort of person would happily damn console users to non-existence.


But they DO exist. And they don't have the right to enjoy a strange, new RPG too? Do you honestly believe that it would be comfortable playing something like Baldur's Gate on a television?


Like I said, I just think that there's a lot of snottiness here, a lot of upperclassman behaviour, a lot of one-upmanship, and a lot of damning of groups of people who aren't PC nerds. I'm calling it out and I'm getting demonised for it.

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Nice walls of text there wulf... In one wall of text you even argued walls of text are bad - imagine that!


You are arguing constantly that what people posting here want is wrong.

Well let me tell you this. Mr. Avellone asked people what they wanted, and since they obviously liked Planescape etc. it's quite normal to want something similar.

Nobody cares whether you believe games shouldn't have walls of text. Most people here believe otherwise, or at least they would like another game that has them (don't tell me games with lots of text are also overbundant).


Yes, I said PC because I only care about games with complex gameplay enabled by both the PC interfaces and PC audience. I don't really care whether a setting was overused on consoles.


Why should the console players be entitled to a game funded by PC players? Especially when we know that games tend to be dumbed down/simplified for gamepads/consoletards.

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It is truly ironic for one to argue against the usage of walls of text, through the usage of walls of text.


...but man, all this Kickstarter potential is exciting, isn't it? Thanks for the interest and putting the questions out there, Avellone. Apologies for the spam.

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Another intersting point you're trying to make is that we, who want isometric/turn based/whatever rpg don't really like those games, it's just the rose tinted glasses making us believe we like them.


That would mean nobody really likes games(rpgs) being made today. If a paradigm shift happens, and games in the future are completely different than the oh so excellent, immersive, emotionally engaging, cinematic action rpgs experiences we are getting now, will you suddenly unlike both the games and the entire concept?

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"Apparently, by holding the position that the PC is not a platform for some Master Race, "


Consoles are what hold back the gaming 'industry'. So while PC is far from some haven admist the darkness, consoles deserve no amount of support by the consumer as they hold back the advancement of the medium, the consumer's entertainment, and the value they get for their dollar.


That said, I do agree that an RPG with "Walls of Text" is bad. Torment pulls off its copious amount of writing for various reasons, but the most important reason to understand today: You care about the narrative. You want to understand the narrative.


If you don't have those two qualities coming into the RPG experience, then you're not going to like RPGs. It's that simple. It's why BioWare's decision to go after the "Call of Duty Audience" really doesn't make any sense. People who play Call of Duty don't like scrawling text, conversations, or intrigue and moral choice. They like marching through hallways with assault rifles and watching overly dramatic war cinema.


Obsidian obviously cares about the narratives they produce. So, I'm willing to put up with a wall of text if it's one that will really give me a good interactively-narrative experience. Certainly, walls of text aren't interactive, but they give basis to the world you interact in.


Portal / Portal 2 show how subtle storytelling works - and I think any modern RPG can be improved by utilizing the elements of a silent narrative - but walls of text are not entirely out of place, provided that they're justified. Kreia's massive speech during the death scene of the three Jedi masters (which was cut, unfortunately, from the final release) was basically a wall of text -- but it was an incredible wall of text. Such excellent writing helped to bring meaning to everything you had just done leading up to that moment and gave closure the choices you had made leading up to that moment (Kreia's words differ a little depending upon some specific choices you make throughout the game). That is a good example of how wall of texts can work, though I do agree that we should strive for SHOW and not TELL. All good writing does this to some degree (though all good writers also admit the necessity of "Telling").


For instance, BioWare's DragonAge 2 had some elements to it that would have severally improved its story, but for some reason, they weren't utilized. The city you spend over a decade in was built by slaves. There was iconography for the slaves everywhere. The story of a city, of a civilization, is immense, bound up in so many images and experiences you can witness throughout the game. Or at least, in theory. BioWare for some reason never makes the city come alive, but a good producer of DA2 would have made certain that world around you "rhymes" with the activities, actions, and dialogue you experience in the game.

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( posted this elsewhare but it really was intended as a coment on the blog so second time lucky)


I signed up just now so i could contribute to this thread (i'm a long time lurker and RPG fan in genral. I'm also contributing to the double fine kickstarter project. I just thought id pop on here and give some support and a little feedback, I'm all for a new game in the planescape setting (thats a given) but i's personaly like to see a cyberpunk rrpg i'm thinking of a bladerunner meets shadow run vibe.


I also remember a design talk chris Avellone gave a few years back whare he talked about the axed fallout 3 project. The part that intrested me most was the prospect of facing an opposing party I'd love to see that concept droped in a arcanum/ cyberpunk setting whare psysic powers/ magic colide with science and the world is caught between them.


Or perhaps an alpha protocal spin off with actual party members.


But id gladly donate to any project , because I think it is important to have alterntives like this


Thanks for puting up with my rambling


ps another bloodlines game would be welcome too assuming you guys can convince tim cane :p

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is vastly overused, and that's why it's not been seen recently
You have a very interesting point of view here. Please name at least 9 PC rpgs using a steampunk setting. Arcanum, Septerra Core... What else?


Hell, just try to name rpgs or games or anything period recently that's been steampunk based. Fable III, Resonance of Fate, Bioshock, Damnation, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Steambot Chronicles, Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness, and that's about it from the last 5 years. Now the steampunk movement has been gaining....st..momentum, but steampunk as a paradigm for a setting hasn't been attempted very much recently. Dieselpunk, as a spin-off of steampunk has great potential, as demonstrated by the Leviathan series. giant walking tanks instead of tanks on treads, huge airships made out of whales that have been bred and evolved to breathe helium, etc.

The time travel one has a lot of potential as well. Do something Dr. Who ish like have the PC meet a major NPC in reverse(or random) order, give the player a bunch of different eras to explore, hell, you could just make it a Dr. Who RPG!

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is vastly overused, and that's why it's not been seen recently
You have a very interesting point of view here. Please name at least 9 PC rpgs using a steampunk setting. Arcanum, Septerra Core... What else?
Hell, just try to name rpgs or games or anything period recently that's been steampunk based. Fable III, Resonance of Fate, Bioshock, Damnation, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Steambot Chronicles, Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness, and that's about it from the last 5 years.


And not a single RPG was mentioned. Thanks for proving my point.


I also sense lots of JRPG derpity in the rest of your post.

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MORE PLANESCAPE TORMENT (non-pandering answer)


-- Somewhat bizarre yet sometimes familiar setting, but darker & twisted than you think

-- Amazing story that draws you in and keeps you emotionally connected

-- Truly interesting and unique NPCs and party members you actually care about, not just meat shields

-- Feeling of consequence, whether real or not

-- Minimal SoSo (Same-old-Same-old)

-- Multiple replayability

-- LONG and Epic


P.S. Registered just for this - PsT is one of my top games of all times

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is vastly overused, and that's why it's not been seen recently
You have a very interesting point of view here. Please name at least 9 PC rpgs using a steampunk setting. Arcanum, Septerra Core... What else?
Hell, just try to name rpgs or games or anything period recently that's been steampunk based. Fable III, Resonance of Fate, Bioshock, Damnation, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, Steambot Chronicles, Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness, and that's about it from the last 5 years.
And not a single RPG was mentioned. Thanks for proving my point.I also sense lots of JRPG derpity in the rest of your post.


Not sure what you mean as far as JRPG derpity, but I was in fact trying to prove your point that no CRPGs have come out in the genre, and pretty much no games period that capture the same allure as Arcanum did. So you're welcome?

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In my humble opinion. Obsidian should get with Paizo to do something like Neverwinter Nights using the Pathfinder system. I think that'd do a lot to generate even more buzz for Pathfinder, and also probably help Obsidian.


Or maybe I just desperately want to put together a persistant world server using Pathfinder Rules. :p


Other than that, I'd also love to see something like Arcanum, also with the UGC capabilities that NWN2 had.


Just, at the core, SOMETHING like NWN2 again. I'm still playing that game years after I've bought it because it's the greatest computer adaptation of DnD, period. The stories me and my friends come up with.

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Is there a statute of limitation for how long a video game can be out before you're not allowed to claim people only still like it because they're young and don't know any better? Because if there isn't I think we should maybe declare a decade to be long enough.


Also maybe there should be a statute of limitations on how pretentious one can be and still call other people hipsters.


So I don't come across as passive aggressive I'll instead be... what, assertive aggressive? A jerk? Let's go with that one... and say that you, Wulf, speak a whole lot of complete rubbish and try to mask it with bluster and confidence.

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