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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/27/2012 in Blog Entries

  1. 188 points
    These are the patch notes for patch 1.03. This patch is now available on Steam, and will be available on GOG soon. Note: We have hotfixed the problem with adventurer hall-created companions not being able to unlock doors or chests. Second Note: We have also fixed an issue where people were unable to open certain doors due to the Fog of War. "Big Ticket" Items Bears and Cats can now be equipped with hats. This is most likely not a joke... but might be a joke. Double-clicking to equip items was causing passive abilities to get removed from the character. This has been fixed and we were able to retroactively fix the problem for people that have already run into the issue. If you open your saved game in the latest patch, your characters will be repaired. Fixed a problem where attributes on characters could permanently increase by equipping certain items. This will also retroactively fix the problem in saved games that have characters with this issue. The crash in Raedric's Hold has been fixed. Fixed the looping audio sounds that can occur if you play with minimized tooltips. Previously Wizard summoned items could persist after the spell's duration. This has been fixed and it will also retroactively fix the problem in saved games that have characters with this issue. The items Drinking Horn of Moderation and Talisman of the Unconquerable were causing Ciphers to permanently lower their amount of focus gain. We've included a fix to retroactively resolve the issue on Ciphers but the effect is still on the items. Unfortunately the fix will not fix the broken effect on those items, so you'll need to keep those items unequipped until the next patch. If you do equip them, perform a Save/Load to fix your Cipher. Features Added graphics setting to toggle antialiasing levels. This can improve performance on lower end machines when disabled. Added pro tips to the Glossary. Many new icons for items. Added new voice set reactivity for lockpick, poison, enemy spotted in stealth, spell failure, death, immobilized, and completed task. Added indicators on the loot screen when looting crafting and quest items. Party can now use lockpicks that are in the Stash. You can now cast AoEs on party member portraits and the spell will be targeted at the companion's location. Balance Monk unarmed attack buffed by 1 point at the top end. Arbalest damage has been lowered. Fast melee weapons do slightly more damage. Slight bump to sabre damage. Tuned down Mind Blades. Tuned ranges of many Wizard spells to be higher. Slicken spell is now a single hit AoE. Chill Fog is now a friend or foe spell. Curse of Blackened Sight is now foe only. Changed reload speed multiplier from 2 to 1.2 for Sure-Handed Ila. Fixed the price on Seal of Faith. Adjusted price on figurines. Adjusted price on rings. Tuned up the Goldrot Chew. Reduced the penalties for Bonded Grief. Tuned up Bulwark of the Elements. Modified attributes of companions and Itumaak. Raised the bonus for having fewer than six party members from 5% per character under the limit to 10% per character under the limit. Added cooldown to NPC Rogue's Escape ability usage so they won't use it back to back. Rebalanced fight difficulty and spell selection for the Old Watcher. Lowered the scale of the Defiance Bay reputation by 15%. Beloved Spirits adds 0.4 Endurance to Ancient Memory instead of 2. Changed duration of the Flagellant's Path defense penalty. Adjustments to the Mantle of the Dying Boar. Reduced the price of the Brighthollow Hearth and Courtyard Pool. Heart of Fury will now apply to all damage types. Tuned damage on Brilliant Radiance down. Systems Fixed issue with Wizard's summoned magical items getting stuck after save and load. Wizards will be restored to a proper state after loading a game. Changed one of the fatigue status effects to not end with combat. Fixed save game issues with spells and abilities that place down traps. Fixed issue to prevent Ciphers from casting abilities without the required Focus. Restored modal flag for Reckless Assault. Set Transcendent Suffering to not be combat only. Fixed duration issue with Plague of Insects. Fixed companion audio triggers for some status effects. Hunting Bows had the wrong speed descriptor. They are now listed as Fast. Character Hit Autopause option should be working as intended. You can now close the Grimoire and Chant UI with a hotkey. Fixed issue with summoning magic items while unarmed. Fixed delay issue on Knockdown. Fixed a few issues with Dominate and Charm spells. Fixed a bad item mod on the Ring of Protection. Fixed issue with the Terrible weapon mod. Changed bad data in ranger summons. Made Takedown to be consistent with Knockdown. Fixed multiplier on Blooded. Summoned weapons will be removed when Spiritshifting. Fixed issue with bouncing reflected melee attacks. Party members will no longer switch to different weapons after being Charmed or Dominated. Ancient Memory is now Ally only. A summoned weapon will not unequip the grimoire. Fixed Spellstriking mod. Fixed trigger count issue with the Prone reduction mod. DOT spells should clean up properly when combat ends. Fixed Deflection +10 mod. All Exhortations are now combat only. Only play weapon ineffective VO if the attack is hostile. Aggrandizing Radiance will now last until combat ends. Holy Radiance is now combat only. Carnage now works better. Quests Fixed issues with factions and super friend quests with Lady Webb's dialogue. Adjusted trigger in front of the Salty Mast to fix a possible way to skip a required cutscene. Fixed issue with the Winds of Steel quest line. Fixed a trigger outside the First Fires Keep that could have been avoided. Many fixes to music, audio, and VFX to a scene near the end of the game. The prybar should now display the correct image in the Raedric's Hold moat scripted interaction. Changed faction on the Hall of Warrior's containers. Fixed scripted music for the forge knight combats in the keep. Visual effects in the introduction cutscene should now be triggered properly. Fixed conversation of the guards in Raedric's Hold to not repeat. Added cape and armor to the loot for the Fampyr boss. Fix to Osrya's starting timer not being attached to the trigger in the area. UI Fixed sound issue when collapsing the tutorial UI. Fixed issue with double clicking items to equip. This is a retroactive fix and will restore characters with proper stats. Fixed issue where camping supplies were disappearing when added to Stash. Cage Cursor setting should not turn off after loading a scene or cutscene and is now on by default. Fixed cropping on a few portraits. Fixed issue with highlighting dead bodies and containers in the fog of war. Fixed item stacking issue that was stacking items inappropriately. Reduced the intensity of the explored fog of war on the area map, and fixed an issue where the shadow layer was causing the area map to be darker than it should be. Small UI updates to the journal screen. Reworked the enchanting UI to work better with multiple lines. Fixed UI sorting issue in store. Fixed UI sorting in crafting menu. Fixes to Capitular glyphs in end game slides. Fixed issue with stronghold alert widgets not hiding properly. Fixed an issue with weapon mods were incorrectly being displayed in some cases. Drag select should work properly when starting the drag over an enemy. Fixed a few issues with drag select and formation rotation causing issues when the mouse goes over UI elements. Fixed some control issues with holding down keys. Shot on the Run recovery value should be now displayed correctly. Fixed issues to how the HUD fades out during conversations. When the party receives or loses items, those log messages now go to both logs. Cleaned up the character sheet formatting and made more items clickable. Store item names can now take up two lines. Spells now show DT bypass in the description. Consumables now show per-Rest and per-Encounter usage limitations. Other Fixes Fixed stats issue with saving and loading on the same map where a companion is found. This is a retroactive fix and will restore companions and characters to the proper state. Fixed issues with save games in Raedric's Hold, causing the game to not function correctly or freeze. Ranger Animal Companions should not disappear anymore and broken animals will be restored after loading and saving the game. Fixed possible issues with disappearing items and weapons. Minor fixes to a few select voice over lines. Fixed size issues with equipped capes on Godlike characters. Changed Explorer achievement to check for 152 maps rather than 160. Fixed many issues where combat would not end properly. Updated credits with more backer names. Updated paperdoll level up lighting. Scripted music should now be restored properly after loading a game. Updated Temple of Eothas render. Fixed some rendering issues with Fog of War on some areas. Fixed sounds on movie that plays near end of game. Reduced antelope feet sliding. Fixed issue with weapon caching causing issues when weapons are swapped. Interstitial music no longer loops. Fixed issue where party members could take damage in cutscenes. Fixed voice cues during looting for full inventory. Fixed transparency on ghost characters. Fixed issues with cutscene pathfinding if the game's process is halted. Fixed issue with Expert mode settings getting saved improperly. Fixed issue where characters were not properly stopping at the last waypoint of their path. Adjusted Skuldr scream vocals. We now handle some edge cases in resolution management on some hardware configurations. Fixed issue with the party member Knockout achievement not reporting the correct numbers.
  2. 107 points
    Character building for games isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of effort, especially when it comes to companions. I’ve had the good fortune to work on a variety of titles with strong support characters over the years, and I enjoy writing them a great deal. I still can’t believe I get paid to do this (don’t cut me off, Feargus). There are a few guidelines I try to follow when designing companions (some of these are dependent on the engine and franchise). - Combat/Challenge-viable. Any companion that can’t hold their weight and help support the home team in some fashion isn’t going to last long in the hearts of players (well, maybe a very forgiving few). This is something I learned way back in Fallout 2 when it became clear that Cassidy was far preferred over Myron, for example (and not just because Myron was an ****, which factors into another point below). It’s also a lesson I picked up while playing Final Fantasy III – every character needs to contribute to the mechanics and challenge mechanics in some fashion (whether combat or stealth or whatever the game’s challenge is). - Companions should be optional. Whenever possible, the player should never be forced to take them or in the case of true psychopaths, even let them live. The golden rule is the companion should be a support character or a walking/breathing slab of target practice if the players don’t like or want anything to do with the companion. - Next, assuming the players like the companion, the companion should serve as a sounding board for the theme of the game. It’s not mandatory, but there’s no better way to reinforce the narrative than someone who is walking beside the player for 70-80% of the game. This worked well with Kreia in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, it was the spine of most of the companions in Planescape: Torment, and it worked well with Kaelyn the Dove in NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer. - The companion needs to ego-stroke the player in a variety of ways. Sometimes this can be romance, sometimes this can be simply reactivity (either brief barks or conversations about the player’s actions), or any of a variety of methods. Ultimately, however, any companion that simply sits around bitching, complaining, and haranguing the player isn’t someone you want to drag into the nearest dungeon to help clear it out… you may simply want to throw them in the dungeon and lock the door. - A visual and vocal/audio hook. This may be the result of many, many years of comic books, but whenever possible, I try to suggest a variety of “visual ego signatures” that can be integrated into the character design, and audio hooks as well. For example, when doing the Fallout New Vegas: DLC, Dead Money, the visual signatures were Dog/God’s bear trap that was still clamped on his arm (along with his name carved in his chest so it could be seen in reverse in a mirror), Dean’s dapper lounge singer suit to contrast with his ghoulish appearance, and even something as simple as Christine’s throat scar (which we had to position carefully so the bomb collar wouldn’t obscure it). All of these things serve to tag the character and helps make them stand out. Each had their own vocal hooks as well (Dog/God’s voice would change based on his personality, Dean had the drippy smooth singer voice, and Christine’s vocal hook was she didn’t speak at all). - Speaking of Kaelyn, companions are also a great means of foreshadowing as well. Kaelyn’s relationship with her deity and his role in the Forgotten Realms ended up being a nice way to subtly build on the end game without directly hammering the player over the head with exposition. - Reactivity, not just to player’s actions but to the environment and events taking place. The Mask of the Betrayer’s barks for when companions would enter certain areas, for example, did a great job of showcasing their personality and also a bit of lore/rumors about the location you were visiting. If we’re able to do the same with game mechanics and combat, that’s an ever better bonus (“aim for the eyes!” “Knock him down again!” “Good one!” “Did Dogmeat just knock down that super mutant?!” “I’m doing the best I can with this crappy knife you gave me!”) So in terms of companions for Project: Eternity, the process works like so: - Establish the game mechanics for the title, and when possible, link that into the lore and narrative while you’re doing it. What’s the central system mechanic of the game? (For example, in Mask of the Betrayer, the soul-eating mechanic and basic combat were the two principle systems the player was interacting with.) - Design characters that support that game mechanic, and if it’s been properly integrated with the lore and narrative, make sure they discuss that angle as well, either though exchanges or reactions to it taking place in the environment. - Next up, figure out exactly where that character shines in terms of the game mechanics – why would a player bring this companion along? Are they a tank, a healer, or perfect for sniping enemies from a mile away? This shouldn’t overlap with another companion’s specialty if you can help it. - Build a barebones background. Were they once a scout, an assassin, a merchant, a Sith Lord, a smuggler, a bartender, etc.? What led them to that… and what led them to where they are today in the world? I say barebones, because I prefer to leave wiggle room for exploration and fleshing out the background while writing the character – the most likely avenue a player has to discover a CNPC’s history is through talking to them, so I let the CNPC do most of the work and try to focus on giving the details there and then. - Gather whatever reference art you can that you feel capture’s the hook of the character (for example, in Dead Money, Dog/God’s reference art often revolved around Mr. Hyde from Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentleman comic) and sit down and discuss the “whys” of each piece with the concept artist. I am fortunate to work with Brian Menze and he’s done a lot of the companions for Obsidian and Black Isle over the years, and seeing what he takes from the brief character descriptions and runs with them is really nice to behold (for example, Darth Nihilus). The important thing about Brian’s approach is he takes a lot of time to delve into the visuals of each franchise he works with and makes sure he’s capturing the art direction as well – and it really served us well while he was designing Kreia, Atton, and the other heroes/villains of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. - Build a tone. This starts as soon as you start writing – and sometimes, the tone surprises me once I actually start writing. The cadence of how the character talks, their slang, the subjects that interest them – I start a conversation with the character and try to imagine what I’d like to ask them about as players… and often, I try to steer the conversation into game mechanic help, gifts, new perks and skills to learn from the companion (which we used a lot in Torment, KOTOR2, and Dead Money, for example). The player should feel that they are gaining something of value from the interaction, even if the interaction isn’t mandatory – exploring a character’s personality should be as much fun as exploring a dungeon. - Keep the theme in mind. As mentioned before, I try to keep the game’s theme in mind while writing (the nature of the Force in K2, the suffering of the spirit in Torment, the idea of “letting go”/obsession/greed in Dead Money) and try to find ways to weave that into the character’s conversation and their history. You don’t want to hammer it home too much, but you want to include enough hooks so when the player thinks back on the conversation, it’ll start to sink in and all click into place once the game enters its final stages. That’s a bit about characterization – in future blogs, I’d go over a bit about constructing game stories and narratives, discuss some of the companion mechanics we’ve used over the years (influence, reputation, etc.), and anything else you guys would like to read. Thanks for reading!
  3. 93 points
  4. 57 points
    This is a big one. Patch 1.05 features hundreds of bug fixes, balance changes, and new UI features. There are many minor fixes that are not listed in these notes. Please Note: Save games in 1.05 are not compatible with 1.04 or earlier versions. The game will automatically back up your save games in a special folder in the save game directory after converting the saves to the new format. New Features You can now rename save games. You can now change the portrait and sound set of characters from the character sheet. Click on the gear icon to open the customization window. You can only use this feature on player characters and hired (non-companion) characters. New Stash sorting. You can now sort stash by item type, enchant score, and sell value. Added a news feature on the main menu to keep you informed on patches and Kickstarter updates. Added a new color for unique items in the inventory. Added a new hotkey for switching weapon sets on selected characters. You can now bind extra mouse buttons to Ability hotkeys. There's a new option in the Difficulty settings to reset newly recruited companions to level 1 (without losing the experience) when they get added to the party for the first time. This will allow you to level up companions to your liking. Balance Reblanced XP rewards of some quests, particularly the bounty quests, to prevent parties from hitting max level before Twin Elms. Ciphers now start with 1/4 max Focus instead of 1/2. Wizard and Cipher's base endurance has been raised from 30 to 36, and per level from 10 to 12. Wizard and Priests health multipliers were raised from 3 to 4. Interdiction range has been reduced from 20 to 10. Tuned down damage on the Retaliation mod. Citzal's Spirit Lance will now do 50% more damage, is faster, and has an increased AoE. Sanguine Plate's Retaliate mod has been replaced with Spell Holding: Frenzy. Wind Blight's Returning Storm is now set to 1/encounter. Earth Blight's Teleport ability is now set to 2/encounter. Sturdy bonus is improved from +20 to +30 vs Prone. Hand and Key's Preservation has been replaced with Loyal. Aru Breaker's Preservation has been replaced with a +1 Speed. Angio's Gambeson's Reflex bonus is replaced with 1/day Deleterious Alacrity of Motion. Rebel's Call Preservation has been replaced with Wary. Lightning Strikes damage is increased by 25%. Fan of Flames damage is reduced by 25%. Minor Arcane Reflection base duration is changed to 60 seconds. Llengrath's Displaced Image gives 50% hit to graze conversion on Deflection and Reflex. Wizard's Double now grants +40 Deflection against a single attack. Mirrored Images now grants a base +30 Deflection. It decreases by 5 after each hit. Ilengrath's Safeguard's bonuses are now unified. Crucible of the Soul, Speaker to the Restless, and Steps to the Wheel ranges have been increased. Arcane Veil now grants +50 Deflection, with Hardened Veil adding +25, for a total of +75 Deflection. Scroll of Paralysis is now slightly weaker and has a higher skill requirement. All Spell Holdings are 2/encounter. Soul Shock radius reduced from 2.5 to 1.25. Blizzard damage reduced significantly and attack speed increased to from 0.2 to 0.8. Overwhelming Wave now uses a range of 30-40 and stun duration lowered from 10s to 8s. Noxious Burst trap damage now is in line with other player trap damage. Reduced the accuracy on higher level player traps. Unbroken is now a per encounter ability. Malignant Cloud damage increased. Ghost Blades set to foe only. Death Ring damage slightly raised, made foe only. Ninagauth's Freezing Pillar switched over to foe only. Concelhaut's Corrosive Siphon set to foe only. Stag's Horn damaged lowered. Reflex and Deflection penalties cut in half, and reduced duration from 15 to 10. Bracers of Spiritual Power and Archer's Gloves reduced damage from +20% to +10%. Scroll of Revival AoE reduced, range slightly reduced, and restored endurance halved. Marked Prey and Sworn Enemy have been set to 0 recovery actions, so they can be used and the Ranger/Paladin can immediately act again. Winter Wind has had its damage, range, and push decreased. Base interrupt has been increased. Vile Thorns has had its damage increased and range decreased. Petrified damage bonus changed from x4 to x2. Items, Spells, and Abilities Many spells and abilities will have more accurate and updated stat blocks and improved output in the combat log, tooltips, and character sheet. Modal abilities now have activation and deactivation timers. Fixed an issue where some AOE attacks were not displaying the extra Intellect bonus properly. Added new effect when petrified. A character does not need to be in Stealth/Search mode to detect traps that are 4 Mechanics difficulties lower that the skill score. The detection will happen automatically now. Added an animation to the Fox and the Hunter ability and removed the damage effect. Second Chance will no longer trigger the defeat screen if the entire party goes down right before the effect fires. Fixed display of the cast UI for Seven Nights She Waited While the White Winds Wept. Tuning Wheel's effect is not hostile anymore. Painful Interdiction is now correctly marked as hostile. Escape should now always prevent disengagement attacks. Seven Nights She Waited While the White Winds Wept will no longer attack allies. Barbarian Threatening Presence will no longer spam the combat log when the Barbarian loses all endurance. NPC Chanters will now resume chanting once they use their invocations. Getting maimed will not clear fatigue. All wall spells should now disappear when combat ends. New Glossary entries for spellbind, spell holding, and spell striking. Switched the ingredients for Freezing and Shocking lashes. Druid's Wildstrike Belt is now working as intended. Marked Prey is now working at intended. Draining Whip is now working as intended. One Stands Alone is now working as intended. Interrupting Blows is now working as intended, and will correctly increase interrupt. Mortification of the Soul is now working as intended, and should only award 1 wound. Scion of Flame, Spirit of Decay, Secrets of the Rime and Heart of the Storm should now correctly increase damage of all abilities. Driving Flight will now work properly with Blunderbuss type guns. The Retaliate mod should not strike allies after using Field Triage. Pet fatigue has been removed. About 30 item icons have been updated, including some backer items, such as the Hermit's Hat. Battle-forged status effect now ends when combat ends. This should prevent it from stacking because of save/load. Fix for Elusive Quarry so its status effects now end when combat ends. This should prevent it from stacking because of save/load. Wild Leech is now combat only and the Leech effect will last until combat ends. This fixes issues with it not working with save/load correctly. Fix to Total Max Focus stat that would reset to the base value if you had the Greater Focus talent after a save/load. This is a retroactive fix that will restore your Cipher with an extra +10 focus if you have the talent. More fixes to status effect suppression so it will be more foolproof. Quests and Companions Party member stats on the character sheet will now show properly if the companion is removed and re-added from the stronghold. Fixed issues where companions could lose their items when assigned to the stronghold. Grieving Mother's Perception and Intellect scores have been switched. The Man Who Waits: The citizens of the Sanitarium will no longer become hostile if you kill and loot Azo after the Sanitarium riot and then fight flesh golems. Fix is retroactive. Fixed issue with a reputation loss with Gilded Vale when entering Raedric's Hold. Removed disposition exploit with the Records Keeper. A few encounter placement changes. Fixed issues with stronghold hirelings becoming hostile. Retroactive fix to update Sanitarium quest stage to proper state if you already talked to Ethelmoer and then asked for Sanitarium directions from a city guard. Added retroactive fix if you've advanced Heritage Hill quest to Icantha but then asked a city guard for directions to Heritage Hill. Fixed a number of issues with the Winds of Steel quest. This should be a retroactive fix if the quest was already started before working on the second quest with the Dozens or Doemenels, or if the quest was acquired or completed in conjunction with Bronze Beneath the Lake or Changing of the Guard. Attacking any of the main three Defiance Bay factions after having secured their invitation to the hearing will now make Lady Webb give you an invite in the name of Dunryd Row. Fixed issues with the Hermit of Hadret House quest. If Sul or Oernos were defeated before speaking to Desthwn for the first time then The Old Queen and the New King quest will not revert to an earlier quest stage Hendyna's conversation is fixed up to be properly linked together. Fixed a case where one of Clyver's responses would not appear in conversation if you ask him twice about the hearing. Killing Alwah while she appears in Oldsong now prevents her from appearing alive in Galawain's Maw when you turn in the Prison of Ice quest Fixed an issue where the Hall of Revealed Mysteries would turn hostile after opening the door to the Elder Archives and then re-loading into the scene (while not in stealth). Rinatto will no longer appear in the Celestial Sapling if you convince him to leave Twin Elms as part of the Hard Bargain quest.) Fixed the top floor of the Sanitarium so "The Man Who Waits" quest is now working for those that were having problems. UI Changed the display of most stat multipliers to be percentage based. Added Shift as a default control for multi-selection, in addition to Ctrl. Inverted the Stronghold log. Improved the output in the Bestiary and added beast abilities. Portraits now turn grey if Stamina is being capped by Health or Fatigue. Improved multi-selection. Stronghold adventures will now show the duration before you embark. Added apply button to resolution options screen. Default stealth key on Linux is now Ctrl. Weapon set buttons are now disabled when Spirit Shifted. Fixed several issues with containers and mouse cursor state on hover. Fixed an issue where the Lore requirement on scrolls was always displaying as red text. Fixed an issue where weapon sets were not visually unlocking. HUD does not upscale until 1920x1200. Adjusted position of the Concentration skill in the Character Sheet. Cleaned up problems with improper ability icons showing if you switch party members with hotkeys. Corrected a tooltip string on the voice volume slider. Fixed issues with tooltips being obscured in the inventory screen. Fixed a problem with Stronghold prisoners showing temp text at times. Improved loading screen scaling for resolutions greater than 1920 x 1080 Tooltips now include sell price where appropriate. Chanter inspection UI should now display the correct durations. Armors should now correctly display DR in the inspection UI. Fixed attack roll formula tooltips so they should now be readable in lower screen resolutions. Weapon sets should now show the proper weapon rarity coloring. Expert mode is now hidden on the main menu to avoid confusion about it not being selectable outside of a game. Changed slider bars so that they can slide the entire length of the options menu. Changed the order of the option buttons to make them more user-friendly. General Fixes Removed exploit of being able to transition into a new area with a dead player character. . Spells and abilities stuck in 'Already Activated' state will be fixed whenever a game is loaded. Now camping in a stronghold map when Brighthollow is unlocked uses Brighthollow instead. Party members will no longer switch weapon sets when charmed. Resolved a problem where misses on some secondary attacks were not being reported in the combat log. Camera should center on party members faster. Trial of Iron: Loading a game will now force a save to happen to prevent save scumming. Fixed many issues related to auto pause. Firearms will now reload when combat ends on alternate weapon sets. Poison and interrupted VO now has a cooldown. Allow quick-loading when UI windows, like dialogue, are up. Fix to enemy encounters sometimes decreasing in difficulty without the player changing the option. Fixed additional problems with prestigious visitors visiting the Stronghold after they had been killed. Fixed issue where Guest Hirelings that were available at the Stronghold for hire were not being saved properly into the save games. Removed unneeded navigation blockers in the Valewood that were causing animal companions to become stuck.
  5. 50 points
    These are the patch notes for 1.04, which is now available on Steam. It may be a bit before it's available on GOG and Origin, as they manually put it up. We are now working on patch 1.05 and will launch the beta for it during the week of April 20th. We're continuing to read through support threads and e-mails. Thank you, everyone! Update for GOG Linux Users: 1.04 is available on GOG, but not as a patch - unfortunately you have to download the full version of the game. GOG doesn't support patching for Linux for Pillars of Eternity unfortunately. They have the file version listed as Items, Spells, and Abilities AoE indicators should now properly resize if the caster has a sub 10 Intellect score. Fixed an issue with over-time aura spells not applying the correct value on the final tick. Knock Down will now correctly be applied for the full duration of the effect. Mantle of The Dying Boar will now trigger at 33% Endurance with the effect of 5 Endurance a tick. Talisman of the Unconquerable will now give a 1.25 Focus multiplier instead of .25. Blooded should trigger properly in all cases now. Boar Animal Companion bonus damage should now work as intended. Prone Reduction mod should now work correctly. Quests and Companions Fixed Aloth and Kana speaking when they weren't in the party in one of the last levels. Sagani's fox-specific banters now require the appropriate items in the player inventory. Falanroed's dialogue no longer displays a script node. Durance will now properly discuss your dream with you if you've already discussed his staff. Relaxed some constraints on Durance's quest conversation. This allows all characters, regardless of background or stats, to finish his quest. Players can now loot the nest in Oldsong. Fixed an invalid conditional check in one of Pallegina's conversations. Heritage Hill tower will be fully revealed when exploring the map. Fixed spawn issue in a scripted interaction near the end of the game. Fixed an invalid creature spawn in the Ogre Lair in Od Nua. Sagani no longer references the antagonist by name before you know it. A container in the Catacombs of Od Nua will now remember if it was looted. The "Master's Tools" quest will now work if you have the required items before starting the quest. The "A Two Story Job" scripted interaction will not require a second grappling hook to climb down from the window if one was already used to climb up. General Fixes Fix for camera movement problems when the game is paused or in a cutscene. Fix to retroactively restore party movement in saves that display movement speed problems. Made some fixes to movement speed problems that were being reported (e.g. Boots of Speed). Fixed stacking health problems with the gul's "Vomit Blood" ability. This fix should retroactively fix your saved games. Optimized Save/Load game system for better performance. Optimized how scene transitions are handled for better memory usage on 32-bit machines. This may allow players to transition to new areas without running out of memory. Sound Sets from hired companions will now be properly restored when adding them to the party from the stronghold. "All Stronghold Upgrades" achievement now checks 25 upgrades instead of 26. This will properly reward the achievement if you already have fully upgraded your stronghold. The "Kill All Dragons" achievement will now properly fire if they are killed indirectly (like by a trap). This is a retroactive fix and will be rewarded if the dragons are already dead. Fixed issue where store prices were getting exceptionally large after receiving a discount. Fixed issues with gaining infinite XP from bad Stronghold data. World time will not get very large in some cases after Save/Load. Modelling offset with Durance's head has been adjusted. Icon scale is now correct on Hearth Harvest and Reghar Konnek. All shaders will now compile properly under DirectX 11. Restored all the missing effects in the intro cutscene. Removed Blunderbuss item from an early game loot table. Changed the cursor type on the blood pool in the Temple of Skaen to conversation. Fixed a few save game issues with dead summoned creatures. Fixed issue where occasionally a crash would occur when initializing the Steam API. Draggable windows are now handled properly when running at very high resolutions. Swamp Lurker's animation won't spaz anymore when the game is paused. Fixed an issue to prevent binding mouse buttons to window controls. Game will now pause if you Alt-Tab during a cutscene in full screen mode. Audio will now resume properly if the game loses focus. Fixed an issue with infinite load screen if you transition while hovering over a container. Characters will now wait for their idle animation before trying to reload which fixes an animation sync issue. Damaged characters performing AoE attacks will not overload their AI state stacks anymore.
  6. 47 points
    Oh. Hello there. I wanted to put some ideas into words to help express what it means to build a world at Obsidian. It takes a lot of time and effort from a boatload (dirigible-load) of people, but there are some guiding principles that keep us focused on building worlds we love that we hope players will love, too. No matter what the flavor of the setting may be -- fantasy, sci-fi, modern day espionage... a town in Colorado -- worlds are places we want to explore filled with characters we feel passionate about. Curiosity makes us want to explore. An interest in the unknown. Fascination and wonder at what we'll see if we go left instead of right. Visuals are part of it, but it's about the atmosphere and the feeling we get from stepping into a place we've never been part of before. When we see the way the world and the folks in it work, what drives it and them, no matter how mundane or fantastic, we believe in it. To feel for characters at all, we need to make a connection with them. To make a connection with them, we need to believe that if we were put in their shoes, maybe we'd follow the same path they're on. When we talk about mature themes, we're not describing arterial spray. We're talking about character motivations that we sympathize with in the setting. When we get to our nemeses after hunting them down for 50 hours and they say, "Man, do you see what I have to deal with?" we nod and say, "Yeah, I guess I do..." even as we're reluctantly beating their faces in with a morningstar. But it's not a one-way street. Those characters need to be with you. They need to pay attention to who you choose to be and how you choose to conduct yourself. It's why we love writing conversations as dialogues, exchanges with give and take. If we've built a world you believe in, your choices won't feel like random button clicks. They'll be decisions that make you think, maybe trouble you, possibly annoy you from time to time. And when your companions, friends, enemies, lovers, haters, et al. react with jeers, whooping, or the RPG equivalent of a sustained Citizen Kane clap, you won't feel the invisible hand of the market designer at work. You'll feel like you're at home in the world we, and your choices, have shaped. When you get down to it, we want to make places and lives you want to be a part of as much as we do. It seems a lot simpler than it is when it's written down like that, but through all of the complications and doubts, knowing what we're shooting for helps us move foward day after day and year after year. Hopefully you'll want to be part of where we're going next. It should be a hoot.
  7. 35 points
    Greetings Obsidian Fans! We’re extremely excited about our upcoming RPG, and we know you are too. We wish we could tell you all about it right now… but we’re going to hold off until the time is right. What we did want to talk about was a question a lot of you have been raising: “Will this upcoming game feature any lootboxes or other microtransactions?” The answer is simply: “no.” No microtransactions, of any kind, in our game. We also wanted to say a word about our partnership with Private Division, our publisher on this title. Far from “pushing” us to put anything -- microtransactions or otherwise -- into our game, Private Division has been incredibly supportive of our vision, our creative freedom, and the process by which we work to make RPGs. They have been fantastic partners, and we are extremely excited to work with them through release, to put what we know is going to be an amazing game into as many hands as possible. As always, thank you so much for your support. We know we couldn’t do what we do without our fans, and we want you to know that we put you guys first in every decision we make. Obsidian
  8. 30 points
    Hey everyone! Your friendly, neighborhood, marketing drone here with what I hope will be an eye-opening insight into gamers' thoughts on DLC. First off: a big thank you to everyone who participated in our survey. Hearing your thoughts helps us understand your opinions better, and make better games. Background For those who don't know, on October 4, 2017, we published a survey, asking some key questions about players' preferences regarding DLC, and a bit about their backgrounds, as well. As anyone at Obsidian will tell you, I am big on data, and have been pushing for stuff like this for a while. So, hey, thanks for making me look good with the absolutely huge response we got to the survey: Forecast Response: ~12,000 - 18,000 Actual Responses: 55,035 Sources: Kickstarter/Fig Backers, Obsidian Forums, Obsidian Newsletter, Reddit (big thanks to the awesome humans at /r/projecteternity and /r/Fallout!), Twitter, Facebook, and from many of our wonderful developer and publisher colleagues. The survey ran until October 20, 2017, and we thank everyone who participated and all our partners who assisted us! For those who missed it, here is the amazing survey background art we used, as created by our Community Manager, Aarik Dorobiala (presented here in 1080p for those who want to use it as a wallpaper!): A Note on Sampling Methodology The statisticians among you will have noticed that our data-gathering methodology was not blind, and that's an important thing to call out. Because we didn't use a random sample of our customers or backers, but rather went to specific areas and allowed those populations to self select, we know that some of the data in this survey will be skewed toward those specific population groups. For our purposes, however, that's fine. We are interested in engaged gamers who are likely to be interested in our DLC (and DLC secularly), and we were willing to sacrifice some methodological precision if it meant driving more participation in the survey for this go-round. The fact that the survey got more popular than we ever imagined is a bonus, but it also means we need to take these results as directional, rather than strictly determinative, since the populations who responded to the survey may or may not be representative of the total population of RPG fans out there. -- Section 1: Demographics While the first section of the survey asked about DLC preferences and the second, optional, section asked about demographics, I nevertheless want to show the demographic results first, so readers can understand a bit about who answered these questions before they see how the questions were answered. The demographics section was 100% optional, but it's not clear that everyone understood that. Although we did have some folks opt out of certain questions by skipping them, we may have had significantly more if we added an affirmative opt-out answer choice to every question, which is what we will do in the future. This was my mistake, but one of the things to think about when you review these results is that I treated this piece at least in part as a "meta-survey." That is, I wanted to test certain questions and methodologies as much as gather data itself, so I can improve our data gathering and survey user-friendliness going forward. Please note that we have omitted a question for the sake of consumer privacy. Question 1: Age We were a bit surprised to see how many of the survey respondents were teenagers, but otherwise, our age demographic for this survey tracks pretty well with what we expect for the "typical" gamer: about 3/4s are between the ages of 20 and 34. Question 2: Gender While we expected that we would get a majority male response, we did not expect it to be this skewed. Only about 2% of people skipped the question, though we were asked why we did not have a third, or opt-out gender option, such as "Prefer not to answer." That was an oversight -- I simply believed people would opt out by skipping the question. Question 3: Country of Residence We were very gratified to have people from nearly every country in the world reply to our survey -- despite the fact that it was only available in English. While the numbers aren't clear on the chart, Germany featured the most respondents from a non-Anglophone nation (2,431), which was almost as many as Australia! Since the map doesn't fully show everything due to size constraints, here's the top 10 countries by number of respondents: USA - 25,089 UK - 3,939 Canada - 3,909 Australia - 2,471 Germany - 2,431 Poland - 1,651 Sweden - 1,412 France - 1,132 Russia - 1,070 Finland - 923 Question 4: - OMITTED Question 5: Preferred Gaming Platform Windows PC was by far the most commonly used gaming platform for respondents, followed distantly by Android Phone, PlayStation 4, and Portable Consoles, in that order. No other system was a major occupier of time for most of our respondents. One thing that was interesting to see was just how much more popular Android was than iOS among our respondent group. One note: our survey was quite popular on the subreddit for PlayStation 4 (/r/PS4), but the equivalent Xbox One subreddit (/r/XboxOne) does not allow surveys, which may have biased console usership results. Question 6: Preferred Purchase Platform Tracking with the use of Windows as the primary gaming platform, it's no surprise that Steam is by far the dominant platform for respondents' game purchasing decisions. Of considerable interest, however, is how high up on the list official console digital marketplaces ranked. This suggests a shift among leading-edge (or "core") gamers toward digital purchasing on console, away from brick-and-mortar or other physical disc distribution. NB: GOG.com's abbreviation should be rendered GOG, not GoG, apologies for the typo in my chart! -- Section 2: DLC Questions This segment consisted of mandatory questions, and just about everyone completed it -- we had less than a 1% abandonment rate on the survey. While there were ten questions asked, we omit the tenth, as it involves internal Obsidian benchmarking, and was originally geared toward a specific consumer-targeted audience, not the much larger audience we ended up getting, so the results aren't super valuable. Question 1: Owned Obsidian DLCs It's no surprise that Fallout: New Vegas, still one of our most popular games, remains the leader in terms of DLC ownership. We also had a significant number of respondents who owned DLC in Pillars of Eternity and, surprisingly, Neverwinter Nights 2, a game that's now more than ten years old. Only about one in ten respondents did not purchase any Obsidian DLC at all. Question 2: Acquisition Method This question got a lot of feedback from the community, and I'll will revise it if we ask a similar question in the future. The feedback largely centered on a few issues: A large number of respondents commented that, while they would not commonly refund/return the base game in order to acquire the Game of the Year (GotY) Edition, they would refrain from purchasing a game at all once DLC of any kind is announced until a GotY or other complete edition is released. Many people felt that the question insufficiently described why or how the DLC was attractive and therefore made it difficult for them to assess the value of a season pass or DLC. Everyone loves sales, so that answer choice could have been folded into the others as a value-add. Question 3: Preferred DLC Features I color-coded these by type so it would be easier for everyone to parse respondents' preferences. Overwhelmingly, respondents want more game content -- that is, they want the game itself to be bigger, deeper, longer. They want to be able to come back to it, or continue on with it. However, there was also a significant number of respondents who were looking for expanded or additional game systems, such as multiplayer (co-operative) or replayable modes such as roguelikes. Anything tagged as "competitive" or "PvP" was not considered attractive, however. Question 4: Quantity of DLC Respondents were very clear here, and their responses track with the bias toward content-based features in the previous question: people want bigger, deeper DLC for their money, not small stuff. Question 5: Influential Factors The most influential factor for the majority of respondents in informing their decision to purchase DLC is price. This could imply that respondents feel that DLC is generally overpriced, that DLC generally doesn't strike them as a good value at MSRP, or simply that gamers are cost conscious. Among the other factors, word-of-mouth factors such as a friend's recommendation or score from bona fide other gamers were the most important in influencing buying decisions. Interestingly, most respondents felt that time between base game launch and DLC launch was not a major factor in their decision to purchase -- this could be interpreted in two ways: either respondents don't mind waiting for deep content, or they feel that they won't purchase new DLC no matter what, until it's on sale. Questions 6 & 7: Price Calibration These two questions were designed to work in tandem. I was looking to anchor respondents at a $45-dollar base price for a game, and then see if raising that base price in a subsequent, identical question, caused them to re-value an associated season pass. Given the structure of the questions and the expected effect of the anchoring, the 7.8% difference in average expected price can be considered not statistically significant. Basically, the base price of a game, alone, was not enough to make gamers think differently about the value of the season pass (and, by extension, other associated content). We got a lot of feedback to these questions that price alone was not sufficient for them to evaluate the value of a season pass, and, of course, that's true. To give some insight into what I was trying to accomplish with these two questions: I was interested in whether putting a change in base price in front of a consumer's face would cause a cognitive bias that might affect his price tolerance for ancillary purchases. In other words, does price alone have a direct relationship to perception of value or further willingness to engage with a product? Looking back on this, was this question the best way to evaluate this heuristic? Probably not. I've had some suggestions for improvements that I intend to incorporate into future question series, and I'm going back to my behavioral economics texts to deepen my own understand -- but I still think the results are interesting, nevertheless. One other note: while our respondents put the desired price of season passes at around $17, in reality, RPG gamers pay about $25 for them (when purchased as a separate product, not as part of a Deluxe Edition or GotY) on average, according to industry sales data. Question 8: Free DLC Pretty clear message here: people like free DLC. 4% of respondents, however, clearly feel that DLC is not good, in any form. Question 9: Genre Preference Everyone hated this question's answer choice structure. I tried something newfangled by allowing people to drag and drop their answer choices in a stack-ranked list, and we got a ton of feedback on it. First, it apparently didn't work on mobile -- sorry about that, I should've tested it better. Second, a lot of people commented that they felt pretty much equally weak on a variety of genres but felt they were forced to rank them better than each other, anyway. This is interesting, though, because despite a lot of these comments, Sports and Casual emerged as the clear losers. You'd think that if, say, the bottom five or six genres (which is what most people said they didn't care about) were equally lousy to people, you'd have a fairly even distribution, since the order of the answer choices was randomized. So, while our respondents didn't like the way this question was structured (and I'll kill it for next time), it is interesting to see that it forced the truth out -- sports and casual games are the least liked. Therefore Obsidian is killing our latest secret project: Lord Bolingbroke Polo 2018. Just kidding, we wouldn't do a casual game. -- Conclusions All in all, lots of great takeaways here, and we'll be using the data internally to ask some even more in depth questions. For example: do people who own Pillars of Eternity DLC also own Tyranny DLC? Do Europeans have different DLC preferences from North Americans? Why do RPG fans hate sports games? There's so much to be learned here, and we are so grateful to our fans for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We will continue to get better at making surveys, and we hope you will continue to engage with us and let us know how you feel, so that we can try to make the best games possible for you. We know we can't please everybody all the time (this survey proves that), and we're not trying to do that, but if this kind of research can help us get better at making the games we love to make, then our marketing team is doing its job.
  9. 28 points
  10. 24 points
    Here are the update notes for Update 3.02. Major Fixes Fixed an issue where some player's game would reset after completing Part 1. Fixed an issue where some players couldn't activate the White Forge or enter Durgan's Battery. Fixed an issue with the final Eyeless SI becoming stuck if you selected yourself. Fixed an issue where some players would get stuck at the Caed Nua End Slide. Fixed multiple issues where some players received black screens on load/transitioning. White March Specific Iron Flail Front is no longer accessible before returning to Stalwart at the start of Part 2. Foundry map icon appears as soon as you visit the Foundry after activating Part 2. Updated the nav for Whitestone Hollow, Durgan's Battery Exterior, and Durgan's West Tower. Gwyn's Band of Union placed into a container in the Abbey. Fixed an issue with Kaoto not speaking to you at the top of the Abbey of the Fallen Moon. Added an addendum to the Rising Tide Quest regarding the sign of the tide. All robes in the Halls of Silence have had their name updated. SFX now plays during the Eyeless Scripted Interaction. Burning Pitch Trebuchet and Empowered/Heavy Cannon Blast will no longer gain benefit from Might or Intellect and are per rest. Eyeless 'Ray of Fire' no longer deals insane amounts of damage on Story Time. Fixed an issue with Cayron's Scar Frozen Water SI applying status effects to the wrong character. Summoned Crag Ogres no longer drop loot. Fixed an issue that was causing Relentless Storm to spam cast in Cayron's Scar. Villagers now comment about you defeating the Eyeless. Fixed an issue in Tealdor's dialogue where he would stop giving bounties. Fixed an issue where Mylla was disappearing after completing the quest 'Lost Child'. Fixed issue with screaming villagers audio persisting after Burning Hut SI. Magma Blights in the West Tower now drop loot. Updated the Skuldrak projectile to be an icicle. Fixed gas cloud VFX in the West Tower gas room. Bleakwalker Ghosts (Summoned during Ryona's Breastplate Quest) will now drop correct loot. Spirit animals Whitestone Cave now drop correct loot. Zahua image now shows during his End slides. Fixed an issue not being able to leave Zahua's vision during Secrets of Tacan. Fixed Zahua's conversations not triggering depending on how the quest was started during Secrets of Tacan. Can now re-enter Zahua's vision without reloading Whitestone Hollow. 'Secrets of Tacan' no longer fails if you speak to a vision after Save/Load. 'Secrets of Tacan' no longer fails if Zahua is killed after completion. Fixed an issue with Maneha only wanting to talk about the Fort. Dyrwood Areas Fixed an issue with combat not ending in Galawain's Maw. Fixed an issue where some players could not interact with Lord Raedric. Rectroactive fix made for Fragments of a Scattered Faith if the player has already looted the standard but didn't have Eder in the party. Gathbin and friends have been buffed during the Battle of Yenwood. Added more SFX to Yenwood Scripted Interaction. Chancellor Warrin no longer respawns in the Charred Barrel after the quest completes. Chancellor Warrin no longer hostiles the you if you previously killed all the patrons in the Charred Barrel. Corrected Gathbin and Chancellor Warrins speaker tags. Tortured Spirit in Cilant Lis should no longer reappear when returning to the map. Searing Falls will now have enemies when first visited. Angry Villagers and Marshal Forwyn no longer respawn at Caed Nua. Fixed an issue where the Soldier Ghost in Caed Nua Dungeons was not spawning. Retreating from enemies on Od Nua Level 13 will now end combat. Adra Animat in Od Nua Level 13 no longer respawns after Save/Load. Spells and Abilities Paladin's Liberation Exhortation now works on charmed allies. Rogues can now Sneak Attack off of Stun on Crit weapon effects. Rogue's Escape will now break engagement. Cipher's 'Amplified Thrust' no longer generates focus. Updated VFX for Recall Agony so that the effect lasts until the status effect ends. Adjusted the VFX for the mind wave spell to match the actual size of the spell aoe. Also added a light to it. Mental Binding no longer rolls extra rolls against defenses. Llengrath's Mental and Physical Shields can only be cast during combat Fixed an issue where Llengrath's Blunt Wisdom would give the wielder permanent accuracy and damage bonuses. Llengrath's Blunt Wisdom is no longer Superb, but has built in damage and accuracy bonuses. Necrotic Lance is now listed as a Hostile status effect. Fixed an issue where Minor Grimoire Imprint was stealing Chanter invocations. Druid's Wildstrike no longer applies to spell damage while spiritshifted. Ranger's 'Heal Companion' no longer casts twice. Powder Burns casting cone now locks to a target. Priest's Holy Meditation granted by Spell Defense will no longer grant the bonuses to enemies. Monk's Crucible of Suffering was proccing incorrectly if you also have Weapon Focus: Peasant. Fixed a problem where afflictions from Chanter Phrases were infinite. Updated Retaliate so it will roll against defenses. Fixed an issue where Savage Attack was affecting spell accuracy. Items Part 2 Soulbound weapons have been switched to universal (All weapon focuses will work with any Soulbound weapon). Fixed an issue where Cape of the Master Mystic was causing invisibility to be permanent. Wearing Boots of Speed now have proper running animations outside of combat. Damage Proof mods will no longer be suppressed by Quality mods. Tempered Helm will not be suppressed by Quality mods. Tomb Fragment no longer deals 25 Health on load. Executioner's Hood now heals the character instead of damaging them. Steadfast final unlock requirement is now 28 Might. Fixed an issue where St. Ydwen's Redeemer would get stuck at 1000/1000 damage. Stormcaller now resets unlocks after unbinding it. Updated St Ywdens Redeemers Divine Mark Proc so it won't also hit the wielder. Vent Pick and Dragon's Maw Shield 'Spellchance' proc now works correctly. Fixed an issue where Firebrand was using current equipped weapons stats instead of its own. Raw Damage Lash on Gyrd Haewanes Stenes increased to 20%. Fenwalkers now takes off 2 seconds from stuck, paralyzed, and hobbled durations. Fixed an issue where paralyze that lasted less than 3 seconds caused wearer of Fenwalkers to become unresponsive. The Blunderbuss 'Silver Flash' blind duration reduced to 2 seconds. Fixed multiple issues with Spider Trap's icon and name. Fixed issue where Elryns Jacket used too many Enchant Points. Fixed an issue where Red Reed Wand could summon outside of combat. Boots of Speed no longer slow down Spirit Shifted Druids. Abydon's Hammer will now get removed from the parties Inventory if a party member takes it and sacrifices themselves. Acuan Giamas Spells/Abilities no longer stolen indefinitely. Greenstained Boots now heal the correct amount. Added VFX for Abydon's Hammer ability 'Ring of the Ancient Forge'. Fixed audio issues with Ring of the Ancient Forge ability. Added duration to Mossy Rocks Summon. Robes of the Tidebringer now have correct name and description. Ray of Pain will now deal damage when triggered from Echoing Misery. Spell Defense: Eyestrike will no longer hit allies. 'Zephy' granted by the poleaxe 'Winds Arm' no longer hits the wielder. Infestation of Spiders Trap will now lower Constitution. Fixed Concelhaut Skull Pet VFX. Fixed positions of the VFX for a few of the weapon mods (Burning Lash, Shocking Lash, Durance Staff Fire, and Slaying Lash). Gameplay All spells and abilities should now end at the end of combat. There were a few (Watchful Presence, for example) that could extend past the end of combat. Fixed a problem where placing traps too close to each other would remove the previous trap and losing the item. Devil of Caroc now has 78 attribute points. Legendary Recipe now requires level 16. Visitors will now leave the stronghold after you resolve their dilemma. Characters no longer lose health in Story Time after being Charmed/Dominated. AI should now properly target their own animal companions for various spells and effects. Heal Companion has been added to Ranger's AI. Bashing now generates focus and procs carnage. Fixed an issue where items would appear highlighted when equipped. Beam Spell VFX no longer persists after combat. Fixed an issue where the knockout injury System Shock did not lowers defense against prone. Fixed an issue where Soul Essences could detect your party while in scouting mode. Attack animations interrupted by summon weapon duration running out will no longer break Wizards spells/attacks. Fixed an issue with companions not dropping weapons upon death while using a summoned weapon. Buffed Bog Oozes. Fixed an issue where they had the incorrect armor/weapons. Potions of Major and Minor Recovery adjusted to properly lower the duration of incoming hostile effects. You are now able to switch weapon sets while a summon weapon is active. Fixed an issue where spawned enemy units could have multiples of the same immunities. Fixed an issue where spawned enemy units did not have immunities. Characters will now have a bark when casting spells against enemies that are immune to it. UI Dominated friendlies now use a yellow selection circle. Text format of Soulbound items now display properly. Fixed an issue where white boxes would appear next to the character portrait. Brutal Backlash no longer causes the white square to appear on characters. Fixed an issue where the biography would not display when completing TWM2. Fixed an issue where *Missing Abilities* would appear on the action bar. Phrase duration now displays correctly in the tooltip. Fixed damage calculation of base attack damage in descriptions of Full/Primary Attack abilities. Faith and Conviction values now show correctly based on your dispositions. Second Skin now appears in the DR breakdown. Charmed or Dominated allies will no longer display their defenses. Fixed an issue where the Options menu was not aligned with the Stronghold menu. Removed strange icon behind the Enchantment Anvil in the Enchant Menu. Outmaneuvering now has a proper description. Solitary item mod description was improved. Updated various spells to be marked as a hostile effect. Fixed an issue where some healing over time effects was appearing as red in the console. Fixed attacks doing base Raw damage not showing damage type in combat log summary. Fixed an issue where companion barks were being displayed twice. Kidnappings will now display which companion is sent to rescue the visitor. Updated the ability icon 'Zephyr' granted by the poleaxe 'Winds Arm'. Pearlescent Orb now has the proper icon. Fixed an issue with Spider Web Immunity, Ancient Memory, and Wall of Draining spamming the combat log. Miscellaneous Keyboard navigation of ability bar now supports quick items. Fixed an issue where text was overlapping in the Bestiary in German. Fixed French gender issues with ghost villager in Od Nua Level 1. [Mac] Fixed Front End 'buy Part 2' link [Linux] Potentially fixed an issue with the mini map on Mesa 11.0.4 graphic driver. [Linux] Corrected an issue on Linux where water was rendering black in most areas. Fixed an issue with the save files being marked as read-only. This was preventing some players from finding their saves.
  11. 21 points
    Hey, everyone. Here are the patch notes for 1.06. Of particular note are the fixes for: Fixed a crash that some people were experiencing on startup. This had to do with Unity attempting to load a corrupted font. Fixed slowdowns that could be caused by certain network adaptors or programs like Hamachi. Fixed an issue where grimoires were getting corrupted when sending a wizard to the Stronghold. Fixed an issue where a door in the Stronghold's Great Hall could become locked after the Steward unlocked it. This is a retroactive fix that should fix a saved game on load. Fix for cases where hurting a Crucible Knight during the Forge Knight attack on Crucible Keep would cause Lady Webb to assume you had burned the bridges with the knights' faction, thus forcing the invite to the hearings to come from Dunryd Row. This fix is also retroactive for cases where Lady Webb still waits to hear your word about getting an invite - head over Hadret House and speak with Webb to continue with the Crucible Knight's support as intended in your playthrough. Attacking any main faction after acquiring their invite will now properly result in a quest update that asks you to talk to Webb about getting an invite in some other fashion (Dunryd Row support). Full patch notes below. Balance Blacsonn was modified to have a focus gain multiplier (+20%) instead of a flat gain. Added the Flanking and Engagement entries to the Glossary. Also updated the Flanked entry to link to Flanking and Engagement Minoletta's Concussive Missiles AoE is now set to foe only. Lay on Hands increased from 1/Encounter to 2/Encounter. Base healing value was increased from 20 per tick to 25 per tick and Greater Lay on Hands increased from +7 to +12. Flames of Devotion was given a +20 Accuracy bonus. Spell Holding: Blessing Accuracy bonus reduced from +10 to +5. All Zealous auras set to the same size. This decreased the size of Charge, but increased the sized of Focus and Endurance. Bonus Graze to Hit rate added to Zealous Focus. Bonus Hit to Graze rate added to Zealous Endurance. Sworn Enemy will no longer call a hit reaction when applied. Endurance reduction on the end of Reviving Exhortation was reduced. Suppress Affliction base duration lowered from 15 seconds to 10 seconds. All Exhortations are now set to recover immediately. Reinforcing Exhortation now grants +25 deflection instead of +15. Hastening Exhortation lowered to 9th level (was 11th). Items, Spells, Abilities Arcane Assault and Flagellant's Path have received animation polish. Quests and Companions Fixed an issue where a door in the Stronghold's Great Hall could become locked after the Steward unlocked it. This is a retroactive fix that should fix a saved game on load. Fix for Against the Grain where you were able to convince Trumbel after convincing Sweynur. Players in broken states can speak with Trumbel to complete the quest. Entering Lle a Rhemen will now force an update to The Bronze Beneath the Lake to the proper step if it's somehow been reverted to an earlier stage, allowing the Engwithan weapon container to appear. Fix for cases where hurting a Crucible Knight during the Forge Knight attack on Crucible Keep would cause Lady Webb to assume you had burned the bridges with the knights' faction, thus forcing the invite to the hearings to come from Dunryd Row. This fix is also retroactive for cases where Lady Webb still waits to hear your word about getting an invite - head over Hadret House and speak with Webb to continue with the Crucible Knight's support as intended in your playthrough. Attacking any main faction after acquiring their invite will now properly result in a quest update that asks you to talk to Webb about getting an invite in some other fashion (Dunryd Row support). UI Added the correct icons for items that were displaying an incorrect icon. Fixed a minor issue with Scripted Interaction images not animating correctly at times. When dragging items in the inventory, you can now see their stack counts. UI fix made for some localizations that were seeing text flow over their button's bounds. Highlight shader will now properly render behind objects in the scene. Added notifications on skill level up that lets users know that skill points may be saved for subsequent levels. Spell bars now clear out correctly when users switch party members with hotkeys. Fixed a bug where the second line of an object could get covered by newly gained objectives. Fixed a UI issue where icons on an expanded spell bar could show blue or gold glows behind them. Added notification when a player attempts to target a spell or attack when Paralyzed or Stunned. Reordered spells and abilities on the character sheet UI. This was a fix to abilities being displayed under the spells category. Fixed a bug where placeholder icons might appear in combat tooltips. Suppressed effects on the party portrait icons now show their effects with a "suppressed" qualifier on tooltip. Added a "per X sec" clause to beam spell descriptions to indicate how often they hit. Transition icons will now revert to their non-glowing state if you attempt to transition, but click away before completing the transition. Stronghold upgrade "purchase" buttons are now greyed out when another upgrade is already in progress. Fixed issue where the Ability Bar sub menu could get locked into not disappearing if a hot key bar was ever shown. General Fixes Fixed a crash that some people were experiencing on startup. This had to do with Unity attempting to load a corrupted font. Fixed slowdowns that could be caused by certain network adaptors or programs like Hamachi. Fixed a problem where interacting with the ability bar in certain ways could disable mouse input. Fixed an issue where SFX were not playing properly on containers. Fixed a bug where Deceptive disposition was gaining ranks too quickly. Wolves now have an ambient animation for knocked-down state. Fixed an issue where grimoires were getting corrupted when sending a wizard to the Stronghold. Fixed Commander Clyver's barkstrings to be hostile if the Keep is hostile. Retroactive fix for characters whose Endurance multiplier was broken in save games.
  12. 19 points
    Major New Features Companion AI - You may now set your companions to use AI. For those of you that do not want to micromanage your party, you may now choose to have the AI perform basic commands for you. You can activate and deactivate the AI control at any time, so you can still have ultimate party control when you need it. Each class has specialized AI packages and we will be adding more in the future. Improved Creature AI - Creatures and NPCs will now act more intelligently and make better use of their abilities and spells. Character Retraining - You may now retrain your character and modify their stats for a small fee. Individual Stealth - You may now place individual party members into scouting mode. If some of your party enters combat you will no longer have your entire party leave stealth. Range Indicators - There are now range indicators to let you know the casting range of spells and abilities. Now you will know if your wizard is going to move before he casts that Fireball. Accuracy Indicators - You are now shown the chance to hit on all attacks, abilities, and spells by mousing-over a potential target. Fixed Issues Areas Fixed issue where Calisca was not being teleported after resting in the Ruin Interior. Put in new checks to make sure Raedric wouldn't automatically go hostile if you happened to attack his bodyguards right as the quest dialogue triggered. Fixed contradiction in Kestorik's dialogue in level 12 of Od Nua. Fixed a problem where Incantha could become permanently hostile causing a progression break. Attributes, Abilities, Spells, and Skills Changed Perception bonus from Deflection to Accuracy. Fixed crash that could happen if a Wizard had the Blast ability and targeting many targets. Increased Constitution bonus to Endurance and Health from 3% to 5%. Changed lockpicking so that it now uses three lockpicks if the lock is above your level, one lockpick if the lock is equal to your level, and no lockpicks if the lock is below your level. Antipathetic Field no longer originates from the caster's feet. Amplified Wave VFX have been toned down to be less distracting. Audio Polished many sound effects around the game. Fixed weapon ineffective voice over that was playing at incorrect times. Fixed a problem where pausing the game could cause VO and/or barkstrings to finish early. Gameplay Fixed a problem where friendly auras could grow in size after a save and load. Fixed an issue where chant effects were considered item effects for stacking purposes. This was causing incorrect bonus calculation. Suppressed "Target Destroyed" autopausing if target was the last target in the combat. This will prevent automatic pauses at the end of combat. Figurines now have summon durations. Chanter invocations now have durations. Speed item mod now works correctly. Improved resting bonuses from the Stronghold. Noble's Rest Intelligence bonus lowered to +2. Scroll of Missile Barrage to be combat only. Fixed a problem where stealing part of a stack wasn't registered as stealing. Stealing now only loses reputation once per container. We now have immunities in the game. Some creatures have been updated to make use of them. I'm looking at you blights and dragons... Changed amount of Health that are healed with Wound Binding and Field Triage. Looting equipment off of enemies unequips it from their dead body. Autosave system now uses 3 rolling autosaves instead of one. Improved quality of font text when the game is at a higher resolution than 1920x1200. Vanity pets no longer trigger the bonus from Mob Justice. Korean The Korean font was changed to something more legible. OSX Fixed issue where switching resolutions in windowed mode on the Mac was not working properly. Attempted fix for Mac where game crashes on saves at times. UI Fixed issue where spells with summons could display incorrect info at times. Fixed issue where sorting depth of some UI elements were being changed over time. This was causing some UI screens (like tooltips) to render under active UI screens. Changed formatting of item mods to remove the item mod title and only list the effect. This was to clean up the UI. Added range indicators for Wizard's Blast. Added range indicators for Paladin auras. Added range indicators for Barbarian's Carnage. Fixed a problem where the spell casting cursor didn't refesh its image at times. Fixed issue where inspecting ingredients when crafting could show improper descriptions and icons. Fixed issue where Party Formation UI could overlap with Looting UI. Level up screen background has been updated. Resting bonuses from inns now display the length of time they are active. Moved Skills before Active Effects in character sheet. Stopped scroll position from reseting when changing characters in the character sheet. Made options in the language dropdown always use their native font instead of the font for the current language. Fixed an issue where it was possible to mess up spell selection in Character Creation by moving between stages. Fixed issue where secondary AoE effects were not properly displaying qualifiers. For example, Holy Radiance's Burn AoE only affects vessels, but the description made it appear as if it damaged all enemies. Fixed UI issue where all chants were being labeled "A" after a save and load. Fixed issue where chants could get moved out of order after loading a saved game. Examinable descriptions will no longer disappear while the game is paused Fixed checkbox and numeric widgets on message boxes sometimes showing for a frame Fixed problems where sometimes UI wouldn't differentiate between auras and hazards in descriptions. Fixed a problem where some long titles were being cut off in the UI. Fixed stuttering issues with scrolling text. Fixed an issue where status effects applied by enemy equipment wasn't being shown in the UI
  13. 14 points
    New Features New content for the Stronghold that has you, as lord or lady of Caed Nua, decide the fate of your vassals and send your companions on new and exciting adventures. There is also a new quest line that allows you to defend your claim to Caed Nua (will be released in 3.0 final). Knockout Injuries have been added as an option for those that want it. Injuries are added to characters that are knocked out in battle and are only removed by resting. Story Time mode has been added. This difficulty setting is for people that want to experience the Pillars of Eternity story without having to build a party of adventurers focused on combat. Athletics has been revamped so that it allows characters to cast Second Wind. A powerful healing ability. A higher Athletics skill increases the size of the heal. Survival now grants rest bonuses. A higher Survival skill will unlock more rest bonuses or increase the strength of existing bonuses. Many new creatures have been added to the Bestiary. The Action Bar has been reorganized so that it is easier for players to see their Per Encounter, Per Rest, and Watcher abilities. The end of the game (Act 3 and second half of Od Nua) has been revised to remove the number of "trash" encounters and increase their difficulty. A high level scaling option has been included for anyone that enters Act 3 at a high level. Survival: Damage Reduction bonuses have been halved (was +2/+4/+6, now +1/+2/+3). Heal Multipliers are now +20%, +40%, +60%. Athletics Athletics now heals a base of 20 + (Athletics*4) Endurance. At 1 Athletics, it will heal base 24. At 12 Athletics, it will heal base 68. Cipher: Ciphers have been rebalanced so that their powers cost 10 focus per level. E.G. 10 focus for 1st level power, 50 focus for 5th level power. Increased the base amount of Focus gain per point of damage dealt from 0.25 to 0.35. Whisper of Treason changed from long cast time to short cast time. Puppet Master changed from long cast time to an instant cast. Puppet Master base duration increased from 10s to 16s. Soul Shock radius increased from 1.25 to 1.75 (2.5m to 3.5m diameter). Tenuous Grasp Frightened base duration increased from 6s to 15s. Antipathic Field minimum damage increased from 10 to 13. Amplified Thrust damage increased from 30-40 to 40-55 Pierce. Mental Binding AoE Stuck duration increased from 4s to 6s. Mental Binding targeted Paralyzed duration to 8s base. Mind Blades base damage raised from 10-20 to 18-28. Each bounce reduces the damage range by 10% (still 5 bounces). Psychovampiric Shield Deflection bonus from 10 to 25. Soul Ignition from 17 Burn to 22 Burn damage per tick. Mind Lance projectile radius increased from 0.5m to 0.75m. Silent Scream AoE damage raised from 15-25 base to 28-40 base. Target damage raised to 35-50 base, Stunned duration 8s base. Disintegration from long to short cast, 5m range to 10m range. Disintegration Raw damage increased from 30 per tick to 40 per tick. Amplified Wave Prone duration to 8s base. Borrowed Instinct from 15s to 25s base duration. Detonate base damage from 30-50 Raw to 50-75 Raw. AoE base damage from 30-50 Crush to 45-60 Crush. Ringleader AoE Charmed duration from 8s base to 12s base. Tactical Meld base duration from 20s to 25s. Time Parasite from 5s base duration to 12s base duration. Companions Zahua gained +3 to con (now 17) so he has 75 attribute points like all other companions. Creatures Added correct audio bank to animal companion antelope so it should play proper SFX now. Dragons will now wait a minimum of three seconds at the start of combat before using a breath weapon. Immunity: Ground added to a large number of spirits, drakes, wurms. Immunity: Prone removed from dragons, replaced with Immunity: Unconscious and Resist: Prone (+20). Removed Prone immunity from spectres, shadows, shades, phantoms, cean gwla, and battery sirens. Gameplay Drugs have been rebalanced in the following ways: Blacsonn: +3 Perception, +25 Resist vs. Ground, -2 Dexterity, Crash: -3 Might, -2 Dex Carow Golan: +20% Focus Gain, +10 Deflection, +20 Reflex, -4 Intellect, Crash: -5 Might Goldrot Chew: +3 Might, +1 Movement, -2 Perception, Crash: -4 Dexterity Ripple Sponge: +10% Max Stamina, +25 Resist vs. Poison and Disease, - 4 Resolve, Crash: -1 Movement Snowcap: Confused Immunity, +40 Resist vs. Charmed, +20 Resist vs. Dominated, -5 Perception, Crash: -2 Constitution, -2 Intellect Svef: +15% Attack Speed, +0.5 Movement, -4 Resolve, Crash: -6 Resolve Whiteleaf: Frightened, Sickened Immunity, +25 Resist vs. Terrified, Weakened, -10% Attack Speed, Crash: -15% Max Stamina The following equipment mods have been tuned up: Preservation, Defiance, Fenwalker (resistance mods), Freedom, and Healing Bonus. Fixed an issue where you could cast "ally only" spells on party members before they joined your party. Animation for picking locks now plays whether or not your character uses lockpicks. Fixed an issue where talent-granted abilities were not being removed correctly on retraining. Put a retroactive fix for fighter made before Update 2.03 so they now properly receive a +5 buff to base Deflection. Fixed inflated Accuracy calculations when the player placed traps or cast certain spells. Fixed a problem where some status effect usages didn't take trigger adjustments into account. AI will now choose more appropriate actions if they are unable to move. Fixed redundant immunity listings on animated weapons. Added the "Ground" keyword and associated it with a whole bunch of spells and abilities that are ground-based: Tanglefoot, Web, Slicken, the various priest Seals, etc. Fixed a problem where some equipment would disappear after a shapeshift but still provide its bonuses. Spells and Abilities Suppress Affliction base duration reduced from 10s to 5s, AoE radius reduced from 2.5m to 1.75m. All Prayer Against _____ spells, scrolls, and abilities now grant immunity rather than resistance. All Prayer Against _____ spells now have a base 20s duration (was 30s) and radius increased from 2.5m to 3m. Constant Recovery, Rapid Recovery, and Veteran's Recovery now all heal more Endurance per tick and all scale with level. Ancient Memory now heals double the Endurance and scales with level but has a 45s duration. Beloved Spirits now also heals twice as much and scales with level. Removed an unnecessary restriction on stacking Weapon Type Specialization abilities. This should fix issues like Flick of the Wrist being suppressed by Prey on the Weak. Fixed some stacking inconsistencies with Cipher powers that caused some spell effects to suppress other valid effects. Holy Radiance now heals base 15 Endurance. The Sword and the Shepherd (Kind Wayfarer talent) now scales with level (+7 every 3). Shielding Touch deflection bonus increased from +8 to +12 (Shieldbearers of St. Elcga talent) Renamed Duty's Bond to Aegis of Loyalty and the talent now grants 15s of immunity to confused/charmed/dominated instead of a +20 defensive bonus for 20s. Sworn Enemy range dropped to 10m, set to 1/encounter instead of 3/rest. Added the paladin talent Wrath of Five Suns (modifies Sworn Enemy). It is only available to Pallegina. Flagellant's Path attack is now more likely to place the character between him and his destination instead of off to the side. Set the duration of Dichotomous Soul to base 15s. Fixed a few abilities (Like Crippling Guard) that improperly claimed to apply effects to Self. Faith and Conviction now scales for NPCs, +1 def and +2 to all other defenses at 5th, 10th, 15th level. Base Faith and Conviction bonuses reduced from +5 defenses, +10 to all other defenses to +4 def, +8 to all other defenses. Knock Down is now a full attack (was only a primary attack previously) meaning that dual-wielding characters will now perform two attacks. Play Dead should be be removed correctly when you retrain. Miasma of Dull-mindedness penalties reduced from -10 to -6 and duration from base 20s to 12s. Arkemyr's Wondrous Torment adds perception penalty. Penalty against subsequent targets increased and jump range increased from 5m to 8m. Arkemyr's Capricious Hex now has variable durations for each of its afflictions. Chanter skeleton summons set to 2nd level (were previously 1st). Reny Daret's Ghost duration from 20s base to 12s base. Clear Out base damage increased from 15-22 to 30-40. Into the Fray base damage increased to 22-30 and damage type switched from crush to pierce. Into the Fray base dazed duration increased from 5 to 12. Constant and Veteran's Recovery reduced from base 90s to base 45s duration. Miscellaneous Updated Watcher Vision VFX to reduce chances of blowout on a light background. Adding a melee attack for pigs Fixed a problem where game camera control could be renabled when moving from a conversation to a store directly. This should prevent zooming-in while scrolling in the store. Fletcher's Stay rest bonus from The Goose and Fox now removes correctly. Fixed issue where you could duplicate cloaks on corpses using quick loot. Fixing big head mode on Sky and Alpine dragons. UI Fixed a problem where immediate effects from characters with high Intelligence could show a duration in the short combat log. Fixed an issue where aggregated effects in the combat log could overlap if longer than the width of the combat log. Fixed grammatical errors in some ability and spell descriptions. (Master's Call, for example) Fixed issue where unarmed accuracy wasn't being shown properly in the accuracy breakdown. Fixed problem where players were not being notified when a guest hireling leaves the Stronghold. Keywords (such as Poison or Disease) have been added to ability tooltips and affliction descriptions that require them. Fixed problem where a stack of food would drop if you attempted to feed Devil of Caroc the food. The proper use case is that she cannot eat the food, but the stack should not be dropped. Bestiary percentage notifications in the combat log are always green now. Items can no longer be dropped on the paperdoll from the stash if it's forbidden. For example, you cannot drop food from the stash on a player's portrait. Spells and abilities that have bounces now properly communicate that information in their descriptions. Added an action icon on party portraits and an option for it (default on). Fixed world map button icon not depressing in the Area Map. Adra Beetles no longer render on the Area Map. Fixed problem where icons on a trapped container incorrectly displayed a looting icon. Added an ingredients filter to store UI. Fixed a bug where Stronghold log dates and times would show up incorrectly. Fixed a problem where Resolve was not calculating Deflection correctly due to a rounding error. Reformatted the action bar so that abilities are split up by usage. Fixed some issues with summoning spell description formatting. Expanding entries in stronghold UI lists now works when clicking anywhere instead of on the little arrow. When opening the stronghold UI, the report for the last completed adventure will automatically show. Changes to some Chanter Phrases so their effects will collapse properly in the UI. Stronghold adventures in UI can now expand if they have long descriptions. Ability descriptions will use a special line when different targets duplicate the same effect text. Debuffed and buffed values in ability descriptions now use different colors. Added "if successful" as a prefix to secondary attack effects in the inspect UI Changed Ctrl+Drag to deselect instead of add to selection. Arcane Veil piercing attacks are now identified in descriptions. You can now see the full breakdown of Defenses in the Character Sheet by mousing over them. Added damage threshold breakdowns to the Character Sheet and Inventory. Steam Keyboard should now be integrated for those that are playing the game with Steam controllers. Fixed some animal companion character sheet errors. Text in Character Sheet now formats correctly after changing text sizes. Weapon Specialization damage multipliers now work in the damage breakdown. Added immunities and resistances to character tooltips. Added level scaling information to the tooltips for scaled values. Fixed an issue where the Fighter's abilities could be listed as Barbarian in Character Creation. Item mods with effects that are complicated to display now have a name with a link to the mod in a new window. Immunities are now hidden in Expert mode. Fixed an issue where hidden loot stashes would sometimes highlight before they were discovered. Passive status effects with durations now show on the party bar.
  14. 14 points
    I started playing Wasteland 1 near the end of Kickstarter to get back into the Wasteland mindset. I'm still loving it just as much as I did back in high school. One thing I wanted to vent about concerning old-school RPGs like Eternal Dagger, Wizard
  15. 14 points
    Recently, I was asked about Wasteland, and the answer became complicated enough that I decided to respond to here. In short, I
  16. 12 points
    The Stone Giants are Coming! I have some exciting news! The Fortress of the Stone Giants is just weeks away. When we last left our heroes, having saved the sleepy coastal town of Sandpoint multiple times (from bandits, a dragon, goblins, zombies and ghouls), they briefly turned their attention to rescuing Turtleback Ferry and Fort Rannick from ogres and flooding. Now they've returned to the coast to find "Sandpoint Under Siege." The town is in the middle of an onslaught of Stone Giants along with the dragon, Longtooth, flying overhead (thanks to the animation prowess of Andre Nguyen). The card mechanics also simulate the destruction of Sandpoint. All of the locations in this scenario are unstable. Each turn a card is revealed from the top of a random open location. If it's a boon, it's destroyed by looting and burning. If it's a bane, it shuffles back into its deck to continue sowing chaos. For those of you that are Heroic and Legendary players, we've twisted some of the scenario powers to make them even harder. In the second scenario, "Jorgenfist," you may find that you will be fighting some of the same resilient giants again with this scenario power: "If you would defeat a monster that has the Giant trait, roll 1d6. On a 1, the monster is undefeated." In Heroic and Legendary difficulties, having a few giants in the mix wasn't enough! This is one of the largest collection of big bad guys Varisia has seen in eons! Therefore, everything in this scenario is a giant: "If you would defeat a monster that has the Giant trait, roll 1d6. On a 1, the monster is undefeated. All monsters gain the Giant trait. The difficulty to defeat banes with the Giant trait is increased by 4." From here on, you'll see more and more unique scenario setups in all levels of difficulty. Programmers George Wang and Kevin Smith are making them a reality and building them in such a way that I get to use them in Quest Mode for my own devilish plans in the future. As always, when you complete every scenario in an adventure on Legendary difficulty, you get a new card in your vault! In this case, you will find a boon straight out of the Thassilonian Library where you end Adventure Deck 4. The way forward is dangerous, bizarre, and mysterious. As such, you'll need a good book! Outsiders are starting to show up in Deck 4, but really start to come into their own in the later decks. Incidentally, this book is an original piece by Hannah Kennedy, who joined our team a few months ago. If you bought the Rise of the Runelords, you also will receive the Birdcruncher Crown promo card. This card is a great fashion statement AND is a fantastic way to get the most out of Burnt Offerings scenarios. One additional, but important note: We are always listening to your feedback. Since the phone release, we've received a fair amount of it! Our goal is to always make playing the game fun on any platform. To that end, we are fixing bugs and improving the phone interface. We are also adding the option to switch back to a tablet-style interface if you find that our phone UI is just not for you. Alright, back to work! Nathan Davis Game Director
  17. 12 points
    Here are the update notes for Update 3.03. General Enemies no longer gain increased shield Deflection and Reflex bonuses when you and save and load in a creature's area. Improved the performance of snow footprint VFX. Biography now correctly updates after collecting springberries. Characters no longer slide across the ground when commanded to move when getting up from prone. Spells and Abilities Chanter buffs and heals now affect the chanter. Combusting Wounds now correctly adds damage. Shadowing Beyond and the Strike abilities now correctly gain a bonus from Backstab. Druids can now use Second Wind and Outlander’s Frenzy when spiritshifted. Unbending now gives the correct amount of health. Areas Fixed an issue where NPCs would not turn hostile after some conversations. Ogres no longer become hostile after transitioning out and back in the Russetwood cave. Sul no longer attacks her own pride. Nesta now despawns if the Tax Evasion quest is resolved by returning to the town immediately. NPCs no longer become hostile when saving and loading in Noonfrost. Items Mourning Gloves no longer give permanent buffs. Spell Striking Weapons no longer proc twice on crits. Combusting Wounds granted by Spellholding now correctly rolls to hit. Executioner’s Hood Accuracy bonus now applies correctly in all situations. The item Snef’s Folly will no longer disappear after transitioning. Rogue Riposte: In addition to triggering on 20% of Misses, it should also trigger on 30% of Grazes. Escape: Using Escape should give the rogue a temporary (base 10s) boost to Deflection and Reflexes (+25). Adept Evasion: It should be changed to convert 75% of Reflex Grazes to Misses and 50% of Reflex Hits to Grazes. Fearsome Strike: Affliction durations increased to base 15s. Smoke Cloud: Increase the AoE radius by 33% and the Distracted duration by 50%. Withering Strike damage increased to +50%. Shadow Step can now be canceled early, and grants a 20% damage boost. Barbarian Barbaric Yell and Barbaric Shout should be set to zero recovery. Thick-Skinned: Increase bonuses to +3 (from +2). Heart of Fury: Switch to 1/Encounter. Echoing Shout: Switch to Foe-only. One Stands Alone now triggers when enemies are nearby, instead of only being triggers when the barbarian is engaged. One-Handed Style One-Handed Style: Change to the Graze to Hit conversion (30%) to a Hit to Crit conversion (15%). One-Handed Style: No longer works while using a shield.
  18. 12 points
    These are the update notes for Update 3.01. Major Fixes Fixed a problem where players were unable to loot containers in Ondra's Gift at night. Using Abydon's Hammer will now properly unequip offhand items. Fixed an issue to prevent the game hanging on completion of some Stronghold adventures. White March Specific Marunn's door in the Great Hall will no longer be sealed if the area, for any reason, resets its persistence data upon returning to it from lower levels of the battery. Various balance fixes to combats and skill checks in the Abbey of the Fallen Moon. Fixed white box effect appearing on tentacle emerge in Maneha's cutscene in Burden of Memory quest. Cleaned up the infiltration option into the Abbey of the Fallen Moon so it will feel less confusing. Fixed an issue where attacking Kaoto after peaceful dialogue, then sneaking into Halls of Silence unseen by any other guards, and then selecting a particular dialogue option if discovered by guards in Halls of Silence, will no longer cause the game to hang. Adjusted Maneha's stats down to 78. Previously they were at 81. Fixed an issue in the Ice Floes scripted interaction in Cayron's Scar so it will display the correct name when a Dexterity check is failed. Picking up Grey Sleeper while your character's inventory is full will no longer delete your character's previously equipped weapon. Fixed issue with a guard in Cragholdt Bluffs that barks "You had your chance" after every dialogue ending. Fixed issues with Mowrghek Ien where combats could be started with enemies that the player could not reach. Updated Kraken Poison Cloud to use correct icon/name. Fixed problem where the fort gate may not open during an Eyeless attack. Ending interstitial now plays proper VO. Spells and Abilities Lowered Reaping Knives focus gain to 30% so that it'll be the correct amount after Soul. Updated Healing Chain so its no longer a Spell Chance and now it correct functions as a Spellbind. Fixed Triumph of the Crusaders so it is now working correctly. Characters now gain Second Wind correctly. Fixed a problem where characters were getting Second Wind twice. Fixed Distant Advantage accuracy bonus applying as a penalty. Updated Hope Eternal so that it now works correctly. Items Infinite-duration status effects from missing equipment will be removed on load. Added the Outmanuvering Name to the 2nd unlock for Steadfast for certain classes. Steadfast now has the correct unlock for Druids. Gyrd Haewanes Stenes will now present a pop-up UI on its final level up. Gameplay Updated new traps so they're using the correct icons and names. Also updated the the Part I Killing Bolt Trap and Storm of Fire Trap. Fixed some resting options in dialogues that were not working correctly. Option to buy veteran troops for the battle of Yenwood will no longer only display once. It will stay available until purchased. Fixed issue with traps not being marked as "Detected" soon enough. This was causing high Mechanics party members to detect friendly "traps" from some spells. UI Fixed area maps so the fog of war correctly covers the entire map in some areas that were having problems. Added the sketch to Abydon's Hammer. Hooked up new icons for various Eyeless abilities. Fixing some bestiary bugs. Eyeless Stonepiercers using the wrong names and Snow Bears not counting to the right Bestiary entry. Snow Bear added into the bestiary. Fixed grimoire learn buttons not showing the first time a grimoire was opened. Form of the Delemgan should have redundant entries in the UI removed. Better UI formatting for abilities that reduce affliction durations.
  19. 12 points
    Updated on March 30, 2015 Hi everyone, one question we get sometimes is, "Where do I select Steam or GoG for my digital downloads?" Now that the game has shipped, you can redeem your digital rewards on the Products tab of your Account Profile. Example items that will be here include the digital novella, almanac, soundtrack, and perhaps most importantly, your game keys. For each digital download you have as part of your tier or addons, you'll be able to choose which platform you want for each one.So let's say you pledged for the Slacker Backer tier, and then added an additional digital download addon later. After the game launches, you'll have two available keys listed on the Downloads tab, and you'll be able to choose which platform you want to redeem on for each key. After you've selected the platform, your key will be there for you to retrieve again at any time in the future too. Thanks! Darren
  20. 11 points
    From Adam Brennecke: This patch fixes many minor issues that came up before and after launch of The White March - Part I. We have also done optimizations to save/loads and area transitions performance. Please provide feedback if you notice a difference. As always, there are many more fixes than listed. Major Fixes Party members will now default to AI: On and Instruction Set: None. Many optimizations to save/load and area transitions performance. Some users are reporting a 20% decrease in load times. Blurry text in UI has been fixed. Problems with the stash not properly containing items that have been looted is now fixed. Abilities Dragon Leap should now break engagement properly. Coordinated Positioning range increased from 2m to 2.5m. Fixed stacking issue with Weapon Specialization and Weapon Mastery and both can now be applied to the same attack. Based on player's feedback we made tweaks to improve AI packages for Monks, Druids, and Ciphers. Instruction sets for Druids, Wizards, and Priests will now use lower level spells at higher frequencies. Ciphers will not use Whispers of Treason on single enemies. Many small fixes to spell and ability tooltips and descriptions. Items Stormcaller's 1st requirement lowered to 250 shock damage. 2nd requirement lowered to 5 druids defeated. Greenstone Staff 1st requirement lowered to 125 damage vs. beetles. 2nd requirement lowered to 5 blights defeated. St. Ydwen's 1st requirement lowered to 200 damage vs. spirits. 2nd requirement lowered to 10 vessels defeated. Item mod Draining will be restored properly after a save/load. Added the White Forge crafting icon. Quests A Lovely Drop quest is not failed if Haeferic dies after the party obtains the antidote ingredients. Haeferic now reacts properly after imprisoning Ailef. Lurgold is properly removed from the Fishery after the fight with Grynde during the day. The dexterity check in the conversation with Sweynur will only show up if the player has a blade. Miscellaneous Notes Added missing ambient audio to Durgan's Battery dungeon. Updated many creatures' bestiary entries with correct abilities. Ogre Battery Cannoneers now use Rogue abilities instead of Ranger abilities. Added Concelhaut's Draining Missiles to Ironclapsed Grimoire. Druid-Wolf Suldrun now scales for high level content mode. Fixed issue with Fog of War behaving incorrectly in some scenes (Aufra's house) if a player used an older save game. Several improvements and tweaks to area background art, including Cragholdt. Solo Achievement is disabled correctly if Zahua or The Devil of Caroc is added to the party. Fixed Kana's conversation when he is in the White March areas.
  21. 9 points
    As always, there are many more fixes than listed. Major Fixes GOG Galaxy achievements now work. A party member using a movement speed modifying item now should walk at the same speed as the rest of the party outside of combat. Added more optimizations for save and load. Fixed an issue where some players were not able to talk to the Steward of Caed Nua to start The White March quest lines. Fixed issues with Respec not working correctly with some edge case abilities and talents. Fixed some problems that were being reported with self-targeting abilities (Like Frenzy). Fixed problems with chanters not being able to set their chants properly after they have retrained. Abilities All Summoned weapons are now considered universal weapon type. Fixed a number of issues with Nature's Bounty. Items Soulbound weapons are properly unbound when the bound soul dies. Fixed issue where weapon switching recovery could go negative. Shadowflame from Ninguath's Grimiore is now 4th level. Removed enchantment cost of the Cumbersome item mod. Lowered the enchantment cost for Spellstriking Confuse and Spellstriking Thrust of Tattered Veil. Quests Small Balance changes to the Alpine and Sky Dragon attacks. Fixed a number of issues with the Devil of Caroc's reactivity in the soul awakening quest. The Hunter's Favor should properly resolve if Thyrsc and Suldrun are killed before completion. Stronghold attacks can now happen if the player level is over 13. Caroc and Zahua now have a place in the stronghold. Alpine Dragon is now set to never gib. Vamrel's conversation will only fire once now. Miscellaneous Notes Quick items on the ability bar are now sorted by slot. Afflictions display like other status effects on the party bar. Fix a number of hotkey binding issues and bugs. Accuracy for Bestiary entries now account for stances and shields. Fixed a problem with Accuracy being reported incorrectly until the party enters combat.
  22. 9 points
    Obsidian gets applicants for internships all the time from schools across the States, and it may be that if you're forming a Kickstarter, you may need a lot of technical, production, and development help for tasks that students and juniors would love to do to contribute to their careers and education. If you're running a Kickstarter and would like to consider a pool of applicants to help you hit your game's mark, let us know - there may be interns/juniors in your area or could assist remotely with your tasks and help your game shine. If this is something you're interested in exploring, drop me a line at CAvellone@obsidian.net. If you're a junior or intern, this isn't a call to send a resume - only await more information. Hopefully, this "kickstarts" some job opportunities and gets folks started up the career ladder. Overall, the hope is Kickstarter may be able to provide more job opportunities to junior and intern students that may be problematic at larger studios. Chris
  23. 8 points
    Hey, everyone. Here are the 2.03 update notes. Known Issues Pumpkinhead mode has some problems if you use it on a non-human subraced Godlike. The pumpkin can be too high or too low for the head height. UI for soulbound weapons is overlapping on itself. Concelhaut's Crushing Doom can be overpowered when cast by the Visage of Concelhaut. Steam Controller Pillars of Eternity now has support for the Steam controller. The official controller settings are now set as the default. There is a suggested configuration that can be found on the templates that are accessed in Steam's big screen mode. New key bindings have been added to support additional actions needed for the Steam controller control schemes. Fighter Changes Base Deflection raised up by 5. Knockdown gets a 1.20 damage multiplier (no longer gets bonus Crush damage) Disciplined Barrage raised from +10 to +15 Accuracy Armored Grace has been scaled from -15% to -20% Armor Recovery Penalty Clear Out base Crush damage increased from 10-16 to 15-22. Scales every 3 levels after 7 by 15%. Into the Fray's damage scales every 3 levels after 5 by 15%. Major Fixes Fixed an issue that was causing certain quests to take experience instead of granting it. Fixed a problem with chanters not being able to set their chants properly after they have retrained. Fixed an issue where retraining was allowing characters to obtain unlimited skill points. Using store filters now only shows the appropriate items instead of graying out other items in the store panel. Fixed multiple issues with the stronghold and how it interacted with DLC content. Fixed an issue that caused the main character to lose his or her background shortly after character creation. Party/Companion AI Can now enable/disable AI on multiple non-pet characters at the same time. Fixed issues where AI would not automatically attack enemies. Fixed issues where AI would engage enemies that were hidden by fog of war. Fixed an issue where AI casters would cast per-rest abilities despite the option being turned off. Fixed an issue that caused AI controlled party members to attack other party members that were charmed or confused. Reviewed and updated what spells/abilities are cast in AI profiles for multiple classes. Monsters/Enemies/NPCs Multiple enemy types have been given immunities to certain afflictions. These enemy types have had their bestiary updated to reflect these immunities. Fixed multiple issues regarding NPC reactivity after completing certain quests Fixed multiple bugs regarding Enemies/NPCs detecting stealthed characters and how they react to stealthed characters that they detect. Rebalanced requirements for full bestiary unlocks for certain enemies that were not unlocking on easy difficulty. Added additional bestiary information for multiple enemy types. Abilities/Talents Minor Grimoire Imprint has had multiple fixes and now works as intended. Fixed an issue with the Ranger's Stalker's Link ability adding too much accuracy in some situations. Fixed an issue that caused certain buffs and abilities to persist after combat ended. St. Ydwen's Redeemer's Revive the Fallen ability now works correctly. Fixed an issue that allowed Chanters to choose an extra talent. Fixed an issue where the debuff "Bonded Grief" would not be removed after reviving animal companions. Quests Fixed an issue with The Siege of Cragholdt that kept the quest from progressing. Fixed an issue with the Grey Sleeper questline that would cause it fail after completing it. Fixed multiple issues with the "Sacrificial Bloodlines" quest. Fixed an issue that would break game progression after talking to Maerwald. Fixed an issue that didn't allow the player to complete the game after killing Thaos. Achievement Fixed an issue with the Herald of the Old Flame achievement being awarded prematurely. Fixed an issue that kept players from receiving White March Part 1 achievements. Items Fixed an issue that caused enchants to be removed when a character retrained. Fixed an issue that allowed Sentinel's Girdle to be equipped in a ring slot. Fixed enchantment issues with Badgradr's Barricade. Fixed an issue where the draining modification on weapons would disappear. Fixed an issue that caused Sabra Marie to be mis-categorized. Localization Fixed multiple issues with Korean text.
  24. 8 points
    At work, we have a lot of rules for how to write. These range from punctuation (single-spacing after terminal punctuation) to spelling ("all right" vs. "alright") to structural (where a "goodbye" response should be relative to a "start combat" response and where that should be relative to a "friendly" response). Every project has a document (or documents) on the specific guidelines for that project. In spite of all the details, there are certain high-level principles that tend to be common. Okay, maybe it's just in my mind, but here are principles that I believe are important for writing player-driven dialogue in choice-heavy RPGs. * Dialogue should inform and entertain players -- inform them about the world and quests, entertain them with interesting characters and prose. If you aren't informing or entertaining, think hard about what you're trying to accomplish. * Write an outline. Really. Just do it. You should have an idea of where you are going before you set out. If you don't know where you're going when you write your conversation, chances are the player is going to get lost at some point. * Always give at least two options. At a bare minimum, you should always have an option that says, "Let's talk about something else," that leads back to a node where you can say, "Goodbye." You may think that your dialogue is riveting and no one could possibly want to stop reading/hearing it, but believe me -- someone out there does. * Never give false options. Do not create multiple options that lead to the same result. It insults players' intelligence and does not reward them for the choices they make. * Don't put words in the player's mouth. With the exception of conditional replies (gender, skills, stats, etc.), phrase things in a straightforward manner that does not mix a request for information with an emotionally loaded bias ("I'd like to know what's going on here, jackass."). * Keep skills, stats, gender, and previous story resolutions in mind and reward the player's choices. If it doesn't feel like a reward, it isn't; it's just a false option with a tag in front of it. Note: entertainment value can be a valid reward. * The writing style and structure are the project's; the character belongs to you and the world. As long as the dialogue follows project standards and feels like it is grounded in the world, it is your challenge and responsibility to make the character enjoyable and distinct. All of these principles exist to support this basic idea: your audience is playing a game and they want to be rewarded for spending time involving themselves with conversation. If it is a chore, is non-reactive, is confusing, or is downright boring, it is the author's failing, not the player's.
  25. 7 points
    Rise of the Goblins We are proud to announce that we have new content coming to Pathfinder Adventures in the form of a new campaign, Rise of the Goblins. In our push to bring some quality of life features to Pathfinder Adventures AND release this for desktop it has been a severe content drought. When you have comments like, "Is this game even supported anymore?" and, "I wish the wait for new content was only as long as the wait from deck 3 to 4..." you know it has been too long. This campaign has some of the same events as Rise of the Runelords except that it is coming from the point of view of the dastardly goblins. It's right there in the name and longtime fans of the physical Pathfinder games will hopefully have the same passion for this version. We took a lot of inspiration from We Be Goblins for the first few scenarios. After that, we just wanted to mess with the Iconics! When playing through Rise of the Runelords players got familiar with the Iconic characters and the stories that would unfold as they went from the coastal town of Sandpoint all the way to the ruined city of Xin-Shalast. For Rise of the Goblins we are introducing two new characters to choose from, Ranzak (from Skull & Shackles) and Poog (from Goblin Burn! Deck). Both have new roles with unique powers that differentiate themselves from the Iconic Pathfinder characters. Since Rise of the Goblins is for goblins only and some players wish to have parties larger than two, we've included all (11) of the Iconic characters in goblin form and they all come with a new power. It should be noted that while Rise of the Goblins is only for those with the goblin trait (it wouldn't be right for the good guys to be doing these bad things anyway) the users can use the goblins in the existing Rise of the Runelords campaign. The first adventure deck for Rise of the Goblins contains five scenarios that starts in Sandpoint and because of the actions of the goblins it sets off the events that lead into the RotR's Attack on Sandpoint. The setting works out quite well in interweaving the stories between Iconics and the goblins because they are each other's antagonist. To help hit home the different side of the story we've made some additional changes to some of the cards that will be available in the goblin deck. Boons for the Iconics would be banes for the Goblins and allies would be enemies. Unlike the goblins themselves, these changed cards are not going to be fed back into the Rise of the Runelords box because it wouldn't make sense to have Ripnugget the Ally card be used again Ripnuggest the villain. Plus, we aren't playing around in the Mirror Mirror universe. Finally, we are also including a new set of goblin themed dice. These dice are our first asymmetrical dice created for Pathfinder Adventures and we hope they help pave the way for new unique shapes of dice in the future. Personally, I think we need more skulls but I could see some of other forms appear. We would have to have new code to deal with a d30 or a d100 that if you roll it too hard it just rolls off the virtual table. The Future The next content after our goblin deck is still being designed (and possibly named something else) but it is currently being called a Side Quest and is going to be character specific. Meaning you can do them with different sized parties but it requires the character of focus to be in the party. While this is subject to change, we plan on opening up with a series of five scenarios that explore some events that befall Valeros (he does have an interesting backstory) and culminate in unique rewards and a new character added to the roster. Who that character is has been currently narrowed down to one of two choices but they will be coming from the Fighter Class Deck and it isn't another version of Valeros, so that's your hint. Hmmm, maybe we'll open it up to a popularity vote or something in the future. No promises though! -- We did get some players interested in Pathfinder recently and when you do a key-word search on reviews one word comes up more than any other. "Complicated" probably followed by, "as F*&K" and you know, that is pretty accurate. To help ease some folks into our CasF game, Aarik went and generated a series of very well done videos narrated by DanDizz (Twitch streamer extraordinaire) that will help explain some of the basics of the game and then into more of the nuanced parts. We'll have links for them in-game soon but the first two of the series are available now. -- Things we really, really want, still. Some day. Maybe. Magic dice. What's that? Dunno, but I think it would be pretty cool if you had some dice that if they rolled a 1 you could burn a charge and reroll. Kind of like Pathfinder Mexicali. Larger Stash. We got a lot guff for even adding the stash, now we are getting "requests" to have a larger stash. We're looking into doing just that! "See how that works?" -Ash Williams, Housewares Cheers, -F
  26. 7 points
    Something that seems to frequently come up when discussing the design of a game system is whether or not some aspect of that system adheres to reality. Or, more precisely, whether the outcomes of that system accurately simulate the results that the person making the argument expects, based on their particular interpretation of reality. Generally, these arguments come from players, or from non-designers, or less experienced designers, and will take the form of, "But XXXX isn't realistic!" or "Realistically, YYYY should happen instead". And, frequently, experienced game designers will turn around and say "Who cares?" and merrily go on their way designing an "unrealistic" system. I wanted to give a quick explanation of why this is, explain what role I see realism as having in game design, and then provide a bit of a defense of "realism" as it relates to something I call the "responsibility of expectations" that is placed on any game design. First - game designers primarily ignore or devalue realism because their primary goal is rarely to construct an accurate simulation of a real world. At their core, game systems are sets of rules that encourage and discourage, or reward and punish, certain choices within the game versus others. In establishing both what choices players can take, as well as the rules effects of those choices, designers are generally attempting to create a system which a) avoids "dominance" b) provides opportunities for players to differentiate their strategies based on the decisions they take, and c) give players opportunities to make "good plays" in response to opponents (be they computer or human controlled). As a very basic example, take armor in Fallout: New Vegas. Wearing Light Armor has strengths (you move faster) and weaknesses (you absorb less damage). Wearing heavy armor has the opposite effects. Heavy armor does not dominate Light Armor, even though it performs better at its core functionality, because there are cases in which moving faster is more important than absorbing damage. For a more complex example, because the game uses subtractive DT, low DAM weapons are disproportionately affected by DT. So, for instance, if a creature has 5 DT, going from a 6 DAM weapon to a 7 DAM weapon doubles your damage (your actual damage goes from 1 to 2). Whereas, if that same creature had 0 DT, going from a 6 to a 7 DAM weapon is only a 1/6 increase. This is an example of how you can encourage the player to make "smart plays" - when fighting an enemy in light or no armor, you are encouraged to use your highest DPS weapon regardless of its DAM. Whereas, when fighting an enemy in heavy armor, you want to select a weapon with enough DAM to significantly overcome its DT while still having enough DPS to deal substantial damage over time. When combined with the other properties of weapons (range, rate of fire, spread, etc.) you end up with an interesting matrix of choices in which players are encouraged to find the optimal weapon for any given situation. No weapon is dominant, players can select from a group of weapons they like based on their own personal playstyle, and there are opportunities for players to maximize their effectiveness through smart play. These are the core goals of most game designs. Many games have other additional goals, and simulating reality is sometimes one of those goals. But when you evaluate a system from the perspective of someone trying to create as good a game as possible, these goals are paramount. The problem with realism is that, in reality, there are strongly dominant options. Catch 22's exist. I can't imagine ever wanting to bring a knife to a gunfight. If I was going to be venturing into the Mojave wasteland, you bet your ass I'd want to only wear the heaviest power armor I could find and only use the biggest gun I had... plus I wouldn't have an invisible backpack full of other weapons I get to choose to optimize my damage in other situations. So, often, the goals of realism and the goals of quality game design conflict, and in almost all cases realism is cast aside. That explains why realism is so often ignored. However, there are two cases where realism is important - first, in creating a sense of "verisimilitude", and second, in dealing with the responsibility of expectations. Verisimilitude is a term that, like "truthiness", I'll use to mean the extent to which something "feels realistic", even if it is not. For instance, again, I'll use eating, drinking and sleep deprivation, in F:NV's Hardcore Mode (if Hardcore mode is off, these features are not present). These may not actually realistically simulate the mechanics by which a person becomes starved, dehydrated or sleep deprived. The rates, and effects, are almost certainly not identical to what you'd encounter in real-life. However, the fact that I am thinking about food and water in the wasteland, and the fact that I am happy whenever I find a delicious, delicious fresh barrel cactus fruit, gives my journey through the wasteland a taste of reality. Not realism, but "truthiness", or vertisimilitude. Note that these aren't really mechanics that work as I described above. It is a strongly dominant option to have water, and to drink it when you get thirsty. It's not really a valid playstyle to be "the guy that never drinks water". But, in this case, it is a small enough part of the system and has enough of a positive effect on verisimilitude that it's worth having the system, IMO. Finally, when players approach a game, they come both with their own personal baggage/knowledge, and they form opinions on things in your game before they ever interact with the actual gameplay of those things. As two examples, I'll use Civilization and Power Armor. First - in Civilization, one of the most common complaints has been the situation where 1000 spearman defeats a tank. It seems ridiculous that something like that would even be possible. Yet, in the game rules, it is clearly an outcome that is possible, and tailoring the rules to avoid that outcome could have deleterious effects on the actual gameplay, in which case it may not be worth it. In fact, allowing lower-tech units beat higher-tech units helps avoid over-rewarding players that fast-tech and start off isolated - if tech was as dominating in Civ as it is in the real world, the game would not be much fun, even though it would be more realistic. However, players do come with that expectation, and that is something you have to deal with - so the ideal solution would be one in which the balance of the game isn't ruined but spearmen can't, in fact, beat tanks, because players come into the game with expectations and preconceived notions, and it's generally a bad idea to violate them (unless you're trying to make a point in violating them, which is maybe a bit too post-modern for a video game). Next, let's take the example of Power Armor in F3. None of us knows how Power Armor works in "reality". So, our preconceived notions aren't about the actual function of the armor, but instead the weight that it's given in the art and lore of the world. When, in the intro movie to F3, the camera trucks out to reveal the fully power-armored soldier, you can't help but think "Wow, that guy is a badass. I bet that armor is awesome!" If, in the game, you then found that armor, and it was barely better than leather armor, you would be disappointed because your expectations had been violated - the game art wrote a check that the mechanics couldn't cash - and that's a drawback even if the game works perfectly well as a game that way! This is something that Rob Pardo talked about at the last GDC - it's important that you respect the fantasy in your game and not violate it through the game mechanics.
  27. 7 points
    It's been a while - aside from Obsidian work, I've been doing quite a bit of talks here at Dragon*Con and across the sea in Spain at Gamelab on a variety of subjects, from advice to getting into the industry, to Kickstarter, and even our approach to designing characters for video games. Even better, I'll be doing the same coming up here in October at Austin GDC's narrative track concerning Obsidian's narrative approach - and going through our design process at the end of the month overseas concerning design as well (more on this as it happens). Still, it's nice to be home and back into the thick of things here. Speaking of which, for those of you who've come to visit the page, you may have noticed our countdown. Our countdown to what? It should become clear in 4 days or so -- stay vigilant.
  28. 6 points
    It's been quite some time since I've given an update on Pathfinder Adventures and for that, I am deeply sorry. In that time, the team has had some changes in both priorities and members. In the end, though, we have continued to work on making Pathfinder Adventures more accessible to existing users and to hopefully expose a new group of gamers to the world of Golarion and the iconic characters that travel within. Some of you might be saying, "Hey, why did we have to wait so long for a patch?" and, "Why didn't you update us more often?" We wanted to give the players the best PC experience with Pathfinder Adventures. To keep this from being considered just a mobile port was an enormous amount of work and required us to focus a majority of energy and attention for it to become a reality. It's not a super awesome answer but it is the truth. I think when I have burned my last bridge and finished writing my book (I was thinking of calling it Production: How The Sausage Is Made And Other Stuff And Things With Lots Of Capital Letters But No Commas) I will be able to explain the twists and turns the last few months have had. The one constant that remains is the dedication the team has for the project and making awesomeness. "Flounder, enough! We only want to know two things: What's in patch 1.2.6 and how did you get your cool name?" Let's get started! 1.2.6 - Features PC & Mac The interface has been PC-ified. This was no small feat. If we had released a straight port of the mobile version we would have been flambéed. The team added hotkeys, scrollbars, and scroll wheel support that folks will be able to pick up on GoG, Steam, and the Mac Store. The pricing for the PC/Mac versions will initially differ from the mobile versions because we don't use in-game purchases, rather there is the availability of DLC for some elements, but when you buy the base version of the game you get the entire Rise of the Runelords content. For reference, the base version of the game will have all the decks and cards that are in the original Rise of the Runelords bundle, plus all the Uncommon and Rare Treasure cards. Two DLC packages will be available; one with all the iconic Alts and some legendary dice and the other with the rare epic and legendary Treasure Cards and some legendary dice. The Obsidian Edition comes with the base version, the two DLC packages, three promo cards (two of which are Edér and Pallegina from Pillars of Eternity, yeah!), three legendary items, a bunch of runes/charms/gold, and a DLC pack that will be available in the near future. We plan on keeping future content parity between all platforms so that if there is something that is available on the PC, the Mac, and mobile users will have it at the same time. Account Merging All platforms can use a single PlayFab account which means that all content and progression can be shared between them. It used to be kind rough if a user spent a lot of time on one platform and when they got another they would have to start from scratch or contact support. It was doubly rough if they actually had a lot of content unlocked on each platform. We say, no more! One account, all platforms! Updated UI in Character Creation Menu We also tackled some of the interfaces that we thought were problems including the Party Creation and Character Selection screen. These changes will be reflected in all platforms and be a more streamlined process that, while functional, wasn't making a very good impression on newer users and tolerated by current players. Stash In our faithfulness to the original card game we had the exact same valid deck check in the digital version. To expand the content in the digital version we added Treasure Cards (these can be ignored in Story Mode for those that want the exact same card game experience) but unlike most card games, when you open a Treasure Chest you don't actually get a copy of that Treasure Card for immediate use instead you just get the chance to find it in your adventures. It's kind of a hard concept to grasp unless you are familiar with the system and we have gotten a ton of feedback from the player who weren't. This addition will hopefully make it more gratifying when opening treasure chests and allow some players to hold on to some of those more specialized cards. Aside from copies of the Treasures Cards going into the ether to be found a copy is sent to the Stash for immediate use. This also helps alleviate the need for Mule characters that are solely created to store some of the less desirable cards for their current game progression. Plus, it is a bit more intuitive for the digital-verse. The Stash is set at 10 slots right now and includes an Unclaimed tab. All cards in Unclaimed cannot be used by any characters until they are officially moved to the Stash. You can open up a hundred chests and all the new cards will be waiting to be moved into the Stash. If you happen to go over your Stash limit you will then meet a happy vendor who will readily give you gold for your unwanted cards. Charms and Runes Ever have that roll you really, really needed to win or your permadeath character bites it or you are a turn or two away from kicking Ghlorofaex to the curb? We might just have the charm you are looking for. Charms are one-time use consumables that have an immediate effect on your current action. They vary from adding a bonus to a check to adding turns to the Blessings deck. They have a gold cost associated with their power so a bonus d4 to a roll might only cost 50 gold but adding to the Blessings would run you 500 gold. Runes differ from Charms in that they have a time limit associated with them and they almost act like a pseudo scenario power. The Rune of Wealth would double your gold acquisition while the Rune of Shielding would reduce damage by one for four hours. These will all be available in the Store and during game play for in-game gold only but Runes have to be set up prior to entering the scenario. Tutorial Updated You might not think this is a feature as much as just another iteration but the tutorial was a requirement to play the game and a good three-quarters of the people who were forced to play it were never seen playing our game again. No kidding. This super-RAD version of the tutorial is cut up into five bite-sized scenarios that teach very specific elements of the game in a clear and concise way. You even get special rewards for completing all of them. We don't consider just being able to play the beginning scenario a reward. Also, now with 100% more skipping. Yes, that's right, if you don't want to play the tutorial or are already familiar with the game, we have a skip button that is just right for you. Other Stuff Community requested feature! Yeah, you see that? Your chance of winning the check. I've confidently failed some 97% chance of success rolls but now I don't confidently go into the roll with a 20% chance glaring at me. It's a minor feature but it honestly makes your decisions a little more clear and that one additional d4 that Lini can throw in there is actually a huge improvement. - Sorry, that just didn't happen like we planned. It was supposed to do two things for us: Remove quest mode and grant people their rewards for checking it out as well as offer some additional Goblin alts to use all that ph4t cash on. The Goblins are coming but we will include their availability when we do some content specifically for them. That announcement will be coming soon, I am sure. Bugs Lots and lots of them have been fixed. Like a multi-page post that isn't part of this blog type of amount. We seriously want to make the experience better for the players and invested a lot time to fix issues that were brought up. I want to thank everyone that was involved with the actual creation of the content I just wrote about as well as you, the reader, for taking the time to read about our upcoming release. Patch notes will be coming shortly. Those will likely be boring and not nearly as cool as this post or my name. Dev Q&A on Twitch! We also have a Dev Q&A tomorrow at 4PM PST on twitch.tv with yours truly! So don't miss it and post your questions here on the forums so we can can answer them on stream! Oh fiddly-dee, look at the time. Gotta go! -Flounder
  29. 6 points
    Hail and well met, It's been a little while since I have written an update and I wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of some upcoming global changes that are coming to Pathfinder Adventures. Valentine's Day: In time for Valentine's Day we have a few themed bundles coming up featuring Valeros and Harsk. Both characters have a new look, slightly alternate stats, come with a promo weapon, and chests. Are you #TeamValeros or #TeamHarsk? Team Valeros Team Harsk Originally we were going to have a system in where you could vote on which team was wearing it better. After a couple of weeks, the votes would be tallied and a special upgrade for the weapon would be available for the winning team. While it was a fun idea, we didn't like the thought of some people feeling left out. We might come back to that in the future but we just needed more time to properly implement and test. -- Quest Mode: Quite a few months ago we had to make a choice that would help create our content in more timely fashion. The time between Deck 3 and 4 was, believe it or not, over four months. Sure, we released the phone version in there but for our existing users it was an unacceptably long delay. Some of our most vocal fans felt betrayed and some even refused to play until we had something new. It was in these dark times that we put a stop on trying to maintain content for the Story Campaign and Quest mode simultaneously. It's now five months later and we still haven't thrown any new content at the feature and only fix issues where it would break the game or the story campaign. Until we can do the feature justice we are going to remove it from the game. Will it stay gone? Possibly. For all the folks that play Quest Mode for the next couple of weeks here is a list of the rewards that you will receive if you play prior to patch 125 Gold per level of the highest Quest Mode character. That's 5000 Gold for a level 40. 1000 Gold Bonus for a level 40. A new set of dice, " Pearlescent Dice of Service" The legendary card "Elemental Body" Chests, depending on what level your highest Quest Mode character is: Level 1 - 10 2 Chest [*]Level 11 - 20 4 Chests [*]Level 21 - 30 6 Chests [*]Level 31 - 39 8 Chests [*]Level 40 10 Chests We are in the works on leveraging as much content from Quest Mode as possible and potentially creating side stories that allows the player to use their campaign characters. To get your reward make sure to play Quest Mode at least once (even if you have a level 40) prior to the release of patch which is coming out late February/early March. -- Patch Goblins. And more goblins... Check them out. We'll have one for each iconic character out there and some "We Be Goblins!" content will be coming soon. Oh yeah... Had an iPhone and just picked up a new Android(or vice versa)? Through some sorcery we will allow the players to sync up their accounts, cross platform, on their own and without having to contact support@obsidian.net. This should also work with the upcoming release of the PC version of Pathfinder Adventures.
  30. 6 points
    I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this. I usually prefer that other team members make posts because they can go into details on long awaited features. Instead, you get me who gets to share a bit of how timing affects what releases and when. I am even sometimes right! On to it! We have Deck 6 coming out very soon. We are trying to make sure that it comes out prior to any holiday breaks and we have some additional cards and features we are trying to come out with it as well. For example, there will be some Store upgrades so that people can check out... Valeros! This WIP has a very armored alternate Valeros. One of eleven new Alts. We are working on assigning dice on that screen too because the current implementation isn't as intuitive as we would like. Some weekly and monthly challenges are incoming. The monthly's will have increasingly valuable staged rewards so that after you finish five you get a reward, then ten, fifteen, etc. Up until you hit the max, which we have at 25 right now. If you wanted to blaze through them all in a day or two, you can. You might ask, "Flounder, we don't care about that stuff. What about Thessalonion Sins and my missing roles?!" and I would say, "Thessalonion Sins can eat a bag of... chips." We are diligently working on the issues people are experiencing in 5-4. It has been a chain reaction of events internally that have been holding off a fix. We fix one problem and another appears because of the fix. We fix that then a completely different issue arises. As you know, there are a bunch of special cases in the card game that are a programmatic nightmare on our end but this is a high priority for us. We have the Roles thing fixed internally so that if there is no reward to select it skips that whole sequence. That will be out on the next release we put out publicly. In the future, we will be doing audits of characters for missing rewards so that this issue will not be able to happen. I am pretty sure that everyone noticed that the wait time from releasing decks 4 to 5 was much quicker than decks 3 to 4. We were trying to do too much at a time with what resources we had. The price we had to pay was strictly working on the deck/story content and hold off on Quest Mode content and Multiplayer. The Pathfinder Adventures team is ten people strong (we were at eleven but George decided Canada was where he wanted to be instead of sunny California. Best wishes to him!) and three of them are dedicated to Quality Assurance. Trying to split up the resources by even one or two persons causes a huge loss of traction on the features we are working on. Quest Mode is basically a whole new version of Pathfinder and it was killing QA because of all the new deck cards that were coming in. Any early adopters knows that Quest Mode had some really dark times and that was because we were trying to keep parity with Story Mode. Throw in a phone version of the game and it was a one way ticket to Bad Place Poopy Town. So, Quest Mode will be revisited after Deck 6 and potentially before PC release. It might be changed into more campaigns that are considered in-between decks and even some post Deck 6 stories leading up to a possible expansion, or we might invest some serious amount of time to make it as good as we want it to be, OR it could just go bye-bye (the option we dread the most). Its TBD but we wanted to at least address the issue. Multiplayer is in the same boat but is even more difficult than Quest Mode. We have that button poking us in the ribs every time we launch the game. "Coming Soon" is not really soon enough and we are going to remove that button until we decide if we can do the feature real justice. There was a short-lived (and not very funny) joke that we should fade out the button by 25% for every deck we released that didn't have multiplayer. I'm glad we didn't. "Gee Flounder, you suck and are full of bad news!" "Back off or the banana gets it!" Am not! I am on a team full of very talented people and am continually impressed at the amount of work that has been done on the game. We are going to deliver more content and platforms and hopefully make you all pleased to have played another Obsidian game. We've had some rough patches (literally) but please know that the Pathfinder Adventures team is focused on making the best game possible for you, our fans, our friends. Thanks, -F P.S This was a placement setup picture for a Deck 4 pre-release post with hidden messages and everything. P.P.S. Would an Alt Goblin character named "Banana" or something satisfy your bundle needs?
  31. 5 points
    Pillars of Eternity stores its save games in the following locations: Windows %USERPROFILE%\Saved Games\Pillars of Eternity %USERPROFILE% usually is something like C:\Users\your-name-here OS X For Steam, GOG, and DRM-free backer disc versions: ~/Library/Application Support/Pillars of Eternity/Saved Games If you bought Pillars of Eternity from the Apple App Store, your save game directory is located here: ~/Library/Containers/com.mpdigital.pillarsofeternity/Data/Library/Application Support/Pillars of Eternity/Saved Games Linux $XDG_DATA_HOME/PillarsOfEternity/SavedGames If $XDG_DATA_HOME is not defined, it's stored in ~/.local/share There is one other folder that you may find in your temporary locations where we build and maintain the current game state, but this is not intended to be shared / used if you go to play on another machine. For the Backer Beta, save games were stored in non-standard locations, such as roaming or temp folder locations. Those were changed for the final game release.
  32. 5 points
    Hail and well met! A few months ago we set up a few options for additional content for Pathfinder Adventures that would leverage more of the Rise of the Runelords campaign. We had a few choices available. It could have been another "Tale" to follow up what we were doing with Valeros (I believe the unofficial poll had Ezren in the lead to be the next adventure), a side quest hub (really popular idea internally especially since I suggested it), and a follow up Goblin Deck to Burn Everythings! The team actually put in the infrastructure for the side quests which would have supported 25-30 one-shot missions that would have been a great retention feature BUT that opened up a new can of worms. Some examples of things that needed to be properly fleshed out were about leveling up, randomly assigning rewards, skill ups, creating those rewards, etc. The list got long but it was filled with a bunch of cool ideas. Having just released A Fighter's Tale: Valeros we were hyped about how many more of the backgrounds we could flesh out for the Iconics with more Tales and at the same time add additional characters to be used in Rise of the Runelords. Before we started production, we looked back and saw this entire other campaign from a few months before that we put a lot of work into making its own thing. Doing two newer things didn't make sense when we could add content to a framework that was due for more. Goblin Deck 2 was decided upon and we figured that future production would be something like Gob Deck 2 > Hub > Tale 2 > Gob Deck 3 > More Hub > Tale 3... and so forth until the Goblin campaign got wrapped up and we ran out of Iconic characters. You'll also be able to find the update notes here Here are some screenshots from Rise of the Goblins Deck 2! You may have noticed I didn't mention another box set like Skull & Shackles, Wrath of the Righteous, or Mummy's Mask. Rise of the Runelords pretty much handles only content created for it and if we tried to implement Ships, higher power levels, or even curses, it would very likely bring the whole thing down. Not to mention RotR is getting to be a pretty large game that is taking up more and more memory. Adding 20-30 cards per deck is a small increment compared to adding a thousand more cards from a new boxed set. It would have had to be a sequel with all the different ways that we currently present things and going through our wish list while making a solid foundation would have taken a better part of a year. Other features we wanted to expand on was a better use for gold which included more gold exclusive boons as well as a Stash size increases but we also had a metric ton of bugs that we had to fix. I definitely owe the awesome fan-base and folks familiar with Pathfinder Adventures for helping to explain how things work and how to deal with known issues. So, a big "Thank you!" from the team. However, I don't want to just talk about all the things we were working on. I think it is only fair to share what we are working on next and the answer is a very vague, "We don't know." There were plans in place to potentially even work on a Switch version that would be standalone and not require any interaction with PlayFab. It would have basically been a straight port of all of Rise of the Runelords without any of the special content we created, then we could have done DLC packs (or whatever) with the additional treasure cards and scenarios. Imagine seeing Seelah in a Princess Peach skin. (/faints) *Note: This wasn't approved to be done by anyone, this is just me typing some crazy possibilities -F* Alas, we couldn't get the timing to work out so as not to clash with other Obsidian releases, and most of the Pathfinder team was farmed out to help with other projects while that was being determined. The danger of that is that often teams that get split up don't often reform back on their previous project because they have become essential to their current project. Luckily for Pathfinder, we kind of broke that tradition and got the band back together for Goblin Deck 2, but we still don't know what the future holds. There are still talks going on with the publisher as to what they want us to work on but nothing concrete at this time. Finally, if you guys had awesome customer support (besides just Aarik) it was because the actual Pathfinder team members were working to help you guys directly. We are still going to be working on some of the more serious issues directly but overall that will be transitioning to Asmodee. Take it easy on them, they know not what they asked for and aren't as familiar with PlayFab yet. Thanks again! We aren't gone yet. -Flounder (aka OES), MrBishop, and Rrodriguez By proxy: Andre, Hannah, and KSmith (and of course Nathan!)
  33. 5 points
    So a designer's job is to make jumping through hoops fun, and calibrating the challenge/frustration ratio of jumping through said hoops. This blog post stems from a question from the AMA Brian Fargo and I did on Reddit (long ago) concerning the issues with this in regards to one infamous piece of game design: time limits, and how two different games dealt with the challenge. From a gamemaster/game designer perspective, the idea of time limits is appealing. It creates pressure, and it creates an urgency for the player that's hard to beat. In Fallout 1, the skill system and the plot was built around the design that you only had a certain number of days to find the water chip for your vault and then defeat the mutant army or game over. If you don't recall that, then chances are you played it with the patch that removed that design element, as the mutant-hunting-your-Vault-down-time-limit was patched out of the game in 1.1 because of the outcry. So I love time limits. In Fallout 1, it was appropriate because: - It reinforced the urgency and pressure of saving your Vault. - It reinforced the brutal nature of the world you were in. - It made time-usage skills more risky for players to use. Sure, Doctor was helpful, but you had to be careful because it could consume a lot of time if used repeatedly. Players reacted negatively because: - The time limit was unforgiving. - It prevented them from exploring areas at their leisure, which undermined the non-linearity of the game -- suddenly you didn't want to go everywhere and explore everything, because the clock was ticking. - It couldn't be reset/extended beyond the time limit except in a few places in the game, and only a finite number of times. So the question becomes - if I, as a game designer, want to introduce the same level of time pressure and instill the player with a sense of urgency, what can I do? System Shock 2 had an elegant answer to this: It associated all the time limits with your inventory items. If you powered up an implant, it had X amount of time to function before you needed to recharge it. Here's the conditions: - It was forgiving. When the time limit ran out, you would be inconvenienced, not fail the game. - It could be reset. The player had some measure of control over resetting this time limit. - Yet, it STILL created a sense of urgency while exploring the environment - the loss of item functionality was enough of an inconvenience that it made you keep an eye out for recharge stations and keep an eye on the clock for when you needed to start heading back to get recharged. In any event, this was the answer promised on Reddit, and to @VipulManchala.
  34. 4 points
    Hello friends, I am hoping that the immediate reaction to seeing my name to a post isn't, "Oh crap, the Destroyer of Dreams is going to share some bad news." Far from it, actually! I bring great and wonderful news, along with happy tidings, and such. This blog means that I wasn't completely full of malarkey and that there is a Deck 6 release. I also kept my word that it would be before the holidays. Albeit, barely, but still before. For more infor on Deck 6, check out the patch notes here. While you might be enjoy the new Deck 6 content it isn't the only feature that version 1.1.6 will contain. I am here to share a cool feature that we refer to as "Alts." Alts are the alternate versions of the characters you have come to be familiar with. They aren't just a reskinning of the character; they have different stats, different powers, and different skills. They are basically a differently themed character. ValerooOOooooos! Lini so crazy! If you decide to purchase the Alt version of the character and don't own the original version you will be given the original as well. Also, if you have an original version of a character already in a party you will be able to swap them with the Alt version. This may change in the future to have the Alt to be considered a different character entirely (no you can't have a party with the original and alt version) but for release they are interchangeable. Here is some WIP art that Hannah whipped up (Ha!) for us. On that note, we are working on approvals to do more with Goblins and additional content beyond Deck 6. When we know more and can officially comment, we will let you know. Oh my! Enjoy the holidays! -F
  35. 4 points
    A number of users have reported they are seeing black screens when playing the game, usually when switching resolutions, or toggling between windowed mode and full screen. We've also had reports of similar behavior when trying to use external displays. We've looked into this issue extensively on our end, and we've found a reproducible case within the engine and have sent it off to the folks at Unity to investigate further. In the meantime as a workaround, you can generally press Command-F to get yourself into a state where you can save your game, quit, and restart. Pressing Command-F toggles between windowed mode and fullscreen (and back if you press it again). Pending fix in version: Unknown
  36. 4 points
    Last updated: May 4, 2015 Where are my physical rewards? Many of the rewards have been sent out already or are in the process of being sent out now, but we did encounter some delays getting goods over to Europe from America, partly due to issues with labor strikes on the west coast where we are, and damage that occurred to some of the parts on their way over from production. The final physical discs (delayed as stated in backer updates #89 and #90) are finished being manufactured! Discs sent to America should start going out this week, with European countries the following week. For those of you receiving physical versions, we've added an extra Hero key to your accounts so you can play now, which you can redeem via the Products tab of your Account Profile. For those of you with the non-collector’s edition tiers ($50, $65 and $100 tiers), the box is not being shipped until the disc duplication has been completed. If you ordered other items (depending on when you confirmed your pledge order), they should have already shipped or are shipping very soon. Before contacting Paradox or Obsidian, please verify that you have completed your pledge order. To do that, please visit the Orders tab of your Account Profile. If you do not see an order there marked as Completed, you'll need to complete your pledge order first by visiting the Backer Portal. Link your pledge(s) from Kickstarter or PayPal if it isn't already there, and then click the Select Reward button to start the process. I received damaged rewards or some of my rewards, and not all of them, even though the packing list said they should have. What do I do? If this happens, please contact Paradox Support through http://paradox.zendesk.com, and include your name, shipping address, order number, and e-mail address. Paradox is handling the physical distribution of all backer rewards and they will happily help get you any missing or damaged items. My tier was supposed to come with a postcard from the team – Where is it and how do I submit my address for it? We'll be sending those in the next few weeks. For those of you who had the $110 digital tier order and have not yet provided your physical address, we'll reach out to you via e-mail to get your address. Please stay tuned to this blog post for updates as well. Will I get tracking information once my physical goods ship? Yes, you'll receive an e-mail from swag@paradoxplaza.com with the title, "Your swag is on the way" including your order number. In it, it will confirm the items you're receiving, your shipping address, and a link to track your package. Please be sure to whitelist that e-mail address so it doesn't appear in a spam folder.
  37. 4 points
    Hi everyone, Some of you have had some problems either with Stripe or PayPal and have found that you have an open order sitting in your profile and aren't sure how to either try to pay for it again, or to just cancel it out right. We should have an update posted in the next day or so that will allow you to take care of that. It will refund any pledge credit that was associated with the open order so you can start over. Update: This is now in. If you have an open order you'd like to pay for or cancel, just head over to the Orders tab in your profile and Pay or Cancel away! For any already completed/paid orders, you'll still need to contact us to have those refunded.
  38. 3 points
    Well met, Adventurers! As we mentioned in an earlier post, pricing changes are coming to our store. Why did we decide to make these changes? Several reasons: first, and most importantly, we got feedback from our players (both directly through comments and through watching what is and is not actually being bought), about what items they wanted to see at what pricing. We listened to these comments and made changes we think make sense, while still making business sense for the product. Second, as you know, we recently added new content to the game and will be adding more in the future, and this new pricing system works better with the new content. It doesn’t make any sense to charge more for a bundle, for example, than it costs to purchase the items in that bundle individually. Hopefully, you will agree that the new pricing system is much more logical and equitable. Chests are now a bit easier to get with in-game gold, and just about everything else that had been purchasable with real-world money has been made cheaper, bundled together in a single-priced package, or both. For those of you who already own some or all of the content that has undergone a price change you will not lose your content. Nothing will change, you can keep right on smashing goblins and seeking treasure cards as you did. This change only affects future purchases. The full list of price changes is below. If you have any questions or feedback for us, please talk to us on our official forums. And now to take down the Runelords!
  39. 2 points
    Greetings, Ambassadors! Obsidian is pleased to announce that the Pathfinder Ambassador Program is up and running, and that qualified players of Pathfinder Adventures are eligible to join as of this moment! What is the Ambassador Program? For an in-depth discussion of the details of the Pathfinder Ambassador Program, you can visit this post. However, if you'd prefer to stay here, the short version is this: if you have spent $25 USD or more on the mobile version of Pathfinder Adventures, or you own the Rise of the Runelords bundle on either or both of those platforms, you will receive a free Obsidian Edition upgrade for Pathfinder Adventures on Steam! The Obsidian Edition is the ultimate version of Pathfinder Adventures, and contains all the treasure cards, character alts, and upcoming goblin alts, as well as a whole bunch of other rewards like legendary dice, a bunch of in-game gold, and the exclusive Obsidian cards: Eder and Pallegina from our upcoming RPG Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire that you can't get anywhere else! What if I didn't spend that much/don't own Rise of the Runelords? Even if you don’t qualify for the Pathfinder Ambassador Program, we still want to thank you for being a fan of Pathfinder Adventures. If you register on Obsidian.net, we'll give you a coupon for 10% off the game (and yes, it stacks with any ongoing sales!), as well as the exclusive Obsidian cards, and 1000 gold. That coupon is only good for a very limited time, so don't wait! Is GOG available for the Pathfinder Ambassador Program? Unfortunately, no. The GOG version of the game is still in development and will not be able to participate in the program at this time. How do I redeem my rewards? Now to the fun part! Follow the instructions below to create an Obsidian.net account (or sign in if you already have one), to redeem your rewards. 1. The first step is logging in to your Obsidian.net account , or creating a new account , if you don't have one. 2. Once you have signed into your Obsidian.net account, visit the Pathfinder Adventures Steam Promotion page . The Pathfinder Adventures Steam Promotion page will explain a little more about the Steam promotions and Pathfinder Ambassador Program. Please read the information carefully. 3. Press the “Continue to Account Verification” button to start the process of redeeming your rewards. 4. On the next page you will be prompted to verify your Steam account. 5. To verify your Steam account, press the “ SIGN IN THROUGH STEAM ” button. This will take you to Steam’s website so you can log in securely. 6. Enter in your Steam account’s credentials to link the Steam account to your Obsidian.net account. Linking this account allows Obsidian to unlock additional future content in Steam for Obsidian games. For example, there may be special content for Pathfinder Adventures owners in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire , you never know! 7. After you link your Steam account you will be prompted to enter in your Pathfinder ID (PFID). You can find this ID by pressing "Options" then "Settings" in Pathfinder Adventures on your mobile device. Once you have found your PFID, you will need to enter it in the textbox at the top of the page and press the “Submit” button. NOTE: You may skip this step, but if your PFID is not verified, you will not qualify for the Obsidian Edition upgrade DLC. To get the upgrade DLC you MUST enter in the PFID of the account that has spent $25 dollars or owns the Rise of the Runelords bundle. 8. After your account has been verified you will be given keys for your rewards. These rewards are redeemable through the Steam application. If you would like more information about redeeming your DLC and coupons, click on the “How do I activate a product on Steam?” link. 9. At this point, the process is complete and you can start redeeming your rewards on Steam. If you ever need to reference your keys again, you can visit (the "My Products" page on your Obsidian.net account). Just click on the Upgrade or Coupon entries to expand those sections and find your keys. Once again, Obsidian would like to thank you for supporting Pathfinder over the past year. Now to take down the Runelords!
  40. 2 points
    Hey, guess what! Deck 5 will be out very soon! That's right, Sins of the Saviors will be here! It's got a few crazy scenarios with new mechanics like Rimeskull with the Sihedron Circle Location. This is what the location text from the physical card game says: Build 7 “Stone Head” location decks using the deck list from this card plus 1 henchman. Characters may not move to the Sihedron Circle or encounter cards from its location deck until all Stone Head locations are closed. When you defeat a henchman, automatically close the location it came from, then each character at that location moves to an open Stone Head location. When all Stone Head locations are closed, all characters move to the Sihedron Circle. Unlike anything we've done so far! The good news is that you don't have to do any of that setup. I'm always trying to find the best thematic spots for locations on our scenario maps. This had a fairly direct representation in the pen and paper game. Check it! In the end you gotta face Arkrhyst in the middle with all hands on deck in an epic battle. No easy feat as the dragon hits everyone with a breath weapon before the combat even starts! This location background is one of my favorite Pathfinder art pieces. Another of my favorite scenarios features not one, not two, but THREE villains. Each one more vile than the last. If you plan to tackle these guys in Heroic or Legendary Difficulty, plan your attack carefully. Each time a villain is defeated, the others become wiser to your ways as the difficulty to defeat a villain is increased by 5 for each villain that has been defeated. And if you didn't corner a villain the first time, he'll be back and stronger than before! Speaking of the higher difficulties, some new wild cards have appeared across all adventures. Here's a taste... Fortified Position: An additional barrier is shuffled into each location. Close Quarters: Your hand size is decreased by 1. If you make it through Deck 5's Legendary difficulties, a fantastic new blessing gets added to your collection. The Blessing of Thassilonian Virtues asks you to forsake other gods, banishing another blessing in order to acquire it. Once you've bought into the seven "virtues" that ancient wizards used to grow in power, all spells become easy to find, you own any place you find yourself, and you can mock the gods of Galarion at your leisure. And for those of you with the bundle, life isn't complete without some armor made with the skill, precision, and love that only a goblin can give. This update also includes some brand new Treasure Cards! This includes two new flavors of blessing card. First, "Unity" blessings. These are similar to blessings you have seen before, but have the ability amplify their power if you played on the right check on another character at your location. Clever characters in a party with Unity cards will hold blessings for each other to use, rather than keeping only blessings that fit themselves. For characters that always want to be alone, they can find solice in "Prayer" blessings. These are blessings for characters that need to be self-sufficient, and value the power of blessing the they can cycle through their deck. And as a bonus, we figured that it's about time you had the chance to ally with an orc. A show of force will bring him to your side, and he'll bring a savage beating upon your enemies. You'll be happy he has your back when you are facing your third villain in a row. Many of you are champing at the bit to go beyond Tier 3 in Quest Mode, we are working on a number of improvements, and unfortunately don't have the Tier 4 scenarios ready yet. We were able to get a big revision to our leveling system. You'll no longer get Basic cards for gaining levels anymore and each class has a customized advancement track. Here's a look at Seoni's! Note that she is no longer getting Weapons, Armor or Divine Spells. Instead she's getting some custom things like an Attack Item, an Arcane Spell, and a Blessing of Pharasma! And last but not least, here's a sneak peek at something coming with the release of Deck 6. Leaving this here with no comment... Nathan Davis Game Director
  41. 2 points
    Hi folks, I would like to open up by saying thanks for all the support you have been lending to Pathfinder Adventures. We are hard at work creating new content, new features, and polishing existing features. Since the launch of the game on tablets it is has been like working on three games at once. The Past, the Present, and the Future. It has been a quite the learning experience for a team of this size, that is for certain. It's All in the Dice We have a patch coming up right around the corner and when you read our patch notes (soon, I swear!) you might notice something cool. Every person that updates to will get (6) sets of the Red Righteous dice. That's one for each character in the largest party available. We created some new interfaces so that you can assign a different die to each individual if you would like, which looks particularly cool if you have some folks in the party assisting your rolls. There are also rarities associated with the dice, much like the cards in treasure chests, so that an uber set of dice might have some lightning, fire, water, attached to it as well. If you happen to have the maximum number of sets for a particular dice skin, the game will automatically salvage that skin and give you 125 gold (25% of the cost of a single chest). How Rare is Rare, Really? While you are in the store you might notice that the card's rarity is better exposed so you know when you get that Legendary/Epic card... and you will hear the difference too. It's awesome. Additionally, the cards are weighted more towards where you are in the story. If you are only through Deck 1, you won't be getting a ton of cards you can't use in the immediate future. The support team noticed that on occasion a save game might have gotten corrupted and could cause a character in quest mode to disappear. That sucks, a lot. So one of the programmers (Keno) wanted to make sure that he focused on some tools that were unfinished and did two things that we have wanted to do for quite some time: 1) Save syncing both locally and on PlayFab. This has the side effect of being able to play a save on different devices as long as the login is identical. We still have to create an interface for it, but this is just one step away from playing the same game on both Android and iOS devices. 2) A Character Creation Editor. If you should not be able to recover your character for some reason we can rebuild it however you like. This will have the side effect of allowing for character respecs. But What About Deck 4? You might be saying, "Why oh, why are you talking about this stuff, Obsidian. We want more content!" Agreed. It's been too damn long since we have given you a new deck, so George and Ryan "Hot Rod" Rodriguez have been on that and getting it tested like crazy by QA. It is the next patch after and just a few more weeks away. Decks 5 and 6 are currently in development and shouldn't have the same kind of delayed release that we had from 3 to 4. Meanwhile, At Obsidian Headquarters... What else have we been working on? Hmm, Character Alts (different archetypes and artwork) and goblins. Some party buffs. Daily Challenges with Daily and Weekly Quests coming very soon. We'll let you know more about them when they are in a more approved state. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot... Thanks for reading! -Flounder
  42. 2 points
    There appears to be an issue on some machines where certain network adapters can contribute to the game running slowly, hitching a lot when doing common things like opening/closing inventory, and voice over playback not playing when it should. We're investigating this issue on our end, but some of the folks in the community suggested disabling any extra network adapters you may have, such as Hamachi, VMware, VirtualBox, or your corporate VPN adapters. To do this, visit the Network Connections control panel on your computer and try disabling one extra network connection at a time and try running the game to see if you still experience the issue. More information is available in this forum thread: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/71857-game-constant-freezes-and-voice-delay/page-6 Update, May 28, 2015: This item should be fixed in 1.06.
  43. 2 points
    Hi everyone! I wanted to introduce myself - my name is Darren Monahan and I'm one of the co-founders of Obsidian Entertainment, and lone wolf programmer of the Eternity site. I'm the man probably responsible for any issues you may have had (...of which I hope, are none, but if you did, I profusely apologize!) Over the next few months we'll be adding more stuff to the Backer Site, and I thought it might be helpful to have a casual place where we could let you know when we add something on the site or forums and have a place to talk about what's in our upcoming queue for additions, and to get feedback from you too. Well, hello, and thank you insanely for backing Pillars of Eternity!
  44. 2 points
    In the last profile, I ended up giving general advice on seeking out development jobs, here are additional suggestions for narrative designers: - If you have the time or resources, I'd recommend attending the Game Narrative/Writer's Track in Austin GDC, TX in October (I
  45. 2 points
    One of the most important attributes of a good designer is the ability to apply critical thinking to any aspect of a game. At a convention recently, a bunch of game developers kept repeating how important critical thinking was. An audience member asked, "Well, what is that really?" There's this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Thinking but that doesn't necessarily give anyone a good idea of how that is applied to game development. One thing we often ask applicants at Obsidian is what their favorite or least favorite games are and why. The "and why" is the most important part of the answer. Anyone can spit out a list of titles to show a wide range of tastes, but that doesn't give us any idea of what he or she found of value in those games. Understanding why -- really why -- you enjoy or dislike games helps you understand what other people may find appealing or distasteful in games. Lately, I have been trying to take this further. I believe that it is a sign of truly elegant design when you are able to observe a game and determine the goals of the designer of any given system -- and all systems together. Often, you are able to recognize these elements because the game's design leads the player how to figure out when the use of any given tool is appropriate. I think Pikmin is a good example of a game with elegant design. Practically speaking, the player only has three tools to work with: red, blue, and yellow Pikmin. Reds resist fire and are strong fighters. Blues can swim (and save other Pikmin from drowning). Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher than other Pikmin and (in the first game) can carry bombs. There are many cases in the game where the player is confronted with a field of hazards and it is up to him or her to determine how to best apply Pikmin to the situation. Often, there is only one "right" way to navigate to the goal, but the player does still have to figure it out. And because the solution can be deduced logically, players typically feel smart -- not dumb -- when they do so. Additionally, the game requires enough moment-to-moment skill in managing Pikmin that player talent is also very rewarding. Another (very harsh) example of elegant game design can be found in one of my favorite games: Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox. Though not every element of Ninja Gaiden is elegant, many aspects of the combat system are. Ninja Gaiden teaches you through experience that blocking is required in the game. On the first level of the game, the player essentially survives because of blocking. Excepting the boss, no enemy on the level will ever break Ryu out of block. Additionally, enemies attack with relatively low frequency. The player grows to understand that there is a pattern to enemy attacks, typically one, three, or four hits long. When the chain ends, the player can immediately respond (and respond easily, as block hit reactions turn Ryu to face the source of the attack) with his or her own attacks. This changes when encountering sorcerers on a subsequent level. The sorcerers' fireballs, which are telegraphed by a distinctive sound, will always knock Ryu out of his block if they hit him. The player learns to listen for the sound and instinctively roll at the right time to avoid the attack. Later, the player encounters groups of ninjas that attack with great speed and frequency but (at least in the core game) still do not grapple Ryu. Around the same time, Ryu finds a scroll that teaches the player about counter-attacking out of block hit reactions. The player eventually figures out that counter-attacking is by far the safest way to deal with such enemies. Similar "revelations" occur throughout the game with different weapons, types of attacks, etc. Think about the games you love and hate and try to figure out why -- then try to figure out what the designers were attempting to accomplish by making the game as they did. It can lead to some amazing discoveries.
  46. 1 point
    With respect to shipping address information, we would like to provide a way for you guys to update your shipping address at any time for as long as possible up to the launch of the game. Next month when we're back from the holiday break, I'll be working on adding this to your profile so that you can keep us up to date with your current address. We'll also announce in backer updates when we're starting to get close and when we'd need to have a locked shipping address. We're going to do our best to keep this available to you for as long as humanly possible - we definitely understand that folks move, leave college, etc. Stay tuned!
  47. 1 point
    With Dead Money coming out for the PC and PS3 this week, I got into a discussion about how I feel about its reception and some of the design decisions. In short, my feelings concern the context of the specific design elements. Some folks understand the "why" of the challenge elements even if they don't agree with them, which is fine, as long as they get why we did it the way we did - and that may not be apparent. So: If you play the adventure and want to dig deeper into the reasons behind the content and challenges, read on (although play first and form your own opinions). Slight spoilers apply (although most was in trailers and interviews already). Most of this is general enough that you may be able to read safely - a lot of this concerns the overall design decisions made in the DLC, it's more a general treatment than a series of details. First off, Dead Money is a short story in the Fallout universe, pulp fiction style: it's a dime-store comic book (issue one in a limited series), an adventure story, a casino heist with a post-holocaust spin. It's never intended to have the length of a regular product, and being able to do a "game short story" is something that was fun to work on... usually we work on multi-year products, so doing a one with limited scope in a short time frame was gratifying in many respects. How do you create a game-equivalent ($10 vs dime store) paperback adventure? How long should it be, how should you present it? As it says at the outset, Dead Money's a brutal, vicious adventure that puts the player in a bad situation, and it was designed to scare the hell out of Fallout players - although it didn't, in my opinion. The Survival and tension aspects ended up trumping that, which is fine, since survival's a subset of fear in my book. We didn't set out to make Dead Money a Survival experience - we set out to make a Horror game that put Survival second. In terms of horror, I don't feel we succeeded, although it was a conscious effort to try and shake things up a bit with the enemies you faced to scare the player, definitely. The enemies are not only tough (which is easy to do with numbers, so I don't feel that's a real challenge), but also intended to be unpredictable when they fall, so you couldn't always count on shooting an enemy until they fall as being a guarantee that you're safe. The original hope was that the enemies couldn't simply be headshotted continuously - this is a selfish reason, as I get tired of watching people play like that non-stop (it doesn't feel like they're experimenting with limb-targeting tactics, despite the array of weapons), although the non-headshotting tactical diversion didn't turn out that way (it's just as easy to decapitate a head as a limb with the right blasts). So why did we choose survival? Well, the question of Survival sums up questions I've had about Fallout as its timeline advances... the post-wasteland's gotten more civilized as the decades since the nuclear war have gone on, and when I was scripting Dead Money's layout, one thing that kept coming up was that I missed the desperate "Road Warrior" feeling when I hit the wastes. I miss being in a situation where I'm scrounging for every last bullet, water's precious, and I have to fight tooth and nail for any edge I can get. That goes double for the environment, I want it to be terrifying and be something you're constantly fighting against, Vault 34-style. I confess, there's been times I wish someone would drop more nuclear warheads on the Fallout world if only to bring parts of it back to its roots, so I wanted to create an area in the Wasteland that felt just as desperate as you'd expect a post-holocaust environment to be. So the Sierra Madre and its surrounding Villa were designed as a reminder that some sections of the wastes are still scary, hazardous places where few can tread and survive, and while NCR may tame parts of the Mojave, there are other parts they can never hope to settle and claim as their own, and that's just the way I want it. Regardless, we were shooting for a Horror experience with Dead Money. As for what we tried to do with Horror, to make the game scary, we tried to do two things - one, have enemies you couldn't headshot and required a different approach (holograms, toxic cloud), and worse, they could headshot you if you weren't careful (bomb collars + radios). My experience with most horror games is that the enemies become scarier when you can't kill the adversaries (which most role-players will try and do if the enemy has any number of hit points or any measurable way to hurt them, no matter how small). So what am I happy about, even if the final result ended up veering from the intention, is watching YouTube playthrough videos where folks (1) start panicking when they hear beeping (exactly the experience we wanted), and (2) seeing players take a step back, figure out the puzzle, and then study the environment to solve it (again, what we wanted). As for Horror: Things get scarier and tense when you can't escape, no one's coming to help you, and your resources are limited, and Dead Money was built around this. Watching the YouTube playthrough footage where players started re-appreciating chems and Stimpaks made me happy - these things are miracles of medicine, and they should be viewed as such and appreciated for that in the world of Fallout. One issue I've always had with Fallout is it's really easy to amass a lot of chems and stims, so much so you lose the sense of wonder and relief when you get these items, and I feel situations like in Dead Money can give you a new appreciation for food, crafting (we put a higher priority on crafting and supplies to make crafting worth more in the DLC), unconventional water sources, and the joy at finding an otherwise common chem in the Mojave takes on a new level of preciousness when you're in hostile territory. One YouTube video showed someone finding Buffout - and to hear them say, "thank god" and hear genuine appreciation for finding something so rare is exactly the kind of value I want people to attach to these items... usually people seem to care less when they find Buffout, but it all depends on the environment context. I want players to attach value to them again rather than, "oh, more Buffout." It's BUFFOUT. It's a STIMPAK. Your character should be OVERJOYED to find these things, each and every time. We also wanted to maximize the real estate. We couldn't build a whole other world for a DLC, so we paid more attention to what we put in it and increased the gameplay density. We did a serious, quantified exploration and loot pass, included challenges that required paying attention to your surroundings (hazards above and below, hidden cache markers to encourage targeted exploration and navigation, second story adventure areas, and even putting crafting items on walls) - artists spend a lot of time fleshing out rooms and environments, and we wanted to include challenges and rewards for folks who carefully hunted through the environment - and were rewarded for their efforts. In short, make them pay attention to their surroundings. Dead Money's story: Narratives in games should be entertaining first, and also have a theme when possible. I wanted to make sure that despite the Survival elements and the adventure story elements, there's still something larger being told beneath the DLC's surface for people who care to delve into it. There's a thematic spine that we built the characters and the Sierra Madre which most folks appreciated, and our lead level designer put the finishing touch on (thanks, Charlie, that was brilliant). I feel when your adversary sums up his frustration with the human condition, and you get to see the results of what the bomb collars do to four (five?) individuals who would normally butcher/devour/assassinate/con each other, that's the point... but it's reflected in the design as well, notably their Perks. The idea was always intended that if you talk to them and study their abilities, you see how they can help you survive much easier as long as you cooperate and choose the right companion for the right time... a level of cooperation that would be impossible if your lives weren't wired to each other. And when Elijah snarls about that exact issue, I wanted players to realize that as much as they may hate him, he's got a point... in this situation. There's a few other things I'm happy with and always wanted to do, and I'm glad DLC allows for experimentation with this. Having an opening narration movie per location is something I've wanted ever since running Van Buren pen and paper games at Black Isle (and thanks to Bethesda for being on board with that), reactive end slides per DLC, having a "join the bad guy Fallout 1 style end movie" (which I missed ever since joining the Master's Army in Fallout 1, so we put it in DLC1 to allow the player to join Elijah), and being able to hook into some of the backstories in previous Fallouts as well as Mojave hooks (Veronica's relationship with her mentor, who Dean Domino really was, and Dog/God's ties back to the origins of the Nightkin and how some folks have exploited that in the present). A few last minor things that make me happy that doing a DLC gave a chance to experiment with - I got to finally try to write a Torment "they communicate everything via text" character for a modern-day role-playing game with Christine to see how that would be received (mixed reaction, some people thought we were lazy or cheap, and they're partly right, even if that wasn't the intention - voice acting is expensive, and if we can get more story with less voiced words, I'm fine with that). Wouldn't have gone over so well in a larger game, I suspect, so glad the DLC allowed for it. So while I have mixed feelings about the DLC, I'm pretty happy with it, and I like the fact the way DLCs are structured allows for some degree of experimentation. And the price of admission and the amount of gameplay Dead Money provides (including explorers, there's a lot to find even in supposedly confined world spaces), I'm more than happy with it in the end, as difficult as it can be at times for even veteran players. I always figured if folks had played F3 and FNV for 100+ or more hours total, they may be ready for the stakes to be raised. I also like the fact that the DLCs can have continuity, they don't need to exist in isolation. If I had to picture the DLC series, it would be it's a limited series in the Fallout universe, spiraling to its final conclusion that brings everything back to the start, so Dead Money sets a nice pattern for future FNV DLCs, especially layout and narrative-wise, which folks have picked up on - and many thanks to them. The Courier's adventures aren't over yet.
  48. 1 point
    Translation from PCAction.de, although I'd argue Google does a more amusing job than my original text. Please introduce yourself (full name, age, company, position): I'm Christopher Frederic Avellone (you want the full name, you got it, even the embarassing middle name that my Mom picked from some French emperor which I've never understood). My job? Creative Director at Obsidian Entertainment, which means I review and do a lot of design. I'm almost at the 4 decade mark (minus 2 years), I still feel young at heart. Please share some interesting moments of your career (e.g. games your worked on or companies you worked for etc.): I helped train police officers and FBI agents in Quantico, VA in a fake town called "Hogan's Alley" where they built an entire three block radius as a training ground for criminal scenarios - each day we'd go in, be given a cast sheet and a schedule (you're a kidnapper today, and you need to be in the pool hall by 3pm). I've written for pen-and-paper role playing games, and I've worked on a lot of computer role-playing games, especially Dungeons and Dragons (Torment, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights 2), Fallout (Fallout 2, Van Buren, Fallout New Vegas), and I was also Lead Designer on Torment, Van Buren (stage 1, Josh Sawyer took over for Stage 2 after I left to help found Obsidian), Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and most recently, Alpha Protocol. My high school guidance counselor neglected to mention game development as a career option, and I am somewhat irritated by this because as a career, it's GREAT. Some funny/curious/entertaining facts about your life (e.g. you would kill for an ice cream/you
  49. 1 point
    Even video games with good writing are usually banal and puerile in their content. The exploration of themes in games is typically shallow and any didactic purpose the writers attempt to achieve is usually aimed very low. When an eleven year-old already inherently comprehends and accepts the lesson you are trying to impart, you know you're not dropping the bucket too deep into the well. A converse problem is that the themes being explored are so far outside of a player's daily concerns that they simply do not care. A lot of game developers are really concerned about games not being taken "seriously". It's always been my opinion that if you have to ask for someone to take you seriously, you are not worthy of serious attention. If people find your content to be meritous, merit will be given. My concern about the lack of mature themes in games is personal. I think most games have uninteresting stories that explore irrelevant or trite subjects and they are really boring as a result. I don't care about pitting technology against nature; it's a trite theme. If it hadn't been explored in dozens of games already, it might be interesting. I don't care about focusing on high-level concepts like the "nature" of good and evil; it's far removed from anything I deal with on a daily basis and it is usually discussed in an explicit, heavily didactic manner. Why doesn't anyone make a game about poverty? Why doesn't anyone make a game about capitalism and the rights of laborers under it? Why doesn't anyone make a game about racism? It's frustrating, because these are issues that are of direct, daily importance to a huge number of people. These subjects are either never broached or are explored through proxies that defuse the seriousness of what is being discussed. E.g. elves and dwarves might express shallow "fantasy" racism against each other, but you're probably never going to see two humans with different skin colors express racism toward each other in a serious exchange. In rare cases, you might see the exploration of a subject like corporations vs. laborers or the religious vs. the non-religious, but the opposition is usually segregated into a "right" side and a "wrong" side. E.g. the religious turn out to be the bag guys, the laborers turn out to be the good guys. It's not an exploration of a theme as much as it is an exposition of the author's biases through various stand-'em-up-and-knock-'em-down characters. Exploration isn't really exploration when you're being led by the nose to a preselected destination. I understand why game developers don't try to delve any deeper, though. Games are still considered escapist entertainment. While many media manage to have a wide spectrum of titles with varying themes and treatments, games are still very focused on pumping the player up and giving him or her a sense of tension followed by relief, accomplishment, and satisfaction. Things work out, the bad people get killed, and though one or two decent people might have been thrown into the grinder, it was all for a good cause -- and you know what that cause is. People don't want to talk about things like poverty or racism or the pros and cons of a capitalist society -- because they suck. If these subjects had issues that were easy to solve, they wouldn't even be issues. They are problems that provoke dread, anxiety, confusion, anger, and a lot of other negative feelings. People don't want to escape to these things because then it's not an escape at all. But they are real issues, and they are relevant. That's why they are serious, why they are topics of merit. I don't know if there are a enough people who are interested in playing games about such things to justify creating products to fill such a need. I have a low opinion of my fellow citizens of the world, so probably not. But I really wish there were.
  50. 1 point
    Caveat lector: I have not played any of the other Rainbow Six games, so I did not come into this title with many expectations. Also, I'm just jotting down thoughts in no particular order. This was the first game I've played for more than a few hours on my Xbox 360. It felt easy to get into. Though the game had a lot of mechanics, they were introduced step-by-step, though I think I might have missed a few tips along the way. The controls seemed sensible for the most part, but switching weapons or attachments was a pain since both thumbs had to come off of the thumbsticks, usually with the left trigger held down. The first person perspective was usually a hindrance, and I took cover just as often to see my character and what was around him as to avoid enemy fire. Since I couldn't easily track my squadmates or their status, I was regularly checking up on them visually, which can be annoying in a precise console shooter. I have to admit that I am not a fan of audio-only feedback on my squadmates. Tons of people are yelling, bullets are flying everywhere, and I often can't sort out what the hell is going on. The reality of war, but I don't want it on my Xbox 360, thx. I liked that my squadmates would follow suit with me. When I crouched, they crouched. When I equipped my suppressor, they also equipped theirs. I'm not sure I understood how their stealth mechanics work, because I think I could set off a daisycutter in the room next to two guys and their response would be, "Did you hear something?" But it was nice to mark guys, open and clear, and hear the muffled bullets of my teammates as the dots disappeared. Grenades felt more powerful/dangerous than in most games I've played, though the smoke grenades seemed to work inconsistently. Maybe that is by design. I thought that the weapons were not differentiated well. Perhaps they were trying to be realistic (again), but I felt little reason to select any given assault rifle over another assault rifle. Usually I wanted a weapon of a given class, with a certain attachment, and with the highest ammunition capacity. I carried around so many magazines of ammunition and came across so many equipment containers that only once in the game did I have to pick up the weapon of a fallen enemy. The level design was very interesting, as I usually had several options for traversing any environment and engaging any given set of enemies. I was always looking to the left and right, up and down. Very good use of vertical space. And despite the fact that I was fighting humans with guns throughout the entire story, I never tired of it due to the different environments and challenges that they presented. "Hold this spot while Jung **** around on a computer out in the open" moments were among the most irritating in the game, a sentiment two of my co-workers agreed with. My annoyance grew when I realized that the computers were always placed facing in (toward a cubbyhole) to prevent you from taking up a tactically sound position when the inevitable clown car full of guys poured forth. Those sections seemed to be very "against" your game training. "Guys, sit in a box facing outward toward a field full of potential murder camps." My squadmates usually moved very well, and I was impressed by how smart they were -- both with and without orders. However, on a few occasions they would try to move to the inside of a door when I would command them to move to a doorway while looking through my snake cam, when in almost all cases the desired effect would be the opposite. Rappelling was a lot of fun, especially when I could set up my squad to breach just as I came in through a doorway. There were some really fantastic firefights following that sort of set-up. I also liked the use of thermal goggles and how they would often be foiled by flames, generators, etc. I thought the story was fine, but the terrorist characters were pretty absurd. Irena just seemed like a dumb, generic terrorist and I didn't really care about killing her. Her motivations were unclear, and I didn't have any real attachment to my early Rainbow team members, so I never got as pumped up about tracking her down as my character was. Despite its few gameplay flaws (and the fact that sometimes levels will load without textures), I thought this was a very fun game overall. I felt like my shooting skills and my command skills were equally important. My teammates were valuable, I was valuable, and it seemed as much about tactics as taking precise shots at the bad guys. I award this game 6.3 of 8 flashbangs.
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