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Everything posted by flamesium

  1. Morrowind was great, Oblivion less so, Skyrim somewhere in between. The good thing -at least commercially- is that Bethesda is smart enough to give themselves a clean slate each time. They don’t weigh their new game down with the baggage of the old. They can have a dip in quality for a game without it being terminal to the franchise, and new players can always easily join the franchise at any stage.
  2. I’m not talking about references or someone mentioning in passing a decision the player made in a previous game for flavour. If Ciri had been the focus of the previous games I guess it would be similar. Each TW game has a standalone story; Deadfire has a continuation of the unravel-the-inane-metaphysics-of-the-setting story from the previous game. Herein lies the problem. Unfortunately it will remain the problem whether those who want Obsidian to keep making games for them and the nowhere-near-enough diehard PoE1 Watcher fans acknowledge it or not. There’s no mystery here: Deadfire flopped on PC because they designed a product which was only accessible to a much smaller number of people than its predecessor was. It’s a shame that a lot of good work was wasted because of that poor decision to shut out potential new players in order to appease the existing fanbase, but it is what it is.
  3. I don’t think the marketing has much chance when it has to try and convince potential new players they don’t need to be familiar with the previous game when it’s quite obvious they need to be familiar with the previous game. Gamers talk to each other. The Deadfire marketing inevitably ended up making about as much sense as the intro sequence of Superted, because the metaphysics of the setting -which the storyline over both games obsesses over, and still doesn’t manage to explain particularly well even after two games- are not exactly intuitive even by fantasy standards. It’s pretty funny to me if the developers seriously consider the pirate setting to be a bigger issue for new players than the impenetrability of the continuing storyline. With insight like that it’s perhaps for the best if they leave the franchise dormant.
  4. They absolutely did, and very successfully judging by the many millions of people who quite happily joined the Witcher franchise at TW3 with no prior exposure. Each game stands alone quite comfortably.
  5. Strongly disagree. Strongly disagree. I don’t think race/class of the MC changing or not is the issue. The focus of the first game is revealing the true nature of the setting’s gods, its soul cycle, the role of the Watcher and the morality of ‘animancy’ in such a setting - none of which is exactly intuitive without playing PoE1. They chose to make the Deadfire narrative a continuation of those esoteric themes, which inevitably introduces a barrier to entry for new players. ”The target audience of single player RTwP party pased isometric RPGs is just very, very small.” We know it’s at least as big as PoE1.
  6. Fair enough. That isn’t a complaint I have come across often with regards TW3.
  7. Yep, Larian -and tbf, almost every other developer by now- understands this and so very deliberately avoids the trap of limiting their potential customer base to existing fans. Even Ubisoft learned with AC that they were on a hiding to nothing with the continuing and obscure metastory, and that they should minimise that as much as possible and just make each game a standalone experience loosely based on the same gimmick. I was not at all surprised by Deadfire struggling to sell well despite reviewing relatively well, as I knew they had made it inevitable for themselves with their narrative approach.
  8. I would describe the main storyline of each Witcher game as self-contained and had no trouble recommending TW2 to people who hadn’t played TW1, or TW3 to people who hadn’t played either of the first two games or read any of the books. I absolutely would not describe the main storyline of Deadfire as self-contained and wouldn’t (and didn’t) recommend it to anyone unfamiliar with the story of PoE 1. I don’t think the millions of new players The Witcher added with each new game release were only interested in ‘kicking some monster ass lul’, it’s just that ‘you are Geralt, professional monster slayer’ is adequate knowledge to be able to enjoy the story in any individual TW game without playing the others. I would still highly recommend playing every Witcher game, but because I think they are each excellent games in their own right, not because I feel anyone particularly needs to be familiar with the earlier games to enjoy the latest one. ”Deadfire feels like there should be even bigger things to come in the future and I love that.” It might feel like that, but it’s all but confirmed that there won’t be because Deadfire didn’t sell well enough. There weren’t enough fish in the small pond they chose to cast their net in. If they ever return to the PoE setting (which I hope they do) it will surely have to be with something new, rather than an increasingly convoluted investigation of the obscure reincarnation system of the setting, which the writers themselves didn’t even seem to fully understand.
  9. BG3 will be very interesting. My biggest concern with that game is they make the same mistake as Deadfire -which would be madness, especially given the amount of time which has passed since BG2 was released- but given they avoided it with DOS2 I have to imagine they will avoid it again here.
  10. I understand the appeal from an existing fan perspective, but you are also quite nicely describing the problem this creates with attracting new players to the franchise. It’s probably a net positive for the vast majority of people in the ‘played and finished PoE1’ group (a few hundred thousand people at most) but it presents a significant barrier to the -much larger- ‘maybe interested in this sort of game but haven’t played and finished PoE1’ group. They have significantly cut the size of their potential market by going this route, even if it has locked in the existing fans as buyers. Now I’m sure some people did buy Deadfire without playing through PoE1, or even playing it at all, but it’s definitely not something I would recommend to anybody, and I have to imagine it was fairly rare. Conversely, I expect the overwhelming majority of existing PoE fans still would have been very likely to buy Deadfire even if it had been more of a standalone sequel. While going this route may be good for existing fans in the short term, it’s not necessarily better for them in the long term if it contributes to the second game in the franchise flopping so hard in sales that it kills the franchise.
  11. Take your pick. The Witcher is deliberately easy for new players to jump in at any instalment in the franchise. You need to have played earlier Witcher games to enjoy the latest one about as much as you need to have watched earlier James Bond films to enjoy the latest one. The attempt at a continuing narrative in Mass Effect had unravelled so badly by the end of ME3 that it sparked a backlash which left the franchise a toxic wasteland. I love that it was attempted, but I don’t think anyone in the industry is looking at the trajectory of Mass Effect now and thinking ‘let’s do that’. It can’t be proven of course, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Deadfire would have fared significantly better without the convoluted narrative baggage from PoE1. Larian avoided this mistake with DOS2 and I suppose Owlcat will avoid it with WotR.
  12. I stand by what I said here two years ago: it was a mistake to make it a continuation of the Watcher’s story. The setting and factions in Deadfire are fantastic. All the convoluted Watcher/Eothas storyline achieved was to detract from that more interesting story and make it difficult for new players to jump in without playing PoE 1. I feel like every other successful developer already figured this out: a franchise can continue, but each instalment must be self-contained and must always be totally accessible to people new to the franchise. If the question ‘Do I need to have played the earlier game/s?’ cannot be answered with an unequivocal ‘No’ then something has gone wrong. The horrific balancing issues early on were a shame too, because I feel like they had some great ideas with the gameplay mechanics, which were all then totally undermined by the absence of challenge.
  13. "I've played so many RPGs where I'm this entitled, all-powerful, world-determining, Special One that I've frankly gotten sick of it." You are still that in Deadfire to a very large extent. Deadfire just asks you to form an opinion (re Eothas' actions) with none of the required information on which to base it. I think the faction side of things works very well, because while you don't know exactly how the future will play out, you are given enough context to weigh up the pros and cons and make an informed decision. They are also all 'grey' enough to make it an interesting dilemma. With Eothas, the player is kept in the dark about the basic functionality of the setting to such an extent that the implications of his actions could be anywhere between totally and immediately catastrophic, to not really that big a deal at all. I think that makes for a bad foundation for then asking the player to decide how they want to influence the future: I don't know how I want to influence the future because I don't even have an approximate idea of the ramifications of what just happened. You will likely choose the same way to influence Eothas at the end of the game as you would have chosen if asked at the beginning of the game. Unlike with the factions, Eothas' actions during the game and the consequences of those actions are not explained clearly enough to add any particular nuance to the decision.
  14. No it's pretty pointless because they introduced a skip to win button. I found enemies seemed less inclined to charge if I didn't have a weak spot in cannon range which they could get inside of. Think I ended up with all long range cannons (I forget the name) on one side of the ship, and a mix of double bronzers and wormtongues on the other. Usually I would wreck their sails and crew from long range, then sink them at my leisure.
  15. It's an improvement over PoE1 in almost every way. Just a shame that the balance was so unbelievably far off at launch that none of the gameplay mechanics had a chance to shine. No combat system can feel good if the balance is so far off that you can ignore most of the mechanics entirely, not think about what you or the enemy is doing and still win. The combat plays badly because the enemy doesn't (or didn't) pose a challenge, not because they removed forcing you to sit through load screens in order to access unlimited resting.
  16. “Well I bought it on gog...” etc is not really meaningful. I’m aware that GoG exists and that people buy/redeem games on it: that is equally true for the games I compared it to. What would be meaningful is if there’s been a big shift in the ratio between Steam and GoG sales since the release of the games I compared it to. If it’s shifted from, say, 70/30 in Steam’s favour to 70/30 in GoG’s favour then yes, that would mitigate the much lower Steam release peak and early concurrent user numbers. I’m aware of no reason to believe that shift has happened. I know I switched the opposite direction (from GoG Pillars to Steam Deadfire) because Steam had preload, and no doubt others have gone from Steam to GoG, but I would expect overall the ratio to be in the same ballpark for Deadfire as it was for Pillars.
  17. My first playthrough was Ravager (Berserker/Helwalker). It’s a really strong combo. Either of the monk’s Clarity abilities will clear the confusion from Berserk (not sure the first version should but it did for me), so just set AI to use one of them whenever you have the confused affliction and there will never be a time where you can hit your allies. Barbaric Smash will be basically become your auto-attack towards the end of the game. I think I set it to prefer the highest health target in range below 50% health, so you’re more likely to be delivering kills and getting the cost refunded. Once you add Blood Thirst’s instant recovery on kill to that combo you are Magran.
  18. That is probably because the game had more hype going in this time, and everyone and their brother is focusing on idiotic user reviews and internet BS than actually playing the game. Even this forum had tons of idiotic posts in the weeks leading up to the game talking about "I will wait 3 months to buy the game because of no real good reason". I am sure the "Obsidian makes bugged games" stuff is also doing nothing to make the bugs in this game highly exaggerated. I mean I still see people daily makes posts about the import bugs..... which were fixed in a patch that came mere days after release and has been available for quite some time. Also no offense, I am sure Steam is the greatest thing ever and it determines all games success, but there are GoG copies too. Like mine for example. And it stayed top seller on GoG far longer. You really count one, and ignore the other. Actual real sales don't work that way. Until Obsidian says something every thread like this is just doom and gloom nay sayers making things up. That said, I seriously doubt this game cost 14 mil, if it did, that money was managed beyond poorly regardless of where it was made. The game had a lower release peak because it had more hype is one theory I suppose. Sounds nonsensical to me. Overwhelmingly more likely that is has a significantly lower release peak because it’s sold significantly fewer copies. But then I am trying to analyse the limited available data objectively, not search for farfetched reasons to ignore it in order to blindly defend a predetermined position. I would consider similar data for GoG if it were available. I’m aware of no reason to assume there’s been a big shift from Steam to GoG however, so if it’s down on one it’s probably down on the other. Sure, it’s not impossible that it’s struggling on Steam while being wildly successful on GoG, but it’s far from likely.
  19. If ship combat is doomed to tedium regardless then I guess don't set your game in a 'golden age of piracy' setting with an emphasis on captaining a ship.
  20. No, I do NOT like "real time" combat systems. Never have. never will. Games are much more enjoyable when they're something like turn based or at least very pausible. I like being to THINK about what I'm doing, not win because I can out twitch a computer. This isn't to say that the system they used was great, but it's better than any RTS could ever be IMO. Dude, it's a secondary system for an RTwP game. f.i. if there were ship to ship combat in DivOS games, you'd expect it to be TB since the base game is so, vice versa for Pillars.(tho prolly you'd like pillars' main combat system to be TB too). Ideally they should have made it RTwP but as Josh said also; they'd have had to build another game into this game which was not doable. I think I remember that, but 'another game' seems like an exaggeration of how much extra work it would be. Take a regular PoE fight, replace the character models for ship models and replace the ground with sea and you're most of the way there.
  21. I heard the budget was $14,000,000 They used 4 mil funding plus 10 mil of there own money I also heard 500,000 copies was the break even price No way it was 14 million. Mass Effect andromeda cost 40 million (10 of those was for marketing), Witcher 2 cost around 10 million and the first game cost around 5 million, and the branching storylines are more complex than Deadfire. I'm putting together marketing costs in the bill also. If POE2 cost 14 million to be made it should have way more content. I would say it was done with most 5 to 6 million tops. PO2 Marketing campaign is far from what those games I mentioned spent because cRPG it is a niche market. You don't see expensive cinematic trailers on tv or youtube. Only in some major magazines, and is not that expensive. Just to put things into perspective, the game has no complex cinematics ( what they have is easily done in after effects or other programs), no facial rigging, no big worries with lighting and environmental effects, doing those in a third person/first person game is way more expensive, simple combat animations (All the attacks are the same despiting using totally different skills, most spells share the animations by class, I love 2 handed because it has 2-3 animation sets, while all other weapons have 1-2), and no dialogue character animations. The effects of spells and abilities are top notch, but not so expensive. The models are good, but the customization is pre-defined. What is really expensive about the game is the sheer amount of programming in making all those systems and quests conditions and so on. The writing is really important, however, the price is not nearly the amount of other assets. And one of the most expensive things they already did with POE, they adapted Unity to their needs to the point InXile reached them to use their conversation editor, systems, and tools to create Numenara. The amount of voice over made a lasting impression on me. But let's be sincere, a soulbound weapon that speaks doesn't cost 250K, there are entire visual novel/narrative games with voice over which are made with half that value. To create a single NPC companion would cost around 200K when you say you would have twice more voice-overs in the game for the same value? To implement the Berath's blessings would cost another 200k? I would trade the talking weapon for another companion or more interesting and complex characters, I would trade UI customization for more dialogue at my characters romance options. Do you think they would need 1 mi to add multiclassing to the game? The skills don't even interact directly with each other! They just added the other class skills, removed 2 power levels and that's it! When they said they needed 1 mi for multiclassing I was thinking about a warrior with a psyblade and using it to do long-range attacks or pulling the enemy close to them with a psi power, a rogue that can use a psi power to enter stealth or even a holy warrior that used flames of devotion mixed with knockdown and it changed the skill to Smite. Another question to spin your mind. You can kill all the companions and bring none to the new game. So you party will be exactly 5 (Xoti, Druid, Cipher, Ranger, Player Character) If Xoti wasn't founded would you think the developers would deliver a game with 3 companions ( not enough to form a party) and without a Priest? Imo, if they spent 14 mi in this game probably they had a bunch of development or money management problems and needed the 1.1 campaign to finish the game. The extra money they had it was used to produce the DLC. Oh and 3 DLC every 2 months after the lunch means cheap content or it was already in production. But don't mind me, i'm probably wrong because i love theorycrafting =P. Game dev budget will probably go 2-3x further in Poland than in the US.
  22. The peaks for Pillars, Deadfire and D:OS2 are all right at launch. I think you can read plenty into how those peaks compare. D:OS2 having had a year to build a multiplayer userbase or whatever is neither here nor there as far as the peaks are concerned. Sales will obviously cause a short term bump in concurrent users, which is true of anything. Unless it's a ~90% off sale or something it's not going to get close to surpassing the initial release peak. Having a low release peak and then very low concurrent users can hardly be taken as a good sign. Early interest in Deadfire seems weak.
  23. Souls are made of essence which is probably a finite resource. A lot of the story so far doesn’t make a lot of sense if there’s an infinite supply of essence to tap into. If Rymyrgand gets his way the world returns to a lifeless rock in a cloud of essence, which is how other planets began, including I would assume Eora.
  24. Tekehu is a good character, and often feels more like the protagonist than The Watcher does. I would argue playing as Tekehu (or at least his role, not necessarily him) would have made for a more interesting game.
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