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Everything posted by flamesium

  1. I agree on the whole, though I must admit I did stop and LOL after about the 50th dramatic "Ondra says... Magran says... Hylea says..." in a row during one of the later God Chats.
  2. ^ he gets it. "You do realize that Witcher games can't be joined part-way through, right?" - also Tagaziel
  3. It’s self-evident. Millions of new people can and have jumped into the franchise at each successive installment. If they hadn’t felt able to do so they wouldn’t have and it would have sold less. If you want to think it’s a coincidence that all of the most successful studios and franchises deliberately make each new game welcoming to new players and don’t require the player to have intimate knowledge of the preceding installments I’m ok with it. I can’t prove that it isn’t. Likewise I can’t prove that having Deadfire revolve around the continuation of an on-going philosophical discussion about the nature of faith in a world with a convoluted quasi-sci-fi reincarnation system will put off new players, but I’m pretty comfortable saying that it will. He asking you to explain how having no idea who Triss, Yen, Vernon Roche, Ves, Zoltan, Dandelion, Philippa, all the other Witchers and more are and being totally ignorant of The Witcher 1 plot (TW3 plot is a direct continuation of it) means that TW3 is accessible while not knowing who Edér, Aloth, Pallegina and Caed Nua are is a real accessibility problem for POE2. Thinking you need intimate knowledge of Zoltan and Dandelion's activities to follow a Witcher game is like thinking you need intimate knowledge of Q and Moneypenny to follow a James Bond movie. How much can they or their relationship to Geralt even be change between TW1 and TW3? Takes about 5 seconds of explanation to show or tell a new player everything they need to know about them: Geralt's reliable friend, Geralt's annoying dandy friend. It's no harder a task to explain them in TW3 than it was in TW1 when your own fully established character already knew them -or at least they knew him- and they had to be explained to the player. The Watcher's companions can be alive, dead, or have fundamentally different belief systems based on your actions during PoE1 and they're going to be glued to your hip for 80 hours. I think the nature of your own character and the world are the bigger stumbling blocks for Deadfire re new players though. 'Gruff Monster Slayer for Hire' and 'Medieval setting with monsters in it' don't take a lot of explaining. The nature of Eora is so convoluted that they've spent two games explaining it and I'm still not convinced the writers even understand it themselves.
  4. It is very impressive but they are built totally differently. The Witcher 3 'streams' (loads) in assets in real time only when you need to see them (or when it knows you are about to need them) and then forgets them as soon as you don't so they can be replaced by something else, using a game engine built from the ground up to support that. It's like water flowing into a vessel and out of a vessel at the same time, so the water keeps moving through but never overflows. As I understand it Deadfire loads the entire scene you're in and keeps it there until you change location, at which point it will forget that entire scene and have to load the next one. It has to tip the water out of the vessel before it can fill it with different water, or it will overflow. There are dozens of places you could go to directly from an edge of map transition in, say, Queen's Berth, so they can't 'know' where you will go next and load it until you decide where you want to go Could they make it so that when you're in Queen's Berth it loads (in the background while you're running around) all of the possible building interiors you could go into and have them 'ready' just in case you do decide to go into them? Maybe, idk. I suppose it depends whether the vessel is big enough to hold all of that water at once.
  5. This is actually a thing for a lot of buildings and such in various maps, though I don't know why they left the VTC out of it. Take Queens Berth. When you load the Neketaka screen and click on Queens Berth, a list of names of certain areas come up on the upper left side. You can click any of those names to go straight to that location. This can avoid a lot of load screens on *entering* maps though not on leaving them. For example, you click Serpent's Crown, then click "Kahanga Palace--Roof" and boom, you load up on the roof ten feet from the Queen, without having to walk through Serpents Crown, load the palace, walk to the stairs, and go up. This is one of the best new features in the game. I believe VTC HQ is left out because there are missions where you may need to sneak in there and they didn't want you to be able to just teleport straight in.
  6. It really hasn't and that's what having multiple different difficulty levels is for. The difficulty of each level shouldn't need to be raised dramatically after release in line with people getting better at the game; they should be pitched somewhere close to where they're meant to be in the first place and people can select accordingly. There are three difficulty levels below the one you're playing on if you don't want the risk of wiping on a first playthrough.
  7. It’s self-evident. Millions of new people can and have jumped into the franchise at each successive installment. If they hadn’t felt able to do so they wouldn’t have and it would have sold less. If you want to think it’s a coincidence that all of the most successful studios and franchises deliberately make each new game welcoming to new players and don’t require the player to have intimate knowledge of the preceding installments I’m ok with it. I can’t prove that it isn’t. Likewise I can’t prove that having Deadfire revolve around the continuation of an on-going philosophical discussion about the nature of faith in a world with a convoluted quasi-sci-fi reincarnation system will put off new players, but I’m pretty comfortable saying that it will.
  8. The biggest problem with the end stages is the lack of consistency. One minute destroying The Wheel will lead to the death of everything (as Rymrgand daydreams about) and therefore Eothas has to be stopped whatever the cost, then it becomes one generation of souls will be trapped (ok, still bad but somewhat less severe), then by the end some of the Gods are like whatever, I guess we’ll figure something out. That level of ambiguity would be ok if they were deliberately trying to mislead you for their own ends, but it felt more like the writers just weren’t clear themselves. At no point (at least that I saw) are you given the opportunity to ask the most obvious question: “Sooo... how did life exist before the Engwithans built The Wheel? Why won’t the world just go back to however life existed naturally?” It’s fine if the Gods don’t know or won’t tell the answer and you are left to speculate whether the Engwithans broke the natural life cycle when they made The Wheel, or if they created The Wheel *because* the natural life cycle was failing, but surely your character would at least ask. Either way the implication for almost all of the endings seems to be that The Wheel will simply be rebuilt. There may or may not be a worldwide hollowborn crisis in the meantime, depending on whether or not life (with souls) can propagate naturally on Eora, which should become apparent literally as soon as any babies are born anywhere. The answer to that would be known well within the scope of the ending slides, and would determine whether the breaking of The Wheel is the biggest deal ever or not really that big a deal after all.
  9. Wait.Are there a means to Maia not abandon the ship? And not siding with Royal Trade Company? For me it was taking the Floating Hangman from the Principi quest but going alone.
  10. You make an assertion without actually backing it up with anything. You can, obviously, install TW2/3 and consciously ignore previous games in the series, but since they are direct sequels to each other, you are missing on huge chunks of the story. Entire stretches of TW3 will be incomprehensible without playing TW2 (journal entries only go so far in establishing characters), primarily due to missing character development and bonding. To use your own example, it's like playing Pillars II without Pillars I. You can do it, but you're missing out at least on Caed Nua and the development of the castle/Endless Paths instrumental to giving a **** about Eothas and the adra titan. More important than your own character’s motivation, you are likely missing out on having a clue how the world works (convoluted), the unique nature of your character within it (convoluted), who the hell these various Gods are that keep talking to you (also convoluted) etc. My assertion about The Witcher is backed up by millions of new people joining the franchise with each successive game and apparently getting along fine with it. Geralt’s established character is easy to understand and stays within relatively fixed boundaries across the games. People evidently feel comfortable jumping into The Witcher at any stage. That isn’t the impression I get with Pillars at all but ymmv. More than happy for Deadfire to massively outsell Pillars 1 and be proven wrong.
  11. Yeah well, Eder doesn't really fit either, but at least he's still his old self, unless you are an a$$hole, in which case he's all surprised about it lol. Pallegina wasn't necessary either tbh. Aloth being in the game was a major selling point to me, but in the end he was the game's greatest disappointment. It feels, as you say, like he was just thrown in, and to make matters worse, turned from shy and opaque but loveable weirdo into an obnoxious git that controls you via their superficial approval/disapproval of other characters and unimportant stuff, while putting on this great show about not liking bossy. Eder is justified by his relationship with Eothas, though this is somewhat undermined by the overlap with Xoti. I was very surprised (unless I just totally missed something) Eder didn’t seek further information about what happened with his brother, given the resolution to his companion quest in PoE 1 was (for me) something like Eder tracing his brother to meeting Waidwen/Eothas, then being resigned to never getting a chance to know more, and my Watcher telling him not to worry, I’m sure another way will come up. Pallegina makes sense I think given her established relationship with a major faction. Each major faction has one companion representing them, Eothas has two companions, Aloth’s link to what’s going on seems tenuous at best.
  12. I was hoping to take over the Principi but it never came up. Instead I killed Aeldys when she started getting sassy about telling me how to summon the Hangman, went back to Dunnage and killed Furrante, then used the Floating Hangman to go to Ukaizo alone. The Aeldys Principi ending actually seems like one of the most interesting ones.
  13. Aloth felt like the odd one out to me. Doesn’t really seem to have a vested interest in what’s going on. Probably shouldn’t have made the cut.
  14. But the cost of resting is so negligible that it amounts to a ‘click to remove injuries and replenish Empowers’ button, which renders it meaningless, because why would you ever not want to remove injuries and replenish Empowers? In its current state it’s effectively the same as having no injury system and unlimited empowers.
  15. What does it add though? It’s not adding anything to the gameplay if the only limitation to remove injuries / replenish empowers is whether you can be bothered to waste 5 minutes watching load screens and walking. It’s so abstract and involves so many other leaps of logic (Why would going to sleep cure my severe burns? What are the healers in my group healing if they aren’t healing injuries?) I’m not sure it can reasonably be said to be worth keeping for immersion alone. If you have to weigh the benefits of resting against some other significant in-game factor then fair enough, at that point it’s a legit gameplay mechanic. edit: this was in reply to earlier posts. I agree that making resting significantly expensive would work, though it would still be difficult to get right.
  16. Opinions can clearly differ, and that's fine, but I would be surprised if a majority of people would put "ME2" and "better" in the same sentence. I thought the cover shooter gameplay was fun but the story was a steaming pile of thresher maw excrement. Again, opinions may differ, but I thought the writing for ME2 was ridiculously bad (partly because, as you mentioned, they ignored everything that happened in the first game). I didn't bother to finish it and that was the end of ME for me. For me that was kinda what I liked about it. They realised their main storyline was garbage and just said 'F*** it, here's some cool companion short stories set in our universe'. It is funny how ME2 always gets a free pass though, when the ME3 debacle was largely a result of ME2 going AWOL. As its own thing I loved ME2; as a second act it's a disaster.
  17. It still serves the purpose of Injury Removal, Buff Application and Per Use Replenishment (which now takes the form of Empower points), so in that sense it hasn't changed that much. It's a pointless mechanic now because resting is effectively unlimited. It was pointless in PoE 1 because resting was effectively unlimited. The only real difference is they've removed the chore of load screens and walking between you and unlimited resting, which is an improvement in my book. If they want to make it an actually meaningful mechanic however -and thereby make injuries and empower points meaningful along with it- they need to limit resting by something other than the player's patience for load screens and walking. That means either having to sacrifice a non-trivial amount of a limited resource (actually limited, not just limited by your patience), or your party having to achieve a goal before being allowed a rest. My preference would be completely ripping up the system and replacing it with something else.
  18. I think it's clear that it hasn't exploded out of the gates. On Steam it's currently being played by fewer people than Divinity: OS2 which is getting on for a year old. Hopefully people are just waiting for it to be patched up...
  19. You do realize that Witcher games can't be joined part-way through, right? You're missing out on huge chunks of the story and vital character development. I think you can quite easily play any TW game without playing the previous ones, and if anyone asked me that's what I'd tell them. Each entry selling about twice as many copies as the previous one supports the idea that this is generally accepted. A comfortable majority of people who played TW3 have never played TW1. I just don't see too many people playing Deadfire without playing PoE 1. I certainly wouldn't recommend it. The story in Deadfire is pretty convoluted even when you have played PoE 1. Mass Effect is an interesting one because, while it was successful, I don't think even that franchise expanded to the levels they were hoping for with the amount of money they were throwing at it and the reception it got. I think they were always hamstrung by what ME1 sold, and ME1 sales were hamstrung by not being multi-plat to begin with. They tried to limit the necessity of playing ME1 by largely jettisoning the main storyline in ME2 (the main storyline barely moves an inch in ME2) and telling a bunch of short stories with the companions instead, and the game was much better for it. This eventually came home to roost with ME3 however, because ME2 had completely neglected its duty to be a second act in a trilogy. ME3 ended up having to be both act 2 and act 3, and the whole thing unravelled so spectacularly that the backlash killed the franchise and damaged the Bioware brand maybe beyond repair. I love that the game industry attempted something as ambitious as the Mass Effect trilogy, but I expect the industry now looks at ME as a cautionary tale rather than something to emulate. I certainly don't see studios falling over themselves to follow in its footprints.
  20. The only challenging fights I had on Veteran were when I went to Neketaka and wandered into the Hanging Sepulchers, and the boss by the mosaic in the Old City, presumably way too early. The good news is for those few fights the combat actually felt really good, so there's hope. After that the only dangerous moments are when one of your own characters gets dominated and you've not brought anyone who can deal with it. It goes to show how far off the balance is when the enemy can barely scratch you, yet a single dominated party member can mess you up in no time if they're left to do their thing.
  21. Continuing the story of The Watcher was always shooting themselves in the foot as far as sales are concerned. I swear every other studio figured this out over the last decade or so: you establish a setting / franchise but you always make it so new people can join in any time a new game is released, without having intimate knowledge of what happened in the previous games. Elder Scrolls, Fallout, GTA... take your pick. They go to great lengths to make sure everyone knows they don't need to have played any previous game in the franchise. Larian 'got it' when they made D:OS2. The Witcher gets away with it by treating each game as 'A new adventure, starring Geralt of Rivia'. He's more like James Bond, and people get that. If that franchise expected you to have played and finished the previous games to understand what was going on it would be completely dead instead of going from strength to strength. If you want to break this rule and have a sequel which expects the player to have played the previous game/s, you need to be certain enough people bought and finished the previous game/s.
  22. Maia will flip out if you look like going to Ukaizo with the VTC, yet she had no problem with shooting her own boss when he turns up at the end.
  23. I swear no enemy ever drops a pike. I really like the weapon modal idea in general - the ones which reduce certain defenses are a neat way of introducing some much needed combo play between your party members.
  24. Once the bugs and balance issues are ironed out I'll be hard pressed to think of any aspect which isn't better than Pillars 1. Most of it significantly so. Apart from the general standard of everything just being better I'll go for: MULTI-CLASSING. The single biggest improvement. Thinking about builds is half the fun for me, and this opens up so many more options. Extensive use of vignettes. These add so much flavour, especially when the crew of your ship get involved. Party members contributing to skill checks. Also the seperation of active and passive skills. Weapon crafting being unique to the weapon. Letting you do more of the faction content. Everything not being depressing constantly. More frequent and better moments of humour. Letting you travel directly to the building you want.
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