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Sven_

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Everything posted by Sven_

  1. Interestingly, the relatively lack of options in AD&D made for an easier translation into real-time, the thing that Bioware back then did. What did Bioware do? Inspired largely by RTS games (mainly their own Warcraft sessions), which Combat had relatively straight Forward resolutions, going with the System now known as RtWP. So, whilst BG(1)'s combat is largely simplistic in comparison; I personally still prefer it over say the bulk of the combat in the recent Pathfinder Kingmaker. There's less depth for sure. Still on Pathfinder there's so much happening simultaneously, also on the opponent's end, that it's hard to get a feel for what really is turning the tides of battle. This inherently complexity naturally grows the higher level the encounter; as the amount of attack rolls resolved across the battle field multiply true to the source material; and opponents also tend to have/use more abilities. [I think it would be much better as a turn-based game, btw]. I'm still waiting for a RtWP game that would refute my Theory, but the more complex the mechanics, and the more Abstract the Combat Resolution (concentration checks on spellcasting; positioning triggering flanking conditions; checks on concealment/miss chances), the more you Strip real-time of ist inherent strength. Which is the more natural flow of Combat. IN D&D style Systems, it naturally doesn't help that unlike RTS truly, which are almost like rock-paper-scissor Affairs in comparison in their unit ability design; buffs/debuffs are oft ever stacking marginally increases to hit Chance, etc. which are hard to visualize and get a feel for -- and thus go against the inherent strength of simulating a more "natural flow" of battle itself. There's also a lot to be said about choice fatigue, but then I've always prefered Myth with its distinct Units/abilities over a Command&Conquer clone that back in the day tried to trump the original by providing hundreds of Units, each of which a slight Variation of the other. Whilst this is subjective; choices don't equal immersion. Whilst it is a wholly different game; the original Thief doesn't provide the player character with a gazillion of options and tools; but each of them have their use, and are meaningful. Actually, the entire game is still a masterclass in minimalism and is as much defined what the player can do, as well as the many things he -- as truly being a Thief -- cannot do. tldr; I actually think that not a single dev going with real-time combat these days fully understands where Bioware were coming from back then. At the very least, the difference in feel is enormous. An interesting podcast on this, I think. https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/to-infinity-engine-and-beyond-1
  2. Re: Itemization and D&D 5e, sounds like they would definitely Change things here in particular. Games these days do their earnest to reward the player every five minutes or so, to hold his interest and Keep him into that loop. This naturally also ties in with the evolution of other entertainment. I personally think it's a shame, as if everything is special -- nothing is -- this goes for Obsidian's recent games also, btw. My personal tastes are admittedly hit the hardest by this, as I actually really like how the original Baldur's Gate went about this. I know that I was in a minority even way back then. Still, by modern standards Baldur's Gate 1 is almost an AD&D Survival Horror. Daddy's left you out in the wild -- you're weak, you're About to be eaten by a grue boar -- and half that fairly average stuff you find can even break.
  3. At best Larian should just focus on making a good game. However, given their strong personal Preference towards TB Combat (similar to Obsidian's main System Designers...), they would probably make a better focused TB combat system than a real-time one. But who knows, maybe they would even fix some of the remaining annoyances in nu-RtWP, or give the idea of real-time Party Combat a different spin. Prior to Original Sin, the only viable way of going TB seemed to ape X-Com style combat, such as Wastleand 2 or Shadowrun did, after all. The more options and diversity, the better if you ask me. If this would come to pass, Larian would likely also get in touch with writers who've already written for D&D games. Prior to Original Sin 2, they've treated story beats at times as an afterthought, as their focus and interest was something else. They've only very recently ramped up their writing staff. Their system driven approach to aping the freedom found in a pen&paper session crossed with D&D may make for some interesting stuff either way… of which you won't find overly much in a traditional IE style game, as the IE games are more "static" than the games that Larian are usually inspired by. As much as I love to replay it: The next Baldur's Gate won't look 100% like Baldur's Gate, as we all know all of its tricks inside out, and aren't surprised anymore by them the way we used to. Curious how a hopefully well made game carrying the D&D/BG licenses would commercially pan out too, given the audiences Larian managed to attract with their own IP. It may be the one shot at showing the gaming world that there's lots of people out there who would love to play that kind of game in one form or the other anyhow. Then again, they could also mess it up and roll a critical miss.
  4. Bringing up RTS is a good idea, because I don't think the wave of nu-RTwP games (or rather ist developers) understand RTS as much as Bioware did back in the day (and the compromises needed to make it "work"). Bioware held regular Office tournaments of Warcraft 2, whilst the Folks at Obsidian Play or Owlcat Play tabletop at their Offices (Owlcat are doing right now reportedly in preparation to their Kingmaker Sequel, good game btw). In other words, Bioware back then understood the Format they tried to adapt to, whilst the newer wave of developers try to cram stuff into a Format that they perceived was Baldur's Gate. That's what at times it feels like anyway -- and to me it also seems apparent how various System Designers at Obsidian prefer TB combat from the go. There's lots of Combat I like, but at its worst and busy it's really the worst of both Worlds. I couldn't see any of these games becoming a spectator Sport as Starcraft / Warcraft has become (not that they try to, but this affects the Players playing as well). Because depending on the complexity of the Encounter, it is really hard to tell what is going on; and on a strategy Level, for the Player get a feel of what shifted the tides of battle. Mechanically, it's sometimes just too much. The more frustrating Thing then is that the games encourage you to dig deeper into a mechanical Level -- but if you do, say by following the Combat log, it becomes a total slog. F'r instance, on Kingmaker when battling the Staglord (quite a Grand in scope Encounter), I buffed my Party with various spells, and also potions (amongst others Blur -- granting a 20% Chance of the Opponent missing). There was so much going on during the battle that I had to traverse through pages and pages of battle log AFTER the Combat to get somewhat of a feel of how often this had actually happened. (Just because the potion Gifts a 20% Chance, doesn't mean that every fifth Opposition attack went "missing" during that Combat -- random Chance, Regression to the mean and all that, which apparently even testers of These Things don't understand). Add in the (true to the source material) various conditions and additionally hidden checks that could trigger Attacks Of Opportunity / free attacks which can multiply later on, and which Bioware never implemented from 2nd Edition AD&D, and there you go. (Which btw, are also fairly "Abstract" mechanics of Encounter resolution, whilst real-time goes with a more natural flow of Combat). I personally happen to think that Bioware didn't for reason, but yeah. Likewise, compared to an RTS like Warcraft 2/3, which in comparison can be a bit more rock, paper scissory as you face the same Units over and over which also have a specific type of use, "modern" RPGs Systems multiply not only each "Units" abilities, but also add more of those that aren't even visualized. Combat Resolution is a fairly more complex affair in General, as the Units in an RTS you maybe can upgrade a Little, but only this far, and that's that. Reducing Party sizes (Tyranny / Deadfire) as well as slowing down Combat or changing encounter design only works around the limitations rather than adressing them. Everything is still going to happen simultaneously. Maybe it's my personal bias due to some of my playing experience with the newer games (I had replayed BG 1 and IWD just a while ago), but I think the demand/complaining About RtWP weren't as big if the devs understood the strengths and weakness of going real-time a tad better. To put it like this Player does: "We'll just Keep spamming everything we got" indeed. (Which on Deadfire you can do anyway without worrying an Inch, as ressource or rather spell/ability Management is barely existent). This is an interesting podcast from apparently non-harcore Infinity Engine Players, btw. https://www.idlethumbs.net/forums/topic/12093-episode-436-to-infinity-engine-and-beyond/
  5. I think a key misconception in terms of RtWP Combat is how it's "evolved" since. Bioware back then were heavily inspired by RTS games of the day -- Warcraft 2 in particular, which they Held tournaments in the Office. They also actually cut various Corners when translating AD&D rules (in itself in many ways as argued way more simple than lots of "modern" systems since) into that inherently real-time Environment -- with all characters eventually all acting out at once, and attack rolls et all being resolved simultaneously. Some of PoE/2 feels like it was actually meant to be a TB game from the go, and certainly several key system Designers have already voiced their preferences towards TB. That's not the Right way to Approach the RtWP "conundrum". Given that even the more hardcore can find Combat resolutions a tad "cluster****y" depending on the Encounter (I do and dub it the "Where did this Status effect suddenly come from" effect), it makes you wonder how the General audience would respond. I'm curious how Pathfinder may pan out in the late game, but given the plenty of stuff at Play, including multiple attacks of opporunity per round, AOEs, CC abilities, and attack bonuses gifting each character multiple attacks per "round" later on; the Combat log may implode depending on the Encounter design, and not merely that. (It's a good game, btw. Could turn into my favourite of the "nu" RtWP wave actually -- on Occasion despite it being RT, rather than because of it).
  6. Whilst I agree that both TB and RtwP are too different from one another that both should be shoe-horned into a design; I've also come to the conclusion that some inherently AD&D2ish traits suited RtwP a lot more than what's being on offered in RtwP games These days. Aside of the at times cacophony of spells/abilities and generally rolls being resolved  simulataneously; translating AD&D2 to a real-time Party based Environment was Always going to work better as outside of casters, Managing Chars was an inherently less Micro-heavy affair as in D&D3ish onwards, let alone PoE Deadfire (or Tyranny, with ist cooldowns to be tracked and reactivated). The one thing I'm glad About isn't so much that Deadfire gets a TB patch that resources should or shouldn't have been spend on, as the core game/Encounters where balanced for real-time combat. It's also not so much that People seem to come to Terms with RtwP's many strenghts -- but also its weaknesses. It's that TB Combat for future Projects/IPs may be considered as a viable choice next to real-time again, based on the design, as opposed to Marketing future predictions based on invetiably rather fewer (and smaller scale) games such as ToEE, so that the prediction becomes a self-fullfilling Prophecy, with nobody actually challenging things anymore. Well, at least that's I hope, anyway.
  7. About the "14 million" cost. In the aforementioned interview, Faergus estimated a rise in costs from the first game by about 40%-50%. That was February 2017, probably before the inclusion of fully VO. PoE wasn't financed solely by the Kickstarter money alone, same as any Kickstarter, so a ~10M Budget is not off.
  8. Auto-pause seems to be triggered outside of combat as well, e.g. City Exploration and NPCs, at least on mine. Trying to demand this to be turn-based is pointless, both real-time and TB have their merits. Though I'd argue quite a few mechanics come from a tb mould rather than a real-time one readily -- more so than in the IE games. If given the freedom, I have a suspicious Sawyer and co. would have opted for something more TB, be it traditional or something similar to older Final Fantasy games with their active time battles. This extents to other areas as well -- IE games were class based, so class based this is going to be -- except not quite like you knew those classes before. That may be my perception bias after having followed dev statements, but I think compromise shows in multiple areas. The Overall Combat as such flows pretty nicely, it's when you try to get into the mechanically nitty-gritty that things get a bit more complicated thus. This starts with fairly simple things -- all damage indicators being of the same colour in the main screen, friend or foe. No immediate easy feedback as to whether hits crit. etc. But also the new affliction/inspiration system: There's modders that try to make it a little more transparent with quite simple overhauls. https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/100337-mod-release-color-coded-afflictions-and-inspirations/
  9. I initially liked that feature in Tyranny, but I've since taken a different stance. If dialogue needs a Wiki hyperlink, it may fall under what is considered "lore dumping". E.g. if you don't get from playing the game what the meaning of a phrase is, the thing to address may be the writing (and design), rather than adding a second layer that explains everything. In particular when designing expansive new worlds, perhaps even language, but also rule-sets, it seems tempting to go overboard here. This bleeds over into other areas as well: Item and spell design, etc. -- each one given its distinctive name and story, and the more the merrier, apparently. A computer RPG is not a tabletop system that players get to know over years of playing. It's typically a standalone piece of campaign narrative, which is a huge difference. Does one really need to know about the world at large here, and can't be keeping things ambiguous and up to the player's imagination such as Thief's The City be undervalued here? That said though, I am a fan of in-game encyclopedia that explains various things optionally for anbybody who loves to get a bit deeper into it. This dates all the way back to the very first Civ game -- and various game manuals of old. The TES games also have quite a bit of lore, but it's implemented in the form of books mainly. Granted, isometric games have a bit of a harder time in showing rather than telling.
  10. Re: Tyranny / Deadfire and expectations. https://www.mcvuk.com/business/versus-evil-obsidian-is-one-of-the-top-tier-rpg-developers-plain-and-simple A Pillars 3 was sort of announced by Faergus a while ago if Deadfire was a "success" aka "meeting expectations". The decision to include fully VO as well as various other overhauls hint at that the target is trying to expand the audience, overall.
  11. Unfortunately, for mid-sized independent studios, California in particular seems to be one of the most difficult areas to be based in here (costs of living and upkeep, etc.). This also goes for Double Fine -- when Broken Age launched, there were various European developers voicing how they'd (need to) develop similar scaled adventure games on a fraction of that budget. So 10M for Witcher 2 developed in Poland is something else completely to the same game developed in, say, San Fran.
  12. No matter if failure or success: In an oustanding twist of narrative, at least nobody is going to say "turn based doesn't sell" anymore, so go real-time action (with or without pause) by publisher prressure and default. I enjoy all "renaissance" Infininty Engine style games Obsidian has made. But at times they also act as a reminder that in particular if you aim for a certain level of complexity and micro management (much more abilities than in any of the IE games not only for own characters but also foes), it's compromise. The entire concept back then minus the pause button was borrowed straight from the RTS genre, btw. An actual former blockbuster genre that, in another outstanding twist of narrative, has a bit of a harder time these days. With bonafide industry stalwarts such as Command&Conquer being put on indefinite hiatus -- and Warcraft not having seen a strategy game in borderline two decades. Meanwhile, X-Com is alive and kicking truly. [For the record, it's a bit simplistic to narrow things down to a specific aspect, like RTWP. There's RTWP and then there's RTWP anyway. I had the first BG installed on my HD just a few months ago again. Quite a different game in how it plays overall.]
  13. There's no speed slider that would make things much less "chaotic" as such. In parts the transition of inherently turn-based (A)D&D mechanics into the IE games worked better as their mechanics were different. Starting with that not every class had a lot of abilities, and/or was able to inflict various status effects on opponets, changing from one second to the next and piling up on each char as they do so. I personally think the more you add to this, the better something is suited to turn based. The prospect was developing an "IE style game", but the real time with pause aspect (which is fine in itself) is but one part of it (see above). I think there's roughly two kind of players, which will impact your experience. 1) Those that simply enjoy fluid combat 2) Those that may enjoy such too, but still want to have an easy grasp of what is mechanically actually happening at any second The folks falling under category 2 may find it a bit more of a struggle to adjust, as there's lots more going on than in any IE game (the same applied for PoE1 and Tyranny already). I just had a really busy fight in a dungeon, and whilst there was no need to --- trying to follow what was going on was tough and made pausing to check the combat log mandatory at every turn. That said, the inclusion of speed sliders is still a big benefit.
  14. I consider some things to be quite significant, though I fully agree that you don't need to know the inside-outs to ever play these games (makes it easier though, and adds another layer of depth on top). Another one: spell/ability scaling. On PoE outside of accuracy bonus AFAIK it made no much difference if a level 1 spell was cast by a level 1 wizard or a level 14 one -- assuming they both had the same base attributes (and no bonus to them). This time around though there is the power level gains, which add significant bonus depending on the char's power level gained to damage/heal, penetration as well as durations. Speaking about power levels -- is it acknowledged anywhere whether AI characters have power levels too? Or is it simply something introduced so that for the player characters, there is some scaling whilst leveling up going on. And whilst we're at it, it seems curious that my priest's abilities seem to scale differently to my mages. Usually it seems a +5% gain for every power level above the spells/abilities in terms of damage and duration... but my priest sees some of his spells beefed up by 10%, some even by 20%, despite both mage and priest being on the same character and power level as such. So there seem some class based differences too. As of the priest, this seems to apply to his core priest spells, e.g. holy radiance only.
  15. There's also a decent Wiki! That said, one thing it doesn't say is how exactly spells and abilities would be modified by the power level (exact numbers/factors on durations, penetration, etc). Seeing this thread, a section where the differences between Deadfire and Pillars are listed may come in handy, though. https://pillarsofeternity2.wiki.fextralife.com/Power+Level
  16. Often times the case -- on standard levels of difficulty, you doN't have to master/game the systems as much. I think this game (PoE too) could do with better documentation. The rules, whilst some are vastly streamlined from say D&D mechanics -- they're still comprehensive enough that they could ship with their own manual. I think PoE was quite opaque on some things just as well. For instance, how the accuracy for spells was calculated (the bonus), that was never ever explained anywhere in the game afaik. Likewise, going from PoE to Deadfire is also somewhat comparable to making the jump from one D&D edition to another. There's entire sets of new mechanics introduced, such as the power levels, and several more. Unlike a tabletop ruleset, it's only ever used for a single campaign. In a sense, some of the Infinity Engine games could feel less "complex" in parts simply because they kept a few of the stuff "under the hood" though. Whilst the combat logs on Deadfire are now as detailed and comprehensive as ever.
  17. Cheers, quality stuff. I'm still trying to soak it all in. Purely speaking about interrupts, that looks a huge overhaul. So basically in Poe1: - Every hit could in theory interrupt an opponent - As you say, this was a passive check on every hit roll In PoE2: - Interrupts are tied to skills/abilities - They are also only triggered after a several interrupts (determined by the concentration of the opponents) Any overhaul to the effects of an interrupt?
  18. I've just started playing proper (after completing PoE again). There's got to be some actual numbers displayed both for interupt and concentration still, somewhere? Also, curiously, my priests holy radiance seems to have the ability to interrupt, even though it doesn't say so in the ability's description (I may be wrong). Is there a detailed write-up on the entire overhaul here made, also the Maths behind somewhere? Curiously, the starting stats between classes have further leveled as well. Every class is starting with an accuracy of 20, the defenses seem more leveled out as well (in particular deflection). A bit odd that -- but seeing how Josh has never been a fan of strictly class based systems, perhaps the natural path of evolution. I still think the "attraction" of a class based system is that, well classes are best as distinct as possible (I have no preference here if a char system is class based or isn't as such). Naturally the abilities are meant to provide the difference here, and leveling the base stats makes for easier balancing. E.g. starting out as a mage on Baldur's Gate at level 1 may have been a bit rough on some newbies to D&D games, whilst picking a fighter, completely different experience.
  19. Re: People not playing PoE2 due to PoE1 continuation: There had been talks about possible sequels to PoE being a continous story with decisions from one game to the next taking over from the start. E.g. The project never was meant to be a Witcher. However whether you played PoE or not can impact how you experience the game virtually from the start quite a bit. Commercially, perhaps not a good move. But then this was first conceived as a "fan's game", wasn't it? This shows how screwed up things can be in particular in the AAA space -- enough is never enough. As of Deadfire, there appear be hopes of it outperforming PoE. https://www.mcvuk.com/business/versus-evil-obsidian-is-one-of-the-top-tier-rpg-developers-plain-and-simple
  20. In the same one that sees X-Com sequels getting made, whilst Command&Conquer is put on indefinite hiatus. You couldn'T see this coming in 1997 when Interplay signed Battleground Infinity Baldur's Gate, likely, nor in 2004, for that matter.
  21. I've only filtered bits of Deadfire so far -- first gone back replaying PoE again as a priest of Eothas to carry over the save in "Story Mode". :D This is something that confused me, and I've yet not further looked at it. In the in-game docs for Deadfire for instance it states that interrupt is still boosted by Perception (ditto attribute boosts for concentration) -- but neither does this bonus show anywhere next to the attributes. Nor is there an interrupt/concecntration value displayed in the character's sheet anymore. Unless, I was missing something in my quick look. AFAIR even the entire mechanics are described completely like they are in PoE1 in the tooltips. May be wrong though.
  22. Finally picked up my copy of Deadfire. I also have my final PoE1 save from 2015 on my HD. However, I'm actually pondering about starting from the beginning as an Eothas Priest and playing him "in character" a bit -- same as importing the decisions from there. My main char was a ranger, and tbf it's been a while. Ideally that'd be a quick run, perhaps even in story time mode plus "short cutting" a few of the opening areas via cheats console commands. Hope that won't affect the imported save then though?
  23. He said if PoE2 was a sales success. It's hard to tell, but the numbers on Steam look less than for PoE1 in the meantime -- any further development on Tyranny was also stopped save for a DLC after that didn't meet expectations. However, there was also that talk about doing a turn based combat game or more like a "Skyrim" type of game in the Pillars universe. Speaking about "easier money" -- that's what they basically did on Icewind Dale at Black Isle back then. Just take existing tech, Bioware's Infinity Engine, don't much iterate upon it, make a more stripped down dungeon and combat based game. You could argue that was similar to what had happened with the Gold Box D&D Games a decade earlier at SSI too. Keep the tech, just release a new adventure. What that means that even at a fraction of the sales of BG, it still brought in the money. However, I have the feeling the full VO and stuff in Deadfire was in parts included after the runaway success of Original Sin 2. Who would have thought that a turn based series would ever outperform something far more visceral? Certainly not anybody at the Codex. I personally hope Obsi can keep doing this, smaller scale projects aside of their Fallout:New Vegas and Pillars:Skyrim, as I've personally both enjoyed PoE and Tyranny overall quite a bit. This includes the prospect of a turn based game -- due to the current mechanics, which in parts seem more suited to that kind of thing, combat can be more micro intensive than it ever much was on any Infinite Engine game.
  24. Some general musings as to sales of this type of game in general: There was an interview with Josh Sawyer a couple months ago that went a little bit into this stuff, also touching upon Tyranny, which was perceived as having not performed as well as expected. It also touched upon a possible player/genre fatigue too. According to Josh, he doesn't think that's quite there yet. Still back in 2012, on top of the nostalgia for the IE games the Kickstarter banked upon -- there hadn't really been much of this type of game in like a decade. That's changed kind a bit -- in my perception even considering how things used to be like back then. Black isle/Bioware used to inhibit this specific niche of isometric party-based RPGs with (real-time) tactical combat for the most part. That may be my perception, but in terms of choice there is more going on now. In particular if you add smaller indies and crowdfunded games on top of that. However, outside of Baldur's Gate, this had never been a huge "hit" thing. It was profitable or wouldn't have kept getting made. However, I think if Sports Interactive or Out Of The Park Development had more competition in their sizeable niche, they'd find this a bit more challenging too. The big publishers don't go anywhere near what they do (similar to this one -- they are mainly structured for the big projects exclusively) -- and for independents it's tough to crack their niche, as they've made it all their own completely. It "helps" a bit that really somewhat decent sport simulations are probably some of the more complex things to code. Which is a technological entry level barrier that for point&click adventure games doesn't exist at all. And for RPGs, it depends on the scale of the project.
  25. So is anybody playing Deadfire as Eothas priest? Back then on PoE I only played bits up to Caed Nua with the main char being one. Thinking about whether it may be worthwile to play through the entire "saga" as one, also given that Eothas is now given a bit more centre stage and could allow for interesting... scenarios to play out?
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