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Gambler

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About Gambler

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    web development, fiction, writing

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  1. Most RPGs I played had completely broken, and astonishingly boring economies. The basic pattern always seemed to be the same. 1. In the beginning you could benefit from buying a lot of things, but you don't have any money. 2. You get small handouts throughout the game simply because you're playing. (This includes both loot and quest rewards.) They accumulate. 3. There is never any real point in buying the items you can afford. Yeah, you could spend all you cash on some Slightly Better Sword. You can also wait 3 minutes and get something even better via loot in the next dungeon. 4. Yo
  2. The only boss battles I truly enjoyed were the ones in Torment. Mostly because they were tightly interwoven with the story, had a great buildup and didn't require some special set of character skills to get through enemies' immunities. Also, it's the only D&D game I played where PC wizards weren't ridiculous wimps, having to run in circles around party's tank character. The battle against bear god in MotB was quite good as well, because you were fighting a whole army of critters. Again, because of the buildup it felt quite special*. But overall, I don't like boss fights. They feel
  3. One thing I'm certain of is that I would like to see more meaningful differences between different items, including armor. Even if that means fewer item types. For example, Fallout 1 had only a handful of armor tiers, but getting from one to the other made a real difference. You could do more stuff, go to more dangerous areas. It felt like an achievement. Also, that gave us a reason to actively seek out better armors, save money to buy one, and so on. In a lot of games, this concept is just not there. We get marginally better equipment every 10 minutes, without even noticing it. That's
  4. Overall, I agree with the criticisms of IE games' magic in the original post. They are the same things that bothered me as well. So I like this update. But... grimoires? The image of wizards wielding tomes of Encyclopaedia Britannica into battle clashes with everything I like about magic in games. Surely someone can come up with a better analogy and visualization for the same mechanics? For example, instead of saying "you have to memorize some spells during rest" you can say (and think) "you have to perform a certain ritual before you can cast this spell". That is much more in tune wit
  5. Overall, I like the ideas described in this update, with one exception. I would very much like some magic spells to be multi-context (i.e. useful both in combat and outside of it). Magic in games often lacks any subtlety. You can be a mage, scorching enemies left and right, but when someone asks you to start a camping fire, then you absolutely must have that special quest matchbox. Stuff like that makes the character look and the player feel silly.
  6. Definitely not a sequel. Definitely something that focuses on complex, somewhat non-linear storyline with tone-down combat. Isometric and original IP strongly preferred. And when I say "original", I mean something bigger than "not D&D". I would prefer an uncommon setting that hasn't been explored very often. Another thing I would appreciate is a complex, interactive and diverse in-game environment. Doesn't have to be huge, but I'm really tired of "rat maze" games where most of the things you see are essentially decorations. Wouldn't mind the game to be in real time. In fact
  7. As I said earlier, book's genre is determined by its overall theme, not the setting. Science Fiction is about exploring the results of having advanced sciences on humanity. Fantasy is about exploring worlds drastically different from our own. Obviously, these are descriptions, not definitions. There is not real need for definitions of any genres, since genres are by their nature supposed to describe books, rather than set up guidelines for writing them. The problem with many games (and books, and movies) is that they don't have an overall theme, aside from killing all that moves. This is w
  8. Real science fiction has very little to do with real fantasy, hence the need to "separate" them. Neither of them is merely a product of the setting used in the books - this criteria is an invention of the people who like to create meaningless classifications of everything. What defines book's genre is its overall theme, not the setting.
  9. This is akin to advising you to stop reading the forum if you don't like someone's posts. Not constructive, greatly overused and simply illogical.
  10. Very good observation. Magic existed in myths, legends, folk tales long before fantasy emerged as a genre. It used to represent something mysterious, surprising and inspiring awe. Now it is just a pseudo-rationale for bad plot devices and broken game mechanics. Instead of firing lead bullets from guns, "magicians" fire magic bullets from their fingers. This kind of magic is fake. Tolkien himself wrote in one of his articles that magic is not supposed to be rationalized and systematized.
  11. Just finished Deus Ex. Just begun Anachnronox. Both are good, Deus Ex is _very_ good. Still can't bring myself to re-start playing Pathologic. The game is amazing, but playing it requires great deal of concentration. (Which wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that I play games mostly when I'm too tired to do anything else.)
  12. I don't think tha the best quality of Torment is that it's "different". The interesting thing about it is that developers were very conscious about genre cliches, and thus they were very conscious about what they did and why. Because of that the game feels much more directed and interconnected than most of the RPGs. From music, to companions, to art - most of the things in the game share the overall style and serve to express certain ideas.
  13. D&D is a system with restrictions, formulas and pre-concieved concepts, which have nothing to do with Obsidian (or computer games for that matter). It was already used in many, many computer games. Interface to generating a character in NWN2 is more complex that Visual Studio project ceration wizard. Faerun backstory is a classical example of generic fantasy. Do I need to say more? I trust Obsidian's creative vision much more than someone from WotC, and I believe that Obsidian's games will only benefit from the use of original IP.
  14. I hope it's clear that numbers and stats we speak about are not things like character's position in 3d space or the color of his hat in RGB. We speak about directed scales that are used to model something conceptual, something that is not usually measured by numbers. With that in mind, there are many games that do not use directed scales. Some of them are highly non-liner, like Blade Runner. Some other games use scales in a limited way, to create a computer-driven interactive background, in front of which the main events of the game unfold (e.g. Pathologic). Personally, I consider over
  15. What do you mean by "transparent"? Feedback is essential, but raw numbers have too many negative consequences. They are too obvious, precise and instant. Reading about all those damage rolls, influence changes and other numbers feels less like a game and more like going through stack trace or core dump. Essentially, this broadens the barrier between the character's knowledge of the game world and the player's knowledge. Animation and voice overs are solutions to the problem, but there is another option, which is universal and very simple technically. Text messages. They were extensively us
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