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Everything posted by alsey

  1. Also I've basically stayed away from DOS2 and P:K for these reasons. BG3 could be interesting.
  2. Well BG is the benchmark for me as for many of us, and I actually rate BG1 and BG2 equally with each excelling in slightly different ways. Interestingly the tone of BG2 is quite dependent on who you have the in the party. I can't imagine playing it with the likes of Minsc and Jan; it would drive me nuts. The PoE games each have a more consistent tone and I happened to like the first one. Otherwise I would have Deus Ex and Mass Effect near the top. I'm not die hard with the isometric thing despite my love for the IE games. While PoE1 might not be the best overall, in terms of tone it really hit the spot for me and frankly the setting and the way it meshes with the story is most rewarding I've ever played in.
  3. This is conjecture on my part at best, but I think: It's a pirate game, The reviews were actually pretty bad from a significant subset of CRPG fans (which happen to be the ones I care to listen to). Again, I don't have the evidence together make this anything more than conjecture, but I think the decision to set the game in the Deadfire was a disaster. The setting immediately turned me off and put immense pressure on other aspects of the game to carry it. Unfortunately those aspects weren't up to challenge IMO. Cf. IWD, NWN2 OC which are pretty average games in many ways but ultimately fun because I get to do the whole fantasy D&D thing. Deadfire from the outset did not have this fallback position; it has no strategic depth. Obviously some people enjoy pirate games, but the Venn intersection between them and people who like isometric CRPGs is relatively small. PoE1 did a brilliant job of breathing new life into 'fantasy land': just a small shift in Earth-equivalent timescale to push it from late medieval into renaissance was subtle but effective. One could go into depth about the relationships between staple fantasy themes and settings, and their audiences, but I know I'm not the only fantasy fan who finds the whole pirate thing utterly uninspiring. I'm sure it could work, but it's a bold move and I don't think Obsidian were well placed to make it. If I hadn't played PoE1 and ranked it in my top 3 games ever, I would have paid close to zero interest (and certainly zero money) to Deadfire. I read a fair amount of review in the weeks after Deadfire's release, but I didn't pay much attention to the major outlets which are generally out of line with my tastes. I like games that take themselves seriously, have a relatively dark or gritty tone, go light on humour, go long on main narrative and I'll take immersive atmospheres over optimised mechanics any day. That's why I loved PoE1 and naturally I'll check out reviews from gamers with similar tastes. From that corner of the community, I found the reviews ranged from disappointed to damning. People do read this stuff, espcially for games aimed at a relatively intelligent and thoughful niche market. Clearly lots of people here liked the change of tone and setting and had a great time with Deadfire. That's awesome, but it is a very different game. It's often stated that Deadfire sold poorly because no one really liked PoE1 that much. I think the reality is that the people who really did like PoE1 that much just didn't like the direction the successor had taken. That leaves people who were just waiting all their lives to play an isometric pirate game vaguely reminiscent of D&D...
  4. I agree the biggest problem is with the VFX. I would be quite happy without all of that but I do think some of the models are too big also. I understand oversizing is somewhat necessary to make things visible: the standard versions of weapons are oversized, no big problem, but there's no reason to then make the magical versions even bigger. Regarding the lash effects, BG1 in 1998 actually handled it very well with a 'lash' effect when the weapon hits rather than all the time. Anyway I don't want to bash this too much because PoE is about as good a game as I have played.
  5. Actually I did like the grey sleeper, quite a lot, but it autobound to the wrong character so I didn't use it.
  6. Have you ever seen a real weapon before? Like maybe in a museum? I like how they look. Pretty straightforward really.
  7. I'm way too control freak to play an RPG coop, and if I wanted pvp I'd play counter strike or something.
  8. 4th option is good. Please for the love of all that is good, don't resurrect the prebuffing thing.
  9. The hours of st. rumbalt, ravenwing and godansthunyr come to mind - I don't remember a lot of the names. Also anything with lash or soulbound. I get that there is magic in the setting, but surely [good weapon + magic] is better than [oversized unwieldy weapon + magic],
  10. I suspect I am largely alone in thinking this, but I thought a lot of the unique weapons in PoE had far too exaggerated appearance and looked silly when equipped. I ended up using a lot of standard and fine variants of weapons (although enchanted) because I didn't like the appearance of the unique versions, e.g. I thought the standard version of the great sword looked far better than any others. I guess I just like historically accurate looking gear on my characters? I don't think I used a single soul bound weapon because of this. I just couldn't take it seeing a character walking around with some giant glowing stick that looks more like a toy than a weapon. I absolutely loved the art style in PoE with the exception of this. Anyone else share this view? Any chance of more subtle art for unique weapons in PoE 2?
  11. I think that what matters to readers/players is the degree to which magic is understood within a fantasy setting. On one extreme you might have the world of a Song of Ice and Fire where magic is very mysterious and few if any characters in the setting understand anything about it. At the other end of the spectrum magic/animancy is scientifically investigated and documented in Eora. They each evoke different kinds of response from the reader/player and each can be used to tell different kinds of story. George Martin wanted magic in his world to be ominous and even frightening; a more medieval attitude to those aspects of the world we don't understand than PoE's very renaissance attitude. The medieval world is the more conventional setting for fantasy but I personally wouldn't confine fantasy so tightly.
  12. I would agree that magic is a defining feature of fantasy, magic being phenomena that don't occur in our world and are not inspired by or extrapolated from our current understanding of it. Using this definition (which I just made up, not claiming that is THE definition of magic), magic is supernatural in that it can't exist in our world but it isn't supernatural in the fantasy world where it is often well established to be existing. To be honest I don't find the word supernatural to be very meaningful because what is supernatural is impossible by definition. In PoE soul/essence manipulation is magic by the above definition. What differentiates it from magic in other fantasy settings is the degree to which scientific practice can be used to learn about it. Even in other settings however, e.g. forgotten realms, wizards acquiring knowledge through magical experiments, i.e. empiricism, is commonplace. What I find interesting about PoE is that souls exist but gods in the conventional sense don't, and souls have a much wider role in religion than just theistic religion.
  13. Like midichlorians? That definitely sucked. I think it worked in PoE for me because souls, and the magic resulting from their manipulation, were set up from the beginning as essentially physical/natural. If that wasn't the case and magic was old school magic magic, would the gods being made by kith using magic instead of soul-tech have made any difference?
  14. It's statistical in that the population of molecules is treated analogously to a statistical sample with various measures of its characteristics. Doctors care about whether their models of dose-response will predict an effect on a patient, economists care about whether their models predict the response of markets to fiscal stimuli and I could go on. In most sciences I can think of prediction from models plays a significant role. I do more or less accept Popper's definition of science and I am aware of the debate within philosophy of science between that position and what I think yours is. It's a mature debate and this thread probably isn't the best place for it. I think it's clear now where we disagree and it's not about the difference between science and philosophy so I'm going to leave it at that. I did like the Wittgenstein reference though .
  15. My problem with it was not the creativity but the overall meaning of the different races. Moving away from monocultures is great but then I'm left asking what it means to be race X. When I encounter an amaua in the game I ask what does it mean to me that you're an amaua. You're kind of big and like swimming, but you could also have been a human that's big and likes swimming and it wouldn't have changed the story. In a game where every aspect of the setting is meaningul to the story the different races seemed somewhat arbitrary. The godlike are an exception to that but then I didn't interpret them as a race/species as such.
  16. Thermodynamics (the physics of heat, temperature, entropy etc) is formulated entirely statistically. As you say there are far too many interacting variables at play to describe a few molecules but a large body (with billions of molecules) as a whole can be described in terms of the statistics of the molecules (temperature is a statistical function). We call these descriptions laws because they can be used to predict the 'average' behaviour of another body of molecules. Not sure if that is comparible to what you are saying about other fields but 'law' in physics no longer necessarily means a clockwork type relationship between tangible objects. What makes them laws is that they make predictions that have withstood empirical testing, even if what they predict are probability distributions. I would argue that predictions that can withstand empirical testing are something that concerns the majority of disciplines that would be undesputedly called science.
  17. IA very large majority of modern science doesn't really aim to discover or describe laws, actually. To begin with, not all science is quantitative, not much in the way of scientific laws to be had there. But more generally, the kind of rigid (causal) regularity that you could capture in a mathematical formula and can call a law of science... most branches of science simply don't have those and never will. Most (quantitative) science is just varying degrees of statistical regularity buried under piles of noise, and if you're been a real good boy/girl you get to draw some tentative causal inferences from those too (but usually with, like, fifty caveats attached and the predictive accuracy of a blind mongoose). Physics (in a broad sense) is probably one of the few sciences that really gets into the whole business of scientific laws, though even there I rather doubt it's really the core business anymore (but frankly physics is too boring a science to pay much attention to, so who knows what they're up to these days; developing new cat memes, probably). It could be that I'm being a narrow minded physicist, but I would interpret what you say of other disciplines as just the consequence of them having noisy multivariate datasets (and there are some areas within physics with similar complications). I would imagine in such disciplines there is a hypothetical idealised scenario, however impractical, of a large enough dataset and control over all the variables that would facilitate inferrence of laws. If not then I agree there is a different philosophy underpinning them which doesn't include the existence/truth of 'laws'. Laws can of course be expressed statistically rather than deterministically and quantum mechanics does exactly that.
  18. Right, well that's confusing. I always thought the 'slow' meant they were slower than the 'average' speed weapons. Makes a lot more sense for them to be the same speed and in that case I would agree they need slightly more damage in comparison with the other styles.
  19. Yes, well aware; I'm one of those people, as should be obvious by now. That science depends on mathematics, statistics and philosophy does not make those disciplines themselves a science. And since the demands of empirical study are entirely different from those of studying formal systems, concepts or metaphysics (though metaphysics is bunk, of course), so it makes little sense to put them in the same category. There isn't anything that clearly unifies them. The "scientific method" (insofar as it is well-defined at all) is something particular to (empirical) science; mathematics, statistics or philosophy don't work on the same principle. Though the particulars tend to be rather differ between different branches of science, moving from natural science to social science to the humanities, raising the question of how unified an enterprise science as a whole really is. I think one has to differentiate between philosophy of science and the practice of science. Natural philosophy building on Descartes made some assumptions, principally that the world follows a set of laws which can be expressed in mathematics and that knowledge of those laws can be gained from observations of the world. The practice of science, i.e. doing the observations and deriving the laws, is based on those assumptions. Philosophy of science has since tweaked the assumptions and the logical steps between observation and knowledge to ensure it is all internally consistent. Today the practice of science can largely go on without paying attention to philosophy of science but there remain some fields where the question of how to gain scientific knowledge remains unclear, e.g. string theory.
  20. I think I would rather see 2H weapons have less of a speed penalty than an increase in damage. IRL you have a lot of leverage on a 2H weapon meaning you can move the point around very quickly, often more so than a 1H weapon.
  21. I reloaded a save from act 2, wanting to keep the rest of the game as fresh as possible for when I do a full play through in a couple of years or so. I'm regretting slightly not doing the expansion as part of my main game. I didn't because I have plausibility issues with characters going off on extended side quests while the fate of the world is put on hold, but because the ending worked so well for me it actually feels a bit strange now to continue playing.
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