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Everything posted by Hynkel

  1. Thanks for your testimony ktchong. I have a taiwanese sister-in-law who has the same kind of mindset, so I can relate. France is facing the same kind of issues USA had at some point of its history with catholic migrants : sons and grandsons of worker migrants, who grew up in ghettos, surrounded by unemployed people with zero job connection, yearn for big things and look up to thugs and drug dealers because there's no other role model available (yeah I watched the Goodfellas last night, the movie is incredibly spot-on.). The thing is, most of these people are born in France and have no other nationality than French. Plus, there are 2 million muslim people in France, in a country of 60 million people. If most of these muslim people were mobsters the country would look like a Mad Max remake, except with more cows. What even the conservative right knows (and that's why Fillon called to vote for Macron) is that if you enforce a policy pointing 2 million people as a threat, you're not going to accomplish anything but making the country explode.
  2. This : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_on_violence The state of law, as opposed to the state of nature, requires people to forfeit any use of force and rely on the State to settle disputes. Democracy differs from authoritarianism on how people have their say on the making of laws, but not on whether they ought to obey them. This line of thinking is, with a few variations, common to the majority of western ideologies. In Europe, it's mostly opposed by far-left movements of anarchist inspiration. In the U.S, opposition to the state of law is embodied by right-wing, anarcho-capitalist movements (libertarianism). It's directly related to the nation's history and its people's relationship with Great Britain, natives or the federal State. All States exert violence against their own people because all law enforcement IS violence. If you take what's not yours, if you punch someone, if you wander around school naked, the State will use force to have you deprived of your liberty for some time. Taxes are violence too. It's okay to question the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force, but beware of where you're heading. There's a fine line between granting the right to defend yourself and having your kids shot because they fetched a ball at the wrong place.
  3. Oblivion did basically that and people hated it :-P Oblivion aligned the monsters' level to the player's, which is the exact opposite of what I had I mind But yeah, you more or less nailed it with Metroid and System Shock (I was actually thinking about Megaman when I wrote this )
  4. The reason classes exist is because DnD is designed to be a cooperation game. Having flawed characters force players to rely on each other. That's why games such as the Elder Scrolls and Fallout, where your character fights alone, ditch the class system ; but that's also why Baldur's Gate and Pillars of Eternity don't. These games need flawed characters so that they can restitute the feeling of a party where everyone fills a role. But I do agree that classes limit creativity. Actually, a lot of tabletop RPGs don't use a class system (e.g World of Darkness). But it can be extremely hard to balance. You can't allow players to pick whatever they want (say, backstab at level 1, barbarian rage at level 2, Tenser's transformation at level 3...) without turning the game into a brokenfest. There are ways to force specialization and balance things up, but building such a system can be very challenging from a game design aspect. I also agree that power growth from leveling up is an issue, but I don't like the solutions your suggesting. Abilities getting stronger upon use creates some really really bad incentives (having your big tank stay still in front of a weak goblin for hours so that your healer gains healing proficiency points) ; and "roles" sounds like an even more limitating version of classes to me. The issues you're pointing out do not come from the XP system, but from how RPGs tend to be about "numbers going up". People like stat boosts because it feels rewarding, even when it's completely artificial (you go from dealing 10 dmg against 100 HP monsters, to dealing 100 dmg against 1000 HP monsters). Games such as Diablo or some J-RPGs and MMOs rely almost entirely on that concept, but C-RPGs are far from being above that. I'd like for once to have a very ballsy RPG design where you only gain new abilities from leveling up and no extra HP or stat boost whatsoever ; where levels are about complexifying the game by giving the player more options, instead of artificial gratification ; where bad combat planning can still get your super high-level warrior killed by 1st dungeon monsters. But to be honest, I'm not sure how players would react to the idea !
  5. Traditionally in Europe, right is blue and left is red. Red has been the color of socialism long before the russian revolution and since most big left-wing parties in western Europe take roots in some kind of labor movement the color stuck. In France, the conservative right is born from Orleanism, a constitutional monarchist movement, and blue was the color of the Kingdom of France. Plus, blue and red have a nice contrast and imitates the French flag. In the U.K, I've read somewhere than they used to be blue-white-red like the Union Jack but since the Labour took red, they picked blue to differentiate themselves. I guess this became kind of a standard somehow because when Spain started its democratic transition in the 80's, the new-found parties used the same color scheme. Germany is a big exception since the christian-conservatives use black ; but despite the big influence of Germany in the European institutions, the left and right use the usual red and blue in the European Parliament, plus yellow for the liberal centrists. So why is it the other way around in the U.S ? The one big similarity between Europe and the U.S is how they like to use the countries' colors, namely blue, white and red. But unlike its European peers, the Democratic Party does not come from any socialist or unionist movement of any sort. In its first decades, it wasn't even a progressist party at all. I dug a bit into this and was suprised to find out that neither the democratic nor the republic party actually used blue and red until very recently. During election night 2000, TV broadcasts used "red states" and "blue states" for infographics showing which states have been won by either Bush or Al Gore. So republicans became red because journalists randomly picked a color from the American flag. And I'm officially disappointed.
  6. There's a very popular strategy in PoE which consists of : A : Equip everyone with a gunpowder weapon B : Kill a few enemies in the first second of combat C : Swap to main weapons There's only 2 unique arquebuses in the game and one of them comes at a high opportunity cost. Plus, enchanting 6 arquebuses to superb is a big no-no since it costs twice as much components for whatever reason. So which is better for this strategy : - A generic exceptional arquebus ? or - A unique pistol ? Bonus question : is it viable to randomly give a blunderbuss to your fighter or paladin for the first shot instead of an arquebus, or do you have to commit into a few talents to make it worth ?
  7. Resolve is primarily useful for when you plan to build a front-liner, since it affects Deviation and Concentration. Pillars of Eternity is made in such a way that you can build a super squishy character and get away with it because you can rely on the tough guys to take the hits. And since 4 of the 6 attributes affect DPS in some way or another, people tend to dump RES and CON. That doesn't mean dumping RES is the absolute best choice for ranged characters. Sometimes, things will go wrong, enemies will infiltrate your formation and your glass cannon character will die. But I guess losing DPS to be a little sturdier isn't a very popular option for a ranged MC, unless you play solo. So RES isn't a bad stat at all, it's just not an optimal pick if enemies don't engage you. But if you want to be the front guy, go RES all the way.
  8. It's true that everything before Junkyard isn't very engaging. The game takes a bit too long before taking off. As for the graphics, I wouldn't call them lazy because the game is incredibly rich in content for such a low budget project. Choices had to be made.
  9. In all sincerity, Darcozzi Paladini, but mostly because the whole fun-loving Venice paladin theme is hella cool.
  10. Console-specific UI are a big issue it's true, but I think the biggest factor that tend to make games more simplistic is the financial risk. You just can't invest $30M in a game who confronts players to a wall of numbers and text in its very first few minutes. There's a reason why in Mass Effect everything is dubbed, and combat looks like Gears of War and it's not just "consoles", but the will to avoid segmented markets.
  11. Best Story : Planescape Torment Best Lore : Planescape Torment Best Protagonist : Fall-from-Grace from Planescape Torment Best Antagonist : that ending mutant robot boss from Fallout 1 I can't remember the name of but who was hella cool. Best overall battle gameplay : Pillars of Eternity and Divinity Original Sin, tied Best boss battle : Firkgraag from Baldur's Gate 2 Best Character Build Design : Fallout 1/2 Best Itemization : Pillars of Eternity (tbh I can't name a single-player RPG who does this very well. Diablo and MMO's do it probably better but they're not my cup of tea) Best music : Planescape Torment Best Art Direction : Baldur's Gate 2 Best Interface : A good interface is an interface you don't notice. Thus it's hard to name a best one Best Content : Oblivion (haven't played Skyrim. Not a huge fan of the Elder Scroll series but gotta admit they're far ahead on this matter) I think you're missing 2 very important topics : - Best dialogues : how well-written and memorable those lines are ; - Best "choose-your-own-adventure" factor : how the game allows you to have entirely different experiences depending on the choices you make.
  12. By the way, I think there's a bit of a balance issue here. Basically, anytime you storm a place crowded with people armed to the teeth (Raedric Castle, Skaenite temple, Rymmgrand palace etc) you walk away with an obnoxious amount of money.
  13. Gameplay complexity has nothing to do with the players' age. Complexity has something to do with willingness to invest time and effort into understanding something. A lot of people here got into IE games when they were younger and had much more free time. Now they are older, have a job, kids maybe ; but they play PoE for the nostalgia factor, and since they beat Baldu'rs Gate a million times, playing something like PoE doesn't require the same amount of intellectual investment and "risk taking" (as in, putting money in a game you might not like) as the average player. But the very same BG Veterans demographic probably wouldn't play other complex games they're less familiar with (say, Guilty Gear). Because they don't have anymore the amount of free time they had when they knew every single spell from the DnD rulebooks. That's the niche game curse. You just don't suddenly become invested in a demanding genre at 40. It takes decades of investment and passion to build such a demographic.
  14. If you wonder what Pillars of Eternity would be with a 8-digits budget the answer is simple : it would be Mass Effect. Not a bad game, but not the experience the PoE backers are looking for.
  15. In my opinion you want 2 things from a figurine : - first and foremost, not dying too quickly ; - giving you the flanking bonus. That's why I never liked the wurms - they're ranged so they don't engage enemies, making them not very useful. Shadows and Wood beetles are way too weak at mid to high level. They just die in a snap without slowing down enemies more than half a second. Adra Beetle and Animat are better. In my 6-characters PoTD run I found them useful as situational bonus tank/fodder ; same with normal solo run. But if you go for solo PoTD.... ? I never tried it so I can't say for sure, but I just can't see them doing anything useful against those huge swarms of enemies. So here's my ratings. I might be very wrong about some of them, just think of it as a starting point for discussion : Best : Ogres Decent : Adra Beetle, Animat Bleh : Wurms, Wood Beetle, Shades No opinion / Lack experience : Delemgan, Rain blight, Magma Blight
  16. Story progression in PoE is actually very linear, and your choices have very little influence on the world surrounding you ; or when they do, it's only visible in the endgame textual epilogue. I can guess how someone looking for a make-your-own-adventure kind of game can be disappointed. Actually, everybody who beat the game several times probably noticed how you always end up doing the same things in the same order. Replay value mostly comes from combat and gameplay variety between classes and builds. Pillars of Eternity is a very good game nevertheless. It's close to Baldur's Gate in spirit, who was a little more open-world-ish but was very linear as far as the main storyline goes. Combat is fun and not repetitive, the environment is very pretty, the world is interesting, some of the companions are very endearing. But yeah, it's not the big ultimate RPG we all dream of. It's a crowdfunded game with limited budget, who prefered focusing on a few things and making them right rather than being crazy ambitious on paper and end up releasing a half-***ed, unfinished game (inXile I'm talking to you).
  17. Actually, rogues deliver exactly what they're supposed to do : High damage but squishy. The thing is, as it is now, the game is divided between tough melee guys, and ranged squishies who supposedly never engage in melee. In this meta rogues stand out but not in a favorable way. Melee rogues will die sometimes and there's no real way to prevent that. That being said, they're very efficient at what you want them to do. They just involve some more risk than other classes.
  18. Isn't the average attribute score higher than 10 ? Anyway, obviously an all 10 group would still be stronger than a solo character, so this shouldn't be that much of a handicap. Individually, some characters are more dependants on stats than others. For a melee rogue for instance, attributes are whatever to some extent ; but a fighter will have trouble doing any damage against a high DR enemy without might. A spell like confusion will be much weaker without the AoE and duration bonus, especially on PoTD where there are much more enemies. In normal mode it shouldn't be an issue ; in PoTD it could be a fun challenge, plus the -1 level from custom characters...
  19. [disclaimer] here I'm talking about the gods from a writing point of view, this isn't a topic about how priests should have more deity options [/disclaimer] Most of us here are used to the Forgotten Realms RPG setting ; because of that, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only who noticed how small the PoE pantheon is. Obviously, I'm not expecting Obsidian to create the equivalent of a world that has been developped through hundreds of novels and rulebooks. That's beside the point. What bugs me is how the known pantheon, with all its dead and not-so-dead gods, is described as comprehensive, and leaves no room for minor/regional/racial deities. I think it's an issue because of how the opposition of cultures is a big theme in PoE, and will probably be in Deadfire. Take the Glanfathan : most of them worship Galawain, god of the hunt. Some of them worship Hylea or Wael. Galawain is worshipped by hunters everywhere and Wael has a big library-temple inside Defiance Bay. So that means Glanfathans and Aedyrans, or Dyrwoodans, share the same gods. They also share the same language, or at least aedyran is easily spoken by everyone in Twin Elms. So why exactly does everyone thinks Glanfathan culture is so weird and foreign ? There's this ruin protection things, but that's actually Woedica's policy, not Galawain's... For all these reasons I think the dyrwoodan-glanfathan opposition rings a bit hollow. There just isn't enough material for people to divide the world into "Us" and "Them". In comparison, the whole thing with Readcerans and the purges worked much better, even though Readcerans and Dyrwoodans are supposed to be closer in culture. Deadfire will probably develop the opposition between the natives and the Vailian and Rautai settlers. I want to feel how different their cultures are, not just accept it as a fact because the writers said so. Religion might sound like a simplistic solution, but it's a solution that works.
  20. I actually ckecked the wiki before answering to get the name right... and it's written second chance Never trust second-hand info I guess.
  21. On a similar topic, is there a reason why dessert is pronounced with a Z sound and desert with an S sound ? I find this extremely puzzling, since in French it's this exact opposite !
  22. It's outdated. Now athletics only gives you healing through Second Chance.
  23. First of all : every class is viable on PoTD. Paladins and Chanters aren't bad, but they're easy to make bad. For chanters, the strongest strategy seems to abuse Dragon Thrashed, an AoE Dot Chant. There's a thread on this page discussing unique chanter builds, you might want to take a peek. For paladin, you can either go support/living wall (high Res, shield, DR aura, hold the line...) or something with a little more single-target DPS (improved flames of devotions, sworn enemy, accuracy aura, paladin order specific stuff...). Pure tank paladins are easier to build but they will do crap damage. However, they can be extremely hard to kill even on PoTD. If you want to go that road you'll have to rely on other party members for damage which might be not so fun for a MC. Also, don't forget Coordinated Assault. For DPS Paladin I recommand to read a few guide before. I know there's a guide in this forum for a solo PoTD run with a bleak walker paladin, if you're interested.
  24. What do you guys think of these two attributes ? What bugs me is how they give you a flat bonus instead of something level or percent-based. +5 to accuracy or deviation seems pretty much unconsequential at high level and definitely not worth sacrificing 5 might. Then there's the other bonuses. How relevant are concentration and interrupt ?
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