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Everything posted by Taevyr

  1. Ignoring that they're quite unlikely to rely on funding campaigns post-aqcuisition, Kickstarter did an excellent job for PoE. Deadfire, meanwhile, got stuck with Fig, which in my opinion severely hurt its visibility as no-one even knew that platform existed.
  2. I hope they go for an open system: something like Tyranny, such as previously mentioned, would go nicely. 'Twould be nice to have Josh's classless system, but with him not being part of the project I don't think we will.
  3. Honestly, if it's going to be Skyrim-like, I wouldn't mind if companions weren't all that important. Obsidian generally does'em exceedingly well, but out of all open-world CRPG's without companion control I've played, only Dragon's Dogma had companions whose combat AI didn't want to make me sacrifice them to an elder god. The idea of plot-bound companions sounds decent however: more easy to incorporate, and less burden on the player to pick the right ones or build a balanced party. Since this is Obsidian, and with the experience from Outer Worlds and New Vegas in there, I don't think we have much to worry about.
  4. While I always enjoy having some options such as unique player homes, specific class-tailored quests and abilities, and extensive crafting mechanics, I really hope they leave those for updates and DLC. Or as is most likely with such content, they put them in after some miraculous event causes them to have fully developed, implemented and succesfully tested every other game aspect four months before launch as Jeff Bezos walks in to give them a few millions in development dollars. On a more serious note: about half of these options read like you want it to be like a tabletop game without taking into account both the actual cost and the opportunity cost: implementing niche features such as class-specific quests, or money sinkholes such as player housing, doesn't just cost way more than you're likely to receive for it, it also takes away from developing the main part of the game. As for your rather.... extensive desires for unique housing and crafting: a bonus minecraft with your RPG isn't the most reasonable of expectations, I'm afraid. Would I enjoy those things? Of course I would. But I'd rather they focus on building a good basegame with some simple crafting mechanics like in deadfire and perhaps some basic player housing if they still have the time/money, than end up sinking too much money in minor game aspects that are unlikely to return revenue while the main RPG aspects are left wanting. e.g. Deadfire's ship combat mini-game are fun additions, but hardly worth the money sink it reportedly was. I agree concerning the visuals and sound: If this is going to be Skyrim-like, an attractive, immersive world with music and visuals that make you enjoy just wandering around for a few hours are THE key aspects. Add in an actually decent combat system, some simple modding/"crafting", quests that go beyond "stab *insert person/group*" or "grab *insert item(s)*", and some obsidian-quality writing (deadfire main quest excluded), and I think most of us'll be hooked. After that, you can look at adding companions with or without reactivity, and things like housing and a more developed crafting system. But those are the base elements you need in an immersive, sandboxy CRPG. Though I hope they don't make it too sandboxy: It'd reduce plot/general writing options quite a bit. As for Romance, it's never good in games like Skyrim, though I actually respect Skyrim's simple, bare-boned implementation: "here's some romance for your sandbox, now we'll let you do what you want with it while we work on the actual sandbox". Bioware does them decently, but it's a key part of their brand and they're aided by the cinematic nature of their games; a 1st-person rpg doesn't require it, and is unlikely to do it well in the first place. If I want to get an alright romance I'll go play a visual novel, and even then I'll have to be rather discerning. I'll be annoyed if they give me infinite storage space though. I'm probably in the minority, but I always like having to deal with weight limitations in games like Dragon's Dogma and such, and usually find myself RP'ing it in games that lack it. Especially when said game is without a ship or castle I could conceivably store my personal zoo or 500 cheese wheels in.
  5. Yeah, Living Lands seems... unlikely to me, though the other information seems believable enough. I guess we'll have to see what other information trickles out. And I agree that it could only be made with Microsoft's support; the question is whether it was meant as a first "big project" to pitch to MS, as both a passion project and a way to properly start the union, or whether they started working on it fully the moment they knew the MS takeover would happen in a form of pre-production. Not that it matters much to me: release date speculation is fun, but I'd rather they take all the time they need over trying to make a set date. Elder Scrolls games take ages to make for a reason, and they always work out excellently. Let's hope Obsidian follows that example for their own version of 'em.
  6. But...but some of us like metaphysics. And there are dozens of us. Dozens! On a more serious note: Deadfire's plot could've used a bit less metaphysics, or at the very least clearer metaphysics. A look at the amount of threads trying to figure out what exactly happened in the end, dissatisfaction over the main story, and the writers having to add an explanation to the finished game in the form of Woedica's book, all point at that. I had a lot of fun thinking about the impact on Eora's metaphysics in Poko Kohara, the Wheel, and everything else, but even I have to agree that it was a bit much, and could at the very least have been handled a bit better. For the trilogy though, I at least want to see them finish the story they started. It'd be a shame not to at least tie off the existing meta(physics)plot, but perhaps tie it in with the general world/factions a bit more; Deadfire often felt like the main quest just hung in the background, leaving the factions to do their unconnected thing as the meat of the game. But Deadfire, to me at least, is a clear "mid-story" game, mostly setting up for the last part; it'd be a shame not to do something with that, and the characters who've been part of it from the start. I always felt Deadfire handled it pretty well with the "lose your soul" thing, considering it lines up perfectly with the metaphysical "all power comes from developing your soul" idea, though they could have made "reclaiming" it a bit more meaningful. That aside, is it really that hard to start again with a 1st level character, especially when a reason is given? I've had plenty of tabletop characters whose backstories implicated that they ought to be less or more capable than their mechanical level, and it's not like the levels of companions tend to differ depending on their life experience in most RPG's. Not to mention that mechanically, it'd be boring as hell to play through a game that doesn't have you properly growing in power.
  7. Eastern reach would be an odd choice: too much of it's history is already known - and thus set in stone - leaving fewer options for C&C, and it doesn't quite fit with all the Woedica imagery. Not to mention that the technology seems to point at a prequel, which'd fit better with "Skyrim in Eora" and doesn't necessitate creating first-person arquebusier animations. The mentions of empire and "always known war" point strongly towards the 3 Empires, particularly Old Vailia, but the Woedica imagery, mentions of queens and kings, and importance of oaths - to the point of being in the game's title - make Aedyr the obvious choice. And Aedyr was built on the wars and eventual unification between the human & wood elf races, so it fits as well. As for the vessels; I have no idea.
  8. According to his website, Paul Kirsch is one of the Narrative Designers on Avowed. Which makes me cautiously optimistic, considering his work on Deadfire and Tyranny that we know of.
  9. I checked Paul Kirsch's website, and it has him as a Narrative designer on Avowed, which is a good sign in my book. He did a lot of work on Tyranny and various characters and side quests in Deadfire, notably the Waidwen sequence in BoW, so with him on the team I'm cautiously optimistic concerning narrative.
  10. Eora, but "standard high/dark fantasy". I wonder how they'll manage it, as even with rediscovery of animancy and such out, there're still quite a few special aspects to play around with. To me, much depends on how Skyrim they go with the combat and attribute system: If they don't go beyond morrowind in simplification, I'll be.... content, at least. Some variety in weapons with actual differences between'em, some spellcrafting, proper perception of "being a living character" in first person rather than a camera with floating hands & weightless weapons.... oh, and actual attributes. For the love of Engwith, give us actual, meaningful attributes to develop. I've been missing those in first-person RPG's for way too long. Something else I noticed: the teaser magic, specifically drawing that symbol to create a specific effect, seemed reminiscent of Tyranny's magic system to me. If they find a way to adapt that system in a first-person RPG, I'll be hooked before I know it. EDIT: as for setting, considering Aedyr's supposed to be a Feudal/Byzantine rainforest, it should be both familiar and exotic enough to provide plenty of interest.
  11. If MS is generous with funding, I imagine third-person'll likely be in, if only to make certain they don't lose a chunk of potential customers. For now, all we have is confirmation that it's primarily first-person, though it could be I've missed any announcements about it.
  12. It does look like we'll be going back in time, which is probably to keep the game high fantasy: "oblivion with flintlocks" would be entertaining, but I can see why they'd want to stick to something more traditional; just too bad for my own preferences. And if it is set around Woedica's fall, which fits with a weakened Aedyr, seemingly lower tech advancement and the various oathy references, it makes for a good, viable spinoff from Early-Modern Eora: Far enough back that knowledge of PoE 1&2 isn't necessary for new players, while still a period that players of the previous games have just enough information on to pique our interest. Not to mention furthering the metaplot of "god shenanigans screwed things up, and now we have to find a way to solve it ourselves". I also doubt they'll risk losing a large chunk of customers by not implementing a third-person mode: it's a no-brainer if you have the funding for it, which MS'll probably provide.
  13. Well, I'm excited to see what Obs'll be able to do with a first-person rpg, though it'll likely be more open world exploration over RP if they're truly going by the skyrim formula. Still, the teaser looks great, they're going forward with Eora, likely either Aedyr or Old Vailia specifically, and I wouldn't mind exploring that world in the most immersive way possible. I'll be keeping an eye on this one.
  14. Staying OT, but I like talking about my field, so please forgive me: as an archaeologist who specialized in the roman mediterranean, you could write a doctorate on the subject and still not be able to pinpoint the main factor. Long story short, it started in the 3rd century with the combination of a terrible economy, a great plague and massive civil wars leading to the loss of control over the outlying provinces, each with their underlying reasons and further developments, for starters. Reliance on local powers after that century can be seen as a form of proto-feudalism: Rome collected taxes and enforced the imperial cult, local powers could rule their lands in peace, and the empire "remained whole". 476 merely cut the last piece of rope keeping largely independent parts together. Straw-man arguments like "Rome was perfect until X" are ridiculous, both because you can't pin it on a single thing, and because Rome wasn't all that awesome in the first place. Especially when it concerns "Immigration bad" and "christianity bad", since both also became important factors helping stability.
  15. Considering Maia, I'm fairly certain the only civilian assassination she carries out is when she eliminates that Huana chieftain at the end of her companion quest, and the whole point of that part is that she starts questioning Atsura's orders: I doubt she'd have that reaction if she'd been used to kill civilian targets all along. The line between "military" and "civilian" targets is pretty damn thin in that period/region, but it certainly seems to matter to her. While it's clear from her dialogue with both the watcher and Serafen that she's generally used to eliminate specific targets, and was partially put on your crew in case you became one of those targets, to me it seems equally clear that she's only had to deal with military targets thus far: pirate captains, vailian privateers, etc. When she's ordered to assassinate that Huana Chieftain who clearly isn't a military threat, she follows orders, but is clearly shaken by it afterwards; it's your choice whether she decides to oppose Atsura's tactics or becomes the blind follower she's made out to be. I'm not saying Atsura isn't a manipulative narcissist warmonger, or that Maia's not a racist chauvinist, but she's not that different from modern snipers/spies in her duties, and she clearly doesn't want to be used against civilians unless you encourage her. In other words: she's not the blind supporter of the RDC she's often made out to be, unless you encourage her to do so in your playthrough. I also don't see why you'd assume she carries out the Tikawara and Port Maje assassinations: both are only impacted by your choices during said subquests, and happen regardless of Maia's opinion of/membership in the RDC at the end of the game; and if they happened before that, it doesn't fit with how shaken she is by her assassination of the Huana chieftain. Not to mention that those assassinations still happen in the ending where she eventually convinces the ranga nui to oppose said tactics, which makes it rather unlikely she took part in them after coming to that conclusion. Additionally, if she had only been used to take down military targets, she'd have no reason to assume Tikiwara and Port Maje are assassination missions rather than general intelligence operations: that depends on when she read/received her own orders. Finally, one thing I noticed is that her dialogue clashes with itself at times: her relieved "finally" when you're ordered to kill Onekaza compared to her reaction afterwards, for example. Her voice acting is rather bad, in my opinion, as I feel a less monotone/bland delivery may have been clearer on the undertone: 'cause currently, large parts of it could be either her being a blind patriot or caustic cynicism, depending on how you read it.
  16. I usually play on Veteran so I can use the story companions without being that underpowered, so this isn't meant for PotD tips. The best way to get through a seemingly unbeatable encounter is, in my experience, using either really specific equipment or some type of special rest-food that fits the boss/encounter. Captain's Banquet or that reflective shield for Splintered Reef comes to mind, or abusing Shark Soup against the Porokoa. Not that fun if you like the challenge, but once frustration sets in, abusing food is usually an easy way to get past a hurdle. Otherwise, it's basically finding a way to keep control over the boss: interrupts, Prone, Temporal Cocoons, the works. Every Boss'll have something that works, and from then on it comes down to knowing when's the best moment to use them. The DLC's are quite a notable difficulty spike compared to the base game, and the Oracle's the hardest fight in the game (barring megabosses), so taking a certain amount of reloads is to be expected. Doesn't mean it's not damn frustrating, unfortunately. Also, a big problem is that it's easy to pick the "wrong" spells, attributes or party composition, and then discover you can't stop Neriscyrlas from casting his Corrosive Touch/Safeguard, or can't properly CC the Oracle in any way. Deadfire isn't quite as bad as e.g. Kingmaker in that regard (and far better than Kingmaker's "combat is either way too easy or flat-out impossible late-game"), but it's something every CRPG suffers from. In a way it's part of the charm: you can beat anything with proper preparation, but if you don't, gods have mercy on you.
  17. Personally, for open world I prefer the approach of Pillars I and Tyranny: Have a world map consisting of various zones, and restrict movement through either plot or "natural" reasons, e.g. how "flooding" restricts you from entering the areas closer to Twin Elms in Act 2 of PoE, or how Tyranny has the blocked mountain pass in Act 1, and the faction-based access in Act 2. Another possibility that I like, but is a bit less effective, is zones with restriction through enemy level: such as how Dragon Age: origins puts a few high-level encounters in the zone leading to Orzammar; One of the most enjoyable parts was returning and beating'em later in the campaign, or managing to beat them at that lower level on a future playthrough. Unfortunately, these days it'd probably lead to players complaining about a lack of balance , rather than getting the point and coming back later. Deadfire..... kind of took the worst of fully open worlds without getting what makes'em interesting: The open world put a lot less urgency on the plot when you were expected to spend a lot of time just sailing around, which works in a sandbox like Skyrim and New Vegas where you're free to do what you want, but not a more story-driven game; the zone-based exploration meant that the larger zones with an ongoing or connected quest, such as Nemnok's, Shattered Reef and Cignath Mor, were quite interesting, but the single-zone bounty islands or those dots you visited only to plunder the village, drain the pond and pluck the fruit started feeling like busywork rather quickly. The empty/smaller islands also lacked what makes an open world like Skyrim and New Vegas interesting, which is the atmosphere and general feel while wandering the world: the sea shanties definitely added atmosphere, but gaining 20 water, 50 fruit and whatever you found in ruined village #8 by exploring empty island #15 didn't quite have the same attraction as getting to the top of that one mountain and just enjoying the view in Skyrim, or warily exploring the far reaches of the map in Dragon's Dogma: None of those have anything special about them other than existence, but the general atmosphere and lack of urgency can make them enjoyable to explore. The Old City, Oathbinder's Sanctum and Wael's Island had atmosphere, but those were zones/islands large enough to establish that atmosphere while exploring them; For the world at large, a 3rd-person RPG will always beat an isometric in my view, and for good reason. For PoE3, I'd like a few more large dungeons, but barring that, I'd like there to be less "throwaway" locations: make fewer but larger locations with a minor quest beyond "go map these", or add some plot connections and even restrictions if necessary, such as in locations like Cignath Mor or Bekarna's observatory that only became available/relevant during/following a certain quest. I also like Boeroer's idea of letting players choose between a guided playthrough or a "free" playthrough, though it might just end up as double work for the developers.
  18. For a comparison with Pathfinder, you need to take into account that Deadfire switched to Fig instead of Kickstarter which, in my opinion, severely hurt the visibility of both Deadfire in general and the crowdfunding campaign.
  19. Same here. DA2 was far better than people made it sound, and I still wonder what it could've been if EA hadn't forced Bioware to finish it that quickly. Inquisition, while it had some clearly fanbase-pandering and overall simplified characters and a horrible open world explore-grind, it also still had a few gems of characters and plenty of lore underneath the general crap. I wouldn't hesitate to say I enjoyed it, but it's the first in the series in which I skipped certain parts. The Descent and Trespasser were definitely steps back in the right direction, especially Trespasser. DA:O is also the game that made me love discovering ways to horribly break game balance: my second character was a spirit-tree specialist with Blood mage/spirit healer. You eventually reach a point where you can solo the game. I also kept accidentally blowing my entire party up with virulent walking bomb. Way too fun to lock a group of enemies in place, infect one with virulent walking bomb, then blood-bending it to the middle of the pack.
  20. After that here's my two cents, I tried to put them from least controversial to most: - CK2 is an RPG (not that unpopular, but some people at the paradox fora really hate this sentiment) - There's no non-isometric RPG with better combat and Party AI than Dragon's Dogma. It's also better than most isometrics in that regard, but the styles differ too much for a real comparison. - ME1 is the best in the series - Tyranny, aside from being far more innovative, is a better RPG than PoE, though act 3 was clearly rushed. The ending wouldn't be nearly as bad if it wasn't likely to be the only entry in its setting. - No matter how much I may love them, a brilliant story with some game mechanics tacked onto them don't make for a good, or even decent game. Corollary: Chris avellone is a great writer in spite of his really, incredibly, incredulously repetitive writing, but a terrible game developer. In the other corner: D:OS 1 and 2 are brilliant games, but the sheer stupidity of the stories make them unplayable for me. The first would've been good if it hadn't eventually tried to pretend it had more than a comedic excuse plot. - I really enjoyed the game, but Owlcat doesn't deserve all of the recognition they get for Pathfinder: Kingmaker; they got an existing setting and story, and more-or-less copypasted the tabletop mechanics into the game mechanics without thinking about the lack of balance, sheer amount of trap choices and any other adaptations needed to fit them for a video game, and called it a day. In the other corner: Obsidian deserves more recognition for the creation of an entirely new setting, backstory, and mechanics in Pillars and Tyranny, especially since neither conform to standard fantasy settings. I'm sick of run-of-the-mill medieval fantasy - Star Wars: The Old Republic has some of the best RPG writing in the past 10 years. - I'm not a fan of fallout: new vegas Finally, something I realized over the years: The only way to fully appreciate the best RPG's out there is to either be unemployed, or a college student who doesn't care that much about his grades. Otherwise, you'll be hard-pressed to properly finish even one. Shorter = better, not because of better quality, but because you can actually finish the damn things without growing tired of them.
  21. I also really enjoyed Origins, but i'm fully aware that I wouldn't appreciate it nearly as much if I hadn't played it as a 1st-year college student who hardly needed to study to get good grades. Plumbing the depths of that game is a full-time job, and quite a grind at times. Also, despite the current state of Bioware I am still looking forward to DA4. I may need help.
  22. Portimancy has a nice ring to it, but I do feel the ani- prefix should be part of the word. Can't recall anything about the Grey lands in-game either: Perhaps it's just a dog from the Living Lands.
  23. More random events are always nice, as long as they don't become too tedious.
  24. After some time passes in-game, he manages to learn passable Aedyran.
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