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Wombat

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Everything posted by Wombat

  1. As for back-tracking, while I'm a kind of player who won't play New Vegas without Sawyer mod, thanks to the fast-travel option, I didn't need to backtrack long way to the presidential suite as long as The PC is not in dungeons dangerous areas except-unfortunately-some Vegas areas remained as routine paths. Some people may find the compromise as blasphemy but, personally, I found resource management in relatively forgiving wilderness rather dull compared with that in dangerous areas. A nice thing about the fast-travel is that I can always go back "on foot" or explore around if I decided to do so since it's just an option. Even in the older format, I did't find back-tracking or nanning path-finding AI is an interesting gameplay. If there is nothing interesting, I'd like to go back to cities/towns/my base or access to their functions, without wasting my time on dealing with path-finding AI. Related to this, how about letting city areas presented by dialogue options like in Darklands except the areas of interests/possible random encounters? Some people seem to find the city population in old IE games is not convincing even compared with something like Assassin's Creed series but I don't think those people want to find an NPC among convincing number of people or even support such implementation which realizes city crowd and their AI even if such thing were possible within the current technology level. Personally, I don't like to do nanning path-finding AI in relatively safe and known areas. I imagine the actual presentation of the game would be like a mixture of old adventure book-like dialogues and IE games (guess something like Indira posted above...) and I think some people may be against such presentation, though. Just a thought. About resting places, I believe, thanks to the save-anywhere, at times, I'll be able to ignore some rest places in PoE as I did in old IE games, talking of player options. Also, I think Expert mode will provide some interesting restrictions for resource management. For Expert mode, maybe some places are very good for something like a full-fledged camp while some areas are just good enough for bivouac sheltering. For bigger dungeons, how about allowing the players to build a base camp and C1, C2 to conquer the entire area but guess this would make things way too resource management-heavy and that the concept itself is provably rather too heavily affected by modern mountaineering... In any case, I think I wrote about possible classifying rest places before (not the base camp thingy, though). BTW, this is a question for the team. Related to how you ended up with the current format of inventory management, didn't you consider an option to allow players who are not into resource management access the party inventory anytime rather than just resting places? This may screw up the idea of Strength affecting the number of personal inventory slots but some people might have liked the old idea rather than the current one although, personally, I guess I belong to the group who like some restrictions in strategic choices around equipments-just for curiosity, reacted to the topic of offering the players options to filter the core gameplay. PS Yeah, I know writing down random ideas must be much easier than realizing them in the game...
  2. That’s not what is planned for PoE, based on info so far. There will be no pointing arrows but direct expression version of quest logs. Personally, I’d like to see good combination of quest logs and something like codex to fresh up my memory rather than direct expressions, though. The team seem to have already got a good dialogue editor combined with quest charts, so, I think it would be nice for us the players to be benefitted by well-sorted quest logs/codex entries. I don’t have much understanding on why some people need to feel superior than others for playing games. Sticking to what I can understand, additional factors which reward the players in their own favorite way is one of the GMs tasks to keep them entertained. If someone likes exploration and, reads between lines carefully, rewarding him/her with additional loot/lore/mystery or background info would be appropriate, hopefully without diminishing the core experience for other people. For example, I think one of the reasons why item descriptions are popular for some people is that it rewards both types of the players who enjoy loot/tactical or strategic usage of the items and who enjoy additional story to immerse themselves with the world through writing. Profiling each player type and reward them according to the analysis is what GMs would do unconsciously or consciously while they are planning a campaign with a new group. Basically, if Obsidian can entertain more people, they will have more people to support them. If they don’t want to rely on middle men, they need to make games which naturally entertain many people. If such thing can be done efficiently with well-planned devices such as quest log integrity and/or implementing additional game modes such as Trial of Iron and Expert mode to entertain various players, why not put additional effort to sell their strengths? It’s a single player game, where nobody will complain of how you play the game. At least, some of the designers seem to be experienced GMs and I have been wondering why CRPG designers were trying to copy it’s PnP counterparts without analyzing how GMs entertain players, how these things would be translated into CRPG format and implement them in CRPGs.
  3. There is a reason behind my using words such as pixel-hunting/back-tracking rather than exploring. IIRC, I didn't use much of my brains to fetch Bronze Sphere and keep it in my inventory or find the mask fragment, which was not high-lighted even upon pushing alt key on the map, though. Then again, these things can screw things up quite easily and, personally, I think it's not a good idea to punish the players too severely just overlooking a single object in a long game. As for replayability, recent works by Obsidian tend to give the players tough choices which lead to mutually exclusive outcomes, accompanied by the disposition/reputation system. Combined with the party composition and the PC-builds, I think there should be enough reasons to play the game more than once rather than making sure you picked up the same objects from the same places for each playthrough, IMO.
  4. c) Something else I'd chime in asking the team to make the game more life-friendly. The issue for me seems to be nuisances around old skool CRPGs, which mainly involves inventory management, mindless grinding, pixel-hunting and remembering things when reloading saves after a long period. I managed to finish BG2, which had stayed on my HD nearly for two years, by simply being persistent. In fact, most of the games I play are save-anywhere style, which allows me to continue the game little by little like I bookmark books with massive volumes. At the same time, I'd like the game to be challenging due to its own tactical difficulty. Based on the info so far, inventory management seems to be eased and I cannot remember too much about grinding in Obsidian games. Basically, I'd like PoE to let me easily find time to play it while not sacrificing the difficulty. After his playing Arcanum, I guess Avellone understands what I'm talking about here*. Off the top of my head, possible improvements to this direction would be: things are well-placed rest areas, non-luck-heavy gameplay, resource management factors which don't require too much mindless back-tracking or going back to more than several hours old saves (I hope the game system won't require too much for "wrong" character builds for respecing), well-written and well-sorted-out quest logs (like patient GMs to remind his/her players of their last sessions), no pixel-hunting-heavy gameplay like the notorious mask fragment in Mask of the Betrayer (Some people needed to go back to the map when they missed the special quest item to get a satisfactory narrative end. A similar thing happened to Bronze Sphere in PST). Generally speaking, please don't let little mistakes haunt way-too-long in such long (narrative-focused) games, which would be similar to the reason why game-stopping bugs are hated in this genre (c.f. New Vegas on PS3). BTW, one of the main obstacles for me to keep playing some story-focused games is used-up themes or the lack of interesting themes, which will not be much of concern when comes to Obsidian games. *In one of his blog entries, Avellone wrote what could easily weaken their strong points if not implemented carefully and I needed to show my concerns. Dead Money was misses and hits while not so many people complained of Alpha Protocol's timed dialogues. Personally, I didn't have problem, either, probably because I didn't need time to choose dialogues. Probably I'm just stating the obvious but well-calculated restrictions for short term pressure seems to work fine. I can safely regard PnP sessions are well-calculated environment but, for CRPGs, the designers probably need to do plan carefully.
  5. Does that mean the K thingy? *Skimming through the thread* Guess so . Then, please.
  6. Both GTA and Fallout:New Vegas can be called "sandbox" games but, what about choice and consequences, which is one of the key element of Obsidian games? To my eyes, what you can get so far for episodic release is either narrative focused games with choice and consequences (e.g. Walking Dead series) or GTA style open-world sandbox games (without C&C). In fact, all the DLCs of FOV was done as separate and isolated areas. There might be a way to do it properly but I'm very skeptic about it. In any case, Feargus needs to feed his employees. Then, their success depends on how Obsidian as a company will do it and so be it. As a fan, I'll be most likely to put my pledge on humble projects with smaller and talented teams.
  7. Although Feargus is CEO, somehow, I don't find him reliable source. That said, no external IP, or even trying to compete against AAA games, please. Considering that we have relatively small denominator for core RPG games, the cost for each fan is likely to end up quite high. For example, I didn't know much about the possible cost of 2D graphic in general till their Kickstarter campaign and we seem to end up paying more for it. Since I'm not interested in AAA games, I still have room for paying but I wanted Obsidian to establish a foundation to produce other RPGs for core fans. Of course, to establish a healthy business model or to expand the denominator, I don't complain of some implementations on PE to ease the learning curve (not the difficulty!) as long as they don't diminish reading/tactical gameplay. However, please don't bite off more than you can chew.
  8. That sounds like a dream team! The perfect combo, IMHO. If you expect better parts, yes but team chemistry is quite hard to predict especially from outside. Alpha Protocol originally had Brian Mitsoda and Chris Avellone but the game itself seem to have experienced complicated process. The details are not known but Misoda ended up denying his relation to the final writing in that game. Sometimes or more often, putting "good" designers in the same box doesn't produce desirable results. Then again, chemistry can work better than expected, at times, too. So, I'd cautiously take a wider margin for my expectation. That said, so far, I don't feel conflicts among the designers themselves unlike AP's case. Honestly I'm wondering what elements you consider simulation-focused because most of the games you've mentioned seem very narrative-focused on the whole to me. My initial impression is that you are distinguishing between games that are 90% narrative/10% "simulation" and those that are 80% narrative/20% "simulation". Actually, not a surprise, judging from your using even CK2 as an example. However, how many of past Obsidian/BIS games, which are considered as archetypes of PE did focus on simulation? Totally off topic but CK2 seems to be a good game in its own right-I'm just waiting for all in one package version.
  9. In-depth roleplaying experience, which explores interesting themes. As long as there are intriguing themes, I don't mind how the settings are categorized-real world (history included), Sci-Fi, fantasy or even children's literature (Seven Dwarves sounded interesting) or they are narrative-focused or simulation-focused (Planescape Torment focused on narrative while FO series focused on simulation-something like Morrowind are in the middle ground in an interesting way). As for PE, I'm still wondering if it is more simulation-focused or narrative-focused since BG, especially BG2 was more on narrative (unfortunately, not a good one, IMHO) while Sawyer and Festermarker seem to be more accustomed to simulation focused games, different from Ziets and Avellone. I wonder how team chemistry will end up with this project.
  10. Obsidian, too, are going to make it their own franchise. So, they are most likely to put lore in the way which allows the players to interpret with their own imagination as like some good supplements in PnP RPGs (I'd refrain my opinon about FR, though). That said, as some people mentioned, I wonder how they would treat codex/item descriptions, especially some of the latter are cooperated by some of the backers.
  11. That part has been already covered. The lead designer is not a big fan of NPCs that feel like information devices, which he occationally expressed. You may be able to find some bits if you serach for his presentation "Do Say the Right Thing" in GDC 2012. As for how lore would be presented, considering how the rep system and PE world are designed and that the lead designer majored in history, we may be able to expect lore has some variations depending on who they wrote/told. In CRPG, this is well done in Morrowind, IMO-except that the conversations with NPCs are not written as natural conversations like we can see Obsidian works. About environmental story-telling in general, I guess I understand what you mean. Probably due to the generation, I often used System Shock 2 (Avellone is a fan of Shocks, too) as an example, instead of Dishonored (However, both of them have Looking Glass gene), though. Among Obsidian members, Tim Cain seems to have enjoyed Fallout 3 (Emil Pagliarulo worked on it), employing his own imagination on what actually happened in various locations of it, so, Obsidian may have some ideas of their own. That said, like some people here, I have to remind you that the actual gameplay of this game is exparienced through "isometric" view and, if you don't appreciate lot of reading, you may not be able to make full out of it.
  12. "It all comes down to how the warning is delivered." Agreed with this one. That said, I think it's natural that characters with suitable abilities (survival skills, magic abilities, and lore) enough warn the protagonist pointing out the facts they observed-such as footprints, unnatural magic traces, and disturbing stories. That said, I think Obsidian devs have quite a few tricks up their sleeves. That was a factor which added tension to wondering "sparse" open areas of BG1. I have to remind that there won't be XP for killing in PE, though. Rather, once cleared, the fields indeed, felt too absent. As for basilisk's example, yes, some encounters became too easy once the players learned how to deal with them. In some cases, such factors become just like routine rituals in the case of finishing trolls with fire. That said, I basically agree that there should be that distinctive sense of danger when exploring wilderness although having proper equipment/party members/abilities would ease it to some extent. I hope the imagination of the devs haven't died out after these years as well as ours.
  13. As for finding most sutiable words for the PC dialogues, the character archetypes presented here feel somehow generic. For Alpha Protocol, the designers looked into existing popular spy genre works and narrowed down to three archetypes. Thinking of it now, D&D alignments can be translated into representative archetypes in pop fantasy genre-hero (lawful good), antihero (chaotic good), Machiavellian (lawful evil) and psychopath (chaotic evil), even if they are often presented as simpler good vs evil options in CRPGs (Then again, which is often the main theme of pop escapist fantasy works). Torment's tides reflect personal values for how to live, which is tightly related to the main theme. So, although they seem to be very different, all of them are built around the themes which can be expected for possible story development of each work, which helps the player find most suitable lines for their liking. If the designers went for genuine social simulation without any theme, there would never be enough archetypes for such an ambitious project.
  14. I cannnot speak for other people but, in this thread, there is no explanation on individual NPC/companion rep like Knight of Old Republic 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 OC, Mask of the Betrayer and Alpha Protocol. In FNV, even companion NPCs reacted to faction rep and Karma. So, naturally, I (and, seemingly, SunBroSolaire) asked if there is individual NPC rep or not, alongside with the location/faction rep and the disposition rep, which are explained in this thread, to personalize the experience further. Although Bioware-ish NPC romance is not my cup of tea, romance rep is not mentioned, either.
  15. Assuming there is individual rep, is that possible to make a companion NPC work against his/her faction (even if temporarily) if the protagonist had put enough points in individual rep jar? I'm curious since I have been interested in this system since the Black Hound.
  16. Means, it is functionaly similar to the old morality slider (Good/Evil) in the way it constantly checks the repsonse of the PC alhouth it is not calculated two-dimentionaly or +/- of a single value and that the NPCs have more various reactions to it. (The edit timlimit was alredy gone so I tried to clarify it. Hope it is clear now.)
  17. How did the reputation system work in the Black Hound? IIRC, it had regional rep and faction rep, which, I think, were similar to these of New Vegas. Also, tBH had a personality rep called epithet instead of "disposition." Back then, I thought it would work like "Child Killer" in Fallout. However, reading your discription about the description now, it sounds similar to stances in Alpha Protocol and tides in Torment. Means, it functionally similar to the old morality slider (Good/Evil) in the way it constantly checks the responses of the PC although it is not calculated two-dimensionally or +/- and the NPCs have more various reactions to it.
  18. Torment has five tides (blue, red, indigo, silver and gold) while Alpha Protocol had three character templates (aggressive, professional and suave) suited for the action spy genre, modelling Bauer, Ryan and Bond respectively. Presuming the characterization system work similarly (or am I wrong?), how many templates will PE have? So far, you have mentioned benevolent, clever, and cruel.
  19. For those who don't understand: "Not everything was better in the past."BioWare's tools for the Infinity Engine were very powerful but terribly complicated", says Josh Sawyer. "Also there was a lot of nonsense-dialogue. They might have been entertaining but we believe that you'd prefer to see really good conversations." As for the homebrewed dialogue tool, when I asked about their dialogue tool, they didn't answer but I noticed Sawyer had told about it at Tumblr site. Rather surprised here, though, since, considering the characteristic of Obsidian, somehow, I presumed it had already been functioning as quest flowchart before they ported it to Unity but nice to see they are happy with their current tool.
  20. Maybe, how about making "grades" in rest points, which can be integrated under the same rules with the stronghold/inn hospitality ideas: Resting in upgraded rest-related installments in the stronghold and staying high-priced rooms in inns would give the party higher bonuses since they are most likely to be the ideal resting places? This would allow the designers to take control on the tones of each area. For example, if the designers would like to put more emphasis on survival in a dungeon/field, they could put just low-grade rest points in it. Even in this case, if they desire, they can still put a high-grade rest point before a boss fight in the same area. The grades may be affected by survival skills of the party members and/or mode setting, means, choosing the expert mode may down grade some or each camp. I suspect some of the ideas around resting can be traced back to still mysterious "camp" ideas of the Black Hound but I wonder how much of them are adjusted to this project.
  21. Yeah, when I was writing my previous post, I was thinking of something like that, which could make the deeper dungeons harder especially for hardcore mode players.
  22. I don't know if stronghold is childish or not but a potentially negative aspect of random events is that they cannot always happen in a good timing. For instance, if you are exploring dungeons or solving quests and finally reach the end boss or talk to a key NPC, and then, "bad" random events happen telling you that your stronghold are under attack. Personally, I don't like the idea and feel pretty forced to do something I don't want to. Something like occasional attacks would definitely distract me from adventuring. Of course, keeping a certain security level could make the damage less disastrous but the cost feels like a tax to avoid unwanted gameplay to me (e.g. Hacking skill in Alpha Protocol). Some people may like to have occasional simulationist accidents but must it be a part of the game? What makes me worry about the stronghold is that it may distract me from the main gameplay of adventuring by the added political and economic management gameplay (Of course, if it's just an option for people into such gameplay, I wouldn't mind). That said, I like the idea of "stronghold" functioning as a hub to enhance the core gameplays of players' liking. For example, as some people mentioned, it can add an interesting layer to resource management. If some bonuses at the base camp wear off gradually by repeating rests, it even could add an interesting factor to resource management (If the party goes deeper in the dungeons, it makes things harder, which can make Endless Paths of Od Nua more challenging.), which can be replaced by the ditched item degradation penalty since some people may complain of penalties but nobody would for bonuses-for the designers, it must be just a matter of balancing. PS Thinking of it now, I was unhappy with being attacked by town thugs when I'm talking to NPCs in Planescape: Torment and BG2 companions began to talk of their personal matters at the worst timing - They were simply annoying and I'd like the combat and dialogues are mutually exclusive. Of course, if the surprise was well calculated one, I wouldn't mind. They are just reminders to me that computers are not the best game masters.
  23. Probably, I should wait for a possible gimmick UI screen or something but, out of curiosity, how the equipped item slots (Head 1, Neck 1, Hands 1, Body 1, Waists 1, Rings 2, Feet, Weapons 2*2, Quick Items ?, Wizard Grimoires ?) + "Top of the Pack" (Individual inventory, accessible outside of combat) and Stash (Party inventory, only accessible in rest areas) will be presented? Can the players see all of them in one screen, which is pretty unlikely? If not, how would they be separated into each window?
  24. Nice...how to differentiate a priest from a paladin was one of my biggest questions after hearing the first concept. Also, not entirely restricting a cipher for attacks on Psyche but also other stats (presumably to keep a certain level of tactical choices for the class) is a nice touch in this update, IMO.
  25. Sorry, Bob but Mind Flayers are not my cup of tea as well as other D&D settings. Personally, I'd like more subtle influence on human psychology, like in folklore/Lovecraftian tales but D&D gamist mechanism made it more direct, thus often ending up with cartoon-ish presentations. I hope Obsidian writers will manage to pull off interesting presentations in some quests, though.
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