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Triple - A Foxy Lad

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Everything posted by Triple - A Foxy Lad

  1. all the faction npcs have triggers that make them leave, and tbf theyre all misfits one way or another, tekehu resents his obligations, serafen dislikes the principi leadership, palleginas loyal to the republics, but that loyalty only goes one way. maias become jaded. feel theyre all taking time out from their lives for whatever reason even if they plan on going back. like maia pursues a relationship with cloud-cuckoolander xoti of all people, if that aint indicative of wanting to escape *something*, i dunno what is. i really dont feel their presence is that much of a stretch when there are plenty of people in FO, BG, Arcanum etc. that have no reason to be hanging with u other than they were standing on certain road when u passed. also i dont think is helpful to consider npcs as real people, even if they can be catalysts for very real emotions. devs are constrained by resources. only so much time in day for narrative designers to compose different variations of each encounter. judging work by how well it reflects 'reality' without acknowledging limits and tendencies of medium just not productive imo. like u can go through every conversation in deadfire and say 'serafen should say this', 'serafen should say this' yadda yadda but suspect alex scokel needed to sleep and eat at some point - and liam o'brien costs money. characters in other games may be written more thoroughly and to the same end - every conversation bespoke and complete - but expecting big open-world, branching crpg to reap benefits of linearity just recipe for disappointment. i feel is better to start from bare minimum of content required to satisfy form then consider why certain things were added - rather than start from simulacrum of real world and subtract. as i mentioned earlier in thread, more writing means more holes to pick. back in day, peeps wouldnt have imagined computer game acting remotely lifelike. branching conversations were a rare treat ud excitedly count on ur fingers. u wouldnt think of comparing it to natural conversation, wouldve been like holding cave painting to standard of photograph. we now getting to the uncanny valley where were falling between abstraction and replication.
  2. Id say the divisions more between those who want to be enabled and those who want to be challenged. As im more of an artsy type, im glad we have the systems enthusiasts offering explanations and critique. I dont feel im competing with them for priority. If anything, i benefit when obs cater to them.
  3. problem is crpg fans enjoy nothing and are never happy. Ud spread more joy by manufacturing pharmaceuticals rather than games.
  4. Dragonfall is wonderful and its exploration of community, 'family' and bereavement sets it above and apart from many other games, not just crpgs. Learning about monkias past, bit by bit, and wondering if ull ever be more than a poor replacement was compelling. To borrow a term from china mieville, ur playing the 'unchosen' but sometimes the unchosen is beautiful and necessary in its own way. When you consider how much in vogue open worlds are, dragonfalls a great argument for keeping things geographically tight. It makes a great contrast to almost everything else. Dont think the games that replayable and system-wise there aint much to it, but eh that dont really matter for what the game does. dont think id want pillars to emulate it too much - such focus doesnt lend itself to enough different experiences to meet the franchises spec - but i like to think anyone creating a smaller hub within a larger game could learn a hell of a lot from dragonfall. I need to go back to that game at some point but it emotionally drains me. dietrich, eiger and glory really capture the 'distant-yet-closer-than-kin' relationship u have with old colleagues. Esp dietrich, hes great. Man, now i just want glory to come home, live a normal life with people who care, poor girl. Maybe this is how parents feel when their kids leave or something.
  5. Hello there! I've just picked up Ydwin, and I've been mucking around with her new dialogue tree. Thanks for that. She's good fun, if 'fun' is the right word. However I've noticed it's possible to discuss events with her that haven't happened yet. I've emailed a save file. If you speak to Ydwin, and follow the dialogue tree thus: * 1. I'd like to ask about your condition On the next branch, it appears you can pick any option and it doesn't make much difference, but 3. "Fine, don't tell me" is the quickest for purposes of recreating this Afterwards you're given the option: 1. We spoke with Rymrgand. To his face. Kind of. * In the save file I've sent, I've yet to encounter Rymrgand. Thank you.
  6. ooooh okay, okay, i think ive got it. now the clever people get to mark my homework. base is 21.3 so u add all the coefficients together Finishing Blow +50% (0.5) Graze -50% (-1) ie 1-(1/0.5) Might +6% (0.06) Exceptional +30% (0.3) Harpooning +5% (0.05) Draining Whip +20% (0.2) and u get a final total of 0.11 because its positive game adds 1 to it so u have final coefficient of 1.11 21.3 x 1.11 = 23.643 which im guessing game then rounds up to 23.7?
  7. i dunno the ins and outs of how the game rounds off those decimal points - and occasionally game outright lies about what its doing - but if u add all those bonuses to ur initial roll and apply the 50% graze malus to the total, u end up with something in region of 22.5. ie. base 21.3 +50% (10.65) +6% (1.278) +30% (6.39) +5% (1.065) +20% (4.26) = 44.943 then Graze: -50% (22.4715) Like, i'm obv missing something. I've not much idea as to what would make it up to 23.7. ud need someone like maxquest for that one.
  8. ye, i dont feel this at all. i think portraying the setting itself is the games priority. ur characters main purpose is to have adequate motivation to get out there and get involved with the setting on a suitably epic scale. making u half-god achieves this quite smartly. the problem is, bg gives u no reason to embrace full bhaalspawn, nor spends enough time selling it as a scary inevitability that would require a miracle to overcome. there are loads of things they could have done to develop this theme. they could have had quests ending in horrible bloodshed regardless of ur intentions. they could have made it a necessity for u to go darkside to save companions. they couldve forced isolation upon u as u get blamed more and more for the unavoidable terror in ur wake. like the game had a real chance to pull a blinder with the harper stronghold quest. the harpers come after you because ur bhaalspawn and potentially dangerous - so far so good, maybe u are dangerous - but hey-ho, it was down to infighting and personal politics and theyre not *real* harpers and blah blah. the quest is over, you get experience and nothing really changes. could they have twisted that knife further and made the harpers a steadfast enemy and forced jaheira to abandon everything for ur sake? hell yes, but game ultimately is less interested in that theme and more in giving u to chance to do good work in d&d land. Like imagine if u had a good paladin order chasing u out of every settlement for good reason, and ur only option to keep on trucking was to kill a ton of decent people. yeah, tasty, then we're cooking with gas. also main antagonist of bg2 totes separate from bhaalspawn element. for irenicus, is just a means to acquire power. true, he tries to bait u by selling this power to u, but because the game *as a whole* doesnt sell the power to u, his words are just bond villain stuff. hes an evil **** whos trying to play u is all. Dragon Age pushes the theme of struggling against inner-beast a *lot* harder. the circle of magi are an incredibly powerful weapon for good and ill. the society around them is divided as to how to deal with them. there are arguments for giving the mages autonomy and arguments against it. its the central theme of several main quests. one of the most powerful subclasses - blood mage - can only be unlocked by giving up a child to a desire demon. yeah, reprehensible, but fml is that aoe damage/stun tempting af. amusingly, the grey warden stuff is poorly executed by comparison, but whatevs. really they shouldve made it so all grey wardens inevitably became gibbering amoral murderous lunatics who had to be put down like dogs. i guess they didnt go that route bcs it might have upset players. they sort of started including that angle on the grey wardens later, but by then it was too late to make sense. anyhoo tangent. bg dangles no such fruit. the slayer? **** that, all thats useful for is killing that demilich. immunity to imprisonment, baby! for me, IWD2's cleverness was this. your group has no choice regarding its involvement in the conflict. regardless of any sympathy u may have for the outcasts of the Legion of the Chimera, ur driven to kill them. by same token, Isair and Madae ultimately had no choice but to succumb to their demonic blood. after everyones good intentions, the world engineered their fall. The games central theme of inevitability plays out on both sides of the board - and is reflected in its linear structure. IWD2 is the nastiest, most pessimistic game BIS ever produced imo and all the better for it. its high up on my list of things that warrant deeper consideration than theyve so far had. thats exactly what it is. greatest hits albums by good artists are often cracking but very few of them have the flow, context and unity of an LP. appraising them as though they *should* have one only works in unique circumstances. i think trying to ascribe a central theme to bg - aside from d&d playground for heroic deeds - overshadows the games actual achievement. it condenses an entire roleplaying tradition into one coherent game. everything else is secondary to that and all the better for it. if bg had been overly concerned with loftier things, it likely wouldve fallen short of its goal. i was fine with it, cos i wanted to rescue my bff imoen who followed me out of candlekeep. but u werent the only one with this complaint. i heard it a lot back in the day. ye, this cats been lurking for a long-ass time... aaaaaaand if we come back to the present! tbh, am starting to come to conclusion that the urgency and motivation argument is not worth having. i swear every game gets accused of lacking both, regardless of what it does. ultimately a certain kind of reader/player will always have tendency to position themselves as above the games concerns. if i were a designer, id be tempted to just do my own fking thing in the face of this. always some people will get emotionally invested and rush crit path while other people will question point of doing crit path at all. whatevs. maybe there some calculation that proves 'if u do more of this, more people will fall into former category' but im not terribly interested in that myself. someone solves that equation, every game will end up looking the same. pfft. i hope they never figure it out. incidentally, if ull indulge me, i have a strange little theory regarding deadfires crit path and urgency, might as well disclose it now *ahem* eothas is not in a great rush. there are few things that can deal with him. despite his objections at the start, he seems eager to have a witness to what hes doing. perhaps he even needs one. i posit that the watcher is actually *hastening* the semi-apocalypse whenever they talk to eothas, who, left to his own devices, might actually kick the can long enough to change his mind or be stopped by the other gods. by chasing him - and giving him the sounding board he craves - ur actually giving him to motivation he needs to carry on and fk everything up. congratulations, u borked the wheel, lol. okay, okay, the 'eothas' challenge' magrans fire counters this, but my reading amuses me so im keeping it. *tangent over* have commented elsewhere that end prob could have been better had josh included that dammed river metaphor of his and let eothas waste a few dozen words explaining the reincarnation cycle prior to construction of wheel but hey-ho. writers appear to have gotten scared of selling their own metaphysics when it was actually necessary. im very aware of tendency toward efficiency in many professional writers. this is reinforced from *every* angle, especially from critics and editors. theres good reason for this, but occasionally, u over-edit, trip urself up and confuse readers. ending of deadfire good example of this i feel. is fine now i know what i know, and a follow up - fingers crossed - should show the consequences quite nicely. but i shouldnt have to be relying on either of those things.
  9. Then it's a good thing reality isn't subjective. Phenomenology is a thing bruv.
  10. Sorry couldnt help but pounce on this. *hard* disagree fam. World could use more self-awareness and empathy, not less.
  11. This where MOBA experience helps. Its really hard to make minor unimpactful changes as even the slightest tweak - in the wrong place - can send meta haywire. Conversely, ambitious changes can wind up achieving nothing. I wont bore folk here with examples from LoL. If u know the jargon id have to use, youd already know the content. Really dont envy anyone with balancing job. Then again i dont envy people with many certain jobs.
  12. addendum: I've dug into the save file of Pillars of Eternity 1 using Eternity Keeper and discovered these. I don't know if these will speed the process up or not, but I present them anyway. If the issue's with the first game, and not Deadfire, then I'm not above changing these numbers if need be.
  13. Hello there good people. I hope this isn't too unwelcome when you all return after the holidays. In my playthrough of the first Pillars of Eternity game, I cured Aelys of the Skaenite influence and sent her far away from her uncle. However, in Deadfire - during the first god roundtable conversation - Skaen remarked that I had delivered her to Lord Harond. I've attached screenshots and emailed you the saved games with a link to this forum post. In the Deadfire saved game, you need only sail north until the cutscene triggers. I did edit the first Pillars of Eternity save at one point, but it was only to change the Watcher's name. What can I say? I'm fickle. But I didn't touch any of the variables. I wouldn't know where to start. You might have intended for Aelys to be captured regardless of the Watcher's intentions, which is grim, but fair, I guess. In which case, I wouldn't mind clarification. EDIT: Why do I accidentally repeat myself so much? I have a brain like a tumble dryer.
  14. fam, eder's god came back from the dead and nearly killed his best mate. pallegina only vailian companion assigned to VTC last time i checked (checks again). yep still only vailian companion assigned to VTC. and if she got booted out then, yeah, shes trying to get back into her bosses good graces. like shes not just a returning companion, shes the faction representative. that just leaves aloth, who might as well be there cos hes globetrotting doing the leaden key thang. also u have matt mercer on the books anyway and aloth is oestrogen bait. sexy neurotic wizard elf boy. all those have got reason to be there beyond vicky and edwin, not that vicky and edwin needed reasons imo. also prob worth noting jaheira etc dont have world or plot-related reasons to be with u, theyre just about cos they were in ur party and their partners got turned inside out by irenicus. there were barely any plot hooks in bg1 for them anyway. writers were almost starting from scratch. jaheiras my girl, but they shouldnt have brought back minsc, lol, he was a one-joke comic relief character. stretching that out for additional game silly notion. god knows who dreamt that up. likely fan pressure. him and his stupid hamster can do one. i have an imoen problem, so ye, imoen is fine. dont judge me. actually, go ahead, judge me, its not like i can stop ye. sexy, predatory vampires are fun. but 'interesting' is pushing it a bit. people keep saying this. fml what a dreary thing to be hung up on. they could drop everyone down to lv 1 a dozen times and i wouldnt give af. just have the watcher and their bloods regenerate like dr who or something. setting allows for it. id rather have that than things spin off into absurdity like world of warcraft. also i feel obliged to point out bg2 shudders to a halt after the underdark. endgame pretty weak. reveal that irenicus' motivation down to him being an elven outcast is a damp squib. thaos driven by combination of ideology, and centuries of existence eroding his humanity and perspective. irenicus got chucked out by his girlfriend-or-sort-of-girlfriend-i-dont-really-care-to-remember so he went dark side. pfft. irenicus' appeal mostly down to great voice actor and one-liners - kudos to David Warner and the writers - but actual substance of character sort of dull. like i dunno. all this hankering for simpler times is understandable, but im glad games are now actually trying to say stuff. bg, for all its assets, was never interested in asking questions or exploring competing interests etc. its world wasnt a world, just a 'setting' for some decent campaigns. its well-executed froth - written with an appropriately light touch - but froth nonetheless. i still have a taste for such on occasion, but my old worn teeth now need something a bit chewier. fwiw, we now have games trying to attain standard of competent genre fiction. u could make argument narrative designers should stay inside their lane and stick to fun times, but id rather they took their chances tbh. columbo 'one more thing': ultimately i think bcs writers are producing and attempting more, theres more stuff for folks to pick at, and crpg players tend towards the pedantic, so rip. best thing might be to do away with writing altogether.
  15. BG is about the struggle between Good and Evil, not as abstract and absolute values (a common trope in fantasy) but as facets of the main character who is struggling to retain his soul or embrace his lineage. If that's not a great theme I don't know what is. The Nietzsche quote at the beginning of BG1 is clear enough and puts things into perspective quite nicely. What makes BG interesting is that it is an inner struggle that is much more significant than the more mundane fights against external foes. dont think bg's too preoccupied with struggle between bhaalspawn heritage and personal values. its largely presented as just another obstacle for MC to overcome. IWD2 flogs that particular horse with a lot more vigour.
  16. one issue i have with d&d is that it seems totally random whether the attacker rolls to hit or the defender rolls to evade/resist. like why doesnt a caster aim a fireball the same way an archer fires a crossbow. pfft. and dont get me started on grappling. wtf is going on there. if that warrants opposing rolls, why doesnt anything else. at least in POE everything is straight up an attack roll - no exceptions - like im not one to prize consistency for its own sake, but it makes more immediate sense. i know the encounter ur on about. tbf the game now warns u about this and gives u a generous stack of alchemists fire in advance. it doesnt pay you the same courtesy later on, but i guess u cant expect it to hold ur hand throughout.
  17. Can you expand on the Pathfinder issues? I'd love to pick it up but it sounds like it needs more time to cook. id give it a shot if ur into what its selling. its not worlds more busted than games like kotor2, arcanum and vtmb were at launch. maybe my standards are too low through experience. lol. can confirm owlcat seems very interested in supporting and fixing game tho. the warning id give is that its balanced around someone who knows how to abuse pathfinder or 3.x. so builds that wont have u throwing computer out of window in frustration arent always obvious. do urself a favour and check how to build before playing. also be willing to look up the necessary counter spell for certain fights if u run into a wall. - for example i ran into one annoying fight that was rendered utterly trivial by 'disrupting weapons'. 'death ward' and 'freedom of movement' have starring turns as well. because its a d&d game, 'haste', the concealment spells, 'mirror image' + 'stoneskin' are all busted, as is tradition. as for the writing, its tropey af, but fine and occasionally good. the narrative designers can turn phrases and compose arcs when inspired. chief problem is that too many sections read like first draft, so im guessing they tried to write too much, too fast. is fun tho. u get to go on merry adventures across the map, slaying owlbears and stuff with ur d&d party.
  18. Hmm okay. Thing is BG2 has v clear goal. It aims to create the ultimate kitchen sink ad&d experience. With mindflayers and the underdark and the undead and dragons and the planes and everything. It aims to be fun, and include everything. Beyond that, it has no great theme to pursue. The writing is brisk and campy. Irenicus is a good laugh bcs of his one-liners and delivery. The internecine elven bull**** that animates him is of no interest or consequence. It doesnt matter. The gameplay is there to portray ad&d with no real care as to whether its 'good'. This is fine. Ad&d's eccentric mayhem is a marvel to behold, and participate in, regardless of how wonky it might be. Im not sure what poe's goals are. Let alone whether it achieves them. Best idea i can come up with is that its doing the REM thing, where its trying to obsessively create 'the best song' according to criteria both popular and particular. Every now and then it gets notions in its head about what it wishes to express, that dont necessarily have much to do with its form. Bg2 using game to express joy of playing ad&d makes sense. Ye, is simple to point of banality but it works. Poe uses nostalgic yet overambitious rpg to explore pitfalls of memory and seeking mastery. Which is... weirdly fitting but its almost as if the game is attacking itself. Even questioning its reason to exist? Okay this is just rambling nonsense on my part here. Take home is that bg2 has a goal and achieves it. Poe is an odd ornery beast that gets weirder and more tangled the closer u look at it. I suppose whichevers better depends on what intrigues u the most at the time.
  19. this where i prefer poe tbh. the hard pass/fail rng of d&d is kinda fun when ur on tabletop, if for no reason other than to laugh at someone else crit failing, but in a video game is often just annoying - esp if ur characters slightly undertuned and the 1-20 spread isnt enough to make up for it. ur often just sat there with ur fingers crossed hoping for crits, or banging ur head in frustration when ur spellcaster crit fails that ranged touch attack on a high level spell. poe's miss/graze/hit/crit spread is at least more forgiving and predictable. like with an actual dm, u can at least sort of 'fail forward' with d&d, but in a video game, not so much.
  20. i like ad&d for its wanton eccentricity. i cant see the er... 'word' THAC0 without laughing. while it plays better as a tabletop system than one would expect, i dont think i could advocate it without tongue in cheek. wasnt biggest fan of 3.x. felt the numbers got out of control too quickly, powergaming sucked up too much time. it seemed better suited to video game than table. i currently play and enjoy 5e. didnt expect to, but there ye go. have repeated this before on forum. am of opinion people dont know what they want, and if they do know, they lie.
  21. there are so many examples of this now - and ive no idea if devs/publishers have worked out a way to balance their books with this tendency. guess if ur studios big enough u can have one team fulfilling contracts to pay the bills now, while ur other team toils away on something that will fund ur retirement. In a way, i think the kickstarter era hasnt really ended. instead of people backing the game prior, people buying the game at launch are the ones funding a good chunk of development - in the hope that something better is due. many online games have a similar trial. they dont repay a gamers investment until theyve limped on long enough to develop enough content. ur kinda depending on a first wave of people seeing enough potential that theyre willing to back u up with hard cash until ur ship comes in - or microtransactions ofc, but thats kinda beyond the scope of what im prattling about rn. glib answer would be to make game right first time. unfortunately if game is yay ambitious and reactive, ur budget probably wont last thru both development and qa, so u have to release prematurely. if ur game is systems based ur not going to know extent of how borked it is until uve chucked several thousand powergamers at it. unfortunately, many crpgs straddle both categories. CD Projekt got around some of this by having their own store to help finance their antics, but i think thats a trick only one dev can pull at any one time. ye, km's already far enough along that u can see the game owlcat want to make and likely will if given enough time and experience. i backed km and id back a second game from them fo sho. i still need to finish km. its gone on the backburner cos of forgotten sanctum dropping, but i will get back to it.
  22. If its environmental storytelling had been up to scratch then luxuriating in it wouldnt have been a problem. But it never felt like a world, or even the ruins of one. Just felt like a load of different levels in a computer game. I did enjoy the game but i dont fully believe the hype. EDIT: ye im intrigued by bloodborne. Unfortunately i dont have a PS4, so i dont know when ill get to it.
  23. Played through dark souls 1. Enjoyed it overall but storytelling aspect highly overrated. The lores fun and the boss design is incredible but actual narrative weak sauce. Pretty much every other metroidvania does a better job of using its closed world to generate momentum. Just think of how tense and claustrophobic the original metroid games were by comparison. Game is awash with npcs prattling about stuff of no consequence. Wouldve been better not to include them at all. Thought the world was supposed to be dying. Why do we have all these comic relief clowns gibbering about other kingdoms. A shame. Theres real power in the games aesthetic. The approach to the first kiln, followed by the fight with gwyn where he simply runs at u with no cutscene intro and sakurabas piano score is great example of the game living up to its legend. Fight with astorius (or whatev his name was) also good. And the big wolf with sword. Boss designers and sakuraba do serious heavy lifting throughout. I just wish theyd have combined all those moments into an actual arc. Instead u kinda potter about, ringing bells and fking about with something called the lordvessel with no sense of urgency or consequence whatsoever. Like i get ur supposed to be the proverbial reaper putting an old dead world to the flame but game gets far too wrapped up in its own trivia to sell that theme.
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