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J.E. Sawyer

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Everything posted by J.E. Sawyer

  1. I have never heard of any game developer doing their localization in-house, not in 1999, not in 2020. Every game I've worked on and every company I've ever talked to always outsources their localization. Localization companies specialize in it. There's no reason for even a mid-sized game dev studio to keep a loc staff on hand unless it's a single person doing coordination. And that single person is usually a production role, not a polyglot translator. Even localization companies often outsource one or more languages that their normal staff can't cover. Deadfire shipped in 10 language
  2. I think it is fair and reasonable to critique the work that I have done/continue to do, but I do want to clarify the work I (and others) have done and have not done. I did not have anything to do with the development of the story in NWN2. I came to Obsidian in July of 2005, long after the story had been established. In the capacity of a senior area designer, my only story contribution was to suggest and work through ideas about the background of the King of Shadows with George Ziets. John Gonzalez developed the story for F:NV. Eric Fenstermaker developed the story for PoE. George Z
  3. We are going to be re-tuning the late game difficulty to both reduce mobs and make the remaining combats more challenging for higher level characters.
  4. Story Time is sort of the flip side of Path of the Damned. Combat populations are what they are on Normal, but we modify the stats of critters as well as incoming/outgoing damage to heavily favor the player. Some players find even Easy difficulty to be too hard. The modifications are purely procedural and do not require designers to modify existing encounters. It did not take much time to implement.
  5. I read somewhere that the reason for you being unable to get this data into the UI had technical, not design roots. It's reassuring to know you've registered this problem. Oh, yes, it's absolutely a technical problem. My preference is always to allow players to have as much clarity with what's going on under the hood as possible (if they want it).
  6. BTW, I do totally understand that it's frustrating trying to calculate DPS in the game right now. It was an ongoing frustration during development that we couldn't report actual base and modified attack and recovery times. If we make a sequel, fixing that is a high priority.
  7. If we make a sequel, we will likely be hitting higher levels with commensurately more powerful items. PoE was targeting a power growth curve that's in between the original BG (capped out before L10) and IWD (about L15). Holy Avengers and Vorpal Swords are among the best of the best weapons and seem like they're more appropriate for the upper teens (which BG2 goes in to). That's why Pale Justice (from IWD) isn't really as powerful as a HA. I disagree with your assessment of the soulbound weapons. I think the Greenstone Staff and Grey Sleeper could be better, but I think Nightshroud, St.
  8. I adjusted Defender and Wary Defender down because they were contributing to close-to-unassailable Deflection values on fighters. Fighters should be exceptional tanks, but their Deflection values should still be approachable by enemies. I think the question is what the drawback for enabling Defender should be. Hold the Line will grant you one additional target to Engage with no drawback. Defender grants you two and previously added a Deflection bonus with an attack rate malus. Cautious Attack also adds a Deflection bonus with an attack rate malus, so there's overlap there, especially s
  9. I was just talking to Roby and Adam about a respec feature. It's a little complicated, but it's not something we're opposed to and we're going to look into the logistics of implementing it. I know that's vague but character creation and advancement are complicated and sometimes seemingly simple things are quite difficult. With some of the new scaling, I've been tuning down some of the other means of powering up base abilities (like Talents). Until now, Talents were one of the only mechanical ways that we could scale some abilities up.
  10. Yes, we're currently testing internally with Perception granting a bonus to Accuracy and no bonus to Deflection. Even during the final phases of development (pre-launch and after launch), there was still a fair amount of internal debate about the balance of Perception and Resolve. At +2/point, it did seem like a really obvious "max on everyone" stat. At +1/point, it still feels valuable, but not extraordinarily so (at least according to QA so far).
  11. Something not covered in the update/video because it's not a super high profile feature is that we can scale base abilities and weapons much more easily now, so things like Holy Radiance, Arcane Assault, and Spiritshift weapons/armor can become more powerful as the character gains levels. These updates will also be in the next patch.
  12. Personally, I don't think 3 Knock Downs is overpowered, no.
  13. Yes, if all choices are the same, they don't matter, but the presence or absence of bad options does not change the similarity/dissimilarity of the options that remain. If you have three options, two that are good, one that is bad, removing the bad one does not mean that the two good choices have become more similar. I think the easiest place to see an example of a bifurcated progression system would be XCOM:EU or the iOS game Battleheart. Both force the player to choose between two exclusive options as they advance. The option that is left unselected cannot be selected in the future.
  14. If a tactic is clearly an unintended exploit or a Talent is such an obvious choice that taking anything else is pointless, of course I'm going to tune it down. If we balance the game ignoring "no duh" options, then anyone who takes that path will find the game to be significantly less challenging. If we balance the game assuming everyone is taking relatively overpowered options, it narrows the range of viable character concepts considerably.
  15. The Stealth system wasn't taking high (i.e. above the creature's level) Stealth values into account, making it very difficult to get close even with characters who had maxed out Stealth values. This has been fixed and feels much better now. A Stealth-focused character can get quite close to most enemies and even someone who dabbles in Stealth can still use it for scouting and initial positioning.
  16. You may see more synchronization at higher levels, but so far it seems to not exceed 3 characters leveling simultaneously. At least according to what we've seen.
  17. AI reevaluates on events (e.g. being hit, completing an action, etc.), but a moving character that does not stop often has no new events to re-evaluate. It starts moving and continues moving without being able to reach the target, so it keeps on truckin'. At least, that's how it worked before. In the next build, the main difference is that a moving AI will say, "Hey, I'm moving, so I will periodically evaluate if I should keep doing this or peel off and attack someone else."
  18. Kaz has moved all of those displays to the same position as the animal companion portrait. The AC portrait has been reduced in size, the portraits have been spaced out slightly more, and status/affliction icons have been moved to the right of each character's portrait. As a consequence, the action bar has been lowered proportionally and you can see more status/affliction icons per character.
  19. I think there are a lot of good suggestions in here. One of the most persistent bugs in our combat log is resetting to the top instead of going to the bottom when a new entry is displayed. That is a bug (that I hate) and it just needs to be fixed. I'll talk to Brian about options for disabling Miss and Graze messages. Color changes/simplifications should be easy. And while BG1 and IWD1's combat logs tended to scroll at a pretty slow pace at low levels, that was not true toward the end game and was not really true in BG2 or (higher level) IWD2 at all. Serious fights (e.g. w/ Gromnir
  20. There are more monsters than just the stone beetles that have teleport abilities, but not a ton of them. In lieu of teleporting creatures, ranged enemies often target spellcasters or low DT/low-Deflection characters above all other enemies (according to QA it's a little too nasty right now in some spots).
  21. In practice, characters advance asynchronously in the game because you acquire companions at different times. They don't in the Backer Beta because all of your BB companions are given to you with equal experience at the same level. Obviously there are cases where some party members will advance together because MATH but that also happens in the original IE games if characters are created/acquired together and share an advancement table. In 2nd Ed., the following groups shared XP tables: paladins/rangers, thief/bard, and fighter/druid up to a point. There are also a lot of coinciding values
  22. In the next BB update, you should see the following changes: * Defender no longer increases Engagement range. It was the only ability in the game that allowed an increased Engagement range, so with this change, all Engagement ranges will be the same. * When a character breaks Engagement from a defender, they go on a list for that defender of "recently Engaged". The defender is prevented from re-Engaging that target for a constant amount of time. We will adjust this constant until it feels appropriate. Not quite related, but connected to an issue that Sensuki highlighted: AIs wer
  23. BMac and I will be making a pass on the layout of stats in items and spells. There's still a lot of strange formatting and redundant or irrelevant information. Given the breadth of statistics that can appear on the page, it's a relatively tricky thing to do procedurally.
  24. There is a Loot script component that gets attached to the creature prefab. It has a flag "Drop Inventory" and another "Drop Equipment". The former drops whatever is in the Inventory component. The latter drops whatever is in their equipped slots (Equipment component). You can also specify a loot list on the Loot component. Really we can use any/all of those fields/flags as we see fit, so it's not too time-consuming to change.
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