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jones092201

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Everything posted by jones092201

  1. this is something simple, but i'd like to see more items made for specific classes with specific models. A Black Jacket for Black Jackets, for example (I think it says many wear a brigandine) with a series of enchantments that stay thematic-- maybe plus damage each time you switch between weapon slots on attack. An assassin's blade Some kind of remembrance focus necklace for the ghost heart that increases efficiency of the pet. small things like that': probably as part of a free DLC pack.
  2. I think Josh Sawyer is an excellent creative lead but I agree with the above statement. There are significant narrative issue plaguing Deadfire-- pacing and critical path urgency in particular-- and these mistakes don't stem from a choice to either adhere to or subvert the monomyth they come from a larger failure at OBS to craft a plot-centric narrative that kept focus on the critical path. Any discussion of Campbell-- which, to be clear, is mostly us doing-- is a distraction. And Deadfire, like any modern rpg, is thoroughly rooted in the monomyth; in plot structure and character function, it is all pretty clear. Lastly- whether or not the pc fights the antagonist in the end doesn't alter whether a story fits the monomyth-- Frodo never stands down Sauron with sting. Luke skywalker doesn't the emperor. The monomyth is the journey-- i'm not sure an crpg could ever really exist outside of it.
  3. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I think it is always of interest to read other people's reasoned opinions: why undermine that by claiming to some kind of objectivity? Because by and large, when it comes to this sort of thing there is none to be had (and I would argue, it isn't particularly needed). Which in a way is also illustrated by the reasons you proceed to give, which read very much like reasons why you specifically prefer BG2 (and the series in general); both in the kinds of reason given, and in the way you phrase them. As you say, those are what *to you* makes BG2 stronger. Not meant as an attack on your preference of course, just curious where in your view that reasonable objectivity is in all that. Taking for example the last point, of the trilogy being an intensely personal quest, going from nothing to an almost godlike status: this is certainly something that plenty of people like, but how does that translate to an objective marker of quality? --so what I was trying to say is that we can look at these games and, by breaking them down to component parts (narrative, combat, UI, etc. ), suggest which functions better in the capacity it is trying to achieve at each level of articulation. I think it is possible to make, with reasonable objectivity (admittedly a flawed term), a value judgement as to which is better that doesn't involve personal preference. for example: you wrote: Taking for example the last point, of the trilogy being an intensely personal quest, going from nothing to an almost godlike status: this is certainly something that plenty of people like, but how does that translate to an objective marker of quality?-- i'm not suggesting someone should like BG better-- i'm saying that, on the whole, the progression from BGI to BGII to the throne of bhaal is a better narrative vehicle for a crpg for quantifiable reasons. It retains urgency better (longer and more focused critical path), uses companion characters more efficiently by interweaving them with the plot and the villains., creates significantly stronger villains (more involved in the story and with more personality) , and keeps the player always cognizant in the critical path, even when doing side quests. key point-- none of that has anything to do with 'liking' the specifics of either game's plot. Just a statement that one of them better utilizes narrative tools to tell the story it is telling than the other. And there is always a best way to tell a story, the same way there is a best way to build a space ship or hit a baseball. but its all a conversation in the end; just gamers talking about games.
  4. fair point-- what i'm trying to say is that there are ways to look critically at the two games and decide which is better; you do this by breaking it down to component parts and deciding which works better at each level in achieving the whole. The argument has no real value on the personal level--as in trying to convince someone their ideas are wrong. But comparisons based on function of a gameplay element, what works and what doesn't and why-- that can be useful. but none of that happens when someone says, 'you're just letting nostalgia cloud your judgement.' or the converse, 'baldurs game is the best rpg ever and was perfect out of the box.'
  5. we (the community) need to stop using the nostalgia argument. It's too dismissive of reasonable criticisms, like yelling 'fake news' to derail someone's argument in totality. If the point of criticism is to help devs create increasingly better games for everyone, you have to acknowledge everyone's ideas. You don't have to accept them, nor do you have to hide that fact, but you do need to account for what they say. That said, nostalgia is a part of it. That point I happily concede. Still, there are ways to, with reasonable objectivity, make the claim that BG 2 is the superior crpg. Not only in terms narrative and narrative structure, but also in terms of gameplay qnd characters. Really by any metric outside of the dialogue-- Pillars has better dialogue-- and the clunky UI that is improved in the EE editions but still doesn't compete, I would argue BG2 is stronger. the specific quests are longer, more involved and more interesting there is a larger bestiary to fight there is are far, far better villains and more of them who you interact with enough to form an opinion of before you run them through. (Deadfire does some of this, admittedly. Not Pillars 1) and while a lot of the combat is auto-attack, I think a lot of the fights in BG2 are more interesting. Tell me one battle in Deadfire that comapares with the big fight just before the Demogorgon in Watcher's keep? Lastly, and most importantly, BG2 (and the trilogy as a whole) presents an intensely personal quest narrative woven through a larger series of events that takes the PC from humble origins to the threshold of apotheosis. Very rarely in the series does the urgency falter, and the characters you meet throughout remain useful and interesting. Certainly you don't have to like everyone of them, but someone out there does, which is really the thing of it. And of course, in the end you get to choose to be, literally the embodiment of chaotic evil as the Lord of Murder, or choose the good path. taken together, to me BG2 is stronger.
  6. BG2's problem was that there was no narrative urgency in Chapter 2. We're TOLD that we need to get out there and save Imoen, but in gameplay mechanics our time is unlimited. Gathering lots of gold to buy assistance to rescue her is a perfectly fine narrative hook and it even plays into CHARNAME encountering Firkraag (who offers undeniably the largest bounty for aiding him, whose behavior is quite obviously fishy... but if you're in a real hurry to raise funds to save your little sister, you wouldn't have time to run a fantasy background check on him, even if an adult red would be dumb enough to leave stuff like that in the open.) It only falls apart if the player drags their feet... and they have plenty of incentive to, with all kinds of fancy items and places to explore on offer and no clear indication that Imoen is going to die if they don't get there in X months. The game makes no assumption about you caring for Imoen at that stage though. The Shadow Thieves use both Imoen and Irenicus as bait to encourage you to help them out with their feud (assuming you care about getting even with Irenicus instead as another possible motivation), but to the best of my memory, to either of these motivations you can express indifference and go about your own way, at which point either faction will drop their prices once if you wait long enough, and *again* a second time if you continue to ignore them. I'd say they are pretty deliberately offering you this option because this is the point at which the game introduces its massive semi-open world to you and exploring it may well respond to the motivation of a character that is indifferent to Imoen/Irencus' fate. Otherwise, the bag of money you need to collect also offers a major incentive for the character to go out and get dragged into the many massive quests out to do in Amn if they *do* show concern about the plot. It does perhaps fall apart a little more if what you do instead is to leave all the exploration for chapter 6, and embark at that point into most of the side-content and so on, considering how urgent the soul-theft business is made to be. BG2 does have it's problems in terms narrative and urgency, and that fine balance between the two. But keep in mind that once you go to spellhold, your funneled back to fairly linear plot where the major focus is on the main narrative. There is some awesome stuff that happens in the underdark that is side-questy, but it occurs within the context of the main plot. So aside from the first chapter of BGII, you never feel antsy about taking a quick detour. PoE and Deadfire's problem is that the whole game feels like it lacks this urgency. There are some really interesting quests in both, both they are almost always tangential to the plot. If there was one criticism I would level against OBS since they've rebooted the isometric genre, its that the plots of these new games-- critical path-- is far shorter and less engaging than the older generation of games. Some of this is down to us as backers, I think. we keep screaming for open world and freedom and that almost necessitates a reduced emphasis on the critical path narrative.
  7. You know what, that's true for me as well. I think I would rate BG2 as a far better game objectively, but I just find BG1 more immersive. I think the low-level gameplay actually makes it feel more realistic to me. I also like BG1 the most. I think some of that comes from the quest design and the linear nature of the overall narrative structure. There is always a feeling of going forward and discovering stuff. When you have a quest hub (like Cad Nua) you're always worried am I doing all these things in the best order. Also the devs have to be sure you can do the content in any order. So instead of creating a very focused narrative that creates interesting moments and quests along the main quest line (sinking the cloakwood mines, escaping your return to candlkeep) what you end up with is three (sometimes four) episodic longer quests that don't really trigger much response. Deadfire also had this problem. It had some good moments-- excellent art, great voicework, interesting quest locations in the main quest, but these were short and lacked tension because nothing forced me onwards. Maybe that's the price of an open world. If so, I don't mind a bit more linearity in an isometric--particularly in the first game in a series. BG1 was great because you also felt challenged but rarely overwhelmed. that allows you to focus on story and lore and looting. That feeling doesn't really hit with PoE or deadfire. I love both of the games, but they're not on the same level as BG I & II (and fallout I & II)
  8. baldurs gate 2 is better. it isn't just nostalgia. its a more cohesive and personal story, with characters that have been a part of your story in a more intimate way, set in a world that isn't built around a single gimmick (the soul stuff in pillars). you also fight a greater variety of enemies, and from the perspective of narrative progression, the tension is better. Yeah, the first chapter of BGII feels off-- like you're doing subquests instead of beelining for imoen, but the entirety of POE 2 feels like subquests instead of confronting the great conflict of the game. I like PoE and PoE II very much, but it just doesn't compete in terms of narrative.
  9. Remember though- people complained like hell about the endurance\health system and the per rest and the camping during POE I. They simplified all this because, in part, we asked them to. I love the access to development we get via the crowd-funding dynamic, but I also think at some point we just need to let them make their game; and they need to learn to say, confidently, we have something in mind. If not we’ll keep getting these half-developed features.
  10. Yet I'm also a big fan of just straight up telling the player to wait. Time is needed to make preparations, time is needed for events to unfold. Telling the player they might as well go do other things in the meantime can be perfectly fine.—posted above by icesong This is a worthwhile thought. I terms of narrative, it isn’t even that hard. The player wants to pause to explore. You don’t ha e to create some deep and thorough explanation— eothas= breaking the Ashen maw pillar has sapped my strength. It will be months before I am ready to finish my purpose. Find me at okaisu, bring your armies to witness the end( which is one of the options you can say to eothas at the end, by the way). This gives me, as the player, a reason to feel like I can pause to explore with killing the main plot tension. The converse of that= you need to funnnel players towards the “crisis” moments. It should be like an hour glass- open world and exploration, triggered moments ( haisongo and ashen maw) where focus is placed on critical path, then broaden out again to allow for side quests and exploration
  11. Black jacket/ ascendant has to be the most versatile class in the game. First, you halve good defensive stats for fighter. Second , your rate of start fight damage is huge. Third, the build allows you to utilize all the special abilities of a large assortment of firearm uniques. Fourth- fighters penetrating strike allows for huge damage potential, and since you’re not locked into tanking needs with your fighter points, you can use that ability almost at will. Notably, all of this is building towards your real damage ability- ascendant state Spamming firearms— which is the purpose of the class- allows you to proc ascendant state This means you generally have either 22 seconds of consistent mind blades and disentegration to spam, or at higher levels you can use body attunement and borrow instinct to build yourself Into a tank ( add in the vigorous defense here, preferably with the upgrade since your deflection isn’t shield and weapon high). And when the free cast state runs out, dual weapons and penetrating strike to build back to it. Lastly- cipher adds alit of narrative and convo opportunities.
  12. I had a quick little chat with kana after killing the slavers on cookspur. I let Aloth wear the Devil of Caroc Are there any other PoE 1 companion cameos? Also- So I finished the game, and I was hoping all the way through that Eder or Aloth would have some kind of quest to gain a subclass for themselves since they didn’t have one a the new companions all do. Was this just because they didn’t have one in POE 1, and devs kept it consistent? Thanks- Game was fun. Needs some work still, but I definitely enjoyed it
  13. There are some strong moments to be fair; speak to a ropari beggar in the gullet who is willfully starving because she thinks it is what she has earned bc of her caste in society. That bit is well done, as are many others. But, I agree. Many of the side quests and locations feel more like levels out of od nua than fully fleshed out side-quests. A means of giving the player loot and xp rather than oppertunities to create satisfying narrative arcs This example is a good one. The outline of the quest and the reason the valians go insane is a good one. It shows that even though the valians are oppressors and opertunistic, it isn’t a straight forward struggle of honorable natives vs colonizers. And the way the priestess sabatoges them is good in a devious way. They just didn’t include enough follow through to give a satisfactory conclusion. That is a problem in a number of side quests
  14. i really want an non 'epic' game where an adventurer/adventurers have exciting adventures and interesting campaign arcs on a local/regional level, not philosophical drivel and kicking over the entire setting shortly after its introduced to the audience. Seen it too many times (Bioware is especially guilty of this, but several D&D settings have the same problem- Dark Sun being the poster child for this. City States with Dragon Kings! Year one: Mostly dead Dragon Kings by way of the intro novels and first adventure trilogy)— posted above by Voss 100% agree. For a while now, crpgs have often started the game with a bang to introduce the world ending threat, told you why you’re the one who can stop it, and then sent you to do it. Then you end up spending the vast majority of time not doing it. For some reason, even in the face of unequivocal doom, the mortal powers in these worlds keep on with their petty squabbles, so that even in the face of an extinction event , you spend so much of your time doing these— within the context of the world ending— mundane tasks that have no real value. Luckily, the great threat just kind of sits around and waits on you to come kill them. This is both dragon age games, origins and inquisition, skyrim, deadfire, and mass effect. Next time, I’d rather do something that doesn’t result in my actions blowing up the entire power structure of the world space at every level of articulation. I was most happy in deadfire uncovering ancient ruins on undiscovered islands. Having to deal with the main quest seemed more like tedium than something I wanted to do. I liked the game. I’m excited to see where they take it and how it improves with patches and dlc. But next time, just make up an Indiana Jones kind of adventure, or something like the first baldurs gate or fallout. As Voss said, a regional/ local conflict. Intermingle that with a strong personal narrative, and you’re doing good. There is a whole lot of good in the lore, world-building, and presentation of Eora. Obsidian should trust the quality of what they’ve established, and not try and blow the players mind with some stunning revelation.
  15. She is really powerful as a scout- deathblows, finishing blow with damage upgrade, and twinned arrow. She also has high perception, armor that speeds reload on arquebus (and gunner from ranger tree) Also, if you run a cipher her ranger escape teleport let’s you set up the ectoplasmic beam skill very quickly.
  16. I’m just going to bring my laptop to work and play the game there. Boom.
  17. Boooo petless ranger . I am sure this will become the default ranger build for most but i just cant. Maybe the other ranger sub has even better pet ability probably more likely double down on ranged attack. I actually have been running my ranger in melee recently in POE1 and i like that better. Here's to hoping the sub has some ability that is not ranged specific only. got to figure one sub-class focusing on empowering the ranger, while the other his pet., seeing as that dynamic is the class core. Otherwise, it's a decision between ranged/melee, which seems to stray from the class a bit. but who knows.
  18. agreed. Ranger is my go to class in RPGs, though in recent years I've been stuck with a pet and can't recreate my Stalker from BGII, or ranger-centric NWN 1/2 character. hopefully, this will be an option more in line with older iterations of ranger... could be pretty powerful if I could just take the pet perks and apply them to myself....
  19. I agree with everything, except I'm a little worried about the "henchman that we fight multiple times" thing. This works well in books and movies but is hard to pull off in video games. The problem is that books and movies can establish how dangerous such a villain is by letting him win against the protagonist. Protagonist rages against the villain who is much more powerful, the villain wins easily but then in his arrogance doesn't kill the protagonist outright but sends him to die a slow agonizing death in his pit of doom from which the protagonist escapes at the last minute which gives him the chance to grow stronger and come back later to defeat the villain. Cliche trope, I know, but it works. It doesn't work so well in video games. The developers can either have it be a real (hard but fair) fight, in which case they have to pull a deus-ex-machina plot device at the end to let the villain win anyway (worst option, Mass Effect 3 did that with their stupid Space Ninja -- won't forgive them for that, it wasn't even a hard fight) or let him escape. In any case, this diminishes the villain because he's already (often quite easily by competent players) been beaten and taking agency away from the player at the end of such a fight by giving the villain plot armor always feels contrived and frustrating to me. Or they can make the fight so hard it's basically unwinnable but at the end pull a deus-ex-machina in favor of the player. That's a better option because it at least establishes the villain as a real danger but it's frustrating as well and the plot device at the end is no less contrived in most cases. Also, as long as the fight is winnable at least in theory, no matter how hard it is, some players will come up with a strategy to pull it off, in which case you have the same problem as in option one. Third option is to have the whole encounter scripted, which can be good for the narrative but runs counter to the whole idea of a game where the player is supposed to have agency. I've honestly never seen a crpg where they pulled this off in a way that I found statisfactory. Even Baldur's Gate 2, that did it better than most, left me thinking after pretty much steamrolling Irenicus the first time in Spellhold, that the guy's really not all he's cracked up to be. Mods saved that for me later on by making that fight a lot harder so that I could at least find him credible. I think the best you can do in video games is either having a succession of villains that give you the feeling of fighting your way up through the ranks of an organization, while having the real BBEG show up and disdainfully decline to fight you himself or, better yet, have the recurring villain be a mysterious schemer who you cross paths a few times but who's always a step ahead of you until you finally catch up with him. good points, however- I think a villain lieutenant (let's call him that instead of henchmen, because you're right, that has bad connotations) can work without over-reliance on the 'dues ex machina' plot device, and still function within the context of a crpg. as you mention, the key point where the verisimilitude of the character can begin to feel forced or scripted is in encounters. What we don't want is the villain to feel like a final fantasy henchmen- (thinking VII and VIII had good ones, if I recall) so here is how it might be done: the first time you meet him (him being an arbitrary designation), you get the initial introduction, and he leaves you to his henchmen ( a little weak, but if the introduction and dialogue work, it can play) the second time, maybe you meet him in a public place, and the fight is stopped by an authority figure (again, a little weak but this can play if the player is interested in the character and engaged) the third time, you are hidden and you listen to him relay some plot points the fourth is when you fight him and he absolutely crushes you. An unwinnable fight which comes right at that point when you're beginning to feel invincible as a party. A reminder that you still have a long way to go. This would then result in you being imprisoned, and having to escape. Some may not like this, but i can think some reasonable example of this: Dark Malak takes you in KOTOR, (the consequence being the turning of Bastila) Metal Gear Solid III (Excellent Game)- snake loses his eye. the fifth time- is the final fight, where the sum of your interactions with the character will allow you to determine whether you have to kill the lieutenant or make some peace with him. IF the story has been engaging, and the villain is someone the player has garnered either sympathy or antipathy for, i think the pay of is there. point being- i think active villains, who alter the game state in noticeable, reactive ways, are far more interesting than the being who is little more than a final boss you meet maybe two or three times through the game. think for a moment if Eder's brother was the villain lieutenant. This would instantly boost Eder's reactivity, force some very difficult choices for both him and you, and allow a satisfying resolution to an open plot point . If, in contrast to Eothas's greater, divine goal, he was working to some end that ties in to the major sub plot (which i am assuming has something to do with colonization or resource monopoly being contested by Valian Trading Company, pirates, and whatever faction Rauatai give us), Pallegina would also have some stake in it, and you would have to navigate the competing desires of those two companions. lastly, i like this idea because i think back to Darth Vader, who serves as a barometer for Luke Skywalker's growth throughout the original tribology. In IV, luke can only run from him. V, he can almost stand against him. VI, he has gained the expierence and strength not only to defeat his father, but turn him back from the darkside. This dynamic is only strengthened by the personal narrative between the two characters. Something similar in POE 2, i think, is achievable and could only benefit the game. The forums have, since the reveal, stated almost unanimously their desire for ​more reactive characters, who are more tightly bound to the plot. ​A good villain can serve to really achieve these goals. apologies for the long post.
  20. copied from the update: Players will even have the option to start the game with some of their favorite things acquired during a previous journey – starting with a favorite companion or Soulbound weapon from an earlier playthrough Starting with a favorite companion--- does this mean one of the little pets you got, or getting to stat the game with a Kana, Sagani, etc..... apologies if this didn't confuse anyone else, but obviously this changes matters significantly.... also-- love the idea here! great update
  21. Really hope this rogue subclass is a duelist type build-- off tank w +deflection and damage (or attack speed when engaged with one enemy) bump, negative modifiers when engaged with more than one
  22. Wouldn't mind is iselmyr had her own class- say a rogue- and it functioned like a modal. Only iselmyr wouldn't switch back every time you wanted, and would sometimes lose control or take over control of Aloth if his health got low or he got ko'd'
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