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About Stalin

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  1. What has the Onyx engine been used for, or is this a new thing? I do hope you put out a good game since I can't stand Bethesda or Bioware's offerings, or those Fable games, but you guys reaaaaaaaaallllly don't do combat, combat balance, or QA very well. These are the three things that are central to an ARPG; co-op even more so. You guys must realize this, but the question then becomes how do you remedy it. From what I have read, game development these days is pretty cutthroat, and because of development costs a single failed project can doom an entire company. Picking up a game that doens't play to any of your strengths just seems dangerous, no matter the publisher (congrats though on not selling out to EA or Activision, which are tearing down the quality in Bioware's and Blizzard's titles, respectfully). Then again, Square thrives on polish while Sega is notorious for half-assing it, so I would suspect that you're receiving better QA support.
  2. I seriously doubt that Dungeon Siege is some hot, money minting property. I also am having trouble seeing how Square and Obsidian think they can make money off of this.
  3. Man, I'd kill several thousand traitorous Bolsheviks for a new Icewind Dale, but that was made by the team at Black Isle, with the oversight of Interplay, on Bioware's excellent engine, with the collaboration of TSR. I beg to differ that the "focus" of Obsidian's other games were the choices and plots. There were many, many combat sections. Sure, the characters and so on were the best parts, but that does not mean that Obsidian didn't pour a lot of time into fighting stuff. Dungeon Siege isn't a branching out, where they're trying their combat legs. If they wanted to do that, they'd pick up a license for an action game or something. The DS games were essentially an automated and boring version of a Diablo-like system. Obsidian has a real chance to fill a niche that hasn't seen action in a long time. They are obviously selling units - three licensed games based on popular franchises (going on four) plus an original backed by Sega. Given those game's obvious strong and weak points, there's a reason people are buying them. The niche, obviously, is for choice driven narratives with interesting characters and real consequences to your actions. I wonder if we're going to get more than the generic corporate talking points about why Obsidian chose to agree to Dungeon Siege, why Square chose the game and why they chose Obsidian, and how Obsidian is overcoming the difficulties they've had with combat in the past. Then again, maybe this turns out to be a Planescape Torment with light hacky combat. It's not like we would lose any great mythology or classic gameplay or anything like what happened with Fallout. And, after all, Square and Obsidian are companies that have always prized story over gameplay. However, that's probably unlikely just given the fact that this still is an existing license.
  4. I believe this is a valid question to ask. The Dungeon Siege games are all about combat. This is, arguably, Obsidian's worst area of development. NWN2 (well, at least that one expansion), KOTOR2, and AP all have engrossing storylines, great characters, and a myriad of choices, but are horribly buggy, poorly balanced, and basically atrocious in the "fighting things" area. New Vegas is probably going to be the same. A Diablo clone is the total opposite of everything Obsidian has stood for and all their strengths. These games require great balance, relatively bug-free engines, and engrossing gameplay. What they don't focus on are good stories and choices/consequences. There have been a hundred buggy, broken, and pointless Diablo clones in the past that sold nothing and were quickly forgotten. I don't see the reason why Obsidian wants to make one as well.
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