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Everything posted by Verenti

  1. I don't know about the setting, but all of those are vaguely distorted European titles: earls, thanes, grafen, dukes That said, most of those are not in the same hierarchy. Graf is German for Count. Earl is like an English Count. Dukes are above Counts. Thanes are ... not in the same system, but it's a bit like a Scottish or German Pagan count. Duc is also French for Duke. Basically, it goes like this: Emperor / Pope King Duke Count Baron But there aren't really any single system either. You might notice one of the country is called a Palatinate, which is a land ruled by a free prince. Which is something that was found in Germany (indeed, one of the Bündesländer of the German federation is call the Rhenish Palatinate in English.) I guess what I'm trying to say is ... it's understandable you don't understand this mess because there isn't a single system. Each region had its own ideas and the idea of a unified system is more or less people trying to force order unto a disordered system. In PoE, if I had to guess, the distinction for many of these are cultural. Most of these titles just translate to "leader" anyhow. If someone has a title they might be in charge of the settlement they live in, unless there is someone with a higher title.
  2. I'd give a qualified yes. It would depend on the design of the second title.If it was more of the same, I can see myself kicking in another $20 or what ever. Depending on my financial situation at the time and the value of the rewards vs money given.
  3. I'd rather it happens afterwards, with a new hero and companions, but makes reference to the previous playthrough, when appropriate. I don't want this turning into an epic where you have to save the world, which would seem more inevitable the higher the player's level rises. Saving the world is the most tired and boring plot one can write. Why? The stakes are too high. Therefore, the heroes can't lose, otherwise the world ends. So the player knows from the start how the story will play out from the beginning and any tension created by high stakes is immediately dissipated. Which is why, despite the flaws, Dragon Age II actually had a quite compelling plot: the goals were small scale and often personal. Ignoring that in DA2 failure isn't actually an option, in interactive narrative, the ability to arrive at an end state that results in "failure" is an important key in ensuring the stakes matter. The player needs to feel invested in the situation, and if they realise they can't affect the outcome, then that scream sister plot hook just becomes "Ugh, shut up already" and they player struggles vainly against the narrative flow, just to spite the machine. They've lost any connection to the story because we need failure to create a well rounded game. Because we can fail in real life. We shouldn't fear failure as a design hook, because unless we're on a power fantasy, failure isn't something that just ruins people's days. Sometimes we can walk out of a village after painting the houses with a fine red mist and say "Well, damn. I didn't see that coming" and not reload. Sometimes we get to the end of the game and have the villain successfully assassinate the viscount and plunge the region into chaos and just accept that as a valid ending. I mean, is this a tactical battle simulator or an RPG? Do we really need progressively harder fights thrown at our increasingly powerful characters until the only suitible challenge are gods? Or is it enough to have an engrossing, reactive story that is rewarding to play and replay? If the latter, then I say again, Self-contained (with reference to past events).
  4. Yeah your are right. Reviews and sales number have nothing to do with future projects in the Pillars Universe or other games by Obsidian. On other news the sun has nothing to do with light and heat. I don't think you read what I wrote correctly. To paraphrase what I wrote: how the game is received only really matters to us in estimations of the long-term longevity of the game. To which, you wrote a post indignantly pointing out that sales matter in estimations of the long-term longevity of the game. With that sentiment, I whole-hearted agree and wonder how you ever managed to come to such an insightful analysis of the material. I mean, it is the only part of my post you quoted, so you have that serendipity in your favour.
  5. Part of me wonders what it matters in the slightest. Only because you and I and several tens of thousand others have already paid in full for this product and our money has, I speculate, already been spent. At this point what anyone else thinks of the game should be only our concern when pondering whether or not there will be a sequel. That said, it is only a part of me that wonders. Now, I interest myself on this topic as well.
  6. Cecily de Renouille Human Old Vailian Aristocrat Paladin of the Darcozzi Paladini A Sharp tongued character with a fiery temper and a sense of justice. Is quite used to the finer things in life, but doesn't care much for money itself and as such, bribery will immediately and invariably sour her disposition. Believes in aristocracy: believes the nobility are better than the commoners and have rights in excess of the common man. However, also believes this is a contractual relation and the common man have different rights (such as the right to be protected from harm). She's also proud, vain and, when her temper is agitated, violent. In her pride, she would rather give warning and let her enemy prepare than ambush a foe. She prefers a good, challenge of her abilities than an easy win. Despite her temper, she's not blood thirsty. Combat is about testing her strength against others and a bested opponent is just as good as a dead one. I like to figure out who my character is as a person before I start playing. It lets me figure out how they feel about things right from the beginning.
  7. Why wouldn't they? If you are playing a game only with hired adventurers, why would they block you out of content? Other than story bits and such, I don't foresee any mechanical difference between companions and adventurers, because to do so would be to punish people for choosing their own preferences. Because the stronghold may be balanced for only 3 companion "agents" by midgame. If you can have 3 companions and up to 8 extra adventurers acting as agents, this could potentially cause exploit issues with the stronghold mechanic. Now if there is a cap, then this could work. Again, this assumes that the player has recruited and/or kept the companion NPCs alive, which is a big assumption, which judging from how they talked about player choice in the past on this project and would seem to be unlikely.
  8. Why wouldn't they? If you are playing a game only with hired adventurers, why would they block you out of content? Other than story bits and such, I don't foresee any mechanical difference between companions and adventurers, because to do so would be to punish people for choosing their own preferences.
  9. In all fairness, Shadowrun and PoE had a pledge levels that got backers made into character portraits. So it could be the exact same person, with exactly the same source photo. So maybe this reaction was a little unwarrented?
  10. I would note at PAX East, they were sitting in a line, on opposite ends with a podium in the way. There was little way for Mr. Sawyer to see Mr. Avellone. But aside from that, to echo Leferd's sentiment: why does it matter? If they're bitter rivals, which a lot of the points you list do not, even tangentially, support your conclusion, what does it matter? The have that right, surely? Why do we need to talk about them like they are commodities to consume?
  11. Nice. Which is also a historical firearm tactic (albeit for pistols in the 18th century.)
  12. maybe since they are in the inn and are drunk they dont realize everyone else is dead Of course not When you come back 1 week later, they still don't realize. Also,if you kill all the villagers in the houses,the villagers outside won't care. What can I say? News travels slowly in Dyrford.
  13. OKay, so PoE has firearms, correct? The firearms are powerful, correct? Here's a thought borrowing from Celtic early-modern infantry tactics: equip every party member's second weapon as a musket. At the start of combat, fire once into the enemy and then melee. The volley should give you a tactical edge, in what would otherwise be used to wait for the enemy to reach the front lines, and with the immediate swapping out of the muskets, you avoid the main disadvantage of the long load time. Furthermore, if you constrain the fire (at least group wide) to a single volley, you don't need to buy so many rounds. 300 rounds should last a full party for fifty encounters (prefaced by musket fire). Is this viable? Has anyone tried this? Has everyone already tried this? Thoughts?
  14. Quite. I think their approach to "magic" and "divine magic", from what I understand, is really interesting and novel. I like how all classes derive themselves from a natural force, one that can be studied and influenced. This gives PoE, for me, a much more dynamic feeling than other RPGs, where the answers are all known. PoE makes me want to think about how it works and discover and analyse it. D&D requires no independent thought: everything is available in a book somewhere. But more than that, D&D robs the players of the great metaphysical mysteries: the gods are known and are people you can go find (and kill!) if you level up enough. You don't need to think about the nature of life and death, because you know the answers. Everyone knows the answers. Any sort of mystery in D&D has been rung out in decades of supplements and stories. And we have to think. Sure, RPGs are a bit of fun, but they're also the most literary of games. Like any writing, they have themes to be explored and things the writers want to say. If we aren't thinking about this, we can't be part of the conversation. And that's really all games like this are: a conversation from many different points that the player gets the opportunity to digest and mull over. We get to decide who's right and who's left (right as in correct, left as in alive). Thankfully, Obsidian does this really well, so I think we can trust them until we get the chance to play the game for ourselves without judging them based on our preconceptions.
  15. I think it worked really well for Fallout 1, but that was a game that the player was always aware of the clock because every action in the game had to be gauged against it. Now, I think you could make it work in PoE, but only if you tell the player and only if the clock starts when the player initiates the quest. If someone says "Help! Come right away! My little girl is trapped by a bear!" or "Our city is under attack!" or "I have a week to gather the gold, or they're going to kill my wife!" then, yes, if you go off for a month, all of these quests should be failed. That would be a completely acceptable use of the mechanic. The only people who know how the game actually is aren't talking though, so we'll have to wait another 11 days.
  16. I don't really care for D&D lore, personally. I'm not really savvy on the "infinite lore" and this makes me rather apathetic. Traditional fantasy worlds are sort of stagnant hellholes because magic makes technology unnecessary, but that's another story. Sort of. Traditional Fantasy, which includes D&D, is aping off of Tolkien who was aping off of Germanic folklore (probably some other folk-lore too.) I don't think it's fair to say they're taking D&D races unless the Drow and the Gythyanki start showing up. At the end of the day, the lore doesn't matter. What matters is the story, which should be able to stand independently from the setting. Setting is just a context for the narrative and the themes explored. It's essentially a special effect. A young George Lucas said it best: "A special effects are just tools: a means of telling a story. People tend to confuse them with an end to themselves. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing."
  17. I disagree with this. It isn't a scam, it gives the majority exactly what they ask for: shiny with no depth. They don't want to understand the math under the hood or have complex stories that might make them uncomfortable, just easy victories and a simple interface. I don't want to understand the math either. Math is disgusting What I do want is to interact with a world in a reasonably believable manner. This is a game that is for people who hate RPGs, but is marketed as an RPG. Therefore, I maintain that it is a scam, but I can respect and disagreements anyone might have on my, ahem, passionate position.
  18. I'm thankful that so many people here can see DA:I was ****. It's like they took out the ability to talk to most people outside of your stronghold and watered down the main quest line (which was decent), making what should have been quest arcs (civil war, siege of Adamantine) into single quests. Most of the game content is filler, as is observed here. The fact they used zynga tactics to make the game take longer is not quality. It's inflated quantity. They locked content away behind the power point system, because if you played the main quests (which are of paramount importance!) back to back, the game would have taken about six hours to complete. On top of this, the game is a poorly stitched together mess. When I had to choose the fate of the warden, being vague as to not "spoil" this game, and I chose the other option, the resulting scene was obvious written for another character, with said character's reaction being more fitting were they a warden. While there are a lot of references to previous game experience, it feels like little you do in this game actually matters-- not that you really have much choice outside of a few binary (or trinary) choices, usually involving life and death. It is a disgusting devolution of the rpg tradition of Bioware to appeal to-- what I am about to say will be insulting, but I don't mean it directly against anyone present personally-- people too stupid to see through their cheap gimmicks. It's a scam designed to prey on human fallibility. It's marketing at it's worst. It's a simply-the-facts study of what works in our most vile part of the industry ("free-to-play") and the application of those same mechanics designed to addict people and hide the non-games they use to exploit people. It's immoral. I can't help but liken the ruthless pragmatism in the incorporation of these tactics to testing nerve gas on live subjects. "This one work 3.06% faster. Be sure to use it as the base in the next trial." Yes, I know this all very dramatic. Some people are quite dramatic, and that's not necessarily a negative trait.
  19. Grand Theft Auto's new heists.It's somewhat unsatisifying because you are invariably teamed up with psychopaths, who can't go five seconds without shooting a cop. That's bad news when you're trying to take a score; a four star police escort is not the best way to deliver a vehicle to holding. I've been thinking I might do a run of BG1 and 2, if this dulls out.
  20. Time dilation occurs when the release date is approached. The reality of game releases is that by the time the game comes out, everyone you have ever known will be long dead. In fact, their grandchildren will also be dead, as well as their great grandchildren. What seems like the two longest weeks of your life, will have stretched out, in reality, to what amounts to lifetimes. On the bright side, you will finally be able to play PoE.
  21. Rogue or Barbarian. Those are the two classes (?) that don't have NPCs. So your role in the party would always unique.
  22. Wasn't Josh playing on a lower difficulty though?/ In the backer beta difficulty level makes a huge difference because it exponentially amplifies the amount of time you spend paused in combat. On the stream from January? I think he says "I'm playing on Hard so I might die depending on where I go", before going down into the dungeon. But you have to also consider that Josh is most likely a Master Sensei of the system (I mean, he designed it). He probably knows the weaknesses of all enemies the second he sees them, and what type of weapons and abilities are strongest against every enemy as well as how to get the most out of his party members through leveling/building (party optimization). I think the joke of "IRollD20s" in the console on PAX East was also a way of him saying to us "I'm really good at this game". So, even if we'd have the same party composition as he did in the mega dungeon, on the same difficulty, same skills/abilities/gears and everything, it isn't certain that we'd blow through it (like he did) on our first try/first playthrough. EDIT: What I wanted to convey with my comment from the previous post "Setting the bar/expectation at 100+ hours sounds like setting yourself up for disappointment" was that... the less you expect, the more you get. If I expect that a completionist run is only 1 hour, boy am I in for a treat! Would you rather "expect" 100 hours, but fall short on 80 hours? Or would you rather "expect" 50 hours, and get 30 extra hours on top of it? I try to not have too many if any expectations. I just know I'll enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts Unless I am mistaken, "I roll 20's" is a phrase coined by Penny Arcade. December 10, 2004 Since then, it's just a general statement of RPG bad-assery. A person who "rolls 20s" would be an unstoppable force in d20 rpgs. Unless rolling low is good, then that person is poison.
  23. There was a top hat clothing item and you could definitely choose to have your face be a gas mask. There were multiple gas masks, actually. As per the original. I dunno. But I usually give up and start using custom portraits pretty quickly. My Wasteland 2 game had my "main" character with the box art from the NES Metal Gear. Ideally, they would model the hair/head assets after actual portraits, but it's way easier to add portraits than models. You could always just imagine it's a Pen and Paper game. The portrait is how you envision your character looks like and the model is just the most appropriate mini you could find. Be thankful your main character isn't just a two euro coin like one of mine was in a campaign I played
  24. So if someone dies in PoE, there is no means to bring them back to life? Am I understanding this correctly? Regarding reloading if one party member goes down: In my last BG playthrough, I had an experience I like to call "Soloing by ablative party members". Which is to say, I'd had my main character (a blackguard, when EE was new) and every couple of fights, someone would go down: sometimes two or three and sometimes near wipes. But my character would always walk away (because I'd obviously reload if she went down.) So if someone died, knowing I didn't have the money to keep a lightweight alive, I'd just reform the party and leave their corpse on the side of the road. Next time that I walked into town, I'd pick up a few more NPCs and eventually they'd die too. The result was a playthrough that felt really brutal, even though It wasn't moustache-twirlingly evil. I think I enjoyed it more than most times I went through because combat felt more significant. Not necessarily harder -- BG1 is easy to solo-- but I knew going into the fight that any of my companions wouldn't make it out. I probably won't do this on my first playthrough with PoE. I might, but I kinda want to get to know the characters before I play fast and loose with their lives.
  25. I will say that there are Skyrim mods that add physics enabled hair. Other then now and then when it completely wigs out (wigs, heh), it looks really good. There aren't so many to choose from, maybe ten different styles, but it looks convincingly like long hair. Mind you, "long" is down to the bottom of the shoulder blades. That's the work of amateurs, so maybe in the future we'll see a proliferation of it? I mean, it would be kind of be a waste in a Unity engine game, considering how fugly the models tend to be (PoE looks great in comparison with Shadowrun and Wasteland 2), but who knows?
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