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Posts posted by Sammael

  1. Morte is not really a "good guy". None of the characters in Torment are. They can be your "good friends" (if treated well) but they aren't "good guys" by any stretch of imagination. They are drawn to you like moths to a candle, and they will steal, cheat, lie, and murder for your sake. They are prejudiced (Dak'kon), hypocritical (Fall-From-Grace), amoral (Annah), zealous to the point of genocide (Vhailor)


    And that's one of the beauties of Torment.

  2. I'm really not sure what you're saying (or how it is different than what has already been done).


    In Torment, evidence against Morte slowly piles up. Depending on your choices, attributes, and in-game decisions, you can find out about his lies prior to the pillar of skulls (it's been a while, but I think you can resolve his torment as soon as you've rescued him from Lothar). On the other hand, you can choose to ignore the evidence, trust him, and not question his advice. The game is not railroading you in any way, since you have multiple ways of handling the situation.


    If you are saying that you should be able to accuse each CNPC of lying at any point in the game simple because you, the player, are paranoid, this I will have to respectfully disagree with. Player knowledge (and paranoia) is not character knowledge (and paranoia). At best, I can see you picking a personality trait for your character at the beginning of the game (such as 'paranoid', 'naive', 'generous', 'lustful' and so on) that can affect the dialogues, including the ones with your companions.

    • Like 1
  3. As do I...


    I stated off-hand that this not an elitist thread. I merely wanted to see who is still around, since I was away for a while. While the fact that we've been around a long time doesn't make us any better than the n00bs, we had the chance to follow (and participate in) the events that led to the creation of some damn fine games (and ToB... sigh...). This is a nostalgia thread, more than anything.


    You've had that GBS quote in your sig for at least ten years, haven't you?

  4. From my experience in both CRPGs and PnP, enforcing hunger, thirst, and fatigue only works in specific parts of the game where hunger, thirst, and fatigue are meant to provide a challenge. If used indiscriminately, these mechanics merely serve to artificially increase gameplay length by turning party management into a sucky Tamagochi minigame.


    So, hunger, thirst, and fatigue can work if used sparingly and in appropriate portions of the game. But I'd hate to see having to feed my party throughout the whole game.

  5. PREAMBLE: alright, this is going to be a long, long, LOOOOOOOONG post. I haven't done one of these in forever. You have been warned. This is just part 1, part two is coming at a later point.


    What follows is a list of my views on what Project: Eternity should be. I will analyze the system, the setting, as well as the gameplay aspect of the game, with a very brief nod to technical stuff (because, let's face it, technical stuff is really not up to us, unlike the other things which we may actually have a chance of influencing).



    Let's get that technical stuff out of the way right now. What I expect to see is a modern isometric 3D engine capable of rendering backgrounds with a level of detail equal to that of the Infinity Engine games. The final result should be somewhat similar to TBH and F3. Camera rotation is not a must (though it can certainly exist). Zooming in and out is a must, though I do not want to see a perspective change when you zoom in all the way). Characters should be highly detailed 3D models that support a large number of layers for clothing and accessories. If the budget permits, portraits should be old school 2D painted portraits, with an option to use the character model's head for those who prefer that style.



    Please, don't go into the whole 3D sound/surround sound crap. It causes more trouble than it's worth, and it's effect in miniscule. Voice acting should be limited to the most important NPCs and, if the budget permits, CNPCs. I'd sure Robin Williams, Will Wheaton, and Vin Diesel would do some cheap voice work if asked nicely, being D&D fans and all.



    Whoever ends up being the primary composer, at least one track composed by every composer who worked on IE games: Morgan, Hoenig, Zur, and Soule.



    A combination of graphical UI (as refined for IWD) and contextual UI should be used. Contextual menus hide the unnecessary UI complexity until needed; right click on the door to get the options to Listen, Force open, Bash, or Pick lock. right click on an NPC to get the options to Observe, Start conversation, Attack, Distract, or Steal; right click on an enemy in combat to get a list of spells you can cast that can affect that enemy. However, make sure not to make the context menus bloated with too many options (avoid context submenus like the plague), and include customizable keyboard shortcuts for frequently used options.



    Limit the character progression (if the system is level based, cap it at 1/3 of the maximum level you intend to implement in the future, and make sure the majority of the game is spent exploring the "sweet spot" - e.g. levels 3-9 in earlier iterations of D&D).



    I'd go for a classless, skill-based system myself (similar to SPECIAL). Failing that, go for a class-based, skill-dependent system with robust multiclassing options (I'll be happy to provide examples from my Fatebinder d20 system). Whatever you do, don't throw in too many classes, and don't even consider prestige classes.


    If the system is class-based, make sure each class is unique, with its own set of mechanics. Make us wan to replay a game with a protagonist of a different class/build. Avoid at all costs the 4E paradigm where all classes have the exact same powers with different made-up names.


    To reflect the 2nd AD&D roots, the system should be reasonably simulationist, with necessary gamist bits thrown in. It must make sense in the context of the world. Don't break our suspension of disbelief with crap like healing surges and clerics who can heal their team-mates only when they hit enemies over the head.



    If a classless system is not possible, I suggest the following classes or derivatives thereof:


    Tier 1 (must have) - Cleric, Fighter, Mage, Rogue


    Tier 2 (would be nice) - Bard, Druid, Ranger


    Tier 3 (could work) - Champion, Monk, Warlock


    (I have several reasons for the above list, but I'm not going to go into details right now)



    Whatever you do, don't make elves who are humans with pointy ears or dwarves who are humans with beards. Each race should have a very specific culture, and that culture should be reflected in dialogue options, quests, and general attitude of the world towards the character in question.



    By all means, please include a list of backgrounds similar to the one in Arcanum.



    Just use the TBH reputation system. It's ****ing perfect. No alignment necessary.



    A small list of focused skills that will actually be used by the game engine for various purposes is better than a large list of narrow skills. Here's a sample list:




    Arcane Lore

    Animal and Plant Lore







    Monster Lore










    No reason not to include them, but please stay away from generic ones like +2 to this and that or +10% to blah blah.



    This is very much tied to the world design. Some D&Disms would be nice, but others (Magic Missile, Fireball et al) should be avoided like the plague.




    Limit the overall scope of the game. We don't need to save/destroy the world and stop an ancient evil from blah blah blah. Make the game about the protagonist and his companions, and the world around them should be just a backdrop. Start small and then expand; e.g. if the game starts in a city, limit the initial part of the game to one or two districts until the player gets the hang of the world and the events around him. Then switch to full sandbox mode, like in BG1, BG2 chapter 2, and FO1 and 2, and then narrow the sandbox down as the game nears its conclusion.


    That's it for part 1 of my views, I'll continue tomorrow...

    • Like 2
  6. See my signature for relevant information. There is no way in hell that Josh is going to take away the sort of flexibility, given that it has already been done in a game (albeit unreleased one) once.


    Those who don't want to play evil characters should simply pick different options.


    EDIT: More relevant information from my TBH repository:


    It's pretty rare that the CNPCs respond to "alignment"-oriented actions. They are more concerned with the types of behavior you display (e.g.: wild, vengeful, generous, etc.). Most actions defined as "friggin' psycho" will cause many CNPCs to attack the Protagonist, and most of the rest to leave the Protagonist's company.


    In a way, Jefferson emphasizes a lot of the gameplay elements that Fallout did. Though it was very cool to get Power Armor and miniguns in Fallout, it was much more cool to watch the end cinematic and see how your choices affected each of the areas you touched. And hey, if you wanted to take a dip in the vats, you could. Not necessarily a very satisfying ending, but you could do it. You could legitimately take the evil road to victory.


    * Greater freedom in dealing with the main plot. The player should be able to take a variety of "good/neutral/evil" stances with regards to the story and still "win". This should be more involved than simply saying, "I do this for charity or money." If the player wishes to say, "No, good folk, I will not help you, but instead help these evil bastards." this should be allowed, even if the end result is something dreadful.

    * The world should punish the Protagonist; the game should not punish the player. There should not be a grand karmic designer wheel that makes evil PCs suffer for being evil. However, the world should respond appropriately to these acts. An evil PC should find him or herself disliked, feared, and hunted for known evil acts. If this means that certain aspects are harder or easier for those types of PCs, so be it.


    To be clear, as far as I know, Eternity is not TBH, However, there is good reason (from the way Eternity has been presented) that Eternity will have a number of similarities to TBH.

  7. The first impression I got from the map was "Wow, it's Myth Drannor... er... Eir Glanfath". If elves are in the game, I bet this section represents the ruins of an ancient elven civilization. Could be good, could be bad.


    The map is also somewhat reminiscent of the Dragon's Head Peninsula which is a part of the kingdom of Tethir, south of Amn, but the area seems to be larger.


    Godhammer Citadel is likely dwarf-related (although I'd love to be wrong on this one).


    For whatever reason, I think the campaign will begin in Loghome, be centered around New Heomar,and include extensive trips into the Dyrwood. Eir Glanfath is where Eternity II will take place.


    I know they are going for original IP, but I don't think the resemblance to FR is necessarily bad for the type of game they are trying to create (spiritual successor to BG/IWD series). Since I think I know a bit how Josh thinks, that map very likely included enough materials for a trilogy.

  8. I'm hoping for at least 50-60 hours. The map that was teased promises a large number of interesting locations, but we'll see how many actually get implemented in the first installment.


    Of the original IE games, Torment (~30 hours) felt a bit too brief (particularly because some of the end-game locations were obviously rushed), whereas BG1 (~120) seemed to take way too long and have too much stuff going on, particularly in the titular city.

  9. Sorry, but I don't agree that a base of operations is considered basic game content. I can name dozens upon dozens of great and good CRPGs that did not have a mini-game for the protagonist's house/base of operations. Starting with, let's see... Baldur's Gate I, Planescape: Torment, both Icewind Dales, Fallout 1 & 2, and, I'm pretty sure, Arcanum. That's like 90% of the games that Eternity is being an homage to.

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