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timobkg

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Everything posted by timobkg

  1. What I was hoping to see from the Let's Play videos is more commentary on what he thinks as a game designer - more behind the scenes info. For example, in the first video he mentioned how when they do voice over work with text, they break up the text into small chunks, so that people don't end up with a wall of text that they can quickly read paired with a slow, seemingly interminable, voice over. I'd like to hear more of his thoughts on the game as a Game Designer - what works well, what doesn't, what he likes, what he doesn't like, how they do things similarly/different at Obsidian and why. An edited video with a voice over pointing these things would be great.
  2. I feel that this is the wrong way to go about fixing this problem. If there is negative attitude towards Bioware fans, having all the Bioware fans band together in mutual support is not the answer. That just further fuels the "us vs them" mentality. A better request, imo, would be to ask people to be more considerate with their remarks, and remind them that we are all individuals and we all like different things. The old saying, "Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated" is key. Each person has their own opinion of what is better, and what they liked more, but that doesn't make the opposing opinion wrong. Rather than hating on a game, I think it's much more useful to point out what they liked and what they didn't. Even the generally reviled DA2 had some really good aspects to it that could be used to make future games better. In the end, we're all here because we love RPGs, support Obsidian, and are excited for Project Eternity. So let's treat each other with mutual respect.
  3. The base of the OP's post is that since combat has a risk to it, it has to be balanced off with an XP reward. But if you give combat an XP reward, then there's incentive to slaughter everyone every time, which is exactly what we want to get away from. So some proposed solutions: 1) Make combat fun. If combat is fun, people will want to engage in combat because they enjoy it, or it fits their role, rather than because doing so makes a number go up. Everyone besides power-gamers is now happy. 2) Let you loot equipment / money off the dead. If you want that shiny new sword, you'll have to kill the guy who's holding it. Now there's a benefit to combat - the loot - at the cost of the risk and resources expended upon that combat. Without rewarding XP, combat is kept from being the optimum choice every time, but it may be a better choice than non-combat if you wish to get the loot. Power-gamers will be happy for weeks compiling risk-reward spreadsheets figuring out which are the optimum combats to engage in and which to avoid.
  4. I don't either. I sometimes feel like I'm surrounded by homicidal psychopaths. I certainly don't mind everyone being killable. I do mind inadvertent deaths, where the computer AI decides to kill off important NPCs (via AoE, random monster aggro, etc) for no reason, or where the whole town turns against you when an innocent bystander gets accidentally hurt / killed. Not being informed that an essential NPC just died and you now can't finish the game would be terrible.
  5. I don't think that design decisions should be made that cater to people who don't have time to play the game. I think design decisions should cater to the market. Most of the "classic RPG" market is now in their late 20s / early 30s. We now have jobs, many of us are married now, some have children. Practically none of us have as much free time as we did when the Infinity Engine games first came out. This is kind of comparing apples to oranges. TV shows are limited by their running time, so they're often challenged to squeeze everything into an episode. Games, on the other hand, are often padded out to reach "expected playing times." Like, for example, a TV show which gets renewed for a second season while the writers only planned on one season, and thus they either have to write all new material or pad out each episode to make their existing plot last across two seasons. We don't want the padding. I would argue that last part in bold. Just because they took a long time to finish doesn't mean that it was a requirement, or something we should emulate going forward. I certainly don't play with a stopwatch on my desk, recording the length and duration of every game session to make sure that I "get my money's worth" or something like that (which is a ridiculous notion since who really judges their entertainment based on duration instead of enjoyment?). I have no idea how long it took me to play through Planescape or Fallout, as their length was not what made those games memorable. If a game ends and leaves me wanting more, I call that a success. It's far preferable to a game overstaying its welcome, or me losing interest part way through, or wishing that the game would just hurry up and end. In DA:O, I'd bet there were 10 cries of "Why won't these Deep Roads end already?" for every person who thought "These Deep Roads are amazing! I hope they go on forever!" A game that leaves you wanting more is, imo, the goal to aim for. It leaves you excited to replay it, and excited to play the expansion. When I think back to the Infinity Engine games, I think of their great writing, interesting characters, meaningful dialog and choices, and party-based combat. That's what I want to see in PE. If given the choice between Obsidian adding more content or polishing the existing content to make it better, I'd chose the latter every time.
  6. I agree with this completely. Time is quickly becoming my most limited resource, and thus I want to eek the most enjoyment out of each and every moment I spend playing. I will take better and shorter over longer any day, particularly in an RPG. With how much replayability you can get in an RPG, I'd much rather have a great 20-hour game that I can replay 2-4 times than a good 40-80 hour game that I only play once.
  7. This ^. As I've said elsewhere, "evil" people don't think of themselves as evil. There's a rationale for everything, even if it's unrealistic or imagined. I want choices that cover the span of possibilities with rationalizations behind them. Let us, the players, decide which choices are good and which are bad based on our own personal viewpoint or chosen role.
  8. I too support well written choices over ridiculous good/neutral/evil/grey/whatever choices. Evil choices don't make any sense, as "evil" people don't think of themselves as evil. There is a rationalization for everything, even if that rationalization is unrealistic. For example, let's take a slaver: The slaver isn't out to oppress his slaves. He provides them with food and shelter, the things they need to survive, and who can blame him for losing his temper when they act ungrateful? If it wasn't for him, they'd die of starvation or exposure. Sure, you can end their slavery by killing the slaver, but what will happen to them when he's gone? Will they be able to fend for themselves, or will they start fighting each other over the scraps? And murdering the slaver worse than anything he did to the slaves? How can you condemn slavery while condoning murder?
  9. I care more about art design / playability than the tech behind it. For example, those STASIS screenshots in the first post look good at first, but upon closer inspection they're way too dark for how far removed the camera is. Looking at some of them, I can't even tell what I'm looking at, and the carefully placed detail is lost.
  10. If PE includes Undead, then I'd like them to tackle more of the thought and concept behind it. For example, a mindless zombie is a mindless zombie. I've seen countless mindless zombies in countless other games, they do nothing for me now. If there are zombies in PE, then I would want the game to look at the true horror of it. Are they former fellow soldiers? Are they friends, family members, lovers? How do you deal with someone you know coming back from the dead? How much of the former person is left inside a zombie? If your former friend / family member / lover is now a zombie, but still remembers you and is able to communicate with you somehow, how do you feel about that? Are you glad that you can spend more time with the person you lost, or are you horrified at what they have become? Those are the kinds of things that I find interesting about Undead. A mindless zombie just to fight in combat is not any more exciting than a giant rat.
  11. I would add to this rich companion interactions feeding back into, and enhancing, the gripping personal story, as in PST. Don't get me wrong, I love great graphics, love good battle systems and enjoyable combat, and really enjoy voice acting too, but I can get those already from many other games by many other studios. But those other studios all fall short on the story, and it's the promise of an intense, gripping, personal story that has me most excited for Obsidian and PE.
  12. I think KOTOR 2's companion strength is mostly due to Kreia, who's more nuanced than the companions of BG. Minsc is endearing and memorable, but not the deepest of characters. For me, I think KOTOR 2 suffered from being a sequel, as I remember the characters from KOTOR much better than those of KOTOR 2. Personally, I find Planescape: Torment's characters to be the most memorable, and the interactions with them to be the example I hope PE follows. For example, the revelation that came from fully unlocking Dak'kon's Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon was mind blowing.
  13. I came to PE via the Planescape: Torment hook, but if it's going to have over the top combat and a pinup anime aesthetic, I'm going to have to raise my pledge! Those are the two things PST was always missing.
  14. Then have an "old dialog" option of "I wanted to ask you about something you mentioned earlier." After you go through a dialog tree, move the tree under the "old dialog" option. If something new to that tree is unlocked, it could appear outside the "old dialog" option. This way, you'll know when they have something new to say without having to go through the same dialog over again, but you can also ask them about already discussed topics in case you forget or just zone out for a moment.
  15. I care less about customization and more about relevance. I care more about game relevant changes, such as being able to build specialized workshops and recruit artisans and experts to give me access to new arms or spells, or having to defend the stronghold against attack, or having my actions at the stronghold reflected in the game world.
  16. In defense of level scaling Level scaling is not the all or nothing proposition that the OP makes it out to be. You can use it to improve the game so long as it's done right. Level scaling done right is building zones and applying level scaling to those zones. For example: In the game you have expected zone progression. You expect to start in the beginning areas, Zone 1, then move on to the next areas, Zone 2, then the next, and eventually end up in the final and most difficult areas, Zone 6. In Zone 1, you can adventure in subsections 1a, or 1b, or 1c. The expectation is that you will complete 2-3 of the subsections before moving onto Zone 2, at around level 2. Now, instead of making everything in Zone 1 level fixed at level 1, you set level scaling for that Zone to level 1-2. This way, the locations in Zone 1 will be equally challenging regardless of which order you decide to explore them in. Zone 2, on the other hand, expects that you've already finished Zone 1, and thus is set to scale to level 2-4. If you want to skip Zone 1 and run straight to Zone 2, you can, but you're going to be at a disadvantage. If you explore every subsection of Zone 1, and thus are level 3 going into Zone 2, you'll still feel the same challenge as someone who's level 2. If you're suicidal, you can run to one of the Zone 6 areas from the start and die immediately. But by the time you're high enough level to tackle the Zone 6 areas, scaled to lvl 9-10, Zone 1 and 2 areas (scaled at lvl 2 and lvl 4 respectively) are pushovers. Thus, with level scaling, you have freedom of progression (you don't have tackle the areas in particular order), enhanced challenge (it takes longer to out-level an area), a sense of empowerment (you still out-level areas), reduced grinding (you can be lvl 9 or 10 to be on-level for the final areas), and better balance (Zone 2 combat isn't immediately a push-over because you decided to quest longer in Zone 1).
  17. Resting I always thought that resting kills the momentum and flow of the game. It's realism at the cost of fun and enjoyment. I'd much rather have cooldowns, or a regenerating mana bar, or even a stamina system where stamina gradually recharges over time and more powerful attacks decrease your stamina by greater amounts - where you could use the same powerful ability over and over (unlike cooldowns) but it would leave you fatigued for some time. Guiding Hand This is largely a result of moving to 1st / 3rd person RPGs. Navigating in an isometric game is easy, as you're always aware of which direction you're going and north is always up. Navigating in a 1st / 3rd person RPG is significantly more difficult, and it's easy to get turned around after an encounter. If I didn't set a target marker in Witcher, I would constantly get lost running through the city or the swamps. To keep the player from getting lost in 1st / 3rd person games, or from having to constantly open the map, you either need to make linear tunnel levels (KOTOR, Mass Effect) or you need guiding hands and quest markers (Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls). I'm ok with getting rid of the guiding hand so long as you build the game around that. This requires good directions, and built-in careful note-taking. If you get rid of the "go here, do this" quest log, replace it with a note log - "I heard a rumour about a slave camp. Some said it was in the woods north of town, while others claim seeing slaves by the caves at the southern tip of the mountain range to the west." I should be able to pick up the game again after a few months away and be able to figure out from the in-game notes what I was working on and where I need to go to accomplish them.
  18. The 2.6 million goal is only 100k higher than the previous goal. The assumption is that a large chunk of that 100k will go towards making the Adventurer's Hall, but the remaining 2.5 million will be untouched. You and I may not care about party creation, but others certainly do. Those may now pledge more, and people who haven't pledged yet because of the lack of party creation may hop on board once the goal is reached. Whether you care about party creation or not, it's in our best interest to reach the 2.6 million goal, since each completed goal opens up opportunity to add a more to the game via a new goal.
  19. Not sure how combat messages are supposed to work in a real time game where you're not reading every line of combat text to see what happened.
  20. If you can't make a good poll, don't make a bad one. You can't lump DA:O and DA2 together, and neither can you lump IWD and PS:T together. Many people liked one, but not the other. I'd argue that BG and IWD have more in common than IWD and PS:T. Combat systems hinge on implementation. The same combat system can have a terrible implementation or a great one, and thus play and feel completely differently, and the poll completely ignores that.
  21. Exactly. I like to describe it as showing us, rather than telling us. If I gained or lost favor with someone, show me with facial experssions, gestures, words. Don't tell me with a +5 friendship.
  22. What I loved about PS:T is how unique the characters in the game were. I understand that this is going to be more of a traditional fantasy setting, with humans, elves and dwarves, and it's certainly easier to take an existing fantasy race than to make a new one, but I'd love to see them add some exotic inhabitants to the game.
  23. I'm not sure where the "Bioware sex-sim" fears are coming from. Last I checked, this is an Obsidian game, being made by people who formerly worked at Black Isle and Troika. Most of their games had romances in one form or another, and yet I don't recall any of the being derided as sex-sims. So here's the relevant info I got from the Chris Avellone quote: As someone who's in favor of romances, I agree with everything he said, and would be happy with those types of romances. Would that be a happy medium for people, having flawed, unrequited romances, or ones that are not consummated during the course of the game?
  24. Yeah, you would need to baby-sit them... It can be annoying, but is quite possible as BG2 shows (where you can get into a similar situation when you dual-class one of your party characters) Exactly! IMO, if it's annoying, it's a poor game mechanic that should be changed. The old IE games were great, but they were great in spite of the D&D mechanics, and not because of them. D&D is great for a table-top dungeon crawl, but far from ideal for a CRPG. I see one of the main benefits to PE being Kickstarted is that they're not tied to a license, and thus aren't saddled by having to adapt game pen and paper mechanics to a medium they weren't designed for. I understand that some people feel nostalgia towards the D&D mechanics, but there have been so many games that used them (just off the top of my head there's 6+ Gold Box games, BG, BG2, PS:T, ToEE, NWN, NWN2, Pool of Radiance). Let's try something different for a change.
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