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Posts posted by Clawdius_Talonious

  1. I'm of two minds about this, honestly. To me it comes down to this, are we playing a blank slate character like The Watcher? Or are we playing a character whose personality isn't entirely ours to shape, like Commander Shepard? I'd prefer the former, and thus no voiceover for the PC, but if it is the latter I don't mind voiced dialog at all. It's a waste of money for blank slates, IMO, and if you're going to spend money on blank slates I'd prefer a variety of voices for barks etc so the player can pick what suits them. For games where you're a specific character, it's not so jarring for them to have their own voice that differs from mine.

    • Like 1
  2. There are aspects of Skyrim, and other Bethesda games, that work. There are aspects that do not work, at least for me.

    Being able to start a game and head just about anywhere? Honestly, I could take or leave that aspect, I end up modding Skyrim to the point it no longer has such strict level scaling and I do use alternate start mods to add some variety. That said, it's more difficult to have a cohesive narrative experience when you're able to say "Nope, no dragons for me, thanks!" and go bum around stealing cheese wheels and mining ore.

    I enjoy open worlds, but New Vegas' approach of "You can head north, but that's bat country" (cazadores, whatever.) works better for me. It lets me theoretically go anywhere I want, but has a path I am far more likely to take my first time through. Land masses routinely have natural obstacles that preclude venturing where ever the bloody hell you please. Unreal being what it is, I expect these to play a role preventing us wandering off in any given direction. Open world doesn't mean contiguous open world.

    Bethesda doesn't really have sole ownership of first person RPGs, but most companies avoid first person because it's extremely difficult to make the combat feel impactful. Third person games feel somehow less clunky when you get to see a character model stagger, being staggered in first person is more frustrating and can feel unresponsive rather than like a legitimate mechanic. I'm curious to see what Obsidian manages, vis a vis solid feeling melee first person combat. I gather that some multiplayer games have done a good job lately, but I haven't experienced them myself. I do know that I found Kingdom Come's system to be unreliable and unintuitive. 

    People compare it to Skyrim because it's the king of the FPSRPG hill, we called FPS games Doom-clones for longer than seems reasonable. FPSRPG isn't even exactly accurate if you can slip into third person. We need a catchy initialism, or better yet an acronym. Otherwise we'll just be calling games Skyrim-esque.

  3. Yeah, they know it's a well loved feature, and that it helps some people with e.g. motion sickness or what have you for more people than just being able to adjust FOV.

    The issue with third person for TOW was budgetary, animations for all the various weapons would have to be polished, armor clipping and so on might necessitate changes to assets and so on. I can't see any reason they wouldn't have designed Avowed to use Third Person, since they were much earlier in development and had a publisher who would be more likely to fund a less svelte game design. TOW was trying to escape the "buggy" reputation Obsidian has (personally I think that they get too much flak for that, since they might launch buggy but are rapidly patched.)

    Cutting "luxury" features, and even entire planets out of the game kept the game trim and easier to maintain. Anything with tens of thousands of lines of dialog among hundreds of characters and a crazy amount of potential quest states is going to have some undiscovered interactions at launch. Once you start coding something more complex than hello world you're gonna have some bugs. Microsoft's QA assistance will help even a more robust game design reach a relatively bug free state at launch I think. And of course, other than graphical glitches, third person cameras don't generally cause bugs per se.

    • Like 1
  4. I feel like a good setting for Avowed, temporally speaking, would be about the time the events of Pillars of Eternity are happening. The lore is firmly established for other places, so all the books and so on will easily be able to be imported into Avowed. Furthermore, rumors ranging from the likely accurate to the outlandish about The Hollowborn Crisis and The Watcher of Caed Nua could be sparsely sprinkled in random NPC dialog. Since there's not exactly a canonical ending to Pillars, even if there basically is one to 2, there wouldn't have to be anything that disputed events of people who have played the games.

    At the same time, that time period would allow for a solid set of known unknowns to explore, known knowns that can be easily redistributed, and unknown unknowns to discover. By placing the games concurrent in the timeline, players who know the end of Deadfire would know something was coming that would be really interesting to explore from a new perspective. Moreover, you could gradually introduce concepts to new players instead of giving them a deluge of WTF at the start of the first game of a new series in an established universe.

    I'd love to explore the consequences and aftermath of the events of Deadfire, but I'm fairly certain that it's not a great idea to do it in the first game of a new series. The events are so massive that there's no real good way to engage with them without covering a huge swath of fantastic concepts. An organic introduction to the universe, where you meet people who explain what things are, perspectives offered on e.g. souls, animancy, adra, and so on could be explored at player's own pace instead of having to be like "First there was the natural wheel, then there was Berath's wheel..." and so on fairly soon into the game. Lore dumps aren't generally enjoyable experiences, and a lot of people will skip over them and be confused.

    As for Deadfire sales, I really honestly feel like Deadfire had two major issues it failed to overcome. One, people bounced off of Pillars, I can't offer percentages or anything but most of the people I know never got out of the first chapter of the game and had no desire to play it anymore. They did various things, reading the fan NPCs "history" stuff a lot before realizing it was completely extraneous, not paying much attention to what was happening and being confused and turned around. Missing things that felt obvious to me my first time through the game, but clearly weren't spelled out quite as well as some players might have benefited from... And the second issue, Isometric RPGs look and play the same a decade after launch as they do at launch, more or less. Planescape Torment looks rather good on a 1360x768 resolution 50" screen, and while Pillars has more 3D in the pipeline it's still all baked into flat backgrounds. People who jumped at Pillars and bounced off probably want a Deadfire experience with all the DLC for like five bucks in case the same thing happens. They're not necessarily paying attention to e.g. a lighter tone and everything being voiced, they just know they didn't care for the first game and they're not eager to return. I guess you could also say that there are a lot more 50+ hour RPGs on the market than there were when Pillars came out, so people can afford to be pickier about what they'll pay full price for and what they'll sleep on.

    Honestly IMO the worst time period to set Avowed in is probably post-Deadfire, any time prior to any of the Pillars titles that's post-Engwithan would be fine, right up to being concurrent with the Pillars games. There's just too much lore to cover to really get into what's going on and why after Deadfire, IMO. That said, I am pretty sure Obsidian wouldn't set Avowed post Deadfire because then there needs to be an established canonical story for Pillars and Deadfire. It also would eat into any potential Pillars 3 which isn't necessarily out of the question if Avowed does well and brings attention back to the universe. It's not inconceivable that Deadfire could see a sales spike if people love the world of Eora and enough people are getting their first taste of it from Avowed. 

  5. Pillars 2 has recommended companions, showing those with extra dialog and so on.

    I'm open to whatever design Obsidian has in mind, they've done a lot of good work.

    Tyranny has a great companion system and setting, The story was majorly affected by which factions you backed, you could actually obliterate your ability to choose a prominent storyline and one of the "most wanted" for a certain style of player. I know I wanted that option my first play. You could choose to do things in your profession, in the lead up to the game. There was an option that seemed prudent but lead the rest of the character's life down the path of collaboration to minimize suffering. That's the theme of the game and hit some emotional notes in me I hadn't expected or previously experienced. It also left me a second experience closer to what I enjoy.

    I'm not sure whose writing comprises the story as it stands, but they have a lot of consultants whose work I already love.

    Obsidian has so much work to draw upon, they know what works and what doesn't. It makes people think they've grown more timid but they leave less on the cutting room floor. It will be their second experience with the Unreal Engine, their tools are more integrated, they can experiment more with Microsoft's funding. QA will hammer out the experience that TOW got to through what you might call limited ambition. I'm eager to see where they go for their first foray into Microsoft's piggy bank.

  6. 3 hours ago, comaprison said:

    Will the DLCs be compatible with existing save files, or will it require starting a new save?

    The DLCs are almost definitely going to be like Pillars 1/2 and thus you can load the "Just before endgame" save and then fly to the DLC planet. If you haven't even gotten that far, then yes you should just be able to load your game and head straight there. As I understand it, you'll have to be past Monarch IIRC in order to go to the DLC world.

  7. If Obsidian wants to make a new Fallout New Vegas style game, they could go back to the IP of the predecessor that Fallout was the spiritual successor of in the first place. Wasteland has a lot of potential, and since InXile and Obsidian are both subsidiaries of Microsoft I imagine that it wouldn't take much effort to swing that IP. Wasteland has a lot of similarities to Fallout, and if they want to make a new game in the same vein it would be easy for them to flesh out what happened e.g. in California post Wasteland 2 or what have you.

  8. I'd like to see a dual classing system, even if it was just a couple of factions from various classes, e.g. Kind Wayfarers and Bleak Walkers for Paladins. I'd like to see it be like the Guilds from Elder Scrolls titles, just limited to joining two.

    The way I see that working is through a classless advancement system, as well as a way to advance in the classes to unlock skills and spells possibly through money so XP lets you get classless advancement. 

    I've seen someone say they'd like to see Tyranny style rune based magic, I think that would be an interesting way to handle spells. Learning basic runes for things like elements and power level classless and then more advanced runes for Class based magics. This could make things that were OP not stack between classes because they were the same type of rune, or let you learn entirely new rune types from your class. The rune we see used in the reveal could require being drawn every time you cast a spell as a reload animation sort of so more advanced sigils require more time.

    Then you could have other ways to cast based on class of course, Barbarians shouts, Paladin auras, Chants and so on. Rogue skills and Fighter skills would probably not exactly count as magic, but I'm not the one handling game balance in those regards.

    I don't think it will be handled that way, but if I could have it be any way at all I feel like that would be pretty awesome.

    • Like 1
  9. Pillars 3 would be a continuation of the story of the Watcher post Deadfire. This game has an unknown setting, whether or not it's post-Deadfire it seems unlikely that the story would be about the Watcher. As everyone says, Deadfire sales were low, but that doesn't mean that if the universe gets a lot more fans it's off the table.

    Personally I'd bet on it being set before or concurrently with Pillars of Eternity, rumors about a Watcher and Caed Nua like easter eggs would be fun but there's no point in wrapping up the story from Pillars of Eternity in another game in the same universe.

    Also, while I understand people saying they don't want watchers, I think what they really mean is they don't want The Watcher, because The Watcher wasn't JUST a Watcher, he was also having a schism where he was also seeing his past lives. Watchers just see dead people that haven't moved on, most of what people are talking about is almost certainly the fact that he was... IIRC Awakened.

    Anyway, a Watcher as an NPC would be fine, even the PC being -A- Watcher would be fine really IMHO. The combination was kind of a glut of information, muddying the story. Just being a Watcher would let you see spirits, which could be used to great effect for sidequests, the main story, vignettes and so on.

    Pillars of Eternity sales didn't inspire repeat business, possibly because from what I've seen people bounce off the first chapter of the game. There were the backer NPCs, which were fun but ENTIRELY unnecessary to the plot and a lot of people read more of them than was perhaps good for engagement in the first hours of the game. The game wasn't super intuitive for people who weren't paying enough attention. Eora was a great world and the mechanics were all interesting and had unique aspects while being familiar enough to not need to disrupt people who have a Tolkeinesque character in mind. 

    For people wondering why they're going back to Eora, the preproduction work on building a world is a lot of effort that doesn't need to be duplicated. There's a lot of history and effort put into various factions, subclasses and so on. Josh Sawyer is writing the Pillars TTRPG, and that's a glut of new and interesting information about the world. They could set any sort of story there, and if they're truly going for a Skyrim kind of feel, it would be interesting to have paired Leveling and then Guild joining and leveling. An ability to have innate abilities like weapon skills, and then guild abilities by joining a Paladin faction, or a Cipher group. Think Skyrim guilds except actual abilities and not just items and fluff, and no ability to join as many as you want (though Deadfire established dual class characters.)

  10. On 3/15/2020 at 8:17 PM, Ommamar said:

    TOW is a good game but it is obvious that it was made with the minimal amount of effort in the shortest time possible. 

    This is insulting, and untrue. For one thing the development started in May of 2016, while New Vegas had an 18 month turn around. Secondly a great deal of effort was put into the game, just not precisely in the ways we're necessarily used to seeing from Obsidian since so much of it was directed at releasing a polished relatively bug free experience. There was also clearly a fair amount of effort put into a visceral and enjoyable combat loop.

    What you're calling rushed and minimal effort is neither. It was, however, made on a budget. The team reconciled the fact that the more content and reactivity they had the more difficult it would be to bug test/fix. The content was likely reduced in the fairly early stages of development, because Obsidian didn't want to release a buggy game and has in the past had a reputation for doing so. We are not privy to contract stipulations from Private Division, but it seems rather like this was a deliberate decision from Obsidian rather than anything forced on them.

    Have you heard "Fast, Right, Cheap. Pick 2." They chose right and cheap, and made it extremely clear from very early on that this was not a huge game with a AAA budget. Much of Obsidian was working on Deadfire and the DLC for that title for most of The Outer Worlds development. 

    And as has been mentioned, there is confirmation that there will be DLC for The Outer Worlds. This, to me, seems to indicate that Obsidian is taking their time to expand the game with significant and likely well fleshed out content.  It wouldn't surprise me if they released a DLC pack with a sizable colony and comparable amount of content to Monarch, though that's certainly just speculation on my part. There hasn't been so much as a teaser trailer and official announcement of the DLC, which is likely a good thing given the hectic nature of things lately. Dates you haven't announced can be delayed without push back from the fans.

    I didn't make it through a second run through The Outer Worlds, and I made 5 through Deadfire before the first DLC released. There wasn't really a lot I wanted to do differently, I found the third option for most major story beats and felt like I would just be rehashing the same content to the same ends more or less. I just am willing to say that there was clearly effort put into things that not everyone even sees as a plus. Things like not forcing you to execute wave after wave of robots to unlock the ship section by section on the Hope, which it sounds like you might have enjoyed and I'd have enjoyed hacking my way past all of that, so maybe I'd have had some mild amusement out of that as well.

    Point being, credit where credit is due. I mean, Obsidian owns the IP for a game with millions of fans, an interesting take on a dystopian atmosphere we haven't seen the like of in gaming as far as I know, a modular nature that will allow easy access to any DLC and adding to the lore without too many questions whose answers aren't "Corporate secrecy to avoid sabotage or espionage."

    I may not have enjoyed this title as much as I had hoped I would, but I'm looking forward to another jaunt in The Outer Worlds. 

    • Like 2
  11. Back to armchair tneories about Deadfire sales, I really think that the Isometric text heavy RPG shoots itself in the foot because it looks good and plays the same for decades. Planescape Torment still looks alright and plays well, modded to support widescreen resolutions. Because of the fact that the play experience is static, if there is no potential for a major twist that could be spoiled, you can wait for the games to go on sale cheap and not miss much.

    In fact, you get a more polished and often expanded experience for less money. Between Steam sales and the like, games culture pushes people away from a sense of release day urgency and toward a more leisurely games acquisition path. Games that are text heavy need to generate serious buzz or spoiler heavy conversations that people want to participate in without spoiling the twists for themselves. If a game like this generates positive reviews but not a ton of spoiler talk, it needs to be a new property or generate interest through other means in order to move a lot of copies at a high price.

    There's also the fact that Pillars was a kind of divisive game, a bunch of people bounced right off of the game after 10 or fewer hours play. The fact is that because of the epic length and start of a series plans for Pillars it didn't have the best onboarding. People often puttered around Gilded Vale and got bored before even making it to Defiance Bay. In addition to the normal fatigue, NPCs that served as massive text dumps without any real connection to the lore or backstory introduced a new twist where nothing tells you directly "These flashbacks won't tie into any plot, any world building you need to know, any quest or anything important" and a lot of people seemed to read more of them than they probably should have. By exhausting themselves reading these self contained stories that don't matter, they had less energy to expend reading things that did matter.

    I put my nephew in front of Planescape Torment's into and he skipped all the text and said it was boring. He was 17 at the time, just a few years ago. I told him that ofc it was he just skipped past the first chapter of a book and said it was boring. Pillars 1 added a new wrinkle, interspersed with the interesting stuff there were weird asides. Sure, the text color and name color is a dead giveaway that they're different but because the players are often skimming instead of really reading everything like they should a lot of people didn't see that they should basically pretend those characters don't exist. If they hadn't come into the game until Defiance Bay it might have kept more people interested longer.

    I can't really definitively say which of these points even mattered the most to the people I do know who bounced right off of Pillars 1, Deadfire doesn't have any of those problems, but at the same time people who see 9/10 on Pillars and bounced right off aren't going to pay full price or 66% or whatever for Deadfire. People can't really tell you in a word why they didn't get into a game. In order to avoid conversations about it they're more likely to give a blithe "it was alright" and not say "I played for four hours hadn't gotten very far and never fired it up again, getting further and further away from it I felt like I'd need to restart and waste another few hours getting back to where I bounced off so I never bothered to fire it up again."

    Pillars initial success may have actually worked against it, taking people who were of middling interest and convincing them that Pillars was too old school or too *whatever* for them. For them, they see all the rave reviews and think "It's not them, it's me" and don't see across the board improvements in Deadfire as a reason to pick it up. It's like e.g. Sushi, they think it wasn't for them and the people who love it are just loud about it. They don't interject why they didn't care for it, they just don't spend money on it.

    • Like 1
  12. It's a pretty reasonable and consistent request IMO, we have reason to hope that the game has decoupled survival elements from supernova in the future. Right now they are the worst sort of "keep bars full" micromanagement where thirst and hunger build at similar rates and you can't ever slake thirst more or less effectively or do more than top off the bars and wait for debuffs.

    I'd much rather have a system where I gained some tangible benefits from being well fed and keeping my thirst slaked before I became ravenous and dehydrated enough that I display obvious physical symptoms. YMMV, but the current system is a bit lacking in terms of what it brings to the game. As such I can understand not wanting to extend the offer to everyone.

  13. Some of the targeting reticles are larger than others, but I don't know of a way to make them larger. That said, while there isn't auto aim, there is the Tactical Time Dilation ability that slows time greatly and gives you the ability to look at targets without using very much of the ability at all. You've also got the ability to hear enemies, and their location and statuses are denoted with UI elements (an arrow above enemies when they haven't noticed you that fills and turns red and then becomes a larger ! icon when you're in combat) so you can see the enemies a little easier.

    You might check back at a later time, a number of the people want the text to be larger and it's not implausible that the easiest way to do that would also scale up other UI elements...

  14. I feel confident that saying that you don't need to enter the sealed door, and you should look elsewhere, and that the map can be helpful in times like those... isn't really a spoiler. It's just good advice for any time you find yourself thinking you need to enter a sealed location, unless it's a companion related quest and you don't have the associated companion with you.

  15. There's a glitch with companion NPCs where they enter a quasi-dead state, or bifurcate into two versions of themselves, one of which can die and trigger the former glitch. This sounds, to me, like that known issue. I haven't heard of it happening to any other named NPC, although generic NPCs do repopulate areas emptied by the player on a rampage as I understand it.

    The statements about being able to kill NPCs is largely a quest related one, a lot of games mark quest related NPCs as unkillable or just force the player to put away weapons in quest hubs and the like. The idea that you can still complete quests or indeed the game seemed to be the focus in those statements that I read.

  16. It's always a good idea to keep hard saves in safe places, because you may lose as much as a few hours effort, but replaying sections is better than having to restart entirely.

    Good luck on the rest of the run, that fight is a pretty difficult one for sure. I'd have done better if I could have laid about a dozen mines all over their dining room. I waited so long for them to finish cooking and serve me a meal before deciding that I was meant to kill them. I was annoyed because I was like 80 persuasion and couldn't talk my way out of their house, really wished for better lockpick skill at that moment.

  17. 1 hour ago, Ommamar said:

    So the complaint as I understand the point of this thread is that there is one difficulty that allows you to permanently lose your companions, which until you understand how they work and develop them are very weak.  So by trying the game out on this difficulty I am forced to reload often so I don't miss the content that my companions provide, never mind that there is three other modes of play I could utilize if I in fact want to experience the content.  Instead I will come on to a forum to complain about how a difficulty level designed to be a challenge after you have figured out the game , that also clearly states the challenges involved.  Is to hard and should be changed because if I play it I either have to lose out on content or constantly reload a save redoing content I have already seen.  So how is me choosing to play at this difficulty not exclusive to the above named quandary?

    Also nice of you to evaluate my mental health of a sentence on a forum, perhaps you can place your practice next to Lucy's of Peanuts fame I wouldn't charge the full five cents might want to start at three or perhaps even two cents.

    I'd say that people who start the game on Supernova and refuse to lower the difficulty even when it presents issues they don't like, are "try hard"s as much as I dislike the term. You don't have to play the game on supernova. You don't have to ignore the tutorials that walk you through your ability to change companion AI (why not all of them have a "mixed" setting I can't quite be certain of and it's unintuitive to find new settings in a system you've already looked at) and so on to make Supernova less onerous. No one said you had to start Supernova not being aware of the fact that the game autosaves every time you go to your ship and thus you basically have "Save anywhere away from enemies outside of locations you can't fast travel from."

    I'm not sure I'd tell you to seek therapy, but it sounds a touch masochistic to me. I absolutely think that the greater needs for sleep and food and drink should be available separately from difficulty settings, but beyond that you're sticking your foot in a bear trap and asking me to feel sorry for you because you hurt your ankle. You did it to yourself, and are arguably continuing to do it to yourself.

    Don't get me wrong, for my second run I'm going through in Supernova, and it frustrates me at times to the point I quit playing the game for awhile. That doesn't mean that I couldn't turn the game down to Hard at any time and never deal with the most frustrating aspects that way. I can finally resurrect my companions by puffing on my handy vape, so.... woo hoo? I guess? I've got mixed feelings about a number of aspects of the game, but I really would like to see the game offer a more difficult setting as well as extending the use of greater needs to players who don't want to see companions permanently die when they have the fewest resources to deal with that issue, and have to reload if they don't want to accept that.

    You can save any time in the overworld, just by travelling back to your ship and reloading the autosave that generates.

  18. Just now, imitenotbecrazy said:

    Poor wording on my part. You must still raise the whole group at once until the skill you want to raise above 50, hits 50. So if you rolled a 22 in Hacking and 30 in Sneak, you are still levelling sneak to 50 if you want to raise your hacking passed 50. 

    Ahhhh, well, yes for the subset of skills you want to be good at and are middling at. It still makes sense though, if you're naturally great with sciences, but want to be an engineer you might do really well at Medicine but you're really after that Engineering. You get told repeatedly that your handwriting is illegible, so you must be a doctor or lawyer "when you grow up" and yet you want to pump liquids and air into frakking systems and pneumatic drives, you live for the day your robot can move about by itself. To hell with medicine, I want advanced knowledge of Engineering. So, despite having 100s in biology and similar sciences you have to work for your engineering degree, it takes effort and you sometimes make poor grades.

    All of it, to me, seems pretty realistic and human. YMMV.

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