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About jethro

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    (4) Theurgist


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  1. I assume you are not talking just about the main quest line, the "handful" is about ALL quests in the game, right?
  2. Quests can be finished in more than one way, sure, but can they still be finished in more than one way if you don't succeed at that resolve check? Or is a fight the only solution then? With that argument a mage would also want to see battles, he's DPS as well. And remember that someone else in this thread suggested a tank if you want to play a diplomat. Does a tank sound like a peaceful negotiator to you? If I remember correctly, Obsidian wanted to separate social skills and battle skills so that you can seek diplomatic solutions irrespective of the class you play. This seems to have failed at least for the rogue. It would be interesting to know percentages. If a lot more quests need Resolve than Per or Int, it is likely that Obsidian just didn't notice the imbalance. Still, I think a special "diplomacy" skill (and a random element in the skill check) would have been the better solution to the meta-game of making a PC that suits ones play style.
  3. Hah, I discussed all your points with my disillusioned friend today and "we" scored some points against his opinions. What I could not counter was that, as he wanted to play a rogue AND solve quests through dialog, he practically was screwed from the beginning. He is at a point now where he can't open many locks anymore because he didn't put ALL points into mechanics but can't solve the quests through dialog because his knowledge and lore skills are not high enough. And obviously, if you play a rogue, it would make no sense to let someone else do all the defusing and box-opening, that is why you play a rogue and this is still a *role-playing* game, right? Is it apparent (in the documentation) that lore and knowledge must be high for that or not? Combined with the need that only few classes are really good at social play (which is a very common play style) and players tend to have prefered classes makes this something Obsidian should definitely tweak. When we talked about all the attribute- and resolve-checks, he said that the problem is that the only resolution open to you if you fail these checks is by fighting your way through. I.e. you can't solve most quests socially unless you have high attributes and resolve. Your only option then is to fight. Sure, you don't really fail the quest, but there is no relevant choice anymore. Ok, I'm sure he exaggerated a bit, when he said "ALL" quests are that way ;-), but is his impression somewhat correct? Sure, in pen and paper games social resolutons involve skill checks too but there you know from the beginning which skills the social character needs and it's not a fixed limit but (almost?) always a check with a dice role involved. In Pillars there is no chance involved and the description of resolve for example doesn't really give you the meta-knowledge of its importance (ok, you could say it is there, but reading about perception and intellect gives me the impression those two would be much much more important): "Resolve reflects a character's internal drive, determination, fearlessness, and the emotional intensity they can project to others. It can be useful for mental intimidation, leadership, and convincing performances. In combat, it helps characters maintain Concentration and contributes to the Will and Deflection defenses". Any comments? Your previous contributions give me the hope of further intelligent replies that I can throw back to my friend ;-).
  4. Thanks for your answers, I have a much clearer picture of the situation now. Might help to kill my friends frustation.
  5. I'm still playing WL2, but a friend of mine already played a lot of PoE. First he liked it, but today he said he stopped playing for the moment because of some things that frustrated or irritated him. I would like to find out if he is right or did he overlook a few solutions? 1) One frustrating thing seemed to be the vampires who had no problem charming his most strong-willed characters while the low-willed front line fighters seemed strangely more robust. His party is level 10 by the way. He did not see how he could win against 4 vampires when half his party is charmed (and in 70% of cases the magic user who could counter a charm was charmed although he should have the best charm protection). Is level 10 too low for vampires? Did he miss a tactic or some info about will saves ? Or is he just unlucky and the random number generator his nemesis? 2) As soon as someone in his party is charmed the others tend to attack him. Ok, he is an enemy at that moment, but obviously it would be more sensible to just try to avoid him until the spell wears off, if possible. But it seems the automatic companion-AI often does too much. The same happens when you place a fireball or other AoE spell and one of your companions thinks this is the right time to wander into the area of effect. In NWN2 at least I could turn of the AI of companions in a few steps from heavy AI-controlled to practically zero AI, i.e. complete player control. Is that missing in PoE? 3) There are a lot of conversation checks that check for your main PC to have a skill (for example a high lore skill). But it doesn't help at all if the companions have the skill, only the main PC. As your main PC can't have everything, does that mean that you are expected to miss out on (say) 80% of skill related conversation options? 4) Attribute checks in conversations also seem so high that a character build of the PC that doesn't have one or two attributes maxed out (and the rest conversly at 10 or lower) makes it impossible to get any successful attribute checks in conversations. Is that true? Ok, I may misrepresent or misremember points, so don't be too harsh if some critisism is obviously wrong. But please correct any false impressions or tell me where he is right and where he is wrong.
  6. As soon as I started playing the game those two drawbacks were pestering me so much that I had to write this post. The first drawback probably isn't even the fault of obsidian but of steam or ubisoft. If the language of the subtitles is identical to the language spoken you can listen to the words and read it at the same time if you have problems following. If the languages are different, even though the subtitles are your mother language, you can either read or listen but not both. And the subtitles are not shown long enough that you can reread stuff you missed hearing. Menues are german too! Why? Anyone buying the game should already knows enough english as all the voices in the game are in english. Oh the irony: I didn't mind getting the german version even though it was cut (since I heard the language would still be the original english). And still I was hurt by the DRM. But the biggest gripe: QUICK TIME. Oh, how I hate games with quick-time events. And it would have been so easy: Why couldn't you put an option into the game to just turn off that stuff? I know, there seem to be a lot of people who like the combat in SoT as it is. But if you read some forums, there are a lot of people who hate quick-time, and with a simple option you could have served both. I play SoT on easy. I saviour the humor and the story and try to ignore the combat as much as possible.
  7. Lots of games on steam are, with the help of steam, changed so that they offer social features, automatic updates, anti-cheat, DRM, statistic functions and achievements. Some of that list is possible without changing the code, most is surely not (at least if implemented to full extent). Example DRM, the usual DRM doesn't allow the game to run without steam running, that clearly needs changes in the code if circumvention needs to be hard. Achievements are the best example as it needs clearly modifications and also adds a highly visible "feature" to the games. Now granted, valve aka steam is clearly best described as a distributor, but they also take on tasks a publisher would do, especially for their own games, even when they outsource any physical publishing/distribution completely to some other publisher/distributor. (I don't differentiate between valve and steam because 90% of valve is steam. I even had to lookup "valve" again because I forgot the name) Especially in an industry that is changing (because of digitial distribution as well as kickstarter/indenpendent games) it isn't easy to stick to rigid definitions. Those definitions are changing too. 5 years ago it might have been possible to define a publisher as the one holding the rights to a game and paying the billls. Now with kickstarter the hope (of companies like obsidian and inxile) is that the game creator is the one holding the money and especially the rights and the publisher is only a hired gun doing marketing and distribution. With indy games this already was mostly the case but only nowadays with digital distribution do indy games also have a chance to get a decent amount of money out of it to fund bigger games.
  8. Steam and GoG are platforms. That's like saying Nintendo is publishing Arkham City because it is on the Wii U. The PC is the platform, Steam and GoG are definitely distributors though probably seldom complete publishers. But since gog patches the old games to let them run on newer operating systems I would say it definitely does more than distribution. "publisher" is a really strechable concept, you'll have a hard time showing that steam and gog don't publish games.
  9. Ah, didn't know that. On the other hand, I'm not sure people would have pledged that amount of money for PoE if half of that went into a documentary (I wouldn't have) . DF has some really funny guys, so watching them for a few hours might be something special. I can't imagine the same for PoE, not on that scale.
  10. Well, lets look at the benefits of self-publishing. They would have built a publishing sub-company (and not a small one as PoE is not a tiny independent game) that they could use ... for the next expansion. But until then it and its workers would build up expenses and most of the time not do anything. Because Obsidian still does jobs for publishers and those jobs won't go to the in-house publisher. And even if they did, they don't have enough games pipelines anyway to utilize a publisher fully. So the in-house publisher would have to look for external projects to publish or its efficiency would be devastating. The alternative would be to close or shrink the in-house publisher as soon as the work is done. But then all the start-up money invested in this publisher (management hours, computers, training, furniture) would have to be carried by PoE and I'll guarantee you that can't be cheaper than outsourcing it. The other thing is, they already made deals with two publishers without anyone taking notice at all: steam and gog. Why build up an in-house publisher when publishing is already partly outsourced, and incidentally the easier part?
  11. You mean documentaries that were so expensive that they didn't have left enough money to do the actually game in one set? ;-)
  12. You are ignoring a third possibility: That individuals are not leved based on their own acts but still don't level at the same time. For example this would be the case if all your toons get equal xp but they start from a different level or they gain a level at different xp values.
  13. Mor++, excellent improvements. I asked a friend (with more knowledge about castle architecture than me) how he would rate the stronghold. He said the castle walls are wrong, they look more like town walls or walls to a really big castle (which I assume couldn't vanish completely even if razzed, not with the wall still standing as if nothing had happened). He also said he doesn't mind that it is not accurate, this is a fantasy universe ;-) He also said that lower nobility could and did erect castles as well, for example if they had the luck of profiting from a trade route or natural resources. He also did rate Castle Oesterode as a small castle, but as too big to just give to some low level adventurers.
  14. I'm not contesting that they fell in disuse together. The question is whether they were built together. And I fail to see how you can determine that from the picture. Most castles and country estates are conglomerates of parts built in different centuries. Quote wikipedia about Castle Heidelberg: "The earliest castle structure was built before AD 1214 and later expanded into 2 castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt destroyed some rebuilt sections." To make it clear, the timeline of our stronghold could be this: castle built with walls ----> war,razzing, disuse ---> changed into a country house by a lower noble, walls repaired ------> disuse ---------------> now. I would be perfectly fine with an ingame history that made sense. But not needing an explanation at all would be even better Your example links point to castles, and to my knowledge castles were unbelievably expensive in medieval times. Kings or Dukes could build them, lower nobility surely not. A king could also give a small castle as a lease to someone deserving or to a knight to make some border safe. Now we are talking about a stronghold, a stronghold aka Festung could just be some buildings inside a fortification. See Festung Dömitz as an example: Burg Oesterode (your modest castle) is small compared to Castle Heidelberg for example. But the black and white seems to understate the size a bit. Look closer and you see that it is surprisingly large, especially compared to anything "not-castly" built in the 12th century. It was built by a king and kings lived in it. I'm no expert and I could be totally wrong, but that doesn't look like something a lower noble could have built.
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