Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by jethro

  1. You just made my point, if the same people didn't buy the 2 sequels, then that means that even more people played the characters. ?? So you didn't count them as 3*x Mio.? Or did you? Maybe you could tell us the numbers of ME1,2 and 3 sales and what you surmise as the total number of ME players (naturally that will be an estimate). And good on you, for cherry pocking my statement in your quote. Because the rest of your statement was correct. Quoting is a service to allow everyone to know what someone is refering to or commenting on, a reminder. It should be short and to the point, people don't want to reread long lines of argument that they already have read. If my quote was too short for your taste, sorry, I'll try to quote you better next time. That is very subjective by the way, I like short quotes but yes, that can be abused.
  2. So, because x Mio. people bought ME1 and roughly the same x Mio. people then bought the followups ME2 and ME3 you count them as 3*x Mio. people? If I understand you correctly, it is neither subjective or objective, it is simply wrong. No, but a person can bring forth objective and subjective arguments on a matter, even in the same sentence. And since objectivity is really really hard to achieve on most subjects (maybe even all subjects expect mathematics and physics) a person is almost always subjective on a matter, but often has objective facts included.
  3. Since the only thing about the attributes of PE we know is that they are different from the attributes of D&D I can guarantee you that you will not be able to make a high, low or any value CHR fighter. Whether the new attributes make sense, only Obsidian knows (yet)
  4. Well I give you a simple recipe to gimp a character in PE which I think should be possible: Make one attribute very strong, but don't take any feats/abilities depending on this ability. Another recipe: Give your character all feats and abilities good for two-wepon fighting but because he was disgusted about all the blood spraying on himself he uses a bow now. Another recipe: Maximize attributes and abilites for your monk being a first-class spell fighter, but the only spell he learns because of his peaceful agenda is 'Create Food'. Naturally I'm speculating here, but it would be really surprising if none of this worked. If you guys didn't interpret anything Saywer says as literally as possible but used some common sense you wouldn't sound so much like drama queens. At least try to assume that Saywer has the minimal intelligence (>>3) to recognize for example that attributes that have no consequences whatsoever won't fly. Sure there may be problems with his system that might become apparent in beta play. But come on, at least a handful of experienced role-players (those working on PE) should have looked at it already and really obvious faults like "whatever I do at chargen, my fighter is exactly the same" should have been noticed immediately. It might still become apparent that the differences aren't big enough to warant a replay but that is not something one will see at first glance because that first glance already happened.
  5. There are better ways to do this. A mighty creature that just blows you out of its cave with his breath would awe me. Or an old dragon that continues to talk to me in a derotagory manner after the whole group tried to attack it. Or simply laughs at the puny humans that try to attack it. Or the deamon that acts like it is swallowing my fire ball and asking if I want really really want to play with him. Or the mage that turns on a mighty shield-spell and continues to read in a book about spear-fishing. Not that your reasoning here is necessarily bad. A select few creatures (max 1 or 2 per game) that have an insta-kill feature are a simple way to create legendary beasts. It might be a feature worth to consider weighing its advantages and disadvantages, but on the other hand it is not something that makes or breaks the game.
  6. No, it was reload time. Now do you really want to sell me unavoidable reloads as a feature? Unavoidable even through clever play? What's the challenge in that?
  7. J.E.Sawyer: "If you want to hurt fighters, use attacks that target Reflexes or Psyche, which are their weakest base defenses" Is that a weakness or not? It seems one to me. If you think only absolute restrictions are worth noticing: Whether I can't use a sword or can use it only with a massive penalty isn't much of a difference.
  8. Hooray, new facts. Now we can start over with the discussion, generate new speculation and find new reasons why the system is either unplayable or better than swiss cheese ;-)
  9. Sure, but you bring up the same points now for weeks like a broken record, without any new facts to bolster your claims. We get it, you like D&D. But OE made clear from day one that they would make their own rule system. Ah, a new prediction without any fact to support it. I'm sure OE plans to add only boring pedestrain monsters. They won't call them monsters though, they will be called nonconformist coinhabitants, PC be thanked. And the party will surely have a strict 8 hour workday and off on the weekends. Nothing exciting will happen because pensioners with pacemakers could potentially play the game. Sure, there is a danger that OE could fall into the trap to make it too mainstream and streamlined because they want some commercial success too and overshoot. There are lots of traps and dangers they could fall into. That's what alpha and beta versions are for. But crying wolf without wolf is not very helpful. In your quote I only see the games BG , Torment and Icewind Dale mentioned, nowhere is there any mention of "D&D". So no name-drop at all. Or should we now assume that his mentioning BG implies we should get D&D and a 640x400 (or whatever it was) resolution? Or is a basilisc necessary to get a BG feeling? Is Windows95 an essential part?
  10. Yes, probably OE's first incarnation of a ruleset won't be optimal. But without that first prototype we can't hope to get (hopefully) perfection later in the envisioned series of games. D&D may be a nice pen&paper RPG system, but even in that realm I have seen rulesets that learnt from the mistakes of D&D and midgard. That D&D is the most popular is not necessarily a quality measure, Britney Spears had the same distinction. "to lower the bar to entry for more casual players"? And in the same sentence you show us how trivial it is to choose attributes for a D&D fighter. Really, what is more casual than making a fighter in D&D ? But no, PE system must be more trivial because ..., well because we still don't know much about it so you can pretty much invent any and all worst cases and "facts" about it. If OGL and D&D were that great for computer games, why are there no D&D 3.5 games in the indie games scene? Why is the only big game to use D&D in the last years "Neverwinter" which has a full licence bought from WotC (and incidentally had to go to court with WotC about it)?
  11. Three words here are very important: "easy enough" and "Personally". First of all it shouldn't be "easy enough" to play a game, the desire of creator and yourself is to give you a challenge. Basically it is the simultaneously strong and weak point of the vancian system where the difficulty is balanced over a string of combats, each one (too) easy for a rested party, and you decide with your resting frequency how difficult you want to make it. If you are able to get the balance right it makes for fun combat, if not you just have trivial encounters. It also means that you are never forced to use the best equipment because you can balance any equipment deficiency with more resting. And I really think it might be your personal taste to ignore such items. I'm pretty sure that I would prefer the weapon+2,listen-2 to a weapon+1 for a fighter anytime. I think such items add variety. But they need to be done with care. The negative attribute should really be balanced with the positive attribute. For example in D&D a -1 to fortitude saves might be a more fitting malus for a +1 to hit. If there are players who categorically don't use such weapons, so be it. A very nice idea is to put abilities on such items. For example evasion on a bracer for -1 to hit might really be a way to give a player another tactical option (i.e. if you know you are going into a mage tower, this might be the right item to wear). I also like the idea of cursed items, sadly underused in cRPGs. Say as a ranger you find a cursed weapon. It is really really good but you can't unequip it without the help of a weaponsmith in a town (and that even might cost you a few gold). Now you really have to decide if you want to use the weapon and lose the ability to switch between ranged and melee combat for the time being. Sure, many players will automatically ignore cursed items, but as is often in RPGs the details are what makes something work or fail. Wasn't there a cursed intelligent sword in one of the IE games that did make snide remarks on your fighting abilities? Doen right this adds a lot of flavor.
  12. My wording was probably a bit ambiguous. I didn't say that 1:2 and more is bad or too much or whatever. I just meant that there is nothing special if the ratio is exactly 1:2. It isn't a threshold of some sort where a new quality of choice is reached. (Well, it is a threshold for replayability if you insist an on all new group with not even a single AH-hero on second playthrough, but I'm not talking about that). But for your problem of not liking some companions the ratio of 1:2 is nothing special. In other words, with a group of 5 companions, the step from 9 to 10 is nearly the same as the step from 8 to 9 and the step from 10 to 11 companions, there is no peak there. Because a) there is no exact companion to party slot assignement, you might have exactly one tank or you might have a paladin and barbarian combination, or the palading fills the healer slot, at least partly... And b) because if you dislike both fighters it also doesn't matter that you have exactly two companions for each "slot".
  13. Excactly. To avoid this abilities should never be a nobrainer to activate. It must depend on situation whether it is advantageous to activate an ability, otherwise you will activate it whenever the cooldown is finished. Bad examples for active abilities: * "bonus to damage or hit unconditionally" * "bonus to damage or hit if enemy is dazed" + "attack with chance to daze ability". The first ability seems to depend on situation, but if the combined effect of both abilities is positive, they just become a nobrainer in two steps. Good examples: * "bonus to hit in exchange for doing nothing this round". Only if you have difficulty to hit someone you will use this and thereby half your attacks * "shield bash weak enemies". Depends on the enemy having low strength Both examples still have the disadvantage that when they are good to be used against an opponent they are good *ALL* the time against that opponent. Decado's idea that a second shield bash against the same enemy would not work (or even enable a counterattack) because he isn't surprised by it anymore is fantastic though, much better than a cooldown. Excellent examples: * "push sticking arrow" which only works immediatly after someone was actually hit *and* damaged by an arrow and before he can snap it off. Depends on timing and armour of the enemy you are standing next to. Even has the advantage that two characters of the party are involved as you can't use this ability with a bow in hand, you need a shield. * "clash heads" which only works if two enemies are side by side and you are not in front of them. * "wall of arrows" works only against enemies standing together without being engaged. Great for surprise attacks but enemies will/should be intelligent enough to distribute before you can do this again.
  14. If I may summarize: Having 8 companions instead of lets say 12 to 16 will have the following disadvantages: 1) It will hurt replayability to a degree (adventure hall is a 50% solution here) 2) It will decrease choice and variety of companions (how much variety is affected is largely in the hands of the devs though and is by nature highly subjective) 3) It will decrease mainstream appeal (where number of companions might be more important than depth of character) It will have the following advantages: 1) It will increase appeal for the target audience (on average) 2) It will make the game bigger/more fun for players who only play it once aka make them see more from the game in one playthrough 3) It will arguable make companions more memorable and might increase the "fame" of the game 4) Creating the companions is probably more fun for the devs (minor point, they get paid to do it ;-) 5) It diminishes complexity and bug-density of the game as more companions means more complexity of the dialogues (if Quandor and Splendor is in group Quandor says X else if only Quandor is in group ...). This is also the reason why doubling the companions would diminish dialogues by more than half. Don't count the numbers of advantages and disadvantages, only time and a parallel universe could tell us which way really would have been better. For me personally less but deeper companions is preferable but I also can see the advantages of the other side. I concur with Kjaamor that total number of companions divided by companions in group is the important metric and even that there might be an optimum value for a specific game. But I don't think that a ratio of 2 has any significance. ---------------- No analogy was used in making this post. No paintings, guaranteed.
  15. I think it is absolutely justified for D&D to reflect physiological differences in stats. Where D&D goes wrong (in their abstraction of reality and how to balance this) though is in their further distribution of stats to abilities. For example dex and int should also have influence on your offensive fighting ability, constitution should have an influence the longer the fight lasts. That way a -2 to STR could be evened out by putting more points into those other stats (where that race might even have +2). It might be more realistic for races to have differences, sure. And that a race is very bad at a given class is a nice touch if there is a reason for it (dwarfs and magic for example). But I really think it is bad for an RPG if exactly one race is the best at something. Because it removes too much choice from most players party creation/selection. 9 out of 10 players would be literally forced to create the elf wizard because +2 to int is just too strong a lure. "Reality" be damned, choice for the player in this case is more important. One idea voiced here is actually pretty damn good (for D&D at least). Set minimum stats for different races. Doesn't really make any race better at something, but represents physiological difference for verisimilitude. Also maximum stats are a posibillity (which would just make one or two classes per race inferior, but doesn't make any one race superior at a class) For PE on the other hand Saywers goal is presumably to make one class with different stats maxed out viable, so (depending on how good he achieves that) it might even be okay to have a simple bonus on a stat.
  16. Depends on what you call success. The majority of backers should be above 20 and most of them should have no problems with the companions in the game. Some won't like them but will be content with Adventure Hall mercenaries or a mix. Only a very small percentage will throw away the game because of the companions. Obsidian promised a mature game but also said it won't be weird/strange like PST, so the mass appeal should be there. And as you said yourself the companions can be ignored if you like the rest of the game, they aren't that important for the success of the game. Success with the rest of the gamers community will depend on how big the market for mature games without graphics extravaganza really is. You won't get the *typical* teenage gamer, but everyone who played Baldurs Gate 15 years ago should be a potential customer unless he played BG for the graphics ;-). Everyone who played MotB is definitely a customer, I haven't heard that game sales were hurt by only having 7 companions (not that I would necessarily hear that, but I did read a few reviews and no one listed that as a negative point AFAIK) Where we are totally in agreement though is that irrespective of the number the companions there should be a great variety. At least one companion should be comic relief, one should be a shady character, and so on. MotB forgot the comic relief in my opinion (Gann was not quite there), maybe I should make a feature request for that.
  17. A small reminder: You were doubting that amount of text and depth of character have a correlation. I was reasoning out why that is so. This has nothing to do with what game element is the most important. Probably my fault because I tend to remove a lot from the quotes. Another fault of mine was to use the word "fraction" where "part" would be more correct ;-) I think Torment is an example for dialog you never get to see, although not that much, because most of the dialogue is between PC and companion. This is also the part where Torment could be improved with even more text per companion acting and commenting on the quests. As good as they were, "the sky is the limit" MoTB is a very good example of this. After playing through 80% of the game I found an online "playthrough" that disected the game, showed the religious symbolism behind companions and plots and also showed me lots of dialogue I had never seen.
  18. I'm not talking about mechanical at all. I just can't imagine how anyone would like to play the quests, talk to the denizens of the planescape, find them and this morbid world interesting, but not the companions. The only explanation I can see is because you could ignore that other stuff more easily, but then again the result would be that Torment as a whole was just not the right game for you. More companions wouldn't have fixed that. BGII was better, but I can't really say anymore by how much. It was a long time ago that I played it. The only thing I remember is that there still was a big difference between companions in BGII and Torment. They just didn't register in the same way, didn't come to life in the same sense
  19. If you have excellent writers, and in an interval than spans the amount of dialog of BG1 characters to at least Torment characters lots of text is a precondition to depth. Because 1) fleshing out a character takes a lot of text. Minsc was a very funny likeable character but there was no depth to him. And there couldn't be with just a few funny oneliners. 2) as someone else said, characters have to be active with relevant things to say the whole game through or the attachement to them will wither. More text allows more interaction. 3) depth is also a function of how good a character reacts to situations, his reactivity. If he says the same sentence when you kill a guy instead of pardoning him, puff goes the depth. This also means that the player will see only a fraction of the dialogue for a well written character. 4) Similarily the interactions between your companions can create depth but need a lot more dialogue than any player will normally see because it depends on the combination of companions. I'm not saying that more text automatically makes a deep character, I'm saying that lots of text is a precondition to a really deep character. And it gets easier the more text there is. It might not have failed with 12 companions, but it sure wouldn't have been that legendary if their depth had been anywhere near BG1. It would have been a mismatch. And it would have excised a third of what made Torment so memorable. There are many who didn't like Torment, because of setting, companions and all. I don't think there are many like you that supposedly did like setting, quests, other NPCs, everything, just not those 7 companions. I can't even believe that it is true in your case really.
  20. There are a lots of abilities and hindrances that would be orthogonal to class abilities. Better at hearing but worse at seeing for example (provided hearing and seeing were handled differently). Night vision. Bonus on cooking, repair or haggle.
  21. One argument against many companions is the same as against many starting locations or wildy diverging plot lines: The mass of players will play the game only once (heck, according to game compainies most players don't even finish a game, although I would guess us backers having a better percentage here). For them more companions is simply content they will never see. And yes, that is something players as well as game designers don't really like. I see the logic in the counter-arguments as I for example prefer to read SF-novels and whodunnits to books of literature-nobel-prize winners (which is somewhat comparable in my view). But I don't think the problem is easily solved by nobel prize winners just writing more books for me to select from (to stay with this analogy) Kjaamor, since companions tied very much into the mood of the piece I don't believe more companions in PST would really have helped you. For PE the situation is different though, probably a few of the companions will be written by Ziets, maybe one or two by Saywer, so even if Avellone is the reason you didn't like the companions in PST you still might like Ziets or Sawyers. If it isn't Avellone, then there is another difference: PE is a classical fantasy story and not afterlife with wounded, abused companions as in PST. I don't expect the companions to be the same style, even from Avellones pen. So if you don't like any character in PE it is very likely that more characters won't help you either (because more characters will still be written by the same writers in the same world). Maybe you only like 2 characters. Then doubling the available characters would probably give you 4-5 likeable ones with half the dialogue on them. You would only be slightly better off than just using the 2 characters and filling the rest with adventure hall dummies. But the rest of the players would be far worse off. Ok, I did a very mathematical approach here to a very subjective issue, but you probably still get the point.
  22. Sadly the poll will be colored by the number of players having played a game. I simply couldn't select quite a few of these because I still haven't played them
  23. I really don't see medic as a non-combat skill in JA, it is equivalent to the healing spell in D&D Even repair could be viewed as a combat skill if it isn't possible to win the fights without it. There is no choice involved, you need the skill
  24. That, yes. Definitely. It may make balancing easier but it prevents so much fun you have tinkering and evaluating the system. And sadly no one will ever play a PE pen-and-paper session. The rest of your post was for my taste too much tainted by nostalgia. I would find it highly boring if I could just use the same tactics I used years ago.
  25. You were supposed to have read the booklet accompanying your game. If you got it from gog you should be able to download the booklet in pdf form. If you bought a physical copy instead the pdf should be on the CD as well. (Disclaimer: I can't check out the booklet right now whether THAC0 was really defined in there, but I would give that a high probability)
  • Create New...