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Nivenus

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Posts posted by Nivenus

  1. I'm guessing there will be a race that somehow ties into the concept of "souls" in the game. The so-called Godlike (of which we know nearly nothing it is fair to remember), may be an example. Possibly we might also see some race that ties into the folklore of Europe that isn't usually represented as playable, such as lycanthropes or goblin-like creatures (I'm thinking brownies and kobolds, for example).

     

    Another possibility is something from outside of European folklore, perhaps representing a foreign and uncommon race in the accessible game world.

  2. An interesting question to pose, since there are many kinds of slavery.

     

    In Medieval Europe, slavery as we usually understand it, was more or less prohibited, since the keeping of slaves (especially Christian slaves) was considered contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. However, slavery did exist peripherally in most of Europe and more significantly in rich parts of the continent like the Italian city-states or the Byzantine Empire, where the mix of foreign cultures ironically made slavery more appropriate (since the Church was more willing to allow the enslavement of non-Christians). And Muslim nations had virtually no objections to slavery at all, though it was considered good behavior to free your slaves before your or their death.

     

    More significantly, perhaps, serfdom was pretty much ubiquitous throughout all of Europe and is quite similar to what we would consider slavery. However, serfs were not chattel property who could be sold at the market and were instead tied to the land they worked. They were obliged to perform work without pay, but they weren't exactly considered property either.

     

    There's also, of course, the long-practiced tradition of indentured servitude.

     

    So I'm going to go with a "yes," even though the question is rather non-specific in its meaning, because slavery of various forms did exist throughout most pre-modern societies and I don't think we should shy away from it. Also, the second question adds a bit more variety to the equation, so I'll vote yes for that as well.

    • Like 2
  3. So... basically something like Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines' division between social, mental, and physical stats.

     

    I'd be okay with that. It's not necessarily my favorite...

     

    Why specifically?

     

    Does that matter? I mean, I said I think it works fine. I also like purely skill-based systems like Fallout, even though they're not my favorite ruleset (I prefer classes of some sort). It seems like you're contending my answer for no particular reason, since I said dividing the attributes up could work well given what we already know about the game (namely that combat and non-combat skills will be divvied up similarly).

     

    If you really want an answer I'll give one, but it seems irrelevant.

  4. I was fine with the way the IE games looked and the ones posted by the OP. I don't want to get too into the 3d vs 2d argument that seems to have taken over the discussion the 3d games posted by zeckul also look great but what kind of budget did they have? The witcher 2 undoubtedly had a much larger budget then Eternity ever will (not sure about Trine or Anno). They might have chosen to go with 2d because it's much cheaper and easier to implement (just a guess? I'm really not sure).

     

    The full budget for The Witcher 2 was less than 10mln USD... That's not that much more, when you consider the amount of work done... Full 3D, full voiceover, development of a completely new engine for the purpose of the game, etc...

     

    To be fair, it was made in Poland. In my experience North American costs of production are much higher (for whatever reason) than production costs in most other countries. Red Cliff, for example, is the most expensive film ever to be filmed in China and cost $80 million. Compare that with $220 million for The Avengers, which while on the high end, is hardly extraordinary for an American blockbuster.

  5. 2,2 million $ should be easy, there's plenty of time left, I wonder what else is in store for us, minigames, another engine maybe?

     

    A different engine seems highly unlikely. I'm pretty sure Obsidian's satisfied with Unity based on their post earlier and besides which, that would be a pretty big switch, even at such an early stage in development.

     

    More likely, the stretch goals will include some of the possibilities Urquhart was talking about earlier.

  6. Results from the poll so far seem quite interesting. While according to this poll most people don't want multiplayer in PE, the majority of them do want modding tools to be present. That seems a little odd to me, considering the way modding tools in a game like NWN are used to create a great amount of multiplayer content. I've always thought of multiplayer and modding as going hand in hand, but the results so far seem to reject that hypothesis, at least for PE.

     

    It's not actually that weird. Some of the biggest games in modding are the Elder Scrolls games, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas. Dragon Age: Origins also had a pretty big modding community as I recall. All four of those are exclusively singleplayer. So while NWN is a good example of modding being used for multiplayer purposes, its hardly the only purpose modding has. In fact, I think that SP modding usually gets higher priority since it doesn't require everyone to be running the same mods.

  7. That's funny, the large majority of Obsidian's target group (per definition, since Kickstarter) of the game are from Europe, not from the US. Also, what the **** happened to South America?

     

    Technically it only means that the self-selected demographic of people answering a poll on Obsidian's forum (which may or may not be representative of the donor base) are largely from Europe.

     

    However, given what I've heard about the gaming market in Central and Eastern Europe, it would not surprise me in the least to learn that the poll reflects the actual demographics of Obsidian's fan base. Which makes the importance of greenlighting a German, Polish, or Russian translation of the game more obvious.

    • Like 3
  8. When music is all big all the time, you tend to get tired of listening to it after extended periods. That's what we in audio call "listener fatigue", and I'm pretty sensitive to that. The problem with listener fatigue is that when you reach the climax of musical intensity and you keep it there for stustained periods of time, where can you go next if the narrative calls for things to get kicked up another notch?

     

    You have to leave yourself a "vertical buffer" to ensure those moments have meaning and impact. So, to answer your question, there should definitely be moments of moody ambience when its appropriate, just as there should be big grandoise moments when it's called for. But ultimately, everything depends on the narrative...

     

    This really tells me Justin knows what he's doing. Faaar too many games fall into that trap :)

     

    DA:O comes to mind. All the combat music sounds really similar (i.e., big, epic, bombastic). I love Inon Zur and he would be on my shortlist for Project Eternity, but Justin Bell's definitely showing some good sense there.

  9. @ Nivenus

    You can still be atheist in a setting where deities exist. Just because someone throw a thunder at you he doesn't have to be an immortal being who governs forces of nature, he can be just a powerful spirit or a group of mages.

     

    What's the difference ultimately between a really powerful spirit and a god? A great many religions don't really make any kind of distinction between the two (Shinto's a good example). The Norse gods weren't immortal. Nor were the Greek gods or Celtic gods truly (more than a few bite the dust in the myths). The concept of a "god" as an omniscient, omnipotent being with supreme control of the forces of nature is more of an Abrahamic concept than one endemic to all religion.

     

    We can't say for certain at this point because although it's clear gods play a role in the world, it might not be so obvious as to leave no doubt at all of their existence. But if the setting has gods who are as active as those in the Forgotten Realms, for example, than denying their existence or presuming they're just a bunch of wizards playing tricks on the world would defy the available evidence. At that point you're not being a skeptic (like many real-life atheists)... you're being a conspiracy theorist.

     

    Again, whether you choose to worship them or call them "powers" is irrelevant. You're not really an atheist if you actually believe that they exist.

     

     

    No, it comes from the Greek gods being ****. Starting a war and razing a city because a person in it called you the second fairest is not a particularly moral action.

     

    The exact same thing can be said of any theistic religion. ie the christian god allowing the devil to torture job and kill everyone he loved on the whim of a bet is not very moral either

     

    Technically that depends on the specific variety of Christianity. Not all forms of Christianity have the same attitude towards Hell or Satan. I'm not certain what the rules are on discussing real-life religion but I imagine they're pretty strict, so I'll leave it at that.

  10. It may not be as unique as PS:T but it doesn't sound like its a generic fantasy setting either. Which has resulted in a lot of outcries of its own, I've noticed.

     

    So far the only new thing I've seen is the vaguely described matter of souls. I don't consider extending the timeline beyond the usual middle ages to the renaissance a significant change.

     

    I don't know, I'd consider the addition of guns to be a pretty big change (given how much of a fuss has been raised over it), even if they're of the relatively primitive variety. Oceanic colonization usually isn't dealt with all that much in fantasy either.

     

    Strictly speaking you can't be an atheist in this setting unless you're of the "Flat Earth Atheist" variety, since it seems that the existence of the gods is pretty established. That doesn't mean you couldn't be a maltheist, however.

     

    Not neccaseraly. What if the gods only exist because we created and sustain them with our belief? In that case it becomes a bit of a paradox as it might be true now that the gods exist though only because enough people believe in there existance, but that would be no reason to believe in them as if people stopped believing in them they would no longer exist making your disbelief in them true then

     

    Even if the gods are created and sustained by belief (which is an open question at this point) you still can't be an atheist without being blind to what appears to be an empirical truth that deities exist and have an active role in the world. Choosing not to worship them (and thereby to deny them power) is one thing, but to deny their existence in this setting would be foolishness it seems to me, since it's pretty clear that they do exist. Hence the Flat Earth Atheist comment.

  11. I must admit I'm disappointed they decided to stick to include the standard Tolkinesque races (although this may apply to an earlier update), I was hoping for something more outlandish or at least not having to see Elves and Dwarfs again.

     

    Apparently another game with a setting as unique as PST is too much to expect.

     

    It may not be as unique as PS:T but it doesn't sound like its a generic fantasy setting either. Which has resulted in a lot of outcries of its own, I've noticed.

  12. One note I hadn't touched on earlier in my initial reply was the idea of designing an enemy adventurer party, which sounds pretty interesting. IIRC this was a concept Black Isle had for Van Buren, correct?

     

    Can one be an unbeliever?

     

    Good question. Can I be an atheist bard who's got soul?

     

    Just because the gods exist is no good reson to go around believing in them as it only encourages the buggers

     

    Strictly speaking you can't be an atheist in this setting unless you're of the "Flat Earth Atheist" variety, since it seems that the existence of the gods is pretty established. That doesn't mean you couldn't be a maltheist, however.

     

    I find it slightly weird that mages use armor against firearms when guns were the reason why heavy armor became obsolete.

    Not that I'll get sleepless nights over it or anything, just interesting.

     

    Eventually, yes, guns made traditional metal armors obsolete. However, there's about three centuries of history wherein the two coexisted (plate armor didn't really disappear from warfare until the early to mid 18th century). In fact, the kind of plate armor we normally think of (Gothic plate) was actually invented after early firearms (as stated multiple times in the firearms thread) and was specifically designed to shore up chainmail's weaknesses against new weapons like firearms.

     

    So the idea of mages using plate armor to counter firearms is actually a perfectly valid response and one that has a precedent in history.

  13. As we hinted at in our pitch videos, souls are A Big Deal in Project Eternity's world. The mortal world has not unlocked all of the secrets of how souls "work" and differing schools of metaphysical philosophy can be found in virtually every culture. What is known is that sapient souls move through an endless cycle of waking life and purgatorial slumber among the gods. Often this slumber lasts for years of "real" time, but occasionally it is brief, with a soul immediately moving on to a new life.

     

    Far from being a flawless process, souls are subject to "fracturing" over generations, transforming in myriad ways, and not quite... working right. Some cultures and individuals place a high value on "strong" souls, souls with a "pure" lineage, "awakened" souls that remember past lives, "traveled" souls that have drifted through the divine realms, or those that co-exist with other souls in one body. However, the opposite is also true, resulting in negative discrimination and sometimes outright violence.

     

    Interesting. So reincarnation is the default state of a soul. Reminds me a bit of Jade Empire, what with its emphasis on the cycle of reincarnation. I'm guessing (no need to answer, of course) that the plot of the game will involve some force disrupting the cycle (perhaps a soul that refuses or is unable to pass on), which the player becomes exposed to. It also seems pretty likely based on your comments later on about deities that the official explanation regarding souls may not be the whole story.

     

    So, in other words, a bit like the caste system of India (which was based in part on the doctrine of karma and reincarnation) but with a more definite measurement of whether a soul is "strong" or "fractured." What's interesting about this is that there seems to be some validity to the distinction between one soul and another in the setting, though perhaps it isn't as black and white as any one group would like to imagine it is. A possibility that occurs to me is that the broken souls aren't damaged randomly or through any fault of their own, but due to some unknown factor (possibly also related to the "pure" souls' strength or divine power plays).

     

    Through a variety of techniques (e.g. martial training, meditation, ritualistic evocation, mortification of the flesh), some individuals are able to draw upon the energy of their soul to accomplish extraordinary feats. These abilities range from the mundanely superhuman to the explosively magical. Having a strong soul seems to make this easier, but sometimes even people with fragmented souls are able to accomplish the extraordinary. The individual's body seems to act as a conduit and battery for this power, drawing in replenishment from seemingly omnipresent "fields" of unbound spiritual energy in the world around them.

     

    So physical training and bodily mutilation are both endemic to magical training? I personally like this take: it seems as though accessing magical power should take more than simple book-learning. The kind of energy mages routinely wield can't come from nowhere - there should be a cost. While I don't expect Obsidian will have mages lopping off fingers to cast the equivalent of magic missile, I do find it encouraging that the concept of "no pain, no gain" is present.

     

    Additionally, I'm guessing then that each class has access to innate supernatural abilities, even if they aren't mages? That's an interesting turn to take, although not a poor one in my mind. I've never quite been fond of the "mage exceptionalism" in many fantasy settings, where it seems as though some people are magical and others aren't.

     

    Thinkers, spiritualists, and scientists of the world have theorized for thousands of years about the nature and purpose of this process, but others have turned to prayer for answer. Rather than illuminate the presumed higher purpose of this cycle, the gods have obfuscated the truth, at times spreading cosmological lies, pitting believers and empowered chosen agents against each other, and tacitly approving the prejudices of their followers to maintain power.

     

    It sounds like this is shaping up to be a potentially malthiestic setting, which could go a number of ways. It'll be interesting to see if the deities of the world are entirely selfish and unconcerned with the plight of mere mortals so long as their power grows or whether there is some division on the subject, with both exploitative and benevolent deities. Additionally, I'm curious as to whether or not there is some kind of greater purpose beyond the deities' deception that we are unaware of.

     

    The cultures of Project Eternity are in a variety of different technological states. Though some remote civilizations are still in the equivalent of Earth's Stone Age or Bronze Age, most large civilizations are in the equivalent of Earth's high or late Middle Ages. The most aggressive and powerful civilizations are in the early stages of what would be our early modern period, technologically, even if they are not culturally undergoing "Renaissance"-style changes.

     

    This is what I was expecting, more or less, after the announcement of firearms in Project Eternity. That said it's interesting to see that the rise of late medieval technology has not given rise to early modern humanism or religious dissent the way it did in our world. You mention later that the printing press hasn't been invented yet, which I'm guessing is the main reason behind this discrepancy, since it's not as easy to spread radical ideas. I'm guessing that also means long-range magical communication is difficult or at the very least largely controlled by those already in power.

     

    For most large civilizations, this means that all of the core arms and armor of medieval warfare have reached a high level of development: full suits of articulated plate armor, a variety of military swords, war hammers, polearms, longbows, crossbows, and advanced siege weaponry.

     

    I'll be interested to see how these weapons play into the game's combat (sans siege weapons, I'm guessing). Most RPGs in my experience give only very minor consideration to any weapons besides swords, bows, and crossbows, for example and it would be interesting to see if mixed arms warfare is given more thought and consideration in Project Eternity's combat. On the other hand, while pikes, halberds, and other polearms were the bread and butter of most late medieval armies, they were most effective in large numbers, which PE's 6-member party doesn't really equate to.

     

    The most recent technologies seeing use in the world are ocean-going carrack-style ships and black powder firearms (notably absent: the printing press). Cultures with large navies and mercantile traffic are exploring the world, which has led to contact with previously-unknown lands and societies and settlement in new lands. Despite their intense drive, these explorers have been restricted from aggressive long-range exploration by monstrous sea creatures that pose a lethal, seemingly insurmountable threat to even the stoutest, most well-armed ships.

     

    It sounds like maritime travel may be more important to the game then I'd hitherto assumed, although it could just as easily be a background environment to inform the setting. I like the idea though that actual sea monsters impede transoceanic voyages. I could imagine whaling ships that specialize in dealing with this sea beasties arising as maritime trade and colonization increase in importance.

     

    Black powder firearms are of the single-shot wheellock variety. Largely considered complex curiosities, these weapons are not employed extensively by military forces. Their long reload times are considered a liability in battles against foes that are too monstrous to drop with a single volley, foes that fly or move at high speed, and foes that have the power of invisibility. Despite this, some individuals do employ firearms for one specific purpose: close range penetration of the arcane veil, a standard magical defense employed by wizards. The arcane veil is powerful, but it does not react well to the high-velocity projectiles generated by arquebuses and handguns. As a result, more wizards who previously relied on the veil and similar abjurations have turned to traditional armor for additional defense.

     

    Interesting that firearms are considered less than fully effective against particularly large monsters like (I'm presuming) dragons or trolls. This makes sense if you think about it, they don't call an elephant gun an elephant gun for nothing - thicker hides means greater deceleration for the bullet which means more resistance (but not immunity) to damage from gunfire. This tidbit also seems to imply that large monsters are not terribly uncommon, since their resistance to gunfire is reason enough to consider firearms unsuitable for widespread usage in combat.

     

    It would also seem that guns are explicitly anti-magical. As others have pointed out, there is some plausibility that the old abjurations of mages accustomed to dealing with bows and crossbows may not hold up against the higher power of an arqueubus volley. I also like the idea of armored mages; as others have said it lends some plausibility to the setting, since the rule that armor somehow "interfered" with magical casting never seemed terribly believable.

     

    i hope we will not have to use firearms against mages

     

    I don't think so. I'm sure non-mages had a way to penetrate the arcane veil before the invention of firearms. My guess is that guns simply make said penetration (significantly) easier.

    • Like 1
  14. If, on the other hand, it's more like the Dragon Age, Mass Effect, or Neverwinter Nights games where attacking NPCs is limited specifically to predetermined combat scenarios or random encounters, than I figure companions should be immune except for when natural fissures emerge in the party (essentially, story or relationship-related reasons).

     

    This is probably its own conversation, but I'm of the view that this sort of approach sucks. Those games, Dragon Age 2 especially, rather gave me the sensation of wearing a straight jacket. Not being able to interact with npcs who haven't been given scripted events can be frustrating.

     

    I more or less agree: I'd prefer if every NPC was expendable. But that does become an issue when writing the game, since it means you have to account for any number of potential issues that the players might cause by inadvertently killing someone. In traditional P&P that's not so much an issue because the GM can come up with something new on the fly but Obsidian can't do that; they have to anticipate player actions in advance, which is much harder.

     

    It's not impossible, I'll grant you, and a lot of games do have that as a feature. But I can definitely see why non-essential companions and plot NPCs aren't universal and why Obsidian might not include them in their own game, even if it is my personal preference.

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