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Everything posted by Sensuki

  1. You know, I'll bet quite a lot of reviewers have preconceptions about what they're reviewing. Particularly if they've been already paid to do a glowing review . Personally I find this review refreshing - Roxor might get a bit colorful and take a few liberties here and there but he's made it plainly clear that he didn't think it would be a good game to begin with and it turns out he didn't like what he played. Now it seems to you and others a 'good review' is where the writer tries to take himself out of as much of the writing as possible, leaving his opinions but trying to cover any trace of bias or preconception so that you don't see it, even though it's probably there in spades. Personally though I'm really sick of reading reviews like that. It's boring, and a bit dishonest, if anything. In comparison, this review is a breath of fresh air - nice and raw, the writer explains his 'bias' at the beginning. I had a completely different opinion of the game before it came out, and couldn't have been in a more polar opposite position to Roxor, and yet we wound up with very similar conclusions about different parts of the game, via completely different paths. Personally I found that very interesting. Now, as for that review you cited. Do you know who Brother None is? He is an inXile employee, was a Line Producer on Wasteland 2 and is now doing some writing and producing for Torment. He's also been a webmaster for the inXile forums and was he an NMA moderator before that? Regardless - he's always been a person with responsibilities and while he may never have been interested to write a seething review of Fallout 3, it certainly would have never served in his best interest to do so either Personally I don't mind those style of reviews either, but I also see merit in Roxor's style of review as well, as raw as it may be.
  2. My two main issues are the system design for combat and the narrative issues. Both are IMO, unfixable. Lots of people think the combat is fine as is, so they'll probably just tweak and adjust for their preferences. I don't know what they'll do for PE2. We'll cross that bridge when it comes, but I likely wouldn't back the Kickstarter. If I did, it would be for the bare minimum.
  3. You say "this is your opinion". God damn right it is. Do you think I give a damn if you require a review to be objective? The RPG Codex does not, and thus - reviews are not boring. I honestly couldn't give a rats about the 'quality' of the review. I agree with the reviewers opinions, even if he got to them a completely different way than I did (which is quite telling, actually!)
  4. ROFL? I'd like to hear about this I metagame absolutely everything.
  5. Writing style is different from good content. The Witcher games don't have the plot issues and structural issues that this game does. They also have quite nice quest design.
  6. I'm sorry but I'm not sure how you got 'do not like' out of 'is less of a priority than good combat'.
  7. No I didn't. Why on earth would I do that to myself intentionally? The primary conflict resolution in the game is combat, and there is a lot of it. The poor combat gameplay brings down any questing that includes combat in it, particularly for long stretches. You spend a fair amount of the game in combat. The exploration gameplay is also crap, apart from looking at the for the most part pretty nice environment art. The other thing I don't like is a lot of the writing - don't like the main plot, don't really like the Dyrwood (lore of it is fine but it's a very boring and unlikeable location in game), don't really care about any of the companions and none of the secondary characters really stood out either. What does that leave? Character Creation? Leveling up? Lol I am a power gamer. Role playing is nice and all (and a lot of it in this game is pure fluff anyway), but completely secondary to the rest of the gameplay for me. Games can have poor combat and still be good games (Witcher games for instance), but this one isn't.
  8. It's a (polished) mediocre game that I don't like. The above average bits are non-gameplay related. The best thing about it is clearly the art. However I do enjoy playing games more than looking at them.
  9. I quit Game of Thrones two seasons too late (stopped after season 3). What a horrible show, a disgrace to the book series.
  10. Yeah, I'm glad I quit when I did, hadn't been having fun for many hours. When you enjoy reading the content of a thread called "the writing in this game is average" better than actually progressing the story, there's something wrong.
  11. The Nashkell mines encompasses four levels total and doesn't take very long to complete. Takes probably 15-30 minutes *MAX*. Level 1 was just miners. You're given a dagger to give to a miner on a lower floor. Level 2 has a miner getting attacked by a Kobold group, but it also has non-combat encounters - there's a round room deeper with guards and miners, and you give Kylee back his dagger. Yes, there's only Kobolds on this level. This level takes a few minutes to complete, tops. Level 3 has the mine and cave ecologies with the bridge in the middle. There's a ghoul, some huge spiders, kobolds and Kobold Commandos. This one takes a bit longer. There's also Joseph's Greenstone Ring which is for a quest. Level 4 is the weird Cave with Mulahey. The exterior has a Ghoul and some Oozes at the back entrance. The inside of the Cave has a recruitable NPC (Xan) and some alright treasure (Ring of Holiness from Mulahey, Short Sword +1, various Wizard scrolls, gems and gold. Now, let's compare. Nashkell Mines - made in 1998. First IE game (BG1). Fairly primitive dungeon design compared to Tales of the Sword Coast, Icewind Dale 1 & 2 and BG2. Still manages to enclude neutral NPCs, minor quests and overall be less annoying to explore than the Skaen Dungeon simply due to thinner content density and taking way less time to complete. I was never annoyed by this level. Temple of Skaen has the Sacrificial Pit, which is a really good non-combat 'encounter' and it includes a Scripted Interaction (which is more an RP thing. Personally I found that particular one kinda pointless) but it's a real grind to explore the whole way through. It takes forever to do (if you're trying to complete it, and the encounters aside from the Sacrificial Pit) are completely uninteresting. I can handle some pretty easy to complete content that takes 15-30 minutes without getting annoyed but neverending tedious encounters with little to no reward really rubs one the wrong way. Compare it to ANY dungeon in Icewind Dale, and every dungeon felt more rewarding. I must have missed the part where I said the Skaen Temple is the reason the game is bad I have been saying that the issues with locations and quests matter very little to me compared to the issues with the system design and the narrative. The Skaen Temple is the first dungeon made for the game. So I suppose that's why it's the worst, although the various Od Nua levels are also bad but less so due to being smaller. Obsidian have the benefit of having been able to experience all of the content produced from the Infinity Engine games, and all relative RPGs since and instead they have not learned from all of the good things done in those collective games and instead go back to very basic area design with their fluff C&C and RP stuff on top. That disappoints me. However, as I said on an earlier page: If combat was fun and tactical and the narrative wasn't problematic, I would be more forgiving.
  12. No, not really. It speaks back to my overproduced statement from the post you originally quoted where they were probably told to stick to simple and formulaic quest design to meet their production schedule. If anything, they were concerned about quantity, trying to get a large number of quests rather than good quests. And besides, the Blood Legacy is one quest. That is the only quest in the game like that and it was developed during the vertical slice so they had a lot of time to iterate on it over and over and keep improving it, and to really ground it in the Dyrford. You may prefer quests like the Blood Legacy. I liked some things about it too, but it was the only quest in the game like that. Even more of those would have been nice too. Regarding the Unseeing Eye the lower levels =/= more. You could technically compare the lower levels Unseeing Eye content to the optional parts of the Skaen Temple and Dyrford Crossing. Guess which quest wins as far as good optional content goes? Unseeing Eye by a country mile. Mae'Var's Guildhall had lots of little quests, sure but you could technically compare them to the faction quests in Defiance Bay which essentially boil down to "do these two fetch quests for me - okay we're you're allies now". Mae'Var's is much more than that. You have to report to Renal Bloodscalp, then go to Mae'Var's Guildhall, he assigns you a bunch of quests to earn your loyalty. Those quests (except for Rayic Gethras) have C&C. Then you can choose to side with Mae'Var if you like. With the Defiance Bay stuff, the moment you accept the first quest you're locked into that faction and you don't really have any option other than to do those couple of quests and that's it. Apparently no one looked at the BG2 quests to see how you could better realize such types of quest lines :/ I don't believe so. Yes, they definitely hit the mark of 'somewhere in the middle' and the result is a pretty bland in between that is worse than both extremes IMO. However, quest design and content style aren't even close to my primary concerns with the game.
  13. I think you're confusing Unseeing Eye/Mae'Vars quests with dungeon locations themselves. I don't think there's anything wrong with the style of areas Obsidian ended up with, it's a question of the quality of the content (and I guess the systems that hold them up).
  14. Well, one is a phase-based tabletop RPG and the other is a RTwP PC RPG. Some mechanics obviously work differently. The gameplay feel is also completely different. There's your divergence. I don't care about D&D, I do care about gameplay feel. No. For one thing, the Cult of the Unseeing Eye can be completed like this. Witness Saar's preaching in the Temple District, go to the temple where the investigator dude tells you to meet him. Talk to that guy. Go to the Sewers, meet Keldorn. Go into the Lower Crypts or whatever and find the Cult of the Unseeing Eye. Attack them. Kill the Beholder. Job done. That is the simplest way you can complete the quest without even going below to do the areas below and the whole Rod and Ilmater stuff. The thing that makes it more complex is the lower levels and how you can go to the Ilmater Shrine get the other rod half and use that on the creature and then give the rod back to the dudes at the Shrine to free them (or not). The Blood Legacy doesn't have that kind of depth with a completely different sub-quest attached to it. Mae'Vars was lots of little quests as steps in an overarching quest. To me a simple quest that has multiple choices and multiple resolutions isn't as fun to play because I'm only going to be choosing one of those choices and seeing one of those resolutions. To me that is secondary to a more complex quest structure like the aforementioned. Not all quests have to be like that but most of Obsidian's quests are structured/designed in a similar manner. They're simpler quests with multiple choice and alternate resolutions. The Witcher investigation stuff is also completely different. There's the autopsy quest in TW1 which you need to do certain things and learn certain information to solve 'correctly'. There's also two completely different ways to do that - one through investigation and the other through exploration. You can completely go off on your own tangent and conclude that any number of various things happened or various people were to blame and the result can lead to you killing the wrong person and whether the real killer gets the jump on you later on in the game. In comparison, the investigation in the Blood Legacy quest is completely optional and has absolutely no effect on the quest's outcome. The reason why it is good design is it offers good natural reactivity from a location design point of view, and it's good to see that, but there's a next level that has been achieved by other games.
  15. Didn't say that either. No, I just listed the simplest way of doing it and I did not even state that that is the way I did it in the game (it wasn't, either). The investigation is optional. I posted that earlier in the thread. The quest itself is pretty straightforward as far as progressing through it goes but the fact that townsfolk have information on the quest is good design. Nowhere did I say that The Blood Legacy is a bad quest. I said that it is less complex than the BG2 quests. The Sacrificial Pit was good. I liked that bit. The Temple of the Unseeing Eye has a lot of optional content in it too, however the optional content is awesome. The Skaen content is not. Not sure what your fewer enemies rant is about, I talked about quest complexity and why I didn't like the Skaen Temple content when you brought up the Blood Legacy as your example of a good quest. I think the quest itself excluding the content associated with it is pretty good but the Skaen Temple is crap, and the dialogue with Wymund could have been better.
  16. I didn't mind the Firewine Ruins because you had to manage your party. Kobolds kept respawning so you had to protect your squishies. You had to manage your HP as the Kobold Commandos could do serious damage after a while, and you had to carefully maneuver through the dungeon. It was a bit of a pain in the ass because of the tiny corridors, but I didn't think it was as bad as this. It also took way less time to clear the dungeon
  17. Excuse me, but I never said that choice OR multiple resolutions were bad things. They are good things. Personally though I'll take better gameplay content with more linearity over worse gameplay content with more choice and multiple outcomes IF I have to choose between them. You said BG2 the game had larger scope. Yes it did. I was however talking about quest complexity and to me that involves steps required to complete a quests, quest overlap/intertwining and branching. I have not played the end of Pillars of Eternity, I stopped playing during Act 3. Maybe there is some better content there. I couldn't say. Act 1 and 2 quests were all pretty basic with a step or two with some choices. The Skaen Temple is the worst dungeon because it is a large dungeon that has very disappointing loot and the worst example of copy paste encounter design in the game. On Hard difficulty there's like 70 Skaen Cultists, most are the same five classes and most encounters are makeups of these classes. It was literally the most monotonous content I played in the game. I absolutely hated it. I didn't play that dungeon in the beta because of performance issues. I upgraded my PC to an i7 4790k shortly after the game came out so I could run the levels with more units. The game still runs badly in Copperlane though. The Skaen Temple should have just included the room with Wymund and maybe one other room. The rest of the dungeon was ****ing pointless. I never found myself saying "this should be smaller" in any of the Infinity Engine games.
  18. Blood Legacy quest has less steps than both The Cult of the Unseeing Eye and Mae'Var's Guildhall and the investigation part is completely optional, and mostly for flavor. It is also accompanied by the worst dungeon in the game (thankfully you can almost completely bypass it though) and the dialogue with Wymund also has several issues. Both Unseeing Eye and Mae'Vars had multiple steps and good accompanying content. To complete Blood Legacy, all you need to do is go to the Tanner's shop, take his key, go into the dungeon and go into Wymund's room and resolve it there. Obsidian do improve some aspects of quest design. There's usually a fair bit of choice and often multiple resolutions. They often have 'more' of that than the BG games, although not always 'better'. Personally I care more about actual content associated with the quest than that stuff.
  19. I didn't finish the game man, I said that. I stopped playing in Act 3. I beta tested for over 250 hours but that was mostly bug hunting, recording videos and such (which I actually find rather fun). My views on issues in the beta were batted away by Josh Sawyer many times with things like "you're testing a limited beta with underwhelming content, underleveled characters" etc Beta gameplay was actually more fun than the full game lol. The most fun I had in the full game was when I only had three characters and was underleveled with no gear. Once you get a full party and hit level 4, the game just becomes boring to play.
  20. I was talking about the effect of very strict production on area design. I think that they could maybe loosen it a bit more and get much more fruitful results, but also I believe Act 1 was developed right at the end of the project, so you'll probably see better content simply based on designers being more familiar with the tools and being able to implement content quicker - thus possibly more complex areas and quests in the future. They will also hopefully take a lot of the criticism on board. Unfortunately though that comes second to the actual moment to moment gameplay for me which is my main issue with the game. I'm not going to hold my breath but I don't believe the 'style' of combat this game has will ever change. It's always going to be mostly positioning and strategy, followed by a rote script. That is simply what the system design promotes.
  21. A bit more insight into my point of view: I think that the root of most of the problems with the gameplay lie in the system design - pretty much every gameplay problem can be related to the specific design of a system or how specific systems interact with one another (and I mean the design, not the implementation). Encounters wouldn't feel as bland/repetitive if the system design was better or different, it's not the area designers' fault that two different encounters can be beaten with exactly the same strategy where you just follow the same routine every time and aren't required to adjust based on what the enemies do. Most of that is to do with system and creature design. However, encounter design IS very copy-paste and there is a lack of unique/named enemies that are 'special' in some way. Seems like everyone either forgot the good things about the IE encounters or they weren't allowed to do it? Dunno. The amount of fetch quests probably lies in being restricted by their regimented production process - they labelled quests with certain complexities and then I believe producers / leads could downgrade / upgrade quests based on the needs of production - so what you have is a lot of not really that complex quests all designed in a fairly regimented manner. Not really much quest intermingling. Not really many steps. Pretty cookie cutter formatting, always with choice and maybe a bit of reactivity to the player but not necessarily consequence or reactions to the quest result from the game world. Then again, maybe they didn't like / don't remember The Cult of the Unseeing Eye or Mae'Var's Guildhall and have never played The Witcher games all the way through (which have some really good investigative quest design). Raedric's Hold is one area that was just added in for the hell of it, and seems to have been designed much more naturally than any of the other areas in the game. Wasn't even a planned area AFAIK. Give people a bit more freedom yo, and look at the difference. I would arguably say that this is an 'overproduced' game. Then there's the narrative, which I think is a mess. The collaborative design process for the story doesn't seem to have done them any favors as opposed to the single person approach, and it seems to suffer from perhaps too many cooks, and perhaps trying to incorporate too many themes, too many layers and too many ideas. Other than the structural issues, not fully realized topics/themes and poorly handled bits (all of Act 2), I just found the antagonist, the Dyrwood (nothing about it is really likeable as a nation in the game, lore is fine though) and most of the support cast completely unintersting, and I couldn't give a rats arse about all the stuff thrown at me in Act 3. Couldn't have gone in a more uninteresting direction unfortunately. I'm pretty sure that for some reason I want to turn off some soul machines to stop the Hollowborn problem (the most interesting part of the story, which unfortunately was a B-plotline at best), and I really don't care that maybe I can't be assured of anything ... and I'm pretty sure that that quote has nothing to do with the game lol. Lots of people on the team did a good job - Art team in particular (other than some technical issues), but system design and narrative - the game rides on the shoulders of these things, and this is where it falls down IMO.
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