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catmorbid

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  1. **** that, Obsidian should just make their own Science Fiction universe, preferably hard sci-fi, and kickstart that. Making new worlds is what they're really good at, so I'd put my money on that.
  2. A relatively easy to deal with ogres and some other strong opponents is to get a Cipher on the group and then use the level 2 Cipher power Mental Binding to hold the Ogre while your casters do their worst at him. Maybe use the time to cast some additional traps or debuffs on the ogre, or buffs on the tank or equip everyone with firearms and do a salvo. Then retreat and repeat a few times
  3. Ah, Level Caps, my old nemesis. I definitely hope I'm not going to hit it, since for some reason it just takes a big chunk out of the game. At least that was what happened with Arcanum long time ago, although that was really just the least of that game's problems. Anyway, I completely understand why Obsidian chose to use a level cap on POE, it's a practical way because of the game system they decided to create. Yes, it's entirely because of the game system being class and level reliant. On open-ended system like you have in Fallout or Arcanum even, level restrictions aren't that important becuse the system is designed to cope with that. Then again, if you allow infinite progression it will eventually remove any challenge at all. This is conincidentally also the biggest reason why one of the first mods you'll ever get on a Bethesda game is an exp progression SLOWER, since their open-ended system isn't really coping well with very high levels, which the characters will eventually be at on vanilla game. Unfortunately the only really good answer to the level cap is something that was suggested before already: just make the level progression curve steeper. Any other solution would basically require either additional content or complete overhaul of the system. The former is unlikely since the expansion/sequel is planned, thus said content will be part of that, and the latter is certainly not going to happen. Just use a x2000 multiplier instead of x1000 on the formula. Hell you could even go midway and use x1500. In case you're wondering the actual formula for exp required for level x is x*(x-1)/2*1000.
  4. No, not quite. Current gen = current consoles Last gen = old console Best gen = PC.
  5. I'd like Obsidian tackle a serious hard science fiction RPG. Maybe something like Mass Effect with less space elves and space orcs, definitely less romances and also a storyline that doesn't degenerate into an epic quest to save the universe and choosing between three buttons in the end.
  6. I don't want to get into speculating budget thingies, sure $4m is a lot of money and you can get a pretty big team for quite a long time with that money, but the important fact is that they delivered the actual game and didn't shoot too far off from the schedule even. I was very positively suprised with that, and with all the problems even the launch was relatively successful in my opinion. My only reason for wonder is why these things keep happening to them, regardless of the years of experience. And the question, or theory, I raised in the OP was: Because, in my opinion, from a developer's perspective, a good designer is a coder who implements any features they design themselves. Either that or a very disciplined process where you go through very strict iterations of design, implementation, evaluation, re-design. That's probably what the big AAA companies do, and because of that, they can manage their hundreds of staff, but it also results in less freedom between the stages, because everything needs to be documented in the between, and once design is set, you can't deviate until you get to re-evaluation (which is why it's called disciplined). A small indie team basically doesn't need a disciplined process and they can just let creativity flow and the process is constant design-implement cycle, but this is of course problematic when you have to communicate your ideas to someone else, because there usually isn't any kind of documentation. A bit larger teams benefit from agile methodology which basically sets very short-term goals and things are evaluated constantly, but those are generally not so good for massive teams, although you can keep creating smaller individual teams in order to have lots of agile teams. Now, I don't know what's going on in the work culture within Obsidian, but with their track record of bad launches plus the accumulated experience they have as a studio, this leads me to suspect that something's wrong with how they do things. The old "axiom" in software development is that ~80% of IT projects fail (the number isn't really that high, but it's regardless a significant number), and the tons of research done in that show that they fail because the structure within the company, project culture, methodology, or leadership is flawed. Now I'm not saying this is the case with Obsidian, but I am raising the question I presented earlier, because if anything, I want these guys to keep making more great games, but in the meanwhile I'd also like them to get rid of these embarassing problems their games are nearly always riddled with, as well as the bad gameplay bits which are really annoying when there's a lot of awesome content, then some bull**** mechanic etc. which almost entirely ruins the experience. Sure, bugs are everyday in any software, you can't avoid them, but there are certainly lots and lots of ways to minimize the worst ones. When really bad ones come up, it's a sign that something is usually wrong. In fact I'd be very interested in reading through some analysis on some of Obsidian's source code, since that might actually be very revealing: There are these things called "design smells", which can be used to indicate potential problems in source code, and perform some kind of evaluation on the overall quality of the code (google "design smells SOLID" or something like that for more info). Too bad that kind of thing is generally out of the question, unless released as open source. [/rant]
  7. Raedric's hold bug was about critical as it gets, and looking at the tech support forum it seems quite a few had it, and that's just those bothering to write on forums - not everyone doe. Then there's, broken stats buffs (bonuses accumulate), broken items etc. Granted, it could be worse. I never said it's easy to make this kind of game. I said some of the problems appear like they'd be very easy to fix, and in fact prevent alltogether with a bit oversight when designing the software. And my question was more to propose my theory that designer and coder talent don't quite mix well in Obsidian. You see, ideally you'd have designers who are coders. That way they can code themselves whatever they design, but nowadays that usually isn't the case, unless we're talking about smaller indie studios. Anyway, i'm not pointing fingers at anyone, but even though I really appreciate the guys, I think I still have the right to question their products and critique them, no? The Temple of Elemental Evil had a very bad UI. You had to repeatedly keep clicking just to know what you options were. If this is the sort of thing you're criticizing Obsidian for, I'm glad they're not listening to you. I don't see how much better it's having to constantly move the cursor bottom left away from the focus area on the screen, then back again whenever you want to point at something. Anyway, in my opinion TOEE's radial menu was a pretty intuitive way to handle lots of menus, at least lot better than what this is now in PoE.
  8. Exactly. Its a lot more productive to work in a social environment for long periods of time with other professionals. Yeah, gotta second that. Being an innately lazy bastard myself, I find myself much more productive when I go to a place where I'm supposed to be more productive. Consider it another tool that can help with the already difficult process of developing a games - or any software -- or any project work overall.
  9. Do you mean the Radial menu? I have no idea why we don't have that in PoE....I always thought PoE would have it That worked fantastically in ToEE and NwN (two brilliants RPGs and some of my favorites) EDIT: But I definitely see ToEE influence in combat i.e. over-engineered, unforgiving, hard-core combat mechanics. Which is fine. Yes, that exactly that! Also I think I know what you mean with the other ToEE influences, but those are really up to taste, not necessarily about neither improvement nor retrogression.
  10. Oh yes, that's because of having overly high expectations they're sometimes also being over-critized, but I guess that's just a part of their charm. What mistakes are you referring to ? Well, for example, there seems to be consistently something broken in their itemization system. I'm not sure if it's a database problem, or something inherently problematic with RPG's (you should be able to know what kind of DB works after a few games...), let alone the quest systems which are always broken. In some cases the merit goes to another party (e.g. Bethesda @ Fallout: NV), but at other times, there seems to be not much anything to blame. Maybe their proprietary engine is very good at that stuff, which would kind of explain why DS3 received very little critique in that area, regardless of the solution in Onyx engine it feels a bit weird they couldn't have ported it to work with unity. My guess is it just wasn't good enough for what PoE required and they had to make (at least some parts of it) anew. And I'm not even talking about all the UI related business here. E.g. why did they completely disregard the awesome mouse-drinven context-based UI in TOEE for a 20 year old mouse-driven awkwardness? (Granted, a lot of general things are done right) Ok, I haven't followed the game throughout the beta, so I've no clue what kind of ****storm took place there, but OBVIOUSLY there's lots of room to improve, but that's partly due to trying to follow Baldur's Gate too much, which in UI (and game system)-wise isn't the best possibl example...
  11. Well, I don't think BIG is the answer to everything, since they should have plenty of experience from BIG. Of course it probably has an impact on things, but regardless, it's not the only factor. At least that's my theory. Edit: DS3 and South Park also had their share of problems on launch, albeit not quite as big. Edit2: Especially SP I think had some pretty major bugs on launch, if I remember right (you could probably track it down by searching for early forum posts)
  12. Hi! I'm a massive fan of Black Isle / Troika / Obsidian as well as a student majoring in Computer Science, a game hobbyist and an amateur game developer. (Disclaimer) So, my question for today is a very profound one, and one that carries a lot of meaning to me, personally, and especially from a game developer studio perspective: What's wrong with Obsidian? Everything starts with Black Isle and Fallout, which (if you're aware of the story around the production) was a general huge mother****ing mess. After Black Isle was shot down, the general messiness seemed to follow with Troika games, who made a couple of brilliant yet very flawed games. After that, the legacy, thanks to a few key individuals and their ideals, was transferred into what is today Obsidian. Now, as a disclaimer, I have to say, I love everything created by these guys: Black Isle Studios, Troika and Obsidian. BI's slogan: "By gamers, for gamers" is still something I keep as an inspiration very close to my heart every single day (as an unknown amateur developer), and what they created is simply beautiful. However, everything created by this troupe and their derivatives has always been somehow fundamentally wrong: bugged as hell, imbalanced as foobar, illogical as hell. My question is: WTF is wrong with Obsidian? Why can't they make solid products? I know there's a lot of tension between publisher - developer relations, that's always a handful and something for an entirely different discussion, but my presumption here today is that: There is something wrong with the communication between the designers and the coders in Obsidian? Because at many times it seems I'm playing a game with a beautifully designed world with lots of content and shreds of the designers souls visibly poured into every single detail, yet at other times I'm stumbling upon the very simplistic, childish even, mistakes that could be repaired with some simple programming with a little bit of forethought. Are you guys talking? Is there something between, even though this time (PoE) you were independently funded, and no publisher has a **** to say about yoru game? What's the problem? Now, I'm not blaming anyone, I'm simply tryng to inquire some details about your methods into developing games, and whether there'd be something to improve. No doubt I'm going to get a generic response of "yes, we're constantly improving our methods and processes in all areas", but what I'm really interested in is the actual schizms between the programmers and the designers, since that's what I think is the main reason for this outcome. Anyway, while any perspectives are welcome, obviously I'd rather take on some pov's from the crew.
  13. Run the game as administrator. That fixed it for me. As a side effect, for me at least, this removed the steam overlay.
  14. I just noticed this as well, when recruiting Pallegina for the first time. It seems that the problem is with a badly designed equipment system, which doesn't properly calculate the stats for various characters, since this problem is repeating in different forms in many other places as well. How it works now: - Add bonuses on function calls - Remove bonuses on function calls -> When you forget to add the proper function calls to certain situations, you miss some of the information, hence you've got bunch of broken stats. How it should work: - When loading a character: calculate all stats based on basic stats and any possible modifiers. - Re-calculate when required. Of course it could be something completely different, but that feels like the most probable cause for the problem at the moment...
  15. I've encountered the same bug as well. However, I managed to fix by finding out which level was causing the problem, and then renaming that file from the savegame. I've the repaired savegame by renaming the file with a suffix .broke. My savegame, log and dxdiag: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/733138/RaedricsKeep%20crash%20stuff.7z The problematic file for me was: AR_0709_Raedrics_Hold_Int_02.lvl After that, all the transitions started working again, although that particular level was naturally reset. The steps I used to encounter the bug, as far as I can recall: 1) Enter keep through vines 2) sneak around the fortifications, killing bunch of guards and looting stuff 3) enter the "temple area", dress as monks, encounter one high priest and manage to fool him, explore more and get caught to a paladin, start killing some people 4) enter dungeon, explore entire dungeon, let the prisoner go, then meet with animancer and agree with his quest 5) go from dungeon to the kitchen, as instructed by the animancer and try to go up the stairs back to the "temple area" -> CRASH when trying to go up the stairs from the kitchen (savegame) I'm running on Win 8.1 x64 I hope this helps and I hope this gets sorted out. And I certainly hope this was an isolated case for the bug and it wont' show up later in the game...
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