Posts posted by Kilroy_Was_Here
Reading through the pages of this thread, I get an impression from the No!mance crowd: romantic interaction wasn't done well in other games they've played, devs say it's difficult to include and/or fluff, and who wants that kind of thing anyway? Not them! Not the majority! Not anyone! (according to them)
Constant reminders of previous disappointments... insistence on dark predicions of the future... seeing any opposing arguments in a totally negative light...
These people are heartbroken! They went into games like DA and ME with innocent eyes and high expectations for character interaction and were betrayed. The numerical influence system punched them in the gut. The 'final battle is coming, might as well shag' scene trampled on their feelings.
I see Anti-mancers as being in the aftermath of a bad breakup. Everything before was terrible, even though many (maybe even they themselves) liked it/didn't mind it at the time. Things can never improve in the future. Life is pain, etc.
Maybe I'm just a naturally optimistic person. Or even worse... a romantic! Still, I believe that romance CAN be done well in a video game, and moreover WILL be done well in some future game. That game may be P:E or it may not. But no idea is truly impossible unless you give up on it.
Since full-VO is out (which I agree with fully) and partial-VO is in the question is what should be voiced and what not?
I think that the protagonist being limited to something like BG sound sets works well, since many (most?) players would prefer to imagine for themselves what their characters sound like.
As far as NPCs, I think for branching conversations only the first line should be voiced. This helps establish the mood and tone of the conversation, as well as give the player a concept of the speaker. Having the responses be text only helps the writers remain flexible, as the opening line is least likely to be changed. Also it allows followup lines to be added/deleted/changed with no trouble.
For 'cutscene' like scenes like the Sarevok/Gorion encounter at the beginning of BG1 it helps to have every line voiced. Since there are no branches to the conversation there is no need to record multiple versions of similar lines. Also, since a cutscene is more likely to be viewed by the player (as opposed to an NPC or quest that can be skipped or simply missed) it is more cost-effective.
I expect... Monkey Island insult duels!
'How appropriate; you fight like a cow!'
An encounter that requires 6 buffs is the combination of the following limitations:
-player must realize 6 buffs are required
-player must have access to 6 buffs
-player must not have already used the six buffs on something else earlier
-6 buffs must be used on certain characters/in a certain order
The sum total is that, even assuming that these limitations can be overcome, the buffing solution becomes the only 'correct' answer. If any encounter cannot be consistently cleared using any other methods, it is an objective failure. What is the point of creating a PC, gathering a party and selecting gear/abilties if there are events with exactly ONE solution? If I wanted a linear adventure game I'd play Zelda and not be offended when the game required me to use the hookshot to jump that gap or the spinning slash to stun that boss.
The point of a good RPG isn't that you can steamroll through all content using the same tactics over and over, but that there should always be multiple solutions to a problem. Maybe instead of the buffs you could recruit NPC allies to reduce the enemy ranks. Flood the dungeon to create an enviornment where some of the enemy's abilities won't work. Use diplomacy or bluff (maybe a disguise) to get by the enemies or get some of them to leave. If the player is willing to take the time maybe all of the above will work.
Likewise, a worthy antagonist should be doing the same thing. Many PnP campaigns I've read state that NPCs will have spies/magic watching the PCs so they know what tactics/abilities they like to use so that they can prepare their own 'six buffs' to use against them.
An RPG shouldn't just be a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors where there is one objective 'right' answer to a given situation. It should be closer to a chess match, where your move depends on what your opponent does, and what they are in a position to do in response to you.
I don't know what the big deal is about two handed swords. What I want to know is... where are the four handed swords? Would you want to be the blacksmith to tell a Shokan warrior 'Sorry, I don't have anything in your size'? Didn't think so.
They just wanted to remind you that if you don't clean out the pantry for the next 18 months the results could be... bad.
Foreshadowing done poorly.
You see it in these formulaic crappy CSI like programs. the camera hovers over an object with no clear reason why it is doing so, and you go "Ooh! is this going to come back?"
Foreshadowing can be done well, it was done beautifully in the first Knights of the Old Republic game, but most of the time it's just not subtle, and when it is obvious it completely kills the force of revelation that it is supposed to elicit.
Edit: I think the trick of it is by making it part of "normal proceedings" as it were. it's there, but we don't dwell on it.
Something that really bothered me:
Ok, in KOTOR you had amnesia, so both the player and their PC don't remember anything pre-Endar Spire. In KOTOR II the PC never had amnesia, but the Exile's past is still presented as a mystery to the player for much of the game. If the fixed backstory of the main character is important to the story, isn't it a good idea to let the audience in on it at some early point?
Some light reading: http://project-apollo.net/text/rpg.html Mostly applies to JRPGs, but still interesting.
Something I'd like to see done away with - the random encounter. I know that in a IE style game you don't trigger a battle on the field screen and enter the battle screen where everyone's sprites are more detailed. Still, the whole 'we have encountered each other unexpectedly on the side of the road so we must fight to the death!' thing is overplayed. This would be pretty hard to work around but it would be interesting to see.
Related is the necessity for total victory. In pnp rules in most cases when an encounter is going well for the PCs the remaining opponents will either flee or surrender (undead or mindless creatures excepted). We never see this in an RPG though. Would be innovative to have something like that implemented, and if your party kept mowing down bandits that had given up they would acquire a 'bloodthirsty' reputation.
One thing I didn't like was how gamebreaking the stealth skill tree was. Working from memory here, but I think the first ability you got let you see enemies outside of your LOS for a while, and the third ability made it permanent! Think Metal Gear Solid radar but overlaid on the main screen rather than seperated. It even told you which direction people were moving and their alertness level.
I did like the variability of the plot. What other game keeps dropping hints about how tough an enemy is, and you end up not only not fighting them, but not even encountering them? Or where having a high negative reputation with people can be more helpful than no reputation at all, or even a high reputation?
I really think that we should collect 108 "friends" and have them staff our stronghold! I promise everyone that this is an original idea!
Good idea. We'll call them the 108 Lights of Fate.
Continue. I like where this is going!
Things I would like brought over from the Suikoden series:
-Stronghold increases in size (more levels) as you get more companions/as the plot progresses
-Unique scenes between certain group composisitions... although in Suikoden it was usually in the steam bath. Could get awkward.
Things I would not like:
-Shops that open inside the stronghold only if a certain NPC is recruited to run it. It makes sense in that series because you're mostly collecting people anyway, but in a game like PE it might be a hassle to track someone down just to get your own armor shop.
After wandering around forests for the first half-dozen chapters of BG1 I was actually baffled about what to do when I finally reached the city itself. If they do have relatively empty wilderness areas to trek through I hope that the game starts in one of the big cities a la BG2.
I dunno, player families might work in a game where the scope was started with the idea of being a multi-generational saga. But I don't get that impression of intention for this game and fear it'll turn into baby-as-inventory-item ala Aerie / PC relationship in BG2.
I'm pretty sure you couldn't sell it but wasn't that item droppable? Seems like it had the potential for some awkward conversations...
'Where's our child? I thought I handed them to you in that last dungeon.' 'The one with the mind flayers?' 'Oops...'
Or what if you put it in the bag of holding and it glitched and duplicated? Twins!! You know, I think there's a wealth of possibilities here...
You will create any character you can imagine, any race, class, gender combo will be open. However as the game unfolds it will be revealed that you have a rather unique soul that will awaken and tie in with events and actions that make your character special beyond your average Project Eternity denizen.
Maybe the real question shouldn't be about the PC but the soul they inhereted. Would the background of that soul be fixed/defined? The normal answer would be 'of course' but what if it wasn't? Would we have flashbacks to the soul's previous 'lives' possibly having some control over events? Hmm... a lot of possibilities there.
The problem I had with the BG1 wilderness areas was the 'sameness' they all had. If I picked up a quest in one of those areas and wanted to return to it after leaving it it was impossible for me to remember which map the quest was even on. At the very least give each map a unique name and have that name be referenced in the quest log. I've had a drowned cat in my inventory in multiple playthroughs as I couldn't figure out who was looking for it.
(Note that this is NOT a quest arrow as it would only remind the player of where the quest originated rather than point the way to the next step)
As a non-romance relationship, how about an oath of brotherhood?
From Romance of the Three Kingdoms: "We three---Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei---though of different families, swear brotherhood, and promise mutual help to one end. We will rescue each other in difficulty; we will aid each other in danger. We swear to serve the state and save the people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we seek to die together. May Heaven, the all-ruling, and Earth, the all-producing, read our hearts. If we turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness, may Heaven and Human smite us!"
Elsewhere in the story losing a wife is referred to as a tear in one's clothes, easily mended. But the loss of a sworn brother is like losing a limb. (paraphrasing here because I can't find that exact quote)
Fun bonus: the entire ROTK text is available online for free. http://threekingdoms.com/
Didn't 100 people shell out the Kickstarter cash to create their own NPCs? I would hope that they at least would be interesting...
There is a sliding scale for player background:
None Whatsoever - Elder Scrolls games (F:NV actually does NOT apply here. In the last DLC you find out about a lot of things you did before your brief dirt nap)
Fixed - BG, PS:T, DA2, KOTOR I & II, AP, Fallout
Limited - ME (only referenced in a few quests)
Broad - DA:O
Most games fall into the first two categories. No background fits in TES because the personality of your character has literally no affect on anything. A fixed background allows for easy entry into the game's plot because everyone has a common starting point. The broad background is the most work for the devs because if some portion of the game differs based on the PC then there are areas some players will never see; not a good return on investment. It is interesting to note that according to BW metrics more players picked the Human Noble origin than all of the others combined.
I believe PE will have options somewhere in between limited and broad. Given the limited voice acting and the isometic camera it would be less work to create unique content based on the PC's personal history.
In one of the romance threads I suggested that it should be an option at character creation that the PC already has/had a spouse/children. This removes the time lapse problem with kids and, being optional, avoids the problem about being railroaded. It also adds the idea that your character can avoid a romance that many players seem to hate without having to be celebate the entire game.
After all, only in an Elder Scrolls game does your character come into existence when you hit the 'new game' button. In other RPGs the PC had some kind of existence before the game started; why not have this be a part of it?
Everything has its own proper place.
From the Evil Overlord List: (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)
#33 I won't require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.
My personal favorite is in Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood quest in which you're in a house with six other people trying to survive the night and you can pick them off one by one and the other people start panicking. One of the most satisfying quest in my mind.
The best part about that quest was that if the last NPC left was unfriendly they would conclude you must be the murderer and attack you. But if you made them friendly through diplomacy they ask for your protection and to help them find a way out.
My favorite quest was the one from Throne of Bhaal where you get the Bronze Pantalettes from the low-level adventurers. Not only was the NPCs' response priceless, but some of your own party members comment on how far you've come since then.
I would like to see is the in-game feedback from minor actions from the original Deus Ex.
Did your (male) agent go into the women's bathroom and harass someone? Expect to hear about it from your boss.
Did you fail to help an old friend deal with her problems? She ran away like she always said she would.
Listen in on a random conversation in the break room at the beginning of the game? The game remembers.
When you completed your first objective and a random friendly solider that came in to secure the room, did you take him out for no reason? There's a scene later on for that.
(Just found this one on my 10th or so playthrough) Trying to infiltrate the game's last area I was scounting around with my super jumping and found a ventilation access with metal fan blades down below. As your character debates whether it's worth the risk the big bad (who is monitoring your movements) screams 'DO IT! JUMP!!'
Neat things like that are a welcome touch and add to replayability since some of them only come about when you do pretty random things that wouldn't normally occur to you or require skills that you may never have selected like the enhanced jump.
Other examples: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything
I'm reminded of a magazine ad for the original Fallout. I tried to find the image but my google is weak this morning. The text read something like:
Fallout - A typical RPG*
*Without magic, elves, fairies and all that other crap
I think that's the idea they are going for here. Now I know that PE will have magic... and elves... and possibly fairies too, but the point is that the intention was to design a game that defied the conventions of a genre. The Witcher series tries to do this for fantasy RPGs, but is too over-the-top IMO (plus the gameplay manages to be both bafflling to a new player and a spamfest for the veteran) so it will be interesting to see Obsidian's take on it.
All this talk about women, but nothing about lamentations? What kind of mature fantasy universe is this anyway!?!?
What is this I don't even...
Characters from games that you HATE and don't whanna see in PE (or even be inspired)
in Pillars of Eternity: General Discussion (NO SPOILERS)
...that is all