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Brother Pain

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  1. Another one from Dragon Age: Origins: The city of Lothering. L O the Ring or Lord Of The Ring.


    These are exactly the type of memes I do want in the game. If you don't know them you never will, if you do, you might have a light chuckle or a even a hearty belly laugh over them.


    That said, as long as they're not constantly referenced, I don't mind the silly ones either, be they Monty Python jokes or completely over used memes like arrows in knees or cakes being a lie.

  2. I have to join with the group that can't think of a single JRPG villain that's memorable.


    That said, I do want charismatic villains. Though what I want even more are charismatic villains that I will actively hate, Whether because of their deeds, their incredibly annoying doucheness (for lack of a better word) or whatever else. Nothing is better than finally slitting the throat or putting a bullet in the head of a villain that's been a thorn in your side for a long time. Even better if you get the final word before you do so.


    Handsome Jack, Darth Angral, Bann Vaughan, Beaumont, even Sean Darcy. These were all the type of villains that I didn't grudgingly respect, but was happy when I finally got to put them down. I didn't try to reason with them, didn't try to turn them to the light side, or to see it my way. They're the kind of thing a computer game can properly offer, since they can be kept alive, even as they're impeding you, sending you taunting ECHOs, leaving you to die, and so on. In my PnP experience, enemies like that tend to die a bit too quickly, and I can only remember one enemy that wasn't the big bad pissing me off like that and surviving (for a time) over some 20 years of PnP RPGs.

  3. I agree that keeping memes and the like subtle is a good idea, but keeping them completely out of the game? Nah, I trust the writing and world building skills of Obsidian enough to have them in without it becoming too much.


    The question really is:


    Can you do a medieval meme? :D


    Of course you can :) (And I mean even on top of all the regular fantasy/medieval tropes like trolls under bridges and evil witches)


    Arrows in knees, food with not too much rat in it, lying about meat pies, polearm jokes, Noober, cylindrical crates with odd but familiar runes on them, competing for kills ("That still only counts as one!"), are just what I can come up with off the top of my head.


    Considering how many hidden in-jokes were in the first Fallout without most people noticing them, I'm sure it's possible to do the same for Project Eternity withtout it becoming too much unless you're completely adverse to even minor, obscure memes, jokes, and easter eggs.

    • Like 1
  4. I have to agree with the people that say you really have to go to university to learn programming.

    Outside of some very basic classes I did teach myself to program C and PHP and to design databases and I've that for several years.

    Still, it wasn't until I had a beginner programming course at university that I actually learned proper programming techniques and algorithms that allow me to pick up nearly any programming language and work with it, be it C++/Java, designing integrated systems, or XSLT.

    I also thought a bunch of database tasks were basically impossible until I learned discrete mathematics.


    Still, trying some programming tutorials (I'd suggest starting with something simple like Java/C# which has less system specific weirdness and force you to think more object oriented) is not a bad idea at all, both to see if you cousin finds the actual programming interesting, and to get some basic programming skills under your belt, Just know that university is probably mandatory both for the reasons listed and to eventually get hired.

  5. As a background feat, it could be pretty cool. Say -5% chance to hit, since weapons aren't weighted for left-handed people, but gives a 2% to cause a random status effect (blind, bleed, cripple, knockdown etc) because people just aren't used to fighting southpaws.


    I was about to suggest something similar. Though, to expand on it, perhaps anyone using a main weapon in their left hand would get a penalty to hit and the opponent gets a penalty to defense/dodge/whatever because no one is used to fighting southpaws.

    The background trait could remove the penalty at a cost to social interactions or soul purity or something similar, based on the fact that a lot of old cultures consider lefties evil or corrupt.

    Of course, there could be a perk/feat down the line that allowed for proper ambidexterity without the penalty.

  6. There's one cliché (and it's a cliché not just a trope) that I actually like in my CRPGs is the "Go into this cellar and kill some rats". I like subversions of it as well, but I like it to be in my CRPGs in some form. Most good CRPGs have some form of this AFAIK, from the start of Fallout, a questgiver in Candlekeep in Baldur's Gate, the human noble story in Dragon Age: Origins, to the cranium rats in Planescape: Torment. And lots of others I've forgotten I'm sure.


    Killing rats in a cellar at the beginning of your adventure is just iconic by now, and it feels like greeting an old friend when I do a quest like that :)

    • Like 1
  7. The only game I've seen so far that triggered my arachnophobia was actually Diablo 3. I don't know why, but the specific way the spiders there were animated was just too realistic or something.

    I know that there are a lot of people that have the higher severity disadvantage are more sensible to this than me and can't play any game with realistic spiders, be it DA:O, Skyrim, or whatnot. Putting in a toggle (using a different model already in the game, eg. a bear or a cow) to not have spiders in the game would be a good idea.


    And for the people who cannot fathom how someone can be afraid of spiders, and even to a degree that is crippling, understand that it's an irrational fear that can't be controlled and stop being a **** about it.

  8. How will the large cities' content be structured? Most folks enjoyed the freedom and exploration in Athkatla, citing it as one of the high points of the game. While one city will likely be structured this way, opening up into another large, sandbox style city late in the game poses problems for pacing. As we approach the climax of a game, the action needs to increase and become more focused, leading to linearity. A sandbox city disrupts this flow. Do other members see this a problem, and, if so, how do we structure the game to avoid it?


    I actually disagree that the game needs to become more and more linear as you near the end, and it's been the cause of me not finishing a lot of CRPGs out there. A point of no return to the final encounter or some such is fine and probably neccesary, but having the last third or half of the game being linear is something I very much dislike.

    • Like 1
  9. I hate insta-death effects in PnP. They add nothing to the game, they're cheap, and honestly, losing your character on a single roll (if you even get a roll) isn't fun.

    In CRPGs I guess I hate them a little bit less because I can reload my game, but they're still cheap and unfun and add nothing but frustration and annoyance.


    I dunno, I like the fact that they're random. I like random critical hits too. I find it fun in games where you can't apply a mathematical formula to combat and determine automatically the statistical odds of success.


    I don't like finite or dispelled effects ending my game, but somebody hits me with disintigrate as long as we both have access to it...again it adds a certain amount of chance (thus danger) to an encounter for me.


    The problem isn't that it's a random chance, it's a CRPG after all. The problem is that it's an instant effect with no warning, no counter (except if you have a wizard with the right spell and have played the encounter before, not an option in a PnP game btw), and no skill involved.

    Getting a crit will only kill the opponent if you overpower them to a huge degree or have gotten their health low already.

    Spells like disintegration in any sane versions of the D&D rules (that discounts AD&D completely) doesn't kill outright but deals huge damage (eg. 2d6 per caster level) on a failed save and only really disintegrates you if you die from the spell.

    The lack of save or die effects and limit on save or suck effects is actually one of the few good things about the 4th Ed. rules.

  10. I hate insta-death effects in PnP. They add nothing to the game, they're cheap, and honestly, losing your character on a single roll (if you even get a roll) isn't fun.

    In CRPGs I guess I hate them a little bit less because I can reload my game, but they're still cheap and unfun and add nothing but frustration and annoyance.

    • Like 1
  11. DA2 had a way too linear plot, reused areas, and a too action'y combat system. Other than that though, I actually liked the game quite a lot. The characters were well written especially.

    I don't remember it having too many combat barks though.

    As someone else mentioned, Dragon's Dogma (with just 3 NPCs) is the absolute worst at this, NWN and NWN2 are bad at it, Arcanum had barks on every single critical hit, and let's not even get into other genres like tactical shooters with their constant "helpful" barks.


    So I guess my point was that I agree that using combat barks in moderation is a good idea :)

    • Like 1
  12. I don't want realism. Especially since the argument is often used as to why magic users should be superior in every way to "mundane" characters, though it doesn't seem to be a problem here, with souls powering monks and warriors and what not.

    I do want "unrealistic" things in the game: Two-bladed swords, punching hard enough to kill a dragon, simultaniously firing two pistols* and actually hitting something, and a whole bunch of different tropes that anyone that has used the actual weapon or tactics involved (eg. real swords, firearms, martial arts) will flinch at, while not batting an eye at magic doing much more. If it's cool (and workable within the rules and engine), why not allow it?

    On the other hand, consistency, believability, and suspension of disbelief is all good, as long as it's not just an excuse to use different standards for "magic" and "mundane" characters.


    (* I know these aren't automatic pistols, but using a brace of pistols makes sense with one shot weapons, and maybe there are pebberboxes?)

    • Like 2
  13. I've played through Alpha Protocol more times than any other game except maybe the first Fallout. The different playstyles and especially the varied story really made it worth doing.

    There were bugs, sure, though they weren't that bad on Xbox 360 version.

    At first I hated the stealth and the shooting, but that was because my first playthrough was as the Novice (so no headshotting around corners or constant awareness of your enemies), and once you figured out the little kinks, stealthing into a room, taking out a few guys non-lethally, and then getting spotted and quickly taking out the rest with throat punches was fun.

    Only parts I really disliked were the hacking on higher difficulties (thank the gods for EMP grenades), boss battles that were close to impossible if you hadn't put points in a ranged weapon, and the last helicopter fight where I had used all the rockets early and had to take the thing down ever so slowly with pistol and rifle.

  14. In general, I'm not for the idea of repeatable quests (it fits better with multiplayer games) but I do like some option to get extra XP if I hit a point in the game where I desperately need to gain a a/some level/s because I've hit a difficult spot. If (as I understand) there'll be no XP for killing enemies, maybe there needs to be some form of repeatable content to get XP from.


    As for what type of ranom quests in such a case:

    Randomized fed-ex quests as suggested before could work. Or you could grab an idea from City Of Heroes and have unused doors in the cities that can be linked to random indoor "instances"* where you can get quest xp.


    (*Since it's a singleplayer game, the whole game will really be one instance, but most people know what I mean.)

  15. Having to trudge more through more than 10 cleared levels to get back to the city to rest and restock doesn't sound like challenge to me, it sounds like tedium and busywork.

    If this was a PnP game, you wouldn't roleplay how you went the entire way up every time, you'd simply state "We head back out to the city to restock and rest.", possibly with some rolls for random encounters on the way.

    No to tedium, yes to convenience, let's have those exits that can be unlocked from within. Honestly, even games known and marketed as being difficult (eg. Demon's Souls) have unlockable shortcuts.

  16. I don't see any problem with the potions in the Infinity Engine (other than what was caused by the slot based inventory system). Too be honest though, I actually like the "enter your inventory and use potions to your heart's content" from Fallout and the Elder Scrolls games. You'll still have to carry potions with you, which is limited in number, but it does allow you to deal with possible unfair and cheap encounters if you save your potions for them.

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