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Everything posted by PrimeJunta

  1. No, but I've always loved them. I've also lived most of my life in port cities and poked around them quite a bit. Most of what I know about what they look like and where the different bits fit is from building scale models when I was a kid, both from plastic kits and from bits of wood and a schematic. I built several, rigging and all -- the Wasa, the Mayflower, and the Santa Maria to name three from roughly this period.
  2. This is a schematic of an actual, roughly similarly-sized sailing vessel. A nice, fast, sleek brigantine, but the hull might as well be a sloop's, it doesn't matter; the mast placement would change and it'd get a longer bowsprit, but the hull would stay more or less the same. You could even exaggerate the beam a little without making it look outrageously tubby. Just keep that teardrop shape. Are you seriously claiming that this deck plan has less space than the one Obsidian made? A simple yes or no will suffice. Assume I'm happy to clear the deck of any superstructures that may be in the picture but isn't on Obsidian's version.
  3. The sails would have to be trimmed so you'll see them edge-on; that way they wouldn't obstruct the deck much (and you could treat them like trees or any other similar element on any other map). Ships sailed at full sail when giving chase (or running), but trimmed to battle sails when engaging. They had a special kind of shot -- chain shot -- designed to shred sails. Getting hit with that when at full sail was very bad news. If you managed to take out the other guy's sails before he did the same to you, you had as good as won the battle: you could manoeuvre for a stern or prow rake (your broadside facing his prow or or stern, where he could barely bring any cannons to bear, and also your shot would bounce along the deck doing carnage), then when you've got them good and bloody, close in for a boarding action. (Or, if it turned out you were facing a much superior force after all, you could just run -- after all, you could sail and he couldn't.) In the "golden age of piracy" ship to ship engagements rarely went that way though. Pirates would fight to capture, not to kill, and engagements were often lopsided. You would have a fast, small pirate ship (sloop, schooner or similar) full of armed-to-the-teeth cutthroats facing off against a bigger, slower, lightly-armed, lightly-crewed merchantman; in this case the merchant would try to run, and if that failed, surrender. Also many pirate captains would be lenient with crews and captains who surrendered, and extremely brutal with ones who didn't, which gave them a reputation that encouraged merchantmen to do that. Not much artillery there. If a pirate crew mistook a navy vessel for a merchantman – which sometimes happened as navy pirate-hunters would camouflage themselves as that – things would get bloody as the navy vessels were generally much better-armed; the navy vessel would try to get in as close as possible before they figured it out, then shoot out the pirate's sails and then fight to kill. There were a few famous engagements where navy vessels chased the pirates up an estuary where they couldn't run, in which case things would get ugly fast; Blackbeard for example was eventually caught this way. The other situation which would lead to impressive engagements was when a pirate captain decided to go after an armed convoy under naval escort, e.g. the Spanish ships transporting bullion from South America to Spain. This happened a few times, and sometimes the pirates even won.
  4. So keep the cannons belowdecks. That would work too. What are your remaining objections to my suggestions? They would give more deck space, not less. My point: the boat is ugly for no good gameplay reason. If you're of the opinion that aesthetics don't matter in a game like Pillars, then fine, you're entirely entitled to that opinion, but I do not share it. Nor, I believe, do the people who are working so hard to make it look so good.
  5. No, it won't. Broad of beam is fine. Bricklike is not fine. (1) Lower the aftcastle by half, or get rid of it altogether and replace it with a hatch that goes belowdecks to the captain's cabin. (2) Curve out the sides more so that they make a natural teardrop shape truncated at the stern, instead of curving out at the prow, then going parallel, and then narrowing just a little bit like they do now. (3) Give the vertical cross-section of the hull a little bit of roundness, so the sides don't go straight down, but curve out, a bit barrel-like. (4) Put the cannons on-deck rather than belowdecks; you don't need many, four on each side will do it. (5) Lower the boom on the mainsail so that it no longer angles up like that, but trim it so that it doesn't obscure the deck. (6) Give it a nice, long off-screen bowsprit (visible if you zoom out enough, or pan). Given these adjustments it'd be broader at the beam, and a little narrower at the stern, giving as much deck space as it has now. It would sit much lower in the water: this, the bowsprit, and the bigger sails would make it look a lot sleeker, a lot faster. And the overall shape would be both more pleasing to the eye and more functionally believable.
  6. There's no reason the aftcastle has to be that tall. Likewise no reason the hull has to be so rectangular. It can be broad-beamed and tubby without looking like a brick. Just let the sides curve out more. You could get there by mildly exaggerating the proportions on that sloop model I posted for reference. As to the sails obscuring the deck, they can just trim them so they're seen nearly edge-on, except the foresails where it's not a problem anyway. That works equally well with square, lateen, or gaff sails. Yeah sure they'll always be the same way but that's an understandable concession to visibility.
  7. In Pillars, Obsidian has consistently used historical designs as models, then riffed off them. Sometimes they're rushed and things get a bit weird, like in Caed Nua for example, but even there they know why it looks like it does – Pallegina even comments that it's a fortress in the old style, and they don't build them like that anymore because they're too vulnerable to cannons. They do all kinds of wacky fantasy stuff too, like adra structures and those Engwithan machines, and that's all great. Their architectural designs for Neketaka look fantastic; they're carefully thought-out, mixing a variety of real-world influences in interesting ways and then developing them further to suit the direction they want to go. I think it's fair to say that they want their artefacts to look functional. Their weapons may not have geek-perfect names, but they look like functional weapons somewhat exaggerated for aesthetic reasons. Same for their armour. Same for their water- and windmills. Having a ship design which is obviously non-functional sticks out, more so because it's supposed to be one of the coolest things in the game -- they even kept it back for the final crunch of the Figstarter. And yes it's ugly. If you think otherwise, you have really poor taste. In ships at least. Which doesn't make you a bad person, just one with poor taste in ships.
  8. As I said, I don't care about historical accuracy. I care that it looks cool, and it looks credible – seaworthy and consistent with the general level of nautical technology in the setting. If they have someone good enough to make a credible-looking boat that's not copying a reference, by all means go for it, but sticking a sail on a clog isn't the way to go about it. Their model is neither. It's ugly and doesn't look like it's capable of moving through water, which is the second-most-important function of a ship. (The first being, keeping the sea on the outside, and I'm not even sure about that -- it looks rather top-heavy.)
  9. If they do it, I hope they won't make it comic relief. That's been done to death. Give us Sharur or give us nothing.
  10. Pillars 2 is going for a cool pirate vibe. Like, Pirates of the Caribbean, but maybe a bit earlier, although with seafaring nations like the Vailians and the Rauatai I wouldn't be surprised to see more refined ship designs than 15th century European ones. And they're giving us a ship. Not just any ship. A sloop: the quintessential pirate vessel. And... it looks like this: That's not a sloop. This is a sloop: And yes, that's about two centuries ahead of the general Pillars tech level. Whatever. It would still have been totally possible, and hey, you said sloop, which I dig and support because PIRATES! First, the hull. It's all wrong. It's rectangular and blocky, and the aftcastle is out of proportion with the rest of it. Even cogs which were notoriously ugly (and sometimes had tall aftcastles with no or low forecastles) were more rounded than that. Even if it's made by Dyrwoodans it has to look seaworthy, like it would be able to, you know, move through water somehow. This is a cog. It's an ocean-going sailing vessel of roughly the tech level/time period we're talking about. It's also notoriously ugly. The hull looks sort of similar, but it's not rectangular: it has a fish shape, which is kind of dictated by, y'know, hydrodynamics. You'll also notice that like the Defiant, it's single-masted -- but it's square-rigged. You rigged the Defiant like a sloop, sort of, but you had to angle the boom on the gaff sail up completely ridiculously so it would clear the aftcastle, and it's not running anywhere near enough canvas to start with. That's not just wrong, it's ugly and not-cool in a very ... not-cool way. I could go on but you get the picture. Pillars 2 is looking really good overall, but you dropped the ball badly on what should be one of the coolest elements in it. Please, have whoever modelled the Defiant look at some actual ship models and do it over. If you're not actual nautical engineers, pick a historical reference and work from that. I don't care about precise use of terminology. I don't care if you want to be period-correct and go with cogs, carracks, caravels, galleons, and what have you, or want to do that pirate thing to the max and give us sloops, schooners, cutters, brigs, frigates or whatever. Either one is cool. Just... not this ugly abomination of a... thing, okay? It triggers me, I used to build scale models of these things as a kid. Please?
  11. No, it wasn't what the player wanted to achieve. From that short example of yours I couldn't say if there was enough information presented -- to pull it off properly you would have to have the opportunity to interact with some of Robin's merry men, and determine that not all of them are as well-intentioned as he is. If it was done that way, I think it would've been a pretty cool twist actually -- that maybe the ordinary people of Notthingham preferred the law and order of the Sheriff, despite the taxes and other downsides. So yeah, I would've liked that twist. And it would've made me want to play through again, making different choices and see how they played out. You don't always get what you want, not in life, and not even in a power fantasy like a game.
  12. You're the one who's asking to know the consequences of your choices before you make them. If that's what you want, then pointing out that you can just read a walkthrough is perfectly reasonable. Most of us do not want that. We want the game to surprise, frustrate, delight, acknowledge your character-building choices, reward going off the beaten path, and so on and so forth.
  13. They're making massive systemwide changes to the mechanics. There probably isn't an unambiguous way to transfer a level 12-16 character over. There are other good reasons to reset to level 1 as well. With the expansions, your endgame level can plausibly be anywhere between 10 and 16. Balancing the game for that wide a level spread would be hard, even if you'd use GM's fiat to get rid of all the crazy-powerful items. Gameplay was starting to break down by that point anyway; adding levels up to 40 would have been complete mayhem. From where I'm at, the questionable choice isn't the level reset with Transparent Plot Device as justification, as much as the decision to continue with the same protag. But then the BG1-2 precedent is probably too strong to ditch that.
  14. WM encounters are great. Some of the maps have a few too many though. Galvino's workshop got a bit repetitive, and it wasn't strictly necessary to trip over a group of totally-not-sahuagin every two steps. But overall they were a big improvement over the base campaign. I.e. please make the encounters more like in WM, only even better. But perhaps cut down on the repetition, after you've fought a similar group of critters two or three times the rest is just redundant.
  15. That's a bit of a given. In fact one of the twists with Berath's Blessing is that it's tied to achievements rather than completing the game. I.e. you will be able to enjoy it even if you restart after playing only part of the way through. With you so far. In fact IMO one of the big benefits of genuine choice and consequence is that it makes your choices feel meaningful: knowing that things could have gone another way is what gives them weight and meaning, even if you only ever play through once. Here's where you lost me. A story where the consequences are predictable is a boring story. Unintended consequences are not just cool, they're essential in a branching story. They can't be random, however: they have to flow naturally from what you did. I vehemently disagree. That type of reactivity -- while it's sometimes dismissed as "flavour" -- is essential to making the world come alive and making your blank-slate character feel more than just a spreadsheet. You're demanding to have your cake and eat it too: have choice and consequence, but make it so you always get the outcome you were after regardless. It castrates the whole concept. I think you're looking for a game that's not like Pillars at all: perhaps an aRPG like Diablo III, or a completely linear pseudo-RPG with only cosmetic C&C, nu-BioWare style. Luckily for you, most "RPGs" nowadays are exactly like that. I strongly recommend you play them instead of this series that clearly has different goals -- and fervently hope that the developers will take no notice of your suggestions and continue with the course they have chosen.
  16. Empower is tied to the power source. According to Josh, currently empower adds 3 to it. I.e. the spell or ability performs as if it was used by a character that's one level higher than you are. (I'd expect the number is subject to tuning once they get to proper playtesting.) Can't get much more straightforward or easy to understand than that IMO.
  17. Yeah, lose the lore dumps. Put them in books or the gamepedia if you have to. Other than that, I don't think this type of game needs a particularly compelling story. It needs a compelling stage in which various kinds of stories can play out. Lore/worldbuilding does matter a great deal for that – buildings, characters, social positions, languages etc. all need to be grounded in it – but you shouldn't rub it in the player's face. Take Waidwen's Legacy for example. There's no need for the Urgeat's heavy-handed exposition at all, they could've just cut that whole scene outright. It's in no way central to your story. If you're interested, you can put it together from bits and pieces around the world. Everything you need to know about it emerges naturally from the various sidequests that revolve around it. There has to be some McGuffin to keep you going I suppose, but the rest of it should be driven by discovery, faction dynamics, and what have you.
  18. Please no, they're having real trouble differentiating between 11 classes already. With 11 base classes and at least 22 subclasses, that'll give nearly 550 unique multiclass combinations (assuming you can pick a subclass for each class in a multiclass). What possible benefit could more base classes give?
  19. Josh has been pretty clear about his objectives in re multiclassing: he sees it as a tool for players to create the kind of character concept they have in mind. I.e. multiclasses shouldn't outshine single-classes, but should remain fun and viable. Minmaxers will no doubt have fun making some amusingly broken builds (@Boeroer looking at you here) but overall they should be roughly equally powerful. I've done a little bit of arithmetic with those power sources, and it appears to me that the system is pretty robust really -- multiclasses from 17/1 to 8/8 ought to all be feasible, always depending on what you dip into/build.
  20. Difficulty with cRPG romance is that it's extremely hard not to turn it into a minigame where you push the right buttons/pick the right dialogue choices and are rewarded with a cute fade-to-black or whatever. For it to work, it would have to be deeply integrated into the story – like in Planescape: Torment – or have something else that breaks that dynamic. What if you had to sacrifice something to save your beloved? An eye (-5 Perception?) An arm (can only wield single-handed weapons?) An experience level? If they do choose to work in romance, I hope they'll do it properly, not as harem anime like it's usually done.
  21. But it does! At Normal difficulty or below you don't need to understand the systems beyond the level of "debuffs make the enemies weaker," "buffs make you stronger," and "the immunity against Fear spell protects against dragon fear." When playing at Hard or PotD you do need to dig into them more, but if you're not keen to learn the systems, why would you play on Hard or PotD?
  22. I used (Greater) Malison + some debilitating spell (Feeblemind, Confusion, Rigid Thinking, Hold Person etc.) as a fairly standard one-two punch to take enemy casters out of the fight. Not just boss fights.
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