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About SGray

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  1. That's what I'm talking about. By gimping player income you allowing him less variability. Say - I need money for that sword/cloak/spell later to be able to progress, so, now - no fancy combinations of potions, no to this "non-lethal" consumable, no experimenting with gear, etc. So highest difficulty would become not about fighting the challenge by different means and having fun, but about running the only sure route. If there are less harsh limitations, and if to remember ability to gear-up with loot - everything becomes even less fun. You simply would not spend money until you really need to, and more likely that moment will newer come. (Yes, I'm the type of player that faces the last boss with all consumables found through the game in backpack, untouched.) Now about the all difficulty-related economy tweaks and money-sinks. Cant name much games where I used shops extensively if there were alternatives. Mb it's oversights in shop items offered, mb lack of difficulty, but not only that. There is only small amount of things that player could spend game currency on, ranging on "desired" priority to player, imo: Unique equipable artifact. Appearing in shops on near the max lvl, worth tons of gold, best in their class. Mostly unavailable mid-lvl for denying ability to buy some "stick of doom" early and ruin the balance. So - end-game solution. Unique useful effect artifact, consumable, or permanent bonus. Like "Lens of Detection", bag of holding or some training. Again - mostly unavailable low-lvl. And you're not willing to make player's life too easy, so - there wouldn't be much of them, but decent money-sink. High effect consumable. "Oh crap" button, like resurrect item, high-lvl spell scroll or artifact. Depends on play style and limited - when you think you're stocked - you wouldn't buy more until you spend some. So - not reliable money-sink. Medium effect consumable. Buff potions, scrolls, wands, high-enchanted projectiles. Highly depends on playstyle and difficulty. Little to no spendings on easy, high if it's really hard. Low-effect or mandatory consumable. Healing potions, standard projectiles, food. Either costs nothing or could be found everywhere, mostly both - designer didn't want player to be stuck completely by such "small" obstacles. Costs are built-in in the economy. Vendor trash. Generic or slightly enchanted swords, armors, etc. Serves mostly as backup to inexperienced player, field for experimenting with builds or for standardizing equipment in group. It's there for common sense also. Most of such items could be freely looted elsewhere, and are mostly low-cost. So - very low spendings. How higher difficulty affects well made economy by itself? By upping 3,4,5 paragraphs use. With bottom border when non-optimal player spending all his income on 4 and 5. What advantages could bring lowered income to such economy? More choice when selecting either 1, 2 or something else? - nope, it's mostly high lvl stuff, and on higher lvl player would have some free money for 1 and 2 anyway. If not - adventuring is just not profitable. 3,4,5? - already covered with difficulty increase. 6? - mainly affected by such change, but it's not hard to player to skip that part of goods completely, and it's not an important part all in all. What disadvantages could lowered income (compared to default balanced difficulty) bring? Unintentional dropping some viable builds (like archers-heavy party) below self-sufficiency border. Solution? - up income. And we've circled. So - not worth it. When economy is created and balanced - any tweaks other than "supply & demand" would cause many unintended consequences. But adjusting "demand" part solely is enough to create rather strict system.
  2. On my perception - changing shops economy based on difficulty is not a good thing. At first - it would be either rudimentary (like scaling down sell prices, say from 30% to 10%) or tough to balance if attuned individually. Could outcome in something interesting like higher prices for buying consumables and little to no cost when selling, but still - tough to balance. Second, and the most important thing: are you really sure that shops are so crucial in equipping your party? Especially on second and further playthroughs? By crippling economy you simply forcing player to be equipped solely in loot, and that's all. Quite a little increase in difficulty instead of narrowing tactical possibilities. Doubt that it worth it. Now, that is good and fun.
  3. Love concept when precise information about surrounding world is quite an expensive thing. Both selling and obtaining by player. Second part is somehow limited by consequent playthoughts, but could be based on randomized things - tips about unique monsters, creature packs migrations and habits, bandits on roads, cleared or blocked by snow mountain passages and caves, etc. And obtained such way information could be not only resold, but used in quests or in dialogues. Like - suggest a better route for a merchant, suggest another adventurer on where rare creature could be found, or simply get in time to your target if timed quests are in. Could join the plea for questing bring more profit than looting (if it's not the treasure found by quest). As about spending wealth - extreme stashing of gold is more related to "completionist" players. And it would always be so - not-so-completionist should be able to pass through anyway (related even to highest difficulties), so completionist will have more gold than he need. So there is need in money-sinks. The bad thing is that most of money-sink implementations are quite detached from roleplay (which is often important to said completionists), like: +0.01 more to your stuff, when you are already overwhelming your enemies. Mostly for powergaming (not a bad thing as it is, but boring if it's the only one available). Sims-like decoration of smth, useless vanity items of ridiculous cost, etc - roleplay somehow, but not quite to my likings, and I mostly ignore such things. "Color your pants in pink, make them special!" or "Name this thing to your likings!" - not sure why would anyone need that in singleplayer game, or at all. If it's really a money-sink, not a relatively free customization. End-game wealth checks - could be done bad or good. "+30 End-boss-slayin sword of smth, only for 100M in gold" - is a bad design. True names in NwN:HoU were quite a fun. Mid-game quest shortcuts. Skipped most of the time, because it's always better to do everything yourself (exp, loot, fun) you're adventurer after all. Much better - when you could buy yourself some additional time in timed quest (Fallout 1). Money for sake of money - investments, profitable property, etc. At first glance - stupid thing, if you already have excessive gold, why would you need more? But such things add much to roleplay - your protagonist starts to be not a tumbleweed anymore, but respectable owner of smth, making profits not solely from his sword. What I'd be happy to see in P:E is more low-gain low-impact, but story-backed investments, a possibility for doing small (to global plot) good and bad things. Like: "That was you who awakened the demon, we had to flee and now our village is turned to ashes. You're eevil!" (quite a common trope) - "Take those stashes of gold and build yourself another one, now gtfo." (quite an uncommon answer, even if pretty possible wealth-wise). Or they were just random refugees and you are philanthropic, or you are not-so-philanthropic and wish to hire assassin to get rid of some irritating noble. Such things should not affect plot or other quests in general, one-time reaction with couple of lines of text is enough, but if later events are reactive to some of them (even couple of words, bare mentioning) - that could be great.
  4. Can't fully agree with that, but even if so: if smth like in my previous post is implemented - how often would you want to change an inner setting of where to put other settings, saves, etc? If you don't care about that / convenient with MyDocuments - never. So it lays there as a simple static game file. But. If you by any case (like stated in the OP or dozen others) want to change those paths - they are available to edit as simple plain text, without need to dig in game files or modify binaries. That approach helped greatly with running older games and is quite convenient to use, if those paths are available for edit.
  5. I meant that suggesting to use a virtual disk is not-so-good suggestion ) Using side apps to manage game files is not much better, and totally not the best decision if that need could be avoided by design. And I've faced plenty of apps poorly designed for server use too, but PE is a game, and user-pc design is less restrictive. I meant either choice between quoted upper and "<gamedir>\SharedStuff", or ability to change variable name that path is using in some config file. *Doubt that OP had in mind any OS other than different installations of Windows, tho. (If he is referring to .exe and registry.) And OS independent, non VM relying (like java) app is pretty unlikely - too much work, indeed.
  6. Self-confidently deciding by yourself what other people want is a bad thing. Even worse thing - theorizing some groups from your head, and insisting that all who you wish to put in that group are completely same.
  7. You have pretty strange statements here. Creating and writing files anywhere except writing to drive roots, touching system directories like "Program Files", or overwriting files belonging to other users - does not require administrative privileges, neither triggers UAC. Your impressions could appear from dumping everything to "Program Files", but then you're doing it wrong. "There are tools available, might I suggest PowerShell remoting and/or using a virtual disk." Yep, agreed, absolutely "no" to this. The bad thing Windows has NO such strictly defined thing considering user apps. Add to that poor architecture support for such concept. And, when so - the most convenient way to store apps and their configs could differ. Relative to what? Plea there - is for being able to choose between paths relative to game installation directory and relative to OS installation disk/variables (which in my case is reserved for persistent system apps). 10 minutes worth of coding: check if there is game dir in "Users" available, if not - check for same dir in game installation folder, if neither - ask where to create. Single check per game launch, defining directory with which the game is working further.
  8. Could argue that. Final "I'll find you." was pretty much worth it. Even if you hadn't any feelings except friendship to her. Btw, more memorable when it's so, imo.
  9. You're drifting somewhere strange. What I told about you are controlling one character (for rare ones some short-timed summons without any active abilities, as an addition) and you are focusing in controling only your hero abilities (4 at a time + ones from items) and be aware of 20 or so enemy skills from which less than 5 are dodgable by positioning (not breaking the range). All that is for half an hour of gameplay, and more so, you are familiar with all possible skills and most of behavioral patterns already. Completely different gameplay. That's all about user interaction and attention focus. And that's why exactly such games have 4 or so abilities, and not say 10 or 15. Btw, my younger brother is gold-ranked in LoL, so don't lecture me on it ) Percentage to direct aim and static aoe ones? Well. You said that yourself. And what is that anything other than button mashing - timing clicks to milliseconds? Pretty much dislike when I had to do work simple script could do better. The game as a whole - isn't. Dodging direct click skills in half-second interval of their flight by activating tumble or golden hourglasses - is button mashing definitely. And I don't want such things to form the combat in PE. Both fireball and horror would hit the one was targeted. Not to cluster your party when aoe is involved is completely other thing than dodging individual bullets. Mechanically wise and gameplay-wise altogether. Name one rpg-like game with better AI considering positioning and map travel.
  10. ? Told not about display, but about programming implementation. It would require creating completely new entity in code to represent projectile which can be interacted with, instead of spells with start and destination point (or area) and graphical effect in between (how it's done now). Either that or trying to hack in that mechanic using existing ones (like replacing itself aoe), and there would be some concerns regarding collisions and some more I'm not aware of. First thing: LoL is based on single hero play, and each hero has roughly 4 abilities. And there are 5 heroes at max which you are facing at half an hour time span. So it has completely different gameplay. Next one: even in LoL there is not prevalent amount of abilities that could be really dodged. Direct hit abilities could be negated by becoming temporary invulnerable which is button mashing and bad for D&D inspired stat based game game, imo. The last one: the game would be stat based, so dodging should rely on character stats, not player input. If player-controlled dodge ability would be implemented it would be action-rpg hybrid with dexterity as dump stat. Why ever I need it, if I could do everything manually? Stat based spell dodging = ranged touch attack. The very last one: LoL have one of the most complex bot AI-s in such games, dedicated and attuned to small bunch of maps. But still it's pretty stupid, and deals pretty badly with positioning against unique-mechanics abilities.
  11. Such thing could work in 3D environments or for teleport. In 2D (well 2.5D) it would take much effort to not to allow jumps through solid objects (roofs, tents, etc.) Even just implementing forbiddance to jump through dungeon ceiling to near corridor would take some work through all the game locations. (In Diablo 2 it was done by primitivising the lanscape and architecture, and trimming every possible obstacle. And it still resulted in awkward moments.) Semi-solutoin for this concern could be implementation of "jumpable" objects, but that's another (and not so small) task for lvl designers to place enough such objects everywhere, so skill wont be useless and the game won't became Mario simulation.
  12. First concern (technical): if you wish to actually track spell projectile movement in game mechanics - you should create a new entity for each spell projectile, not simple visual decal on it's flight (completely different mechanics from currently present). Or make each projectile small moving aoe effect. Both could lead to further concerns and bugs. Second concern (gameplay): Why do you think it would be right if you could dodge most of spells at all? Ever heard about dodging magic missile? First lvl spell is clearly homing one. Why not the others? Btw, there are spells in D&D that could be dodged and require ranged touch attack to land a hit. And they are clearly balanced with that in mind (Melph's acid arrow for example).
  13. Erm? Nope. Finally got time to start PS:T for a first time a month ago - that was one of rare games that stood up to the expectations. One of the best games I've ever played, and that's not nostalgic, it's fresh impressions. Couldn't count moments when I've backed from the monitor and thought (or even told) - "Wow! I hadn't expected it, great thinking." or "Beautiful concept. Damn, really beautiful." or just laughed in surprise or joy. Games relying heavily on concept and plot just do not age. (Instead of ones relying on visuals.) PS:T felt really like exploring the whole new world to me. Not so with many modern games - never finished Oblivion, same with Skyrim - their plot felt just shallow (or hollow) to me, and I'm not a fan of doing quests solely for sake of more quests.
  14. All described above concept is good, reasoned architecture-wise and so on. But first thing: in Windows it's still inconvenient to have game files split and more so - part of them on system drive. Generally dislike many games intent to write something on system drive (unregarding installation folder) even if it's totally unnecessary (sometimes - lazy programming, left default "c:\<target dir>" path instead of relative references, sometimes - relying on system paths). Specifically that thing caused many annoying bugs in older games, btw. Next thing - what if I wish to install the game on flash drive and transfer it with all my progress between say PC and notebook? How many actions should I perform to achieve this if game files are split? (even considering writing batch or bash script - you had to run it before plugging out the drive) The best decision imo - proposed above clearly named config file in game directory with all paths editable. And doubt that there would be much external libs that are unavoidable required to be deployed on system drive (for Windows installation). The sole three reasons I see for a game to enforce tangling with system drive, constant absolute paths or to use registry are: 1. Re-use of that files by other programs (totally not our case) 2. DRM protection (not our case also) 3. Ease of patching. That thing is reasonable enough, but if there are plenty of patches intended - some patcher launched from game dir could be created. If there is smaller amount of patches - it isn't much of a hassle to ask the user for game installation dir. So it's not a must too.
  15. Not talking about book description but about in-game and art looks. Like this (big pic): Noticeable scars, alien-looking eyes, but strongly doubt that pic could be called ugly. And not sure if he was ever called ugly as a man in books, when it's not an insult or irony, and not phrases like "ugly scars". Hordes of Geralt-fangirls, and good part of female population in books and games wouldn't agree with "ugly" also. You couldn't argue that it has enough badassness to get any job requiring it. And it wouldn't be hard to Geralt to lure some random baroness to the bedroom. I'm not arguing about the term, "comely" is really not so good word for Geralt. I'm arguing about in-game mechanics proposed. "Attractive vs battle-reliable" gauge.
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