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Everything posted by SGray

  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.
  16. Not sure if it should become another class of armor itself. If it's so it could be done to ridiculous extent - the first rags you've found could be made to the best armor ever with whole upgrades and perks from "almost not an armor" to heaviest full plate, maintaining all applied buffs. But mentioned rags with some patches, enchantments and magic buffs could become better then generic or slightly enchanted light armor. Buffed to the same extent light armor should be same or better anyway. So, I'd say - let the armor classes be as they are, not next tier is heavier but light/medium/heavy are different. About diversity in same class - imo buffed to the top armor of same class should be pretty much equal, with slight differences - say, default fur armor is generally weaker, but better accepts magic enhancements (was offered in some thread) and harder to became proficient with, leather one better accepts craft enhancements and easier to make a full use, but both providing generally same stats when fully developed. (Mb with slight prevalence of fur one as bonus for harder way.) Exactly same with partial and full plate. On highest proficiency partial plate provides almost same protection, and somewhat better movement than full plate on the highest proficiency. If you wish - you could get almost the best right away buying full plate, or aim for the highest efficiency tailoring more adjustable one to your likings, but that's long process. This provides armor diversity and distinguishes looks of experienced adventurer from the one that could get the best armor but has less proficiency with it (military, nobles). And prevent all high lvl warriors from being generic tanks (in original meaning of the word).
  17. Like that idea but I think it relates more to the armor expertise, not to the character lvl. Say, after gaining some exp while wearing this armor type you gain next <type of armor> expertise rank and able to tell local tailor or blacksmith how exactly he could adjust armor you wearing to be more flexible, or to cover weak spots you've noticed, or to place runes, where they wouldn't wear out. But if I sold everything (including my companions to slavery) solely to buy that full plate in first major town - why not? Armor type balancing shouldn't be done solely by lvl limits (you would encounter civilization on some point with full access to all armor types). There could be many other factors, like, aside from common used differences and restrictions: much higher price for more complex armor and it's upgrades, better compatibility with certain upgrade types, different proficiency bonuses rate (like partial plate at highest proficiency could be almost as effective as full plate, but when you're in good full plate - there isn't much to learn about), etc. *Great vid, btw )
  18. Hate that concept. You need to be lvl X to swing this sword, so even if I find some god-slaying uber short-sword of awesomeness i couldn't use it or it wouldn't be different from generic sword I'm using now. Next thing - opening slots, not better one. Oh, wow I've gained a lvl and now I revealed an ancient mystery of how to use those things in my backpack: they're called "gloves" and i should wear them on my hands. Opening slots could be used if justified somehow - mage able to ward more rings or amulets from interfering, rogue, able to fit more tools on his belt or warrior able to fasten some additional weapon to his armor for quick access. But not the common slots. *Btw X-Com 2012 inventory system was sh... erm, bad. Next - split skill choice worked well in simplified X-Com, but it's bad in D&D-inspired rpg. I don't wont to be locked from taking second of previous lvl ability for no apparent reason.
  19. That's wrong. What you're talking about is "Comeliness" and "Badassness", but these aren't polar things. Character could have both - Geralt (Witcher), J. Bond, or neither - some beggar, or man, suffering from some disease.
  20. Even starforce isn't remedy - the Witcher 2 has the latest one, and that version was cracked outright, instead of no-drm one. (My friend had to use cracked version, while owning the legit copy, until protection was patched out.) Talks about "difficulties with applying crack" for end user are empty, nowadays it's mostly one-click solutions. The main topic should be the will to hassle with pirating and cracking at all instead of buying the game. Reasons for considering pirating the game could be: price (not a point in PE); inconveniences with paying systems (have bunch of friends convinced to buy this game but late for the kickstarter(amazon) and unable to use paypal); hindering somehow drm; impossible to get otherwise content (pre-order bonuses); little to less care about the game itself (again not a point in PE, not a mainstream project relying heavy on advertising). That's all I could name. Preventing pirating is a waste of time and money, imo, even the most complex but known system (not inventing new technical concepts and relying on files on the user PC) won't stand a day if there is wish to undone it. Those DRMs that invest heavily in innovation (some versions of starforce on their emergence) or those which rely on server connection (without actually having part of the game on remote server) will stand longer, but wont guarantee anything - there is no protection from disassembling the exe or reverse-engineering server.
  21. I said - from their point of view not some universal ) In point of view I meant first of all - amount of information they could have about your deeds (not you're bad cause you've slaughtered hundred people on the other continent leaving no witnesses so I wont talk to you, and not you're good cause you saved kitten ten years ago in distant country so I'll give you a candy), and second - their personal motivations and morality. Not sure if faction reputation only is the best solution also. One man's common known sadist, rapist, murderer of innocents, etc would be treated differently than "good" one most of the time, no matter if he is "ours" or "theirs". I'd prefer "local" reputation with some modification by "global" rumors and differently informed people around (more or less aware of global information). And not single gauge of reputation also, at least, say like DnD: good/bad (not sure if altruistic/egoistic could fit) and lawful/troublemaker. With both sides of each not compensating themselves after certain extent, or some sort of deeds assigning permanent points. Say you gain 10 points of "good" for saving dozens of kittens and gain another 10 points of "bad" for mercies and bloody spectacular murder of some girl in the middle of the street. Such deeds shouldn't be equal. At least if not some omniscient creature judging you. That thing could be done differently but it's possible to save all the numbers and take in account only those that current person could be aware of (local ones and high enough global ones). So local townsfolk could see you as really good and helping person that killed the girl ("Wtf?! prob he had reasons, mb she was witch, but I should be careful with him now"), but in nearest city you'll be known as the man that is killing some random girls. Prob too complex to be ever implemented full scale, but it could be great.
  22. Eh, no....absolutely not. ... The game can present the player with a moral dilemma - do you burn down a village to stop the spread of a plague that would otherwise kill a huge number of people? Very bad example. Kill that 100 or kill that 1000, no half-options or any options at all. That's why pursuit for greyness is bad without really big work spent on it, and even then it often feels bad if limiting somehow. Why not to harshly quarantine the village and burn half of it? Risking lives of guards enforcing the quarantine, and taking chance of someone to escape and spread the plague to another village if quarantine is not rigid enough? Laying deathtraps (fireballs or bear traps) on paths near the village? The people in game should judge you from their point of view. Not the game itself, neither the protagonist. Ehm, why not? (Casts "detect evil".) Especially the second one? Pretty much the usual behavior of evil artifacts. Not to mention souls involved.
  23. Don't mix DA and DA2. Lore and plausibility (behavior plausibility) in DA was done fairly good, totally not so in DA2. Wut? Thieves actually afraid when they caught, every npc doing something consistent with who they are, completely different reactions on you by different people, fractions, every named npc has their goals and reasons understandable and logical from their point of view and well backed with lore. One of the most "alive" worlds I've seen. Without complexly scripted simulation - almost nothing except barebone and rare travel scripts, but mass of details, insignificant if not to look at them, but forming the perception. For me plausibility in the game world and plausibility in character actions are very important. Every small insight in some area that makes character seem more competent in who they are is a great thing. Doesn't matter if it's from real life, or true only in game world, just make that believable. Perfect example of such thing is thief and mage teaching in PS:T. That small dialogues, when you learning from or teaching some specific tiefling, talks with street thieves when you are really surprised finding their hand in your pocket, learning to become a mage (from some granny) with those trials and explanations... Such small things add depth to the world, allowing you to not to alienate from it when you find something inconsistent, but try to explain and imagine reason of it yourself. Pretty much same applies to character and npc behavior it's really bad for the immersion when you could tag a person as "lawful stupid" or "chaotic stupid" and be done with his personality. It could be completely avoided with small bits of information like in PS:T: girl eager to blow up some factory not solely cause she is chaotic, but she has her reasons and well thought from her point of view motivation. You could completely skip that if you're not interested, but for one who are - that's very important 3(?)-4(?) lines of text. So, imo, complex simulation mechanics could add something good but not too necessary in rpg's, they are by far not the main thing forming the immersion. For example the game could have good simulation mechanics but still fail in plausibility (Two Worlds, if i recall correctly) and lack in complex calculations and be the very believable one (PS:T).
  24. Lurky, wow, really great explanation ) Thanks ) Could agree with many statements, but not every and not the conclusions, though. Regarding the probability of romances being included in PE. scrolled that topic further, and, suddenly, what have I found: No. >With such an uncertain picture for romances, one that is based on hopes and expectations rather than any solid evidence, I'd rather expect no romances and hope to be pleasantly surprised, than expecting romances and feeling disappointed if they end up not being in the game. It's better for the players, for the writers, and for everyone, to adjust your expectations to what you see, and while giving your opinions is important to make sure the devs don't miss anything, they're still the ones who make the decisions. If the final say is that romances are not in, there's not much we can do aside from adjusting our expectations and our emotional investment in the game. I'll do the same if romances do end up included in the final game, by the way. Double that. But my picture of possibility of romances in game is a little brighter ) Regarding design and implementation of romances in PE.
  25. Re-read those links... Well that was exactly the thing I was worried about. It could replace wizard and cleric in most important their fields (damage dealing, buffing, cleaning negative statuses, resurrecting), has different, much less rest-dependent mechanics, avoids common save throws and resistances (ability to add more power for higher saving throws, or no throw at all, pure and energy damage), has many non-standard (exploitable) crippling effects... More so, in non-combat situations also: environment awareness, any interaction with living creatures, transportation, lore checks, stealth even. So, psionic could not only substitute both wizard and cleric but excel them in most situations. Not to forget, that sole counter for psionic is another psionic. So he is the deadliest and the most useful member of party, others are mere shades on his greatness. And the most effective team is the team of psionics. Don't want a class "more and better of everything" to be in PE, I'd want to vague on who I want to play, not to be forced to choose the overpowered one to be effective. But cant tell how exactly to cripple the psionic for it stays itself and not stays OP. More restrictive cast mechanic and less psi-kinetic manifestations mb?
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