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About Alexjh

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  1. Well part of the issue is that a lot of technologies are invented on behalf of the rich and are then refined and become more affordable. If you assume that you are a rich merchant who wants to get into, say, the wool trade you might have 2 options. You might have a choice between purchasing a wool spinning golem or purchasing an semi-automated loom that required a human operator. If you assume the Golem can work all day and all night with no rest, and no extra cost beyond the initial commission, and the loom requires you to pay pesky workers who need light to see, food to live and accomodation etc, the main factor between them becomes comparative cost. If they cost similar to make, the Golem is a way better investment, and even if they cost a few times as much it might make it's money back in cost effectiveness quicker. The thing this is very hypothetical to say how much a golem is to create relative to a complex machine, or how much having little tiny portals in everyones toilets are totake it are because we are trying to guage a fictional skill and resource. There is no reason for instance why a golem might not be cheaper than a loom, the spell might take care of most of the work for instance so you literally just need a blacksmith to make a decently dextrous shell and beyond that it's a cheap and easy thing. Either way, it'd certainly have an effect of some sort.
  2. To be fair, the existance of magic itself would probably be enough to throw development way off - you have to remember that our current technology isn't necessarily the only way technology could end up that any fantasy setting is inextricably moving towards. The main reason for the development and success of crossbows, and then guns is that it is a mechanism that let's you put a deadly projectile weapon in the hands of a fairly inexperienced person and it is a legitimate threat to anyone on the battlefield. Insert magic into the mix and it changes things up a bit, not only insofar as being protected from little lumps of metal would presumably far easier when you can have forcefields, deflecting winds and turn yourself into metal etc, but also it's fairly likely that someone would work out how to produce some sort of magical weaponry that was more effective. If you even just managed to mass produce something that was essentially a wand in the format of a gun which produced something like D&D style magic missile or fireballs, then there is a good chance that guns would never really get off the ground as they'd be redundant before they got a chance to be developed further. Similarly, pretty much all modern technology was developed in a line from fossil fuel powered electricity and developed forward - if you have magic around, fossil fuels are way less conveniant (you have to mine them etc) and so much of modern technology doesn't spring up. It's arguably a justification for why most medieval fantasy is medieval, it's essentially the same as if you gave someone from the Dark Ages some modern technology - they are living in a world where "magic" (as a technology) is several degress more advanced the ambient level of technology, and so there would be less incentive for scientific development, missing out discovering many of the core technologies that are important for the development of things.
  3. I much prefer Ranger as a name, hunter is a bit of a narrower word for me than ranger. The way I see it is that the ranger archetype is actually a fair bit broader than "the nature protector thing" that people tend to treat it as. Realistically, to me at least, it's any character that uses knowledge of the wild for combat purposes, which while it would include hunters and trackers certainly, would also include guerilla fighters, which realistically includes the archetype inspiration Robin Hood. It's not necessarily anything to do with them loving nature, it's a thing with using the environment to balance out comparatively less training.
  4. To be fair, I think you are reading that a bit over literally - I'm fairly sure they stated that any money between £3million and £4million would go into enhancing anyway, which isn't really anything specific - it's not like they would use that money in any way *not* enhancing the game. A scenario where they made $3999999 and go "sorry about that, we just can't use that $999999 for enhancing the game, I guess we can't use it at all" would be a bit bizarre.
  5. I'd much rather stick with a character creator - I don't need to see my character's origin story of how they became a whatever, I'd much rather that time be spent telling the story of how a character got involved with whatever tale Obsidian have in mind for the main quest. I don't mind it in Skyrim, but the whole point of that is just being a complete tabula rasa having an entirely original part in the world. In the IE games, your identity is a little more nailed down, even if its just "you are a member of a mercenary party" which allows you to get into the meat of the game a bit quicker.
  6. Untrue -- there are two problems with an eventual, post-release console port: 1) Any future game in the series would likely be designed to be ported. This would, based on past experience, lead to UI compromises -- and is very highly like to lead to "streamlining" of mechanics. 2) Console gamers have different interests and preferences than PC-only gamers -- and for every PC gamer, there is 2 or 3 console gamers. This means that any PC & console game will be driven by the preferences / interests / likes of the console gaming group rather than the PC group. Note that I'm not saying that PC-only games are better than games released both for the PC & console, only that they are different. My preference, and the preference of many of the other members of this forum & kickstarter is for the type of games that are designed and built exclusively for the PC. Speaking only for myself, I definitely would not support a future "Project: Eternity 2" kickstarter if the current game was ported to any console at any point in time (even post-release), and I would be highly unlikely to support any kickstarter that didn't specifically and explicitly state that "There will be no console release of this title". This isn't because "Oh, the game supports consoles, therefore it sucks" -- I've purchased and enjoyed many games that were designed and released on both consoles and PCs (Knights of the Old Republic comes to mind immediately). Instead, my justification for taking this stance is "If the game is being designed to be released on consoles and it is any good, then the developers should be able to secure funding from traditional publishers." The fact that it cannot (given that it is on Kickstarter) means to me that it probably isn't a very good game to start with, thus not worthy of my support. To play Devil's Advocate here - would that include an original game that was unable to get funding through traditional means as it was really far from a safe bet in terms of setting/story/mechanics/technology or whatever? Publishers are after all, notoriously conservative in properties to invest in... Personally, while I don't think that P:E is a good fit for traditional consoles and think porting it to Xbox/PS/Wii would be a bit daft, porting such a thing to tablets or to Ouya/Steambox is a bit of different prospect *if done well*. I don't have any issue at all with porting things over, the real issue is whether it fits the interface and the playerbase of the port AND whether it will in any way compromise the core product going forward. As long as those requirements are met, I hope as many people get to play the game and enjoy it as possible.
  7. The thing is here, personally I am strongly in favour of a system whereby how useful a wizard is when out of spells is entirely dependant on how the player builds them. If you transcribe the concept of "Wizard" onto, being a professor of Science at a University, to be such a professor requires a basic level of competance which represents this person being a level 1 Science Professor with all the skills required for that. However, if a pair of identical twins are both equal level/payscale Science Professors that gets them so far, but it's the "extracurricular" stuff which differentiates between them. This extracurricular stuff is what is equivical to the player choices during levelup - so, in the case of of Twin 1, he might love science so much he just reads about science all day long, and as such, be pretty much incompetant at anything else, while his brother might go camping, woodwork, shooting and campaigning as his hobbies. This means that although as a scientist he isn't as knowledgable as his twin, he's a lot more versatile and isn't stuck any time he is in a situation that isn't about science. The players choice is deciding where on this spectrum they want to be, a specialist or a generalist - as long as Obsidian give you the options to place yourself on this scale they shouldn't and probably won't be perscribing where on it you are.
  8. Easter Egg(s) - fine, but any actual concrete connection is problematic, as it risks hamstringing the creation of both worlds into having to have overlap with each other. The only way to do this well would be if they had both been designed from the ground up to mesh together, but as they haven't I'd rather that they steered clear.
  9. Sorry for breaking this to you but in all honesty i'd always felt that Obsidian, inXile and Bioware are similar. They are just good storytellers and good in writing stories. They were never good in technology, visuals/art or game engine. Their mindset are still sticking to the 1990s on 2D, "tilesets" and the best at you can call "Infinity Engine". While the engine may be "ground-breaking" and state of the art during the 1990s but to them it's still state of the art and ground-breaking even as of today as we are speaking . Bioware is exactly the same. With their used of old, rehashed game engine they could not come with a game that truly "immerse" you visually but best is at "immersing" you with their "text writing". In all seriousness, i'd feel they should stop making games and perhaps writing "books" could probably more successful. Back in Dragon Age 2.. The graphics were already "dated" during launch. And when you compare it with an "Indie" developer CDPR (who license Infinity Engine for their 1st Witcher game). Witcher 2 and Dragon Age 2 are heaven hell. Both even visually and story-wise. Rotatable, top-down isometric 3D is no worst than 2D. I honestly think Obsidian and inXile (which they went 3D with Wasteland2 is the right direction) should start thinking about going forward than going backward. In all seriousness.. folks who think 2D is superior perhaps Crytek (Crysis 3) developer, CDPR (Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077), EA SimCity should all just design their games in 2D? Is it not Obsidian? Firstly - Witcher was made with the Aurora Engine, which was the one originally created for Neverwinter Nights. The Witcher was released 5 years after Neverwinter Nights, and thus had 5 years worth of graphical refinement. Secondly, you are missing the point - we don't think 2D is superior in general, we just don't think 3D is superior either. They are both stylistic choices for both visuals and gameplay reasons. Comparing Crytek, whose entire thing has been creating high end graphical games, you know how much more Crysis 3 cost than PE? $62 Million more, or, to put it another way 16.5x the budget of Project Eternity is also daft. It's several magnitudes different a scale of development, but the difference in visual style means that those magnitudes are prety much flipped around in terms when it comes to game length; after a quick look on a speedrunning website, Crysis takes on Average under 6 hours to complete. Icewind Dale 2 takes 44. So for comparrison, as I can't find any exact figures for Infinity Engine budgets, lets use the P:E budget of $4million and conservatively estimate a length of 40 hours. Contrast: Crysis 3 (approx): $11million/hour PE (approx, estimated): $100 000/hour So Crysis 3 costs over 100x per gameplay hour more. That is a perfectly good reason to make an isometric game in itself, especially in the context of making a game on a budget. Which isn't to say I begrude Crysis for existing or being 3D, or being graphically high end, but it's silly to make statements implying that all games should be alike. In the case of Sim City it's a particularly odd statement to make as most of that franchise was 2D, or mixed 2D/3D (like PE) - and honestly for what is a 14 year old game, SimCity 3000 is a very nice looking thing which has aged far better than games far more recent. Sure it doesn't have fancy lighting and shadows and whatnot, but it doesn't *need* it. SimCity (the new one) is certainly the prettier game, but whether the gameplay has improved in any significant way in 14 years is debatable, and the gameplay is what I'd rather they spent their money on... Abbreviated version: 3D is expensive, 2D gives way more bang for your buck. Graphics don't make everything, improving gameplay and story is a better use of the money. Not all games have to be the same, or have the same objectives. PE is specifically a game to appeal to fans of 5 existing 2D games on a low-medium budget, therefore is 2D.
  10. I'd also add to my earlier thing that "elemental" types like water, wind and earth are sorely underrepresented compared to fire, and are probably more tactically interesting as you can do more with them than burn things and blow them up. I always vaguely liked the idea of an enchantment that'd briefly enchant a weapon with the power of a big wave, giving you one colossally powerful hit that'd knockback even huge foes, spraying seafoam from it as it impacted.
  11. I actually like the classic elemental stuff, but I can see a reason to expand beyond them too. But equally I don't really care for magic that is either too sciency or too "trying to be cool" like say manipulating radiation for the former or shadowmagic for the latter. What I'd suggest is that perhaps fireballs and lightning bolts are basically considered to be the fairly crude tools of a low level mage who is still learning, ie. anyone can do a simple magical equation to make things burn, as that's something they can do without magic anyway. More advanced stuff would be things increasingly refined and abstract - having a spell inplace that would function as a static gattling gun for rocks from the floor to cover your parties flank, absorbing energy damage others throw at you and redirecting it as a focused beam, locking with a target and slowly trying to rend apart their magical defenses and so on.
  12. In Torment: Tides of Numenera - yes. In Project Eternity - preferably not, or only in a way that very specifically ties to the setting (something connected with souls?) It's a potentially fascinating trope sure, but it's also one that you have to consider whether its inclusion has any benefit to the setting. In Forgotten Realms it's tied to the P&P Origins, in something like His Dark Materials its fundemental to the concept, but nothing I've seen so far suggests this being the sort of adventure with Interplanar travel. I'd rather they spent the time making one world with all sort of nuances and politics and whatnot than overextending to try and create an entire other setting. I don't mind implying that such things exist if thats what they have in mind, but with the whole world as an open canvas right now it seems rather superflous to be exploring them this early on.
  13. I'd add that a "bonus boss" should often be more accuratly a bonus bonus boss team - generally speaking, fighting a single high level opponent is less tactically challenging than a varied enemy boss squad, say, some high end mercenarys contracted to kill you or a team of bad guys who you unintentionally release from a magic device.
  14. Just to qualify my own wilderness issues with BG1 - its's not the emptiness that bothers me, the density of stuff was a little low for my tastes but not outside the band of tolerability, but more that it was just visually bland - I live in the countryside and spend a lot of time in it, and for a fantasy world their outdoiors manage to be less interesting visually than a generic country path...
  15. Not everething modern is excrement. Every modern RPG is below the IE games? Hell yes. I liked NWN2, Mask of the Betrayer, DA:O, New Vegas, Wither 2. None of them comes close to BG2 or Torment. Mask of the Betrayer comes closer.In fact if not for the awful camera and controls it would be on par with Black Isle games. But other than that that five games we hadn't have a good RPG the last years. And if NWN2 OC is a good RPG is dabatable by others That's so wrong it isn't even funny. Other than BG2 I would play NWN 2 over any Infinity Engine game. Better gameplay, better graphics, better characters in your party for the most part, better customization, actually mostly faithful to the source material, not so anti trope it is a trope. I am sorry but it takes more than a "story" to be a good game, but while we are at it the story of NWN2 is actually perfectly fine anyway. I would rather play any of the elder scrolls games from Morrowind up than any of the Infinity engine games, Mass Efffect 1 is a better game than any infinity engine game, Witcher 2 is better than any infinity engine game in all but the story department, Dragon Age: Origins IS an infinity engine game just with better gameplay. There are many games these days that even blend RPG elements I would rather play than any infinity engine game too. Such as Dues Ex HR. I am sorry but games have gotten a lot better since planescape torment and I dare say planescape torment would have been better as an adventure game to begin with. It's mechanics are total garbage and it is un-fun to play. Meanwhile why is planescape even a part of the name it isn't faithful to the source material, it was money wasted on a license they went out of their way to not use and or butcher. And by the way the story isn't that good, it isn't bad, but it is no where near what it needs to be to carry the broken mess that the mechanics are for anyone who has any standards of what is actually fun to play. In fact if I were to do a thesis on how not to make a RPG I would use Planescape Torment as my topic. Controversial arguements, and while I see your point on some of them I think you are missing a few key factors here. For the record I don't consider IE games fundementally better - I'd personally rank my top 5 RPGs as (in no particular order) Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale II, Mass Effect 2, Vampire: Bloodlines and Knights of the Old Republic 2. The thing about the IE engines is that they were really "rounded" examples of the genre that haven't got any glaring weaknesses, but aren't (for the most part) the top of any of their games. I'd argue that the IE games - specifically BG2 and IWD2 are about the most tactically nuanced RPGs with the single exception of ToEE. While they run off the same rulesets, Neverwinter Nights 1 suffered from only controlling 1 character directly and NWN2 suffered from having less complex enemy encounters and a fairly shallow selection of enemies. The ones I disagree with you particularly on are the Dragon Age thing - DA is only anything like an Infinity Engine game at first glance, and don't get me wrong, I enjoyed both games to varying degrees, but the tactical depth is just absent. A mage can have access to like, 20 spells? Each skill only has 4 (or was it 5?) ranks? Therer are less than 15 broad enemy types in the whole game? Only 3 classes and 3 races, plus one of those utterly vague stat systems that lacks any depth? It did have better companion dialogue to all but Torment but that's about the only thing I could hold up as being a consistant improvement. The other one particularly I'd note is Oblivion - really? Oblivion is better than IE games how? I'd even argue that despite being exponentially higher tech it has aged far far far worse visually as it has sagged into the depths of the uncanny valley. Again I don't consider it a bad game, but it is definitly a game with a setting with no memorable features, a plot driven by doing the same task repeatedly (I honeslty just was fed up with Oblivion gates... after about the second) and it's main characters are overshadowed by their voice actors to the point where I still think of them as Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean. If anything, I'd consider Oblivion to have a lot of qualities for that thesis of yours.
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