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Everything posted by Alexjh

  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.
  16. People always complain about the camera in NWN2. I don't get it. I admit that it's not great, but once you set it up and stick to the mode that actually works, there's nothing wrong with it. Did you guys try to use the character mode in combat or something? Character mode is for those rare occasions when you want to run through a large already cleared area. I found that to be the one big reason I can't rate MotB anywhere near the IE games, the whole experience was marred for me by having to constantly wrestle the camera - really in a 3D top down game the camera movement should be intuitive to the point where you don't notice using it really, but that thing was just nasty.
  17. I think the main issue I had with the IE games was "inventory clog" that ranged fighters had to put up with, hence the suggestion of a recovery mechanic. It's a bit daft to have to purchase and carry around 400 arrows on one person in batches of 40, clogging up their inventory from being able to carry anything else much. Part of that could be solved by having arrow stacking be at a higher number, like 100, but that doesn't resolve the issue of having to have ridiculous amounts of arrows.
  18. I'm quite happy with bosses equivelant to any of the optional boss battles of the infinity engine - as a rule of thumb they should be anywhere between challenging to insane difficulty, but not in a HP grinding way - either way the fight should be over fairly quickly, and it shouldn't ever turn into a repeating action sequence, eg. attack, rotate out attacker, cast debuff, rotate attacker, heal, etc. Also, loot should be pretty contextual, not just "high end drops because big boss!" - a Dragon might have a horder or a knight might have sword, shield and armour, but it should be something that is tied to the concept of the boss if anything. Some perhaps like the Black Dragon in IWD2 where there is no loot reward but you get some sort of stat based boost for victory.
  19. While on the subject of Baldurs Gate 1 and sound, a minor thing which shouldn't be an issue in any modern game, but one of my least favourite things about BG1 (and to a lesser extent, BG2) was how tinny all the noise sounded, I suspect it was just a result of the technology of the time, but it always sounded kind of fuzzy and recorded rather than it was actually happening there. You could literally go back to BG1 and re-record everything and fix that so by no means a fundemental issue, but for me that's part of the reason why I can never rate the music of Baldur's Gate within a million miles of Planescape or Icewind Dale, regardless of the actual quality of the composition.
  20. My view of BG1 is that it's a very important game, but it hasn't aged well compared to the others, really although the explorability is certainly in it's favour, to me all benefit of that is lost by the fact that most areas have big stretches of blank or "tileset produced" space, whereas wherever you go in either Icewind Dale or Planescape you are always looking at something visually engaging that has been hand designed. The compromise is a branching path model that I reckon is the best bet is to have a model where you have your 2 big cities be open exploration, and perhaps to some degree the surrounding land, but the further you explore in any direction the more channeled the maps become. Those channels might then connect up with further channels if you meet micro-hubs (say, an Inn at a crossroads) but on average remain fairly linear. So you might have something like, you want to get from the City Market to the Wizard Tower at the top of a mountain. The area progression might be: 1) City center (open, free roaming within, numerous entrances and exits) 2) Slums District (open) 3) Outlying farmland (semi-open, free roaming but limited entrances and exits) 4) Woodland track (linear, one entrance, one exit, channeled path) 5) Road-fork Inn (linear, 3 entry/exits, open exploration within the area) 6a) Mountain Path (linear) or 6b) Cave passage (linear) 7a) Mountain Ridge (linear) or 7b) Deep caves (linear) 8 ) Monastary (linear crossroads, 4 entry points, the 2 you could have come in from, one that goes forward, one that connects up to an entirely different branch elsewhere) 9) Path to the tower ( linear) On average I think most outside areas should be at least semi-linear in terms of what you actually go down to get through them, but that certainly doesn't exclude side paths to explore that aren't part of the main quest agenda. The main thing I'd want to avoid is the amorphousness of BG1 and get it back to something structured and hand designed.
  21. Fire-arm ammunition I agree with as that makes sense from a balance issue anyway: it's easier to carry 100 lead shots than 100 arrows, but the arrows can generally be reused. That's part of the tradeoff between bows and guns. I do think that if a character wants to be using ranged weapons 95% of the time that should be entirely viable, as it was in IE games, and the idea of an entire party of ranged fighters somehow being overpowered misses the point of what makes a strong party - things should be balanced in such a way that a strong party has flexibility to it. Sure you might have a party of 6 understoppable frontline juggernauts which might do exceptionally well in very basic encounters, but the second a mage throws down a tangle spell and lets archers pick your guys off at range you are in trouble, or if some psyhic nasty takes control of half your party. Similarly with ranged characters, the challenge shouldn't come from putting artificial restrictions on them, but by having encounters where enemies use darkness spells, walls of wind, high speed melee characters that can get right up into the face of your archers before they can take them down and so on.
  22. The fact that there wasn't really arrow recovery in IE games was one of the few things that was frustrating about them, but I definitly favour the ability to loot back your arrows over an infinite number in a tactical game like this - ammunition management along with positioning is basically one of the prime mechanics of a ranged class and removing it would be too strong. I can think of two solutions that keep management doable without having to stock up half your inventory with arrows before any excursion 1) Have arrows be directly lootable from corpses based on a roll. To pick a random example, if it was d20, a roll of 1-8 might mean the arrow is lost or damaged, while 9-20 would mean the arrow is recovered. Feats might be available to raise that higher. 2) Have arrows automatically be relooted on a per-encounter basis, so, you take out one fight and through a bit of number rolling to keep it organic, when every opponent is dead you automatically regain all arrows that you shot and successfully rolled to not be damaged. You could combine this with the arrows still being lootable in mid fight so that if you do run out you can try loot a foe to get a bit more ammo.
  23. JOG - I don't really get *why* player income shouldn't be based on selling loot? A lot of people seem to be grumbling about it around, but being realistic here, this is a game about being an adventurer, not, a mine-worker, metalsmith, potato farmer, cabbage merchant, fisherman etc. I'm not saying that those shouldn't be optional possibilities, but making them mandatory for the player when they don't want to do those things (and honestly, I've yet to see them implemented in a game in a way that isn't tedious) is just going to be essentially a frustration mechanic.
  24. I'm not sure what you are saying they "grabbed the idea and the hype" of? Surely not a Kickstarter campaign as Wasteland 2 predated P:E, so are we talking that he grabbed the idea of doing a spiritual successor to infinity engine RPGs? That's a bit of a nebulous sort of accusation and I believe he's been talking about wanting to do a successor for a while now. Honestly though, I don't have a particular oppinion of the man either way, and as it isn't an actual sequel to PS:T, if we get a good game out the other end I don't see what any of this matters. The setting sounds quite fun if nothing else. Edit to reply to that last post: You have to take that in context though, just because they make one combat focused game doesn't mean that that's either all they can do or all they want to do.
  25. I'd say my stance is more medium-low frequency (most good shops will have a few items rattling around, if not especially potents ones) and medium-low power. A classic flaming sword for instance would be the sort of thing there might be a dozen or so around on the entire planet, possibly left over from some brief fad the nobility who could afford such things had a few years back. Within the course of the game you might only encounter, say, 2 of them, and one might be in the possession of an ally rather than something you can actually get your hands on. I'd also say that anything much more potent than that would be what I consider things which "became" rather than were created that way, eg. someone might make a +3 sword or some cold arrows, but the really truely epic stuff might be created when a moment falls as such that a being pours soul energy into their weapon, either intentionally or not. The last defender of a bridge against a horde of baddies might become so focused on purely fighting that the sword takes on a little of him etc. Or a guy who hunts down werewolves kills so many with his axe that the souls of those werewolves being released begins to infuse into it and so on. A being like a god might be able to imbue a fraction of their power into the weapon of a person who has got their favour. But even then, none of that should result in anything far beyond empoweringthe wielder in relatively minor ways (ie. you can make a normal guy into a very strong guy, but not a normal guy into the Hulk) unless there are going to be severe penalties to balance that.
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