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Everything posted by stkaye

  1. I really don't have a horse in this race, and I don't care at all about what some joke on a wall somewhere says. Obsidian certainly has the right to make sure that the content it produces is in line with everything else they put out into the world with their own names on it. But I have to say that I hope the people who found this limerick offensive never find themselves playing a certain side-quest involving an irritable, evil wizard in Baldur's Gate 2.
  2. Well, look, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you're definitely entitled to yours OP. But I think it's strange to expect PoE to be better than Baldur's Gate. The comparison itself is fair - this is a game that explicitly sets out to recapture some of the spirit and style of the Infinity classics. But how could exceeding and improving upon those games possibly be a meaningful measure of PoE's success? I mean, the Baldur's Gate games are two of my favourite videogames ever. There is nothing that has drawn me back in so frequently and so satisfyingly as the BGs. For me, deciding that PoE isn't worthy of hype because it isn't "better" than two of the best games ever made is like saying that Interstellar isn't worthy of acclaim because it isn't "better" than 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  3. Getting something similar. A pending action/event is indicated by the little number on the corner of the button on the stronghold screen, but it just reads 'no events currently pending'.
  4. Well, to each their own. And yes there's always grade-inflation with AAA titles. DA2 didn't win anyone's 'game of the year' prize, which I actually think is quite a good long-term measure (DAI won loads of those, and is certainly the better game). When a game gets glowing responses from principled sites that don't use grades or scores in their reviews - Eurogamer, RPS - that's also a sign to pay attention.
  5. ...are *extraordinarily* positive. PoE is in many cases being more glowingly reviewed than Divinity and Dragon Age last year, both of which are superb RPGs. This is an immense achievement for Obsidian. They're breathing life into an approach to this genre that simply couldn't get itself greenlit and published five years ago. If anyone wants to reassure themselves about the promise and potential of crowdfunded game development post-Godus, this is where they should look. I'm so proud of the team, and I'm really excited to spend waaay too much time playing Pillars of Eternity. Happy times.
  6. ...since we're doing this, is there any way we can get people to stop saying 'internet' when they mean 'web'? And could we maybe refrain from dropping a syllable from 'caramelise' and adding a syllable to 'nuclear'?
  7. http://www.pcgamesn.com/pillars-eternity/fireside-chat-pillars-eternity-beta-impressions And good grief, this really does make me happy. The depth of detail and lore and layered atmosphere appeals to me on a visceral level, even when it's just being described in an article like this. Beta players - does this account chime with your experiences? Can't wait to get my hands on the finished product.
  8. I'm late to this debate, but I have to say - having played every IE game going, modded and unmodded, there's no stretch of gameplay in any of them that's more difficult than the first few hours of Baldur's Gate 1. The game world was incredibly unforgiving on normal difficulty - I think I died by being struck by lightning on one occasion - and that's just when I was unlucky. Those early bounty-hunters will make mincemeat of a less-than-optimised starting party; it's a wonder that any of my first-level mages ever survived at all.
  9. I'm a definite 'yes' - I think additional stretch goals for wilderness areas and extra NPCs is a great idea. Some reasons: I don't care how long it takes. I'm sure I'm just as excited to play PoE as anyone else here, but the whole beauty of the kickstarter funding model is that it should reduce the kinds of pressures and constraints that make developers feel rushed. Take all the time you need. Make it the best game you can. Let us know if there's something specific you need more money for, and we'll see what we can do. Additional NPCs would substantially increase the replayability of the game - and that's one of the truly great things about BG2, after all. If a successful stretch goal makes a full campaign replay something appealing, then that stretch goal has essentially doubled the value of the game. Definitely worth it. I love a good wilderness area. I'm a sucker for BG1 in this sense, and while I adored BG2, I thought it didn't compare to the first game in terms of a sense of exploration and discovery. I know for sure that Obsidian will get wildernesses right - give them themes, little moments of story and context and character, visual interest and atmosphere. It will justify me using the backer portal to buy some of the stuff that I really want but can't quite bring myself to spend money on at this stage! So - yes, go for it!
  10. I respect and appreciate your attitude, Justin. It seems to me that in these kinds of conversations it is often forgotten that appreciating music is subjective; one man's trash is another man's treasure. I can't fathom a certain piece of music being inherently good or bad. I either like it or I don't, and I understand that others may like music that I don't and vice versa. So, I feel it'd be pointless for me to try to influence Justin in one direction or the other or convince others to like something they don't. I just hope that I like the end result Best of luck to you, Justin! Yes. I have to say that I have huge admiration for Justin's professionalism and grace under fire here. For whatever it's worth, the original kickstarter trailer music completely blew me away, and I find that the parts I enjoyed the most in the latest video are those that feel most directly like extrapolations from that first effort. Whether that's just familiarity and happy association at work, I don't know. The choral section in the new trailer is interesting, with some surprising melodic choices and unusual harmonies. It very successfully evokes the feeling of a mysterious, alien, exotic, fantasy-world musical culture - which, I suspect, is kind of the point. And all of that makes it a little more challenging, a little more tricky to fasten on to, perhaps at first a little more distracting. But it soon resolves to the orchestral fireworks. I'm very happy. I think Justin is a great choice to soundtrack the game - he's clearly able to address a whole range of atmospheres. I think he's about as good as Sam Hulick at his best, and I think Sam Hulick is fast becoming one of the best in the business. All the same, Justin clearly can't make everybody happy all the time, but that - dare I say it - isn't his job.
  11. Project: Eternity 2a = Technology won Project: Eternity 2b = Magic won To be honest, I think that^ is possibly something Bioware is doing with Mass Effect. (Mass Effect Red, Mass Effect Blue & Mass Effect Green, games that take a spin from each choice) This is taking us off-topic, but I think it's overwhelmingly likely that Blue (control) will be considered the 'canon' ending. If they don't figure out some way of avoiding the problem altogether. It leaves almost all the pieces still on the board to play with, and they won't have to contend with everyone's green glowing synthesis eyes. Back to Eternity guns: I don't think it's anything for you to worry about. We'd be talking about some serious advancement before firearms become anything more than one-shot-per-battle throwaways. This is realtime with pause we're talking about here. Everyone firing a volley right away and then carefully reloading for twenty seconds won't make for entertaining gameplay. There will always be swords and spells at the heart of it.
  12. Nobody outright bland (Kaiden Alenko, I'm looking at you). Nobody who whines. Actually whines. Like Carth Onasi. What a drip. (If an NPC is going to challenge us - and they should! - let it be forthright and intelligent and bold). Nobody from Lord of the Rings. No archetypical wise, nature-loving, super-powered elves; no quintessentially gruff, stalwart, steadfast, stubborn dwarves. No disgustingly naive female characters. These are everywhere. Aerie, Merrill, Liara in ME1, etc.
  13. Rogues are usually my bag. I don't like my character to get relegated too much to a support role, so clericy/priesty classes are out (although I like their versatility, on paper). And, as much as I enjoy leading from the front and being the centre of attention, fighters (and their derivatives) can be kind of one-note and featureless (yay! level up! some more hit points!). An incredibly well conceived magic system could tempt me into playing a Cipher or Wizard, and patiently build myself up to the point of actually being helpful. But a Rogue can be intelligent, glib, manipulative, unpredictable, quick, witty, and versatile: a stabby-stabby assassin with a dark secret or a moustache twiddling, chandelier-swinging buccaneer and soldier of fortune. There's nothing better than a Rogue.
  14. Yeah, I like to have a built-in reason for my PC's adventuring. Motivation was always a bit of a weak spot in some games - I'm thinking of Icewind Dale 2, for example. It's a little weak where 'adventurer' is just another profession, like 'blacksmith' or 'salesman'. Which isn't to say that we need to lean on anything too cliched for motivation.
  15. It's important to me that at some point I'm inducted into an ancient, near-mythical organisation or group whose members are known for their martial skill, great wisdom and mysterious powers. Ideally this will happen while listening to music something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6PMJYoaGf8
  16. Such a hard question! I think I like quests from across the range of types outlined by the OP. How about I give the Elder Scrolls a little love here? (Spoilers if you haven't played them, I guess.) In Oblivion I remember enjoying a particular adventure that involved being sucked into a painting. The game mechanics and structure actually didn't change one jot, but I really appreciated the effort that went into making it so visually interesting. In Skyrim, I enjoyed infiltrating the Thalmor Embassy. It had an almost Deus Ex-ish feel to it, with multiple solutions to each new problem, rewards for risky off-track exploration and an exciting and revealing conclusion followed by a mad sprint down a snowy hillside. But beyond the scripted quests, the ES games are getting increasingly good at presenting the player with emergent 'situations' as you go from A to B. When I took three companions to discover the location of the mountain hold of the Blades, the bridge crossing transformed into an epic encounter - hordes of Forsaken peppering us with arrows, some mages summoning monstrous creatures, and a fluid battle spread out over the landscape. Which was interrupted by the arrival of two dragons, who set about attacking everyone. It's a different kind of strength to that found in the tightly-scripted quests of an IE game, I suppose, but there can be a lot of value in these emergent, spontaneous adventures as well.
  17. Personally I'm still grappling with the fact that Call of Duty is currently outscoring Icewind Dale. Joke options scare me.
  18. This. A thousand times this. I loved how the Friendly Arm Inn and Beregost felt like ports in a storm - limping in, your spells used up, only a few hitpoints left, and hearing the sounds of the inn and seeing the glowing windows in the dark... One of the best things about BG1 is revisiting the paths you barely scraped through as a level 1 character and just owning the local wildlife and bandits. Breezing back through in your magical plate mail, all grown up, and knowing that this stuff was here all along, waiting for you to advance enough to discover it.
  19. Like a few other people here, I think that the original BG pretty much nailed this balance perfectly. I remember the excitement I felt when I first deviated from the routes I needed to take for the main quest in order to engage in a singificant sidequest (perhaps it was the cursed guard commander in Nashkel, or rescuing Dynaheir or something). I realised that there would be tiles all over the world map, filled with birds singing or the whispering of the coast, and more opportunities to listen to BG's distinctive music. And then I realised I could leave the main north-south road and find dangerous creatures or interesting, humorous mini-quests, with rewards and experience bumps driving me on. It didn't matter much to me that these encounters might not be very in-depth or complex - it gave enough colour and character to keep me immersed, and left the rest to my imagination. The most important thing is that it made the Sword Coast feel like a real place - a place with content and atmosphere that I might never discover, with fights and adventures that could go on forever. I'd love to have that feeling again. Instead, we usually get worlds that feel like they only exist for the convenience of my actions and the story I am being told, like practically every location in BG2. This trend got to the point where plot points from various different quests would play out in the same spot of Athkatla, 10 meters from each other. It was the beginning of the trend that ended us up with DA2's remixed dungeons. I'd be perfectly happy with a plethora of wilderness areas with relatively low content - perhaps one or two scripted adventures on each map, with varying complexity, plus some wilderness creatures and places to poke my nose into. The story behind these places could be told visually - the remains of a ransacked caravan, the shell of a long-abandoned village. That's not just good for exploration and immersion - it's good for roleplaying as well.
  20. I'm playing IWD2 with a party selected from the NPC project on Gibberlings 3. So far (very early days), I'm impressed by the writing...
  21. This will happen Justin, while we've got you here, just have to say: love those last few seconds from the Dirge of Eir Glanfath, with the whispering winds and the chimes and the flute and the bells. Haunting and evocative, completely nailed it.
  22. I was wondering about this. In my head it's ow-mow-a. With the 'au' like a German 'au', as in 'maus'.
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