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Feldoth

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  1. Agreed, randomness has it's place but this is not where it is appropriate. <rant> What is actually needed is more of a risk vs reward trade-off. If you don't think you can handle the hardest option, pick an easier one that gives less rewards (these can be loot or plot rewards). The game should do things like put you in a situation where you've just run the gauntlet and where anything less than stellar performance means that you are now badly in need of rest - then throw a plot related event at you with options to allow you to pick how you want to handle it (if you pick the hardest, there's a real chance of death but the best rewards). What the OP is describing are situations with no risk, not because a particular choice always results in a predictable set of events, but because those events themselves pose no risk. Making the risk random doesn't really help because then your choice might as well be random (it effectively takes choice away from the player). The risk should be constant, the reward should be constant, but the highest reward should not be given to the lowest risk task. In situations where cleverness yields the best results, the task need not be easy (ex: "oh that's a great idea!" *instant victory*) - clever answers often involve compromises and sacrifices, and sometimes only put off the conflict. Additionally, in dialog option (clever or otherwise) might require preparation to be available, and accomplishing those preparations can be challenges themselves - The final option you pick may not entail any risk, but that doesn't mean the event's that make that choice possible will be risk-free. For example, the way DAO handled the mage tower and saving the boy, you should have had two options. If you went to the mage tower first then you should have been lacking something vital that would have made the tower more difficult. If you went to the castle first, you should have been on a timer to complete the tower in order to save the boy, but the tower itself should have been easier. A good way to accomplish this would have been to have the blood mage (who's name I cant remember) accompany you to the tower as a temporary companion (making fights easier / faster and potentially countering the bosses blood magic with his own, but introducing some serious conversation checks with the Templar's). You now have the option to Prepare, Race the Clock, or Sacrifice in order to save the boy - the first two options would probably both qualify as "Best" (technically the timer one is the true risk - so that one probably should have the best reward, but it would depend on relative difficulty), and of course you could let the boy die as well. You could also go pure villain and take your blood mage "friend" to the templars, let the templar's kill all the mages (including him) and leaving the boy possessed - this should be a deal that the PC can make with the boy/demon (even if not a Mage) for some sort of reward. This last should be at the same difficulty level as "Prepare", since you wont have the blood mage to help you - I've got a great cut scene in my mind where you arrive at the tower claiming/pretending to have "caught" him and say you are taking him to the Archmage as an excuse to get him in the tower (where presumably you'll explain what's going on with the boy and get him pardoned). Instead when you are told of the situation in the tower you get the dialog option to turn him over to the templars for real, and if you do they summarily execute him - to underline the point one of them should stab him in the back while he stands there looking shocked (You have gained a level in Heartless Bastard!). As far as I can remember, all of these would still resolve to the same number of exit paths as the actual game has, and does not invalidate any of the choices that were in the game - it just introduces a trade-off where before nothing you did there in any way changed how the game played. Sacrifice remains a no/low risk option, but has negative plot implications (and Sacrificing your friend wouldn't work without some more tweaking). The only thing that remains to be solved is the fact that siding with the templars has few benefits compared to saving the mages, but I think I've tried to fix DAO enough today so I'll leave it there (not that this is perfect, but you get the idea). Here's a great example of doing it right from Obsidian: In NWN2 early on you get the option of going to a bandit camp or a graveyard first. The bandit camp is much easier, and will level you before you finish. However, if you do the graveyard first, rescue the commander, side with him against the usurping officer, and finally talk to him about the bandits (he asks you to do something about them as well), when you get to the bandit leader instead of him instantly attacking you, you get the chance to talk him into joining the Fort's (recently reduced) guard company and are rewarded with extra XP for your trouble. It requires no skill checks to talk him into enlisting, but you have to be very careful what you say to him, else at best you can choose to let him leave alive and promise not to return to banditry. Doing this also automatically frees the prisoners he is keeping, so that you don't have to fight for their release while they run around like chickens with their heads cut off and dying in three hits. This is by far the best option, but it's not easy to do (though you can cheese it by getting Elenee to join your party early - without doing this I've had every party member but Kelghar at 1 Max HP by the time I got out of the crypt once or twice, and Neeshka unable to untie her shoes, let alone pick a lock, all due to crazy disease spam). Risk Vs Reward and incompatible objectives are the way to go, not random responses to choices (random events are fine). You shouldn't be able to get every companion in one play-through nor see every area, nor experience every plot twist. It's not just for replay value, it's also to keep the story interesting - if you can do everything, flawlessly, then who cares about even trying? If I wanted that sort of story I'd read a book (not to say that characters in novels have it easy, just that it's a totally different sort of story). Make me work for it, or make me sacrifice something meaningful to get it (even if it isn't clear that it's a sacrifice). </rant>
  2. I read your ideas, but I was honestly confused. Did you want layers so that when your character wears a helmet, it would unlock tahat layer in your portrait or were you talking strictly about changing colors and the like for a single image? I feel that a image editor sort of isn't worth the trouble for devs because one could always do that in photoshop and reimport the portrait. when you make the 3D model of your character in a game you get to choose from various hair styles, colors, face types and so on, combine them and create your avatar. what he means, is they can implement something like that in a 2D image fashion. so you have 10 faces, 15 hair styles, 5 hair colors and 8 clothe types, all made in 2D BG style for your portrait. you can combine them any way you want to make a custom portrait for your character however i still think the best solution is to make a character in 3D and then take a picture of him and use it as a portrait... EVE style for those who know, with maybe a an effect added to make it look hand drawn No. This is not at all what I mean. I mean being able to change colors - that's all. Possibly change visibility of something like a beard, but that's a stretch. If you look at that thread I took a picture of a random guy and changed his hair color, I didn't give him a new hair style or different facial expression.
  3. I read your ideas, but I was honestly confused. Did you want layers so that when your character wears a helmet, it would unlock tahat layer in your portrait or were you talking strictly about changing colors and the like for a single image? I feel that a image editor sort of isn't worth the trouble for devs because one could always do that in photoshop and reimport the portrait. It's entirely about color changing, and possibly show/hide for a few things (that's secondary and something I'd want them to implement only if it was easy to do). Getting new gear and such would have no change on the portrait. It also doesn't require any in-game method of changing the colors, so long as they create the portraits in a layered format and provide them with the game files we can, as you said, import them into photoshop and colorize them ourselves. An in-game way to do this would just be a nice touch, especially for those who do not know anything about image editing, and would encourage the community to create new portraits in the same format so they would work with the coloring system (flat pictures could be used as well, but not colored). It's all about creating the portraits in a manner and format that is easily color-able, all else is secondary (stretch goals if you will).
  4. I mentioned this in another thread, but not being able to 100% the game in a single play-through is a pretty big deal. In Skyrim, you can literally do everything with a single character - this makes no sense, and actually renders most of these accomplishments meaningless <rant>someone should really freaking take note if Dragonborn savior who fought an ancient dragon god is also the head of the Dark Brotherhood - who by the way assassinated the emperor - and is also the Archmage of the area's only school of magic... instead they ask you to cut wood and kill bandits and the thieves guild sends out on grunt work to "prove yourself". I'M THE NEXT THING TO A GOD YOU MAGGOT *stab* *stab* *stab* Oh wait, you're immortal and I can't kill you despite how stupidly powerful I am - perhaps you're right to treat me like a baby after all since you seem to be some sort of godlike being yourself. Oh well, I'm going to bounce your still-living rag doll body off every wall in this place until I can see a color other than red.</rant> *deep breaths* So yeah, I want to be able to accomplish only a limited amount of potential goals per play-through, but I want those goals to make a difference on how the world and the people in it react to me. This, combined with character customization (which I have ranted on at great length previously, and which Obsidian has mostly satisfied me on), are the two things that determine replay value for me. If the choices aren't going to matter then I'd rather the game be linear so as to be internally consistent.
  5. Why not something in between? I posted this while kickstarter was still going crazy, so it got buried pretty fast, but so far I've not heard any (accurate) criticism of it: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61508-layered-portraits/ It doesn't account for everything, but I think it provides a nice balance between 2D art and customization.
  6. Hearing that there would be so many "feats" right out the gate made me very happy. I definitely agree that there needs to be an easy way for people that don't like obsessing over character choices to quickly make their characters, but for those of us that love spending hours customizing their character builds this is a big plus.
  7. One of the things I disliked most about skyrim was the fact that you could join all the guilds with a single character - it kills replay value, character definition, and just plain common sense. If they restricted it to one or two guilds they could also more easily implement people responding to you based on your position in a guild (reaction by rank, rather than specific title for the general populace - the actual rank would just need to be a fill-in-the-blank and all the reactions could be the same). This brings up the fact that basically nobody acknowledges you as a person of any note, despite all your accomplishments... it breaks immersion due to how unrealistic it is that your reputation wouldn't get around at least to the area around where that guild operates.
  8. Here's another example from NWN2 - In MotB, in the theater when Thayan wizards are actively chasing someone you need to talk to, it's practically a requirement that you rest before going to the shadow plane after them (having just come out of a hard fight, with more ahead). In MotB, it specifically says that you are resting for 8 hours... it's no wonder why the lady is dead when you get there. What's more incredible is that the Thayan's are still there when you arrive (that's a seriously well locked door, apparently).
  9. I actually really disliked the SoZ party conversation system - it trivialized all dialog choices. Perhaps if the stat-based choices are not marked in any way then it could be workable. Being able to select a single person to hold a conversation wouldn't be so bad, but no full-party conversations (at least not without more restrictions than SoZ).
  10. You would do yourself a favor to actually read (or at least skim) the posts you reply to, rather than spewing completely irrelevant hate across the screen - you're welcome to disagree with me, or anyone else here, but at least know what you're disagreeing with. Your post is unintentionally hilarious.
  11. I'd like to come across the P:E staff in a tavern somewhere in the form of Mercenaries who are celebrating landing a huge contract. Later, you find them all dead along the path to the final boss area. I'd also like to see the Stretch Goal graphic as an actual framed painting in game (minus the highlighted path).
  12. Maimed NPCs should retire and be provided with a pension and place to live in your stronghold >_> (while that would be amusing, it's probably not practical)
  13. You probably should wait till it's over - they are still answering questions (and several of those are missing follow-up questions/replies)
  14. NWN2 was desperately in need of a macro system, mostly due to buffing and targeting (but targeting was stupid anyway... why do I need to click on myself to cast a self-only spell?). Macro's in combat are OK (balance wise) if limited to basic things - but really, it's a single player game, why would anyone care if someone else abuses a macro system?
  15. This sounds really interesting, I haven't had time to fully absorb the implications but I've always like the "single resource" for spells and physical abilities idea (moreover, P:A's story seems to lend itself to this).
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