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Rahelron

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Everything posted by Rahelron

  1. Do we already have information about this? I know we will be able to import our characters from PoE I, but do we know how? I'm asking this because I've just noticed that PoE I does not seem to automatically produce an "endgame" save file when you beat the game. I was used to use that file in other games in order to import information about my character and my choices in the sequel. Thanks a lot.
  2. I think I see what you mean here. As consequences get more nuanced, if there isn't a way in the game to investigate the nuances, then the game hasn't gotten more interesting to play. Or, to put it another way, when the plot thickens, the game play needs to thicken by an equal amount. To use a silly example, if you played Pacman and got poignant ending slides that varied depending on the order that you ate the ghosts, that wouldn't make the game better because you have no way to make an informed decision in the game. Choices aren't meaningful if you end up making them randomly. Is that point you are making? Yes, more or less, and I strongly think that writing complex plots doesn't automatically bring to more meaningful stories... most of the times the result is the opposite. The choice between Yennefer and Triss in the witcher 3 is one of the most difficult and meaningful decisions you have to make, affects the ending a lot, is a great roleplaying device... and all of this is achieved by the developers without hiding any information or putting unexpected plot twists in the end. You know exactly what choices you have: you can choose either one of the other and you know what type of person they are, what your choice will bring to. There is no "screw up dialogue line" that, if chosen, brings disaster upon your playthrough. You can screw up of course, but it is something that happens only if you actively try to pursue a path that you know is wrong (trying to have them both). I would say that is a good way to handle choices in games.
  3. Most wanted stretchgoals: 1 - Romance 2 - New modular stronghold with mor building and decoration options 3 - New dialogue interface with animated portraits like in Diablo III 4 - Advanced diplomacy system to solve quests without fighitng 5 - Expand upon the magic Mallett/Rope/Crowbar trilogy, build more complicated interactions requiring more objects and some thought from the player 6 - A more dynamic faction system (Tyranny is a good starting point)
  4. I want romance. Come on baby, light my Deadfire. Put romance in a stretchgoal and I will raise my pledge. You have to do it right though. No last minute feature implemented just to shut up nerds like me who won't stop bitching about free love in CRPGs.
  5. Mmmm... You are right. But I still don't like this trend in RPGs: 1.0 RPG quests: you are hired by the good guy in order to kill the bad guy. You do that and everyone lives happily ever after 2.0 RPG quests: you are hired by someone who tells you to be the good guy, in order to kill the supposed bad guy. You set off to do that, but you learn that things are different and the real bad guy is the one who hired you. You kill him and everyone lives happily ever after. 3.0 RPG quests: two different factions try to earn your support, but there are no good or bad guys. You have to choose the lesser evil based on your personal beliefs. At the end you achieve your goal, but there is always a bittersweet side to it. 4.0 RPG quests: two or more factions try to earn your support, there are no good and no bad guys and you also don't know what are the exact plans of each faction. You struggle to understand what's going on while the quest progresses and in the end you kill a final enemy hoping you did the right thing. At the end of the game you learn that it was more complex than you thought (don't you say...) and that your actions brought unexpected consequences. Ok, I know that quest structures from the 80s and 90s are boring nowadays and that writers are always trying to come up with something new in order to keep things fresh. I also know that moral grey areas help in creating more viable paths paths for the player: if there was a clearly good path players would feel compelled to always follow that one. There's another side to this story though: this trend has led to quests that are more complex to navigate through, less predictable, and not necessarly more meaningful. I personally don't feel that the twist ending in the Grieving Mother's quest-line gave me a lesson about life or conveyed some deep message. I just tried to give her a fresh start and she ended up almost mentally impaired (maybe I did something wrong).
  6. You're the one who's asking to know the consequences of your choices before you make them. If that's what you want, then pointing out that you can just read a walkthrough is perfectly reasonable. Most of us do not want that. We want the game to surprise, frustrate, delight, acknowledge your character-building choices, reward going off the beaten path, and so on and so forth. I wasn't saying that. Let me explain myself with an example. You are playing a side quest with no connections to the main plot, in which you are asked to support one of two people that want to become the next ruler of kingdom X. One of them likes order and has connections with the nobles of the city, the game hints at the fact that he doesn't give a damn about the people and he would exploit the poor and rule with an iron fist. The other one is Robin Hood, the very sympathetic outlaw that wants the good of his people. You choose the latter and help him raise to the throne in a peaceful way. When you leave the city everything seems to be going fine. You finish the game and during the slideshow at the end you learn that Robin Hood has let outlaws into the city and poor people are now living in constant fear of robberies, rapes and other cool stuff. Ok, from a strictly logical point of view the plot works: Robin Hood was an outlaw after all. I have some question though: is this what the player wanted to achieve? Was the player presented with enough information to assess the situation properly? Was this twist necessary for the main plot?
  7. I agree with you, since this is not my mindset either. I agree with you on this both and I'm advocating for branching paths as much as you are. The only thing I don't agree with is the "(intended or not)" part. One of the core elements of RPGs is player agency within the game world, but having your actions always reach unintended results destroys agency because it transforms the game into a twist ending roulette where you might as well click randomly on dialogue options, since they don't tell anything about what you might achieve by choosing one or the other. No problem with that. Are you really suggesting me to read spoilers in order to be able to play the game in a meaningful way? In general, when you have to exit the game in order to find the information you need to play the game, than the game is doing something wrong. I agree with you in general terms, but I would say that if developers created a path that allowed the player to avoid a siege unsing diplomacy than they should create a diplomacy related scene that should substitute the battle and should be equally interesting to play. If, on the other hand, avoiding the battle consisted just in a diplomacy check done through a dialogue option, than I would not consider it a legit path... I would just consider it a gimmick to let pacifist players get their achievement at the end of the game.
  8. I wasn't saying that. I was saying that the paths that the game lays in front of you should follow some rules: Be clear: I should be able to assess the paths I can choose from the very first playthough, wihout finding myself in a situation that I don't like just because I wasn't able to assess the choices I had properly. Be comparable (in content and magnitude of results): if I choose a path I should always loose something while gaining something else. Both what I loose and what I gain should be exclusive, there should not be a path able to let me access more content than the other or achieve better results in the end. If there was such "perfect path" (i.e. the "follow Saemon havarian" path in BG2 or the "no one left behind" path in ME2) there would also be a perfect set of choices to make in order to achieve it, but it would be very difficult for a player to do everything right on his first (and, in my case, only) playthrough. Should avoid twist endings and unexpected consequences when possible: Why? Because one of the biggest selling points of RPGs is that they allow you to influence the world and mold it to your will. Twist endings hurt this feature, because they destroy player agency within the world. This is not a problem if you can play through a game multiple times: since you already know the twist you take a different path in order to achieve the end status you want. For single players though, it is really frustrating. Be accessible: no meaningful path should be hidden from the player using puzzles or easter eggs. This is what enrages me the most. An example: the winter palace quest in Dragon Age 3. Is it clear? - NO No, because in order to access the different endings you have to find specific objects in the palace, but you can't find them all in a single playthrough because you can't gain all the keys you need to access all rooms. The problem is that you don't know what ending you will be able achieve choosing to enter a room and not another, so you can find yourself in the place of not being able to access the ending you want because you didn't know what room you had to go into to find the items you needed. Are the paths comparable? - YES Yes, they are, because no content is locked unless you go through a specific path and there's no clear "better ending". Are there unexpected consequences? - YES Yes, lots. One can argue that all the endings are bad minus one or two. And you don't know how you choice of ruler will affect Orlais until the very end. It's like rolling a dice and seeing how it goes. Are the paths accessible? - NO There are lots of endings you can achieve, but they are never laid down before you. You are told that you can choose one out of three people in order to be the new emperor, but in truth there are many more paths available that are effectively hidden from you. RPGs are not puzzle games and even puzzle games let you know what you have to do, what they don't tell you is how to achieve it. I hope I explained myself better this time.
  9. This is a very personal need I have, I don't know if it applies to any other member of this forum, but'ill express it anyways. I've noticed that some of the new features that will be introduced in Deadfire (like for example the enhanced reactivity, berath's blessing and so on) can be effectively enjoyed only if the player does multiple playthroughs. Please Obsidian, try also to focus on those that will be able to play through your game just once. This requests comes from the fact that I'm in a moment of my life that allows me to set aside only a few hours per week to play games. It literally took me more than a year to go through the 103 hours I needed to finish Pillars of Eternity, and this doesn't count the expansions, that I've never played even though I bought them. I can't afford to play through a game multiple times to see all the weath of choices, features and reactivity that appear only with multiple playthroughs. I'm not saying that PoE should stop focusing on choices, consequences and interactivity. In fact this is the very reason why I play RPG games. I mean that Deadfire should present those choices, consequences and interactivity in a way that is enjoyable even in a single playthrough. I'll make some examples in order to explain mysef better: At the end of PoE I didn't like the endings I got for many of my companions (particularly for Aloth and the Grieving Mother, but also for others). The bad thing is that I wasn't able to see them coming and act accordingly when I had the chance. When I made the decisions that brought me to the endings I got, I wasn't able to understand their possible impacts. This wouldn't have been a problem years ago: I would have played through the game once more just to achieve the "perfect ending", but doing that has become a problem for me now. I personally don't like this trend of giving unexpected consequences to the actions of players that RPGs seem to like so much these days. Sometimes unforseeable results are useful to pass the message that "life does not always go as expected", but when overdone it just adds frustration to players. I hope that this kind of consequences will be toned down a bit in the next chapter, in favor of choices that let the player know the effects they will cause on the end state of the world and the end state of the characters involved. I also don't look forward to having all the "enhanced reactivity" based on the race, class and background of the main character. This is another thing that is enjoyable only thrugh multiple playthroughs, and let me say that I don't consider it meaningful in general. Having some dedicated dialogue choices, or some NPCs that react to you in a particular way just because your rac or class e is XY is a gimmick that is great at the beginning, but grows old quickly. Finally, I do not like when games cut content away from the player just because of a choice he makes during the campaign. IMPORTANT: when I talk about cutting content away I mean removing content from the playthrough without giving something else in return. For example: I hate how Baldur's Gate II punishes the player for making the right choice when it prevents the player from playing through the part in the underwater city if he refuses to follow Saemon Havarian in the return trip from Spellhold. Saemon is clearly not to be trusted, every single smart person should choose to use the portal instead of asking a men who already betrayed him once to help him again. The problem is that doing that the player looses on experience, unique loot and a whole subplot without getting anything in return. By comparison, the Witcher 2 cuts away a whole zone in chapter 2 depending on player's choices, but it also gives the player access to another, exclusive zone. This is a branching path that doesn't punish the player, impacts the story in a meaningful way and is enjoyable even in a single playthrough because the player doesn't feel to loose something without something else in return. Those were just three examples, but there could be more. I think that in order to make a game enjoyable in a single playthrough it should: Let the player understand the consequences of the choices he is making, throwing at him unforseeable results ONLY when it is absolutely necessary for the plot. Do not hide meaningful story content behind difficult puzzles or in easter eggs. Those are exactly the things that players usually miss in the first playthrough and having to restart the game just to access to an important plot point that you missed the first time is frustrating as hell. Focus on features that expand what the player can do in the world and do not cut content away without giving something else in return, forcing him to restart the game if he wants to experience what he lost. Thoughts? Thanks a lot.
  10. I would like to ask for Monkey Island type puzzles in the next PoE. I really believe that the future of point and click adventures is to be merged with CRPGs. ------------------------------------------------------------ Let's say I have to grab a precious artifact to use it to progress through the main story. What happens right now in CRPGs is that the priest guarding that artifact gives you a quest, you complete it and that's it. What a badass CRPG should do is letting you choose between: - Killing the priest - Stealing the artifact with your sneaking skills - Finding (by yourself, without suggestions) something that the priest wants and that you can exchange for the artifact. The last point is the key of my reasoning: during dialogue the priest should give you hints about what he wants (you shhould be able to figure it by yourself, he shouldn't ask directly). The thing he wants shouldn't be something lootable from the corpse of a boss in a dungeon, it should be something that you would need to build or exchange for something else. Key points atre as follow: - You should figure the solution by yourself - You shouldn't get to the solution by killing & looting - You should need to be creative to find the solution ------------------------------------------------------------- I think this would add a whole new dimension to CRPGs.
  11. Since I gave a lot of **** to Dragon Age Inquisition, because it deserved it, I think it is fair to give some love to Pillars of Eternity. Why? Because it deserves it of course. Every time I stopped playing DAI I never felt the urge to come back to it, I just wondered how much time would have taken me to get to the end. When I play PoE I always leave it with a smile, thinking about what I will do during the next play session. So thank you obsidian: - Thank you for requiring me to find a grapple to be able to climb a wall. - Thank you for making me switch to worse weapons (but with the right elemental damage) to defeat some enemies. - Thank you for making your quests interesting and not just a matter of going to the next chekpoint. - Thank you for creating rightly sized zones and for not filling them with useless fetch quests. - Thank you for providing me with more than one way to traverse dungeons - Thank you for putting into the game those narrated scripted events. Thanks a lot for all of that and more.
  12. Does Steam Chart take into account game key redemptions from those that have backed the game on kickstarter? Or does it only comprise real sales? I hope for the second of course.
  13. You have to take reviewers like IGN into account. Those kind of sites will probably give a lower score because of reasons like graphics not being on par with AAA games or the lack of full voiced characters. They will say that this game is for a niche market and niche market games rarely go over 80 on big sites. You also have to take hardcore reviewers into account. Those people have very clear ideas about what they want and are pretty rough towards games that don't meet their requirements. Some of them will get diasppointed for some obscure reason and will give ****ty ratings that will lower the average score substantially. I think this game will stay comfortably over 80, but won't go beyond 90.
  14. I'm still waiting for an Arkham Horror Type GDR. They should definetely try to kickstart something like that.
  15. I'm really an advocate of romances in games, for many reasons: They serve as ego-strokes for the player and make him feel appreciated. That is an important aspect, since games are often used as pastime and as a relaxing moment after a though day. They add diversity to the relationships you can develop with characters in the game. Ok, romantic relationship just one of the many options that writers have, others being friendships, parental relationships, professional relationships and so on. But they are an option nonetheless and an important one too, since love is one of the most important things in anyone's life. Most of the times romantic relationships are the only part of games that doesn't involve violence and conflict. 90% of the time that players spend in RPGs is focused on fighting or preparing to fight (exploring to find new gear, crafting new weapons...). Having the chance to spend some time developing a romantic relationship allows the player to change the pace and do something else for a while, something that's not related to combat by any means. Again: this can be achieved with other mechanics or narrative devices, but I've not seen many alternative solutions that work as well as romances. That's why a believe romantic relationships are a staple of RPGs. They have to be done right of course, but this is a different topic for a different post..
  16. Does it also autosave before or after important events? Sometimes you don't see an important conversation or story moment coming and you don't save. It would be refreshing to know that the system always saved before important events, so you had a place to fall back to if you screwed up during an important dialogue.
  17. I have to thank my cousin for introducing me to the RPG world. He gave me the basic D&D ruleset as a gift for my ninth birthday. Since I wasn't able to talk any of my friends into playing it though I started looking for other ways to play... and I found videogames. My first one was Baldur's Gate, then everything that followed.
  18. I'd have to evaluate the first one first. And BTW: since we are not talking about charity I will never pay a game more than the market price. I think that buying a game knowing just its concept and nothing more is already enough.
  19. If you don't mind reading a lot and not having the production value you could find in AAA games the answer is yes. For production value I mean that kind of expansive stuff you find in only big budget productions: cutscenes, full voiced characters, cutting edge graphics and stuff like that. BTW: this game has exceeded my personal expectations about what could be done in terms of production value with 4 million $
  20. Moderators don't need my permission to cancel or close this thread of course and rest assured that I won't complain if they do. I know that gossiping about people is not polite, I'm just worried about the effects that this friction could have had on the development process. I'm stating my worries publicly, without talking behind the back of anyone. I'm not trying to make trouble or incite someone against someone else.
  21. Seeing the last two panels held by Obsidian at Pax South and Pax East I noticed something in the Behaviour of the panelists that reinforced a convinction I already had: I think there's friction between Chris Avellone and Josh Sawyer. Evidence: During the first stages of development Chris Avellone stated that those at InExile Entertainment were listening to him much more than those at Obsidian. He said something about the fact that his ideas were more welcome at Inexile than at Obsidian. Later (in another interview) Josh Sawyer said that Obsidian didn't want to try anything too new about PoE's setting: they needed something that felt high fantasy and that had humans, dwarves and elves in it. All they could do was giving a twist to these classic themes. I think I heard somewhere that Avellone is bored by classic fantasy settings. During Pax south Avellone praised Sawyer, but noone had asked for his opinion about him. He listed things he had learnt from Josh, like letting the player doing whatever he wants, even if that means screwing up the plot. I can tell by experience that when someone does that it is because he disagrees with the one he is speaking about on everything else. During Pax East someone asked if we will see a plot device in PoE like the one we had in Planescape Torment (the main character cannot die, when he gets killed he is sent in a maze instead). Avellone tried to answer, but Sawyer started speaking first. At that point avellone had a reaction like "He always does that, I'm not surprised anymore". Chris had the chance to speak in the end, but his first reaction is a big tell to me. What do you think about this? If this friction was really a thing do you think it could have hurt game design and development?
  22. I agree with you on the fact that Bioware is targeting console audiences right now and this means alienating some PC gamers. It is phisiologial and we can't complain about their business strategies. If they work than they are right. I don't agree on the second part of your argument though. I think Bioware screwed up big time on the story side of things this time. The main story arc is a mess. It deals with four separate themes that should have been distributed in four games or at least developed in more than one quest each. I'm talking about the main villain story arc, the Orlais Civil War, the Wardens Corruption and the Templar vs Mages struggle. Of those four story arcs only two are really connected: the Wardens part and the Main villain part, and even that connection is a crappy one that makes little sense (the fake calling... what a crappy expedient... it makes look every warden a fool). The other two are separate sotires that existed before the brach in the sky and that will probably exist even after it gets closed. ‚Äč The Templars vs Mages theme gets shoved by force into the main story, warping it and making it loose every meaning it had. Everyone gets corrupted or crazy and noone is right so you have to step in and save the situation. Cool... and what about all the themes we had to deal with in the previous game? Is it better to live in a free or in a secure world? Is it better to do everything it takes to gain your freedom or do you have to stay within the rules, even if it means you could never achieve your goal? Everything gets lost in DAI since Corypheus corrupts both Templars and Mages and both of them need to be stopped for reasons that have nothing to do with their struggle. Companion's story arcs are sub-par too... they are much less developed than those of DAO or even DA2 and this must tell something. The first mission that each companion assigns you in DAI is a simple fetch quest, with almost no meaning whatsoever and the next one (the one with cutscenes and an actual story) most of the times is really short and doesn't develop the struggle that the characters involved are dealing wirth. Corypheus' potential gets squandered. In DA 2 i thought it was one of the best villains that Bioware ever imagined. In DAI he looks like a fool. At the very beginning he manages to loose his all-powerful orb and having it stolen by a nobody. Then he attacks Haven but doesn't manage to do anything other than scaring you off and making you find a better place to stay. After that he tries to uncover another elven artifact but you arrive first and steal it from him once again and finally he seeks a final confrontation with no reason other than trying to get his revenge on you, but at that point he is already defeated and there is no reason for the hole in the sky to be still there since you already closed it three times during the playthourgh.
  23. I sincerely think that Bioware tried really hard to make DAI right. After the errors of DA2 they really tried to make this chapter something that was a finished product and didn't look line a Mass Effect ripoff set in medioeval times. In my opinion they didn't try to prey on human faillibility. They didn't try to trick people into buying their game with marketing magic. They genuinely tried to build a good game and, by what I was able to evaluate, they spent a lot of money in the attempt too. DAI is an expansive game to make, it is obvious. The problem is that they failed, and this makes me wonder if the team behind Dragon Age is able to bring us good roleplaying games. If you fail because you didn't put in the necessary effort is one thing, but if you fail even after giving your best well... that is a problem.
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