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Varana

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Everything posted by Varana

  1. That question was raised during the end of the campaign when it hadn't been clear yet whether they would reach the 5 mio. stretch goal. That would've upgraded Ydwin to a full-blown companion. That hasn't happened, so the question is moot, anyway, but it was never about removing her at all.
  2. SERIOUSLY, WHAT THESE GUYS ARE UP TO? That's a mildly famous episode from the voyage of St Brendan (as far as anything from 9th century texts is "famous" :D) who supposedly landed on some island but quickly found out (when lighting a fire) that the island actually was a giant fish. Later, they returned and even celebrated Mass on the whale (this time, without fire).
  3. You might want to look into the 18th and 21st amendment.
  4. That's only a subset of CRPGs. Neither top-down nor party-based are part of the definition. In fact, many CRPGs from way, way back were first person (take for example Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore, the Wizardry series, or Might&Magic - i.e. the style that Grimrock tried to resurrect), and while solo protagonists came a bit later (afaik), that's at least as old as Ultima Underworld (1992), or even older if you include subgenres like Roguelikes and MUDs in the definition.
  5. But they weren't widespread enough to leave a mark on our cultural memory. It's not a question of what existed or not. It's a question of connotation - what does it remind us of, where have we seen it before, where has it become prominent. Glasses were depicted relatively rarely before the 19th century - they were less widespread, and you usually didn't paint them on portraits. With a better understanding of how the body works (the eye, in this case), and the advent of both industrialisation (to produce the things in larger numbers) and photography (to depict them more frequently), glasses started to leave an impression in our collective memory. And that's what that "Victorian vibe" refers to - a feeling, a mood. So yeah - having them, is fine for the intended tech level. That doesn't necessarily change what people may think at first glance.
  6. Well, everyone knows that the Egyptians dumbed down cave painting by making it more colourful and pretty. Combining four elements in various ways with physical damage and blessings or curses is also - obviously! - much more dumb than, and I quote, "outright weapons and magicical power". I'm really quite shocked, though, that there was no mention of consoles.
  7. "Defence against the Dark Arts Emergency Centre, how can I help you?" "I'd like to report an act of necromancy!" "And what leads you to that suspicion?" "Someone wants to murder an anime girl in order to resurrect a long-dead companion! He's been practicing with threads!" "Stay calm, we're on our way."
  8. I don't understand why it should matter how fast you have to click on things to make them dead. :D
  9. As far as I remember, they usually accompanied the "evil has won" tag line with the info that you'll be playing as one of evil's minions (probably not that word :D).
  10. D:OS2 being hailed as RPG of the year (so far) also has a lot to do with the competition being quite lackluster in 2017. AFAICS, there were two possible contenders (on PC; no idea about console-only titles), Torment and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Now, even if it had turned out to be great, Torment is even more niche than Pillars. And it didn't turn out great. As for ME:A, well... you know. That said, ME:A still sold decently (though probably below EA's expectations), and D:OS2 won't easily surpass it, if at all. Even a mediocre shooter-RPG like ME:A will always sell better than a superb isometric RPG.
  11. No, they don't have beards. And that is why Pillars is a great game.
  12. To be honest, PoE characters didn't stand out for me because of their voice acting, either. They were more memorable than the D:OS characters because of their writing and story - the voices didn't really affect that. (D:OS2 is a huge improvement on that front, BTW.) In the end, I'm really quite conflicted about that whole concept. Good voice acting can do wonders to bring a character to life. Sheogorath wouldn't be half as crazy if it weren't for the voice actor hamming it up to eleven. And concentrating on only a few voiced lines, not full voiceover, leads to that somewhat random assortment of voiced and non-voiced dialogues that can be a bit jarring. (Most obviously in PoE with the unvoiced narration in between voiced dialogue. That was weird.) On the other hand, not all voice acting is going to be good. And in those cases, when the voiceover doesn't really contribute to the experience, I'd rather just read the text. And if I'm reading, voiceover is a real distraction. I read a lot faster than the guy talking, so I either impatiently follow his pace, or try to ignore him and shut him up mid-sentence by clicking on. Both don't help the mood of a situation. Also, voice acting is expensive. A situation like D:OS2 - written for half-voiced but then expanded to fully voiced - is really super-rare. Usually, voice acting will reduce the amount of text in a game, and that tends to be not a good thing. (Provided the writing doesn't suck.) Oh, and voice acting for long narrations like in-game books or long-winded intro dumps is bad, period. :D
  13. That's not hardcore, that's the Nineties. Wing Commander ->286. WC2 -> 386. WC3 -> 486. WC4 -> Pentium. :D
  14. Well, I can think of a few very specialised gameplay uses for walking, as well - like more precision when positioning your party just beyond the edges of an enemy's visibility range, or when circumnavigating complex trap layouts in a tight corridor: you've got better chances to quickly hit the pause button before the character does something stupid.
  15. How many people had activated BHM for the whole game because they wanted to laugh all the way through the hours and days of playing, and how many switched it on, had a good laugh, and switched it off again?
  16. And PoE, in many aspects, shows that. That doesn't diminish the concern one might have that it may be not the ideal approach to writing characters, their development, and dialogue. That world-building may profit from it, doesn't invalidate Gromnir's point. Now, he says that a lot of narrative design is handled by Carrie Patel, so that's probably a good thing. --- As far as I can remember, Waidwen's Legacy was also a local issue in the Dyrwood, and we're in a totally different part of the world with Deadfire. The PR issues that animancy should have in the Dyrwood would probably at least be mitigated by distance and hearsay. We usually care a lot less about a crisis that's happening to people in faraway lands.
  17. But then, they're also nowhere near comparable in terms of effort and resources. It's not like they'd need to add walking animations - those are already in.
  18. I also backed all five (PoE1+2, D:OS1+2, and TToN), and haven't really been disappointed, so far. (TToN just took the hurdle.) Sure, I never actually finished D:OS1. I never found its story all that interesting, and for me, it has HUUUGE pacing issues, even more so than PoE. They reportedly overhauled the ending for the Special Edition, but even though I restarted, I didn't get very far. Cyseal becomes a slog quite fast and actively stifles any sense of progression, their crafting system is an overcomplicated mess (with the inventory not helping at all), and I didn't really care for much of the story. That said, it's still tremendous fun. Not so much for story, but it's turn-based combat done very well. That comparison with XCom is really spot on. You get plenty of interesting (and plenty of not-so-interesting but still decent) combat even without finishing the game, and that's where the game really shines. Also, I like that tongue-in-cheek style. I tend to find fantasy with world-ending dragon vortexes or whatever that takes itself seriously quite ridiculous, these times. :D So I'm really quite optimistic about D:OS2 - combat won't be worse, the story and world can only get better (including weresheep ghosts and other fun), and that's fine. RTwP combat, OTOH, is not primarily about tactics, for me. It's over faster, it's better for some trash mobs (those are a real PITA in turn-based), and just generally not that much in the centre of attention. PoE is a different style, and while it had its shortcomings, it was a good game. Now, Numenera. PS:T was one of my favourites (even though it suffers from nostalgia-tinted glasses at least as much as BG, I think), and TToN tries really hard to emulate it. PoE took the BG formula and did something with it that reminds the player of BG while at the same time making it clear that this is definitely and intentionally not BG (or IWD) but a game that wants to stand on its own. TToN is lacking that emancipation from its paradigm. It tries too hard to surgically isolate exactly those parts of PS:T that people fondly remember, and stitch them back together in the hope that the thing will come to life again. It doesn't. I have a soft spot for weird fantasy, and I like reading. Which means I got a decent amount of entertainment out of TToN, enough to justify the investment. But it's not a good game. In fact, once you realise that it's not so much a game but a strange mix of a novel with visual support and interaction, you'll enjoy it way more. If you buy it, use it as such, and don't go looking too hard for game-y stuff.
  19. Also, PoE's world works entirely different than the Witcher's or other 3D games. It's pre-rendered, static backgrounds - there's no geography, or objects in a scene, or something like that, it's "just" an image with a lot of magic to make it look real. There will always be hard transitions between areas, that's a consequence of how the game works.
  20. Even if you go the traditional way, there's options. DA:Origins had very cliché dwarves but gave them an interesting twist (a society suffocated by a rigid caste system) and went to great lengths highlighting that specific feature. But generally, yes - dwarves are incredibly type-cast. Dwarf pirates like above are a step in the right direction. :D
  21. Baldur's Gate's loading screens are now not a big deal, but not on a machine from the 90s. :D The recent video (update #38) shows the party walking into a shop; the screen fades to black and comes back online quite fast (at the 2:14 mark if you want to check). We can't say, though, how representative that will be of actual gameplay. They mentioned somewhere that there is some pre-loading in place, so while individual maps still have to be loaded, they may try to hide it better. We'll have to see how that works out.
  22. The main difference there probably is that BG2 just hid their numeric values in the background. As with all videogame systems, you can game that system. You had to have a certain number of talks with the NPC, you had to reach certain thresholds in their LoveTalk variable (it was actually called such), and you had to pick the right answers in critical dialogues. It was all very predetermined. Newer RPGs, I think, tried to avoid that predetermined path by having various actions and dialogue add up (or subtract) from that variable so players could go several ways with their relationship. BG2 didn't really have to tell the players their exact numerical relationship state - the main reasons to "fail" were specific dialogue responses. In a more open system, they apparently felt the need to give feedback to the player, and came up with things like that gift system in DA:O. Taking something from both examples would be the next step, I think - avoid having the relationship boil down to just a critical dialogue path like in BG2, and give the player less numerical feedback, like through dialogue.
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