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Everything posted by Varana

  1. Time limit on main quest - oh gods in hell, no. --- I'm not quite sure what the original proposal is trying to accomplish. If I want to rest, I'm going to rest, easy as that. If you throw random encounters at me like BG, I'm either going to try again until it's successful, or save/reload. If there are debuffs for resting somewhere, I'm going to deal with them if they're not a real cost, or go back to where I don't get them if it's really necessary. If you force me to wait until I can rest again, I'm either going to hit the Wait button until I can do it, or go make me a pot of tea while the game is running, cursing that dumb system all the way to the kitchen and back if there is no Wait button. "Realism" is secondary. This is a game. Every part of it has to work as part of the game. How you do your rest system has nothing to do with being "realistic", and everything with decisions that the player has to make and how you want your game to flow and your abilities to work, and so on. You can write up some pseudo-realistic stuff later to justify it, if you're so inclined.
  2. Reading is also way faster. Really, I hate information videos when they just could write that down somewhere, i.e. there's no information in the visuals. [/OT]
  3. I wouldn't put too much hope in GOG sales, honestly. The only number I've seen for some game was 90% Steam, with GOG and others in the remaining 10%. That certainly depends on genre and individual game, but I'd be extremely surprised if GOG had a share of more than 15-20%. Except probably for the Witcher games as GOG and CDProjekt are related. Not even bothering with this "dumbing down" nonsense.
  4. That's the old conflict between player freedom and story progression. A story is better when it is tightly controlled, linear, and scripted. That directly opposes the freedom to explore and do things at your own pace. PoE tries to do something similar to BG2, with the urgence coming from something destroying your soul / mind (generally speaking). It just fell really flat in doing so. Although, at least for me, it created a very strong secondary motivation with the prospect of ending the hollowborn plague. That was enough to feel sufficiently motivated (at least in RPG terms, where "this is the quest, you're supposed to follow it else there's no game" is commonplace). Sure, that wouldn't apply to a PC who doesn't care about lots of dead babies and mad children, but then, I'm not really interested in playing such a character. :D --- The point with Twin Elms is, I agree, mostly pacing. The game has a large hub with Defiance Bay, you're free to explore basically the whole map (and Dyrford has quite a lot of side quests, as well, even if it's not a big settlement itself), and then shuts off Defiance Bay while driving you to Twin Elms. Closing the main hub (even though it becomes accessible again rather quickly), making the game more linear, with possibly the large majority of areas explored, together with the feeling that you're getting closer and closer to Thaos and (after meeting Lady Webb) understanding his motives, seems like a sure sign of the end if you've played RPGs before. And then, Twin Elms opens up, taking all remaining urgency out of the story (side quests are supposed to be done, after all, and Twin Elms gives the impression that it has lots of them). It's no so much Twin Elms in itself, it's its place in the flow of the game that creates that drop in motivation.
  5. And never click on gold-plated NPCs. Never. Except to murder Sturm Brightblade to death. I suspect that it saved me a good deal of boredom that I stopped caring about backer NPCs very early on.
  6. I seriously do not understand why some people seem to have set upon a certain style of play and specific tactics for a game that they have absolutely no experience with, successor or not. Yes, you probably won't be able to copy the tactics you employed in PoE1 for PoE1's encounters, PoE1's abilities, PoE1's characters, and PoE1's story one-to-one. Why would you want to, though? Why should you even be able to? It's a different game. It has different encounters, abilities, characters, and story. You will be fine. You will be able to finish the game. This is not a convoluted conspiracy crippling clueless gamers into giving up the game halfway through because they absolutely can't manage the difficulty unless they had access to exactly and only one more guy in their party (funnily enough, for everyone a different guy). Does not compute.
  7. They started to fix the old one and in the process realised that part of the fix would be reducing party size to 5. That's the point. They didn't decide on five randomly just to troll you and then built the game around that. They explicitly said that the reduced party size is the result of them trying to fix things that didn't work as well as intended in the first game. P.S. I voted for 6 on that poll. It asked for preferred party size. I can certainly live with five, it's really not that big of a deal.
  8. I don't think 2) is a good way to balance this. For long-lasting pre-buffs, you essentially go the BG2 Stoneskin way: First thing after resting is casting Stoneskin. (Or swap that for "upon entering an area with possible combat".) Once your Stoneskins are used up, you rest. For short-duration buffs, you have a list of spells you cast. Every time. With maybe slight variations which of the Spell Immunities might be most useful. Restricting the duration so much that the buff doesn't even last a few rounds, completely defeats the purpose of buffing before a fight. In that case, you can simply switch it off like PoE does. With good autopause options, you can basically string spells together without missing a second in between. (Pause game, set to autopause on spell cast. Have your party start buffing. As soon as someone's done with their spell, the game pauses and you can order the next spell to be cast.) If you restrict the duration so much that casting only a few buffs per character has the first one run out already, you've successfully rendered your spell useless. And you're not gaining much. If implemented in that way, you're basically designing everything around that just to have pre-buffing for the sake of having it. That's not worth the hassle.
  9. Centering the camera on the speaker imho breaks down once you have rapidly changing speakers in a dialogue - be it because they dialogue is short and you continue quickly, or for a quick interjection of a companion or an NPC, or because it's a discussion with many participants, or because you read all this stuff before and are replaying that scene. Even thinking about the camera rapidly hopping around makes me uncomfortable.
  10. Because in Fantasy, sewers are not for sewage. Sewers have three main functions: Housing an honorable-but-somewhat-corrupted Thieves' Guild (accounting for roughly a quarter of a town's population). Providing the heroes with a convenient means of shortcut transportation to various city districts and plot-related buildings. Containing a representative sample of adversaries for said heroes of all stages of experience, from rats to Giant Space-Mutant Pirate Frog-Thingy. Therefore, sewers are usually large enough to have at least six persons move around comfortably while fighting against a number of enemies. Oh, and there will be some water in the middle. Bonus points for a vaguely brown-greenish colour.
  11. Many of the more flamboyant armours we have in museums were actually produced for show - not really for use in fighting. That was also the armour that was most likely to be preserved in good condition (as it was rarely used and even more expensive), so they're more likely to end up in a private collection and later, a museum. For instance: We still have the armour that Maurice, Elector of Saxony, wore into battle in 1553 - we know that because the bullet hole that led to his death two days later can still be seen: The armour is expensive and has a few ornaments here and there, but ultimately, it's quite plain and practical. Now, this is the same guy, but in a picture where practicality didn't matter, and therefore, the artist could just add nice stuff at random: Now, from roughly the same period - this was not only for pictures, you could actually wear stuff like that: But that was not intended for real fighting. You wore that for parades or other ceremonial occasions, or maybe in battle if you were sure that you wouldn't be involved in actual combat, i.e. perfect for leading from behind. (Also, it's almost exclusively decoration that doesn't change the basic form of the armour, i.e. doesn't add any real parts, just sprinkles more gold on the surface.) Now, PoE is fantasy, and ornaments and colours and such things don't really detract from the practicality of armour itself, most of the time. (As opposed to, say, spikes, which are the most stupid thing to add you could imagine. Or all those escutcheons and rosettes and little trimmings in the second picture.) You wouldn't wear them into battle because they were made for show, extraordinarily expensive and the decoration was not made to withstand combat - but that isn't a concern in a game like PoE. You could still go for impressive looks while still maintaining usability. As for whether that harms your sense of immersion - YMMV.
  12. At least in the Dyrwood, after getting Caed Nua you're basically landed nobility. Somewhat insignificant, rural, and "new money", but nobility nonetheless. And in Deadfire, you're captain of a ship. Whatever your original background, you're not scum to many people.
  13. First, claiming that XP and similar rewards aren't really what counts and that the journey is its own reward, yo man - that's nonsense. It may be for some people but generalising it sounds suspiciously like accusing people of having BAD WRONG FUN. Second: Having the story take over in the end so players keep playing not because the avatars get better but because they want to see the conclusion, is really, really difficult. A lot of traditional RPG side quests are written specifically for giving out XP and loot rewards, with some story to justify that. (It's often even lampshaded by statements like "the hero should do stuff to become better to beat the big bad!") Letting the story be its own reward works for the main story (at least hopefully; PoE was somewhat lacking in creating a sense of urgency there), and it may work for some side quests - but that's limited. You have to establish the characters in a way that the player cares about them (which is hard for side quest characters with a maximum of two paragraphs introducing them). This works better if you concentrate on your main story at that point; it falls flat when you have a lot of side content. PoE introduced Twin Elms, a traditional RPG main hub with many unrelated or only very loosely connected content, at a time when many players already had hit the XP cap - which takes a lot of steam out of "helping random people solve their private quabbles" stories. Finding that spot where to transition from early to mid-game content with XP and levelling as a major incentive, to the end-game where things are increasingly driven by the story, is not easy. I think one of the main reasons for PoE being criticised so much on that front is that it really missed that spot. And third, for me personally: Outlevelling things should be a viable strategy for most if not all encounters. PoE's bounties would have worked way better if they had maybe netted a lot of money but few XP - they're battles that are perfect for providing a challenge you can't solve by coming back later. For other battles, esp. for the critical path, it should usually be possible. There's no real solution to this, I think, only coming closer. Regarding XP alone, you could cap actual progress at a certain point but continue giving out XP and gaining levels with only small bonuses to statistics, so at least people who like that feeling are somewhat more satisfied.
  14. "Excessively simplistic" - sure. Why should I take that argument seriously again? You not only have to prevent resting outside of inns - you also have to prevent returning to said inn, meaning you'd have to block off entrances ("you see, doc, all stairways tend to collapse behind me!" - "I know, protagonist syndrome."), or repopulate areas excessively, or similar measures that make the world much more game-y and a lot less "realistic". It's not about "harrr, hero smash!" If I approach a boss fight, I know that this was designed for rested parties unless resting has been completely cut off for a specific time. Which makes me look for the closest possible rest, except I'm confident that I outlevel the fight anyway. It's not about how to deal with limited resources, it's about how much inconvenience I'm willing to submit myself to in order to avoid boring backtracking. (I dimly remember that argument came up somewhere before. )
  15. But as a designer, you have absolutely no way of predicting whether the player comes to a fight well-rested, or not. Unless you block off areas and prevent resting, which has its own problems. In the end, encounter design doesn't change that dramatically - you always have to tailor it to a well-rested party if you want to make it challenging. And while most player won't rest-spam or extensively backtrack, in most cases it's impossible to make sure that the player didn't even "accidentally" rest just before. And that's not even taking replays into account - when you know that there's a big fight ahead (often doesn't even need a replay, you can often suspect that the boss fight is near and rest just in case), it's even more guaranteed that the player won't come half-broke to the party.
  16. I wouldn't even use it for the majority of the game, only special occasions - but on those occasions, it would make a great difference. You don't run into an old Lady's office. Or sprint down the hall to the tribal leader. Or in other games, have your sword drawn while talking to people (Morrowind actually punished you for that lack of etiquette). Or take off your full helmet when in civilised areas. (PoE's avatars are too small for that.) Little things. I never even used big head mode once. Really, why is that there?
  17. OT: Don't listen. Really, you're missing out on an extraordinary milestone because of some distorted hearsay.
  18. As always, things aren't necessarily black and white. Do I think Durance is a great character? Of course he is. Is his story essential to the game or its world? Sure. Did I like him? Hell no. And, very importantly: Was his story presented in a way conducive to the game? And that's where I think he falls flat. He was artificially drawn out exposition. In the case of the GM, there was at least a hint of progress or the illusion of a closer bond. For Durance, he essentially decided at some point "okay, you clicked five questions for today, come back tomorrow, because reasons." OTOH, comments like the staff thing were the ones I actually liked more. Or hacking kneecaps off of children, or whatever he proposed. It showed his personality, instead of using him as Godhammerpedia with UI issues. If judging by Durance and GM, Avellone's characters are way more at home in a weird fantasy setting (Torment-like). PoE's dead baby world wasn't that weird, it was more, hmm, depressed horror. They didn't really fit in with it, as well.
  19. It means that after playing 2 or 3 times, you'll just re-use the same companions.
  20. That does not say "WILL be added". That says "I've put it on the maybe pile". Sear doesn't even say "list of things to add in future updates", he said "list of things to look at". I don't quite understand that opposition to a walk toggle, though. Who cares if you like running?
  21. Retraining is pure gameplay, nothing in-setting. That's like giving the cursor an ingame explanation (Jaheira notwithstanding). Having bartenders sell a potion is merely convenience as there's no button in the UI.
  22. It would be interesting to see such a statistic for other parts of the world, as well. The acceptance of evolution seems much higher in Europe, for instance, though I'm not sure whether that is because of higher acceptance in general, or because evangelical Christianity is only a small minority (or both). That letter about evolution and Islam was an interesting (if laborious ) read, thank you. He effectively argues for creationism for humans, and Intelligent Design for everything else - a distinction that is new to me. Oh, and he cites Denton in his bibliography - that's the point where Muslim and evangelical Christian theologians meet, apparently.
  23. Full frontal nudity at Pillars' level of detail would cater to a rather specific niche, I'd assume. :D
  24. Variety in weaponry is good, and if they come up with some variants that draw their inspiration from elsewhere than Medieval/Renaissance Europe and general Fantasia, that would be really nice. I tend to be against introducing new weapon types. Except for maybe some really exotic stuff with dubious usefulness, those new variants can easily fit into the existing categories.
  25. No idea what I will actually do in 2018, but for speculation's sake: Vailian Republics. Viva la Serenissima.
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