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Giltspur

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  1. Chanter: PC (Dwarf) Fighter: Unannounced (I'm assuming there will be a fighter.) Priest: Cadegund Rogue: Eder Cipher: Orlan Dude Wizard: Aloth That's my plan--all subject to change based on in-game experience.
  2. This is cool and something I've wanted to see added to "tactical" RPG's as you should have to account for melee characters instead of just cheesing them. I get the impression from the video (but not from the text) that engagement will stop your character if he was moving from "click to move". You could then click again to leave the engagement area and be at risk of an AoO (hmm, that acronym makes me think of a wolf howl). If so that's pretty cool. I'd like to movement to be interrupted by engagement. Without that interruption you might just get smacked by someone you thought you wouldn't come in range of. And the interruption makes sense. I have to delegate some thinking to my party since I'm not really there on the battlefield in six bodies. So I'd want them to have the sense to go "Crap, engagement." and stop. Or auto-attack. But not just wander willy nilly as some jackal nips his heels with increased bite damage. Does anyone know if that's the plan, for engagement to interrupt click-to-move so that you'd have to make an explicit decision to move out of engagement? Regardless of the details of default character action upon engagement, it all seems like a natural and interesting evolution of IE-era gameplay.
  3. In general, I like skills that make me think about and make decisions about the conversation I'm having and that give the feeling that I have multiple pathways through a conversation. What I don't like as much are using skills to make conversational I-win options. Action Prologue (For the TLDR Crowd) Skills shouldn't always be effective even if your skill is high enough. I like when skills are decisions points. Take a New Vegas type setting. Imagine you run into someone that blames scientists for any nuclear apocalypse and is generally suspicious of all scientists. Trying to convince such a person of the wisdom of a certain course of action with your science skill should fail--no matter how strong your science is. Prologue is over. Time for the full post, starting with some comments on other games. Mass Effect There were a number of things I didn't like about the persuasion in Mass Effect's conversations (even though I still liked a lot of the dialogue overall). The paragon/renegade options were basically I-win buttons. And while the details changed in ME3, for parts 1 and 2 particularly, the game sort of encouraged you to play one "morality" which ended up effectively taking away choices and thought during conversation. Also, I didn't much care for how conversation skills were mixed with action skills. If you could choose to skip combat with diplomacy, maybe having the skills rely on spent points from a shared point pool makes sense. In general though, I like my combat and non-combat skills and point spending separated. Fallout: New Vegas This was one of my favorite conversation systems. It's very cool to be able to use your medicine skill in conversation or to use science to be more convincing to a scientist. Generally, it's cool to come up with a character concept, execute it in skill point distribution and have characters react to that in dialogue and give you multiple paths to "victory" (or defeat) in dialogue. Icewind Dale So I ran into a problem in this game. I had this high INT mage at the back of the party. My low INT dwarf warrior or low INT human paladin (at the front of the party) were forever bumping into people and being the lead character in conversations. I always wanted my mage to sort of step in front of them and handle the talking. It would have been cool to designate a leader that would handle conversations regardless of what slot you fill in the party. Dragon Age: Origins One of my favorite side quests in Origins was Crime Wave, http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Crime_Wave This was another case where non-combat skills gave you multiple paths. Use herbalism to convince someone she's sick or use pickpocketing while conversing. General Comments and Examples It would be cool if the skills could fail. (It's a given that they'll often work.) I want skills to be provide decisions points in conversation. Take a New Vegas type setting. Imagine you run into someone that blames scientists for any nuclear apocalypse and is generally suspicious of all scientists. Trying to convince such a person of the wisdom of a certain course of action with your science skill should fail. And I think it make sense to use class skills in conversation assuming the class has enough flavor to justify it. For example, in the Dragon Age setting you have Templars (which have anti-mage abilities and are basically mage jailers) and mages that have reason to come into verbal conflict from time to time. It would make sense for an intimidate option from a Templar to carry extra weight when used on a more submissive mage but perhaps backfire and provoke violence when used on a humiliated and strong-willed mage. And if a mage tried to use blood magic as a persuade or mind control in a conversation, maybe it's less effective on a templar because of their higher magic resistance. Attributes and Persuasion If attributes are to contribute to success and failure of conversation I'd rather multiple attributes affect it. Some are persuaded by intelligence, others by your displayed perceptiveness while others might care about charisma (presence, confidence). And so different attributes would mean varying degrees of persuasiveness with different types of people. Background Knowledge I really liked some of what they're trying to do in Wasteland 2. What I liked about their recent update is how your characters bring knowledge to a conversation, which can inform topics you can bring up. And the order you raise topics can matter. So you've done a quest or found something before hand and it gives you a different key word to deploy. In a game like PE, maybe your experiences in game can also load up what branches your dialogue tree has.
  4. If I had to pick my favorite feature in my video gaming across all genres, it would be the ability to save anywhere. And yet that way that you save have important interactions with various mechanics and encounter designs. As a result, I like it when games mesh appropriate design with the save-anywhere design. Here are three difference resource-save combos: Dark Souls: Vancian casting; spells recharged at save points; limited save points. Baldur's Gate: Vancian casting; spells recharged by camping, which can for the most part be done at any time; save-anywhere design. Dragon Age: Mana-based casting; spells recharged by mana regeneration; save-anywhere design. Dark Souls actually needs limited saves. Baldur's Gate would gain some things and lose other things by having limited saves. And limiting saves in Dragon Age wouldn't really add any benefit. I want to talk through these games before I get to my conclusion: that I don't want limited saves in Project Eternity. Why does Dark Souls have limited saves? Okay, consider this setup. You have encounters 1 through 7. And you can save before 1 and after 7 but not in between. Let's say you're a Sorcerer and you're good with Soul Arrows and are kind of junk with melee. And let's say encounter 7 takes 5 Soul Arrows at least to defeat. You don't know this. And you blow all of your Soul Arrows by encounter 5. This isn't Baldur's Gate. You can't just camp. You're toast. You've saved in the wrong spot and will reload into an unwinnable situation. (Strictly speaking you could run back to the campfire and respawn enemies, recharge resources and start over. But that's pretty game-y, and I imagine not something people want to see.) Part of getting better is not using more resources than you have to on an individual encounter. Keep something in reserve and hope it's enough. And so you're protected by not being able to save in a way that dooms you. The problem with that design of course is that it means replaying content. And that turns off gamers that don't like to repeat content. Encounter design has to take resources, recharging of resources and save points into account. You can't make encounter 1 require too many resources to clear if the player can't save until after encounter 7. So in a sense, the individual encounters have to made "easier" (that may not be the best word but hopefully you get my point) if you're getting your challenge from saving resources over time. Baldur's Gate has save-anywhere design--and so the camping anywhere acts as a bandaid to people that are low on Vancian fuel. Just recharge if you have to. You should be okay for the next fight. The downside is that it sort of betrays the spirit of making the most out of your limited resources and surviving the long journey. Part of the point of Vancian resources is to encourage saving the spells until you need them. And Baldur's Gate doesn't really give you that experience in full because of the combination of its save system and camping. My preference is that encounter design not be about saving your resources over a period of time. Instead I'd prefer encounter design to encourage the player to hit an enemy with everything they have and rely on the choices they make in the context of the one battle to be the difference between victory and defeat. And when you have that design, there's really no reason not to save anywhere (that I can think of at least). WIth that kind of design, it makes sense to use a naturally regenerating resource like mana or cooldowns. So my preference is that they go with save anywhere system and wed it with appropriate resource system (regeneration) and encounter design (focus on the individual encounter and not on excellence across a series of encounters).
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