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wickermoon

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About wickermoon

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  1. Don't forget the bounty hunters that attack you at every turn. Some one is gunning for your life in BG1, and there's good reason for the player to want to know who. Which would be another cliché motive. I mean, Morrowind had it, even Kana is being hunted by bounty hunters and there are much much much more examples. Someone's gunning for my life? Well whoop-di-****in'-doo, I knew that the moment Gorion sacrificed himself to stop Sarevok from killing me. The bounty hunters didn't actually add to that. Plus, those bounty hunter mechanics are a pain in the ass and even PoE has them. SO annoying! The problem is step 4 -- you don't learn that the antagonist is part of the mysterious organization, until /after/ you've already started to investigate said organization. It isn't a fatal flaw because, as some one pointed out in this thread, a protagonist of a cRPG who /isn't/ curious isn't a valid character type (such a character would never start an adventure in the first place, or would end it ASAP), and therefore it is reasonable for to expect the protagonist to investigate a "mysterious organization" simply because it *is* mysterious. But nevertheless, it is a defect (in my opinion), which could be closed by having someone (the Steward being an obvious choice) to provide more concrete guidance to the PC. After all, she's lived a very long time, and many interesting characters have passed through the Keep -- there really isn't any reason that she couldn't provide guidance pointing towards either Lady Webb and / or identifying the mysterious organization as someone who might be capable of the acts that the PC has witnessed -- either would tighten up the plot considerably. I'll have to confirm that, but I'm pretty sure you learn rather early on that he's part and/or the leader of the organization.
  2. Did he, though? For me, Irenicus seemed like the typical run-of-the-mill evil wizard, whose actions didn't make sense most of the time. But to get back to the motivation of PoEs main character: He is told, in Caed Nua, that he will probably go as mad as Maerwald, if he doesn't do anything about it. Most players arguing about a badly executed main plot, because they don't see why the character should go to Defiance Bay, seem to have forgotten that (or never even noticed it in the first place). Now, I sure as hell don't want to end up as Maerwald, but maybe you guys thought him to be actually a pretty fun guy to have around, I don't know. But it sure was more convincing - and much more personal - than going with Khalid - Jaheira because they had business in Nashkell or the all-too-often-used revenge-themed motivation of BG1 (which you didn't follow up anyway). No, the motivation in BG1 was not only too cliché (revenge...of all things), it was also poorly executed (just get along on a quest totally not concerning yourself in anyway. Why'd you do it, instead of going somewhere safe or getting after Gorions murderer, we don't know, but it sure will work out, because we're in a game and it will all have to do with one or the other.), compared to PoE, who kept every main quest motivation personal. Now what has Sarevok going for him: He killed your father. You're not going to go after him. Instead you're trying to solve the mystery of brittle metal, which, on a cursory note, has nothing to do with your situation. The plot thickens, I agree, but the pacing is off right from the start. It feels less personal and more like a mystery scavenger hunt and takes quite a while until it connects with you personally again. As the BG1 main char you would have to be very very benevolent and good-hearted to go on the quest of BG1's main story.
  3. Depends on what you define as RPG, really, but usually Skyrim is a big competitor. For me, I even consider CK2, but I can totally understand if people strongly disagree with that assessment, so forget that I mentioned it. Also, both games are open world rpgs with a totally different focus, but I would never agree on the notion that PoE is short. It's not. Eight hours is short, 20 hours for rpgs, I would say, but as soon as you hit 40+ hours you can't possibly mean to say a game, any game, is short.
  4. But...but...Alistair...and Morrigan...T_T they're like the two best characters in BioWare's arsenal.
  5. Apart from that, BioWare had extensive collaboration with Interplay and an already existing (and in my opinion well-rounded, although highly exploitative) combat, roleplaying and world system (AD&D) for BG1. They had to create the engine, I'll give them that, but engine development doesn't outweigh combat and world system development. So no, BG1 wasn't actually built from scratch. The engine, the assets and maybe the story was. But people seem to forget that...
  6. But they do not have an engine. They created a game using the Unity3D engine. What they have are game mechanics, specific game mechanics. They can be adapted to other games, yes, but why would you give some other company the possiblity to create the exact same kind of games and create a competitor who might even outdo you with what you have created? I like the thought of open source, I really do in all honesty, but in order for a project to be OSS-compatible there need to be several criteria met and a game has mostly none of them. Linus didn't open source his os so he could turn a profit on it. He knew exactly he wouldn't be able to turn a profit whether he open-sourced it or not. And most linux distributions actually do have closed-source parts because they want to keep that edge over their competitors. As I said, most profit-oriented open source projects earn their living by either selling support or doing something completely different, simply because they're able to. Small game companies can't. And I'm actually arguing against Obsidian OSing PoE, because that's what your opening post stated. Apart from the fact that reverse engineering is a fellony (or even a crime? I'm not sure about it), it's not about the effort. It is about the lawsuit. So you're arguing for me. And clean room implementations don't have anything to do with reverse engineering. Reverse engineering would be just that, reverse engineering the original product. But that's not what I was arguing. What you describe is a reimplementation and that effort takes not only time, but money. Handing them the code would be saving them so much time and effort - and consequently money - that it would be a liability to open source your game mechanics (which is what I was arguing). We actually have a very similar situation in my current company. We can't do anything about it, because we're a research institute and don't do much patents and stuff, but hey, their product is so much behind that we don't have to worry about them being actual competition. I just attended an industry fair that even proves this point, because most companies wanted to work with us not them. If we had given them access to our code, well ****-out-of-luck we could've stopped the whole project. Wouldn't be worth it anymore due to several reasons. It's not a platform. You're arguing that Obsidian should go the way WotC and several others went and release their ruleset. That is something totally different and has nothing to do with open-sourcing their game. And tying it to the software has nothing to do with open-sourcing it. They could do that with closed-source software as well and would be even safer. Also, as you suggested, the world isn't clamoring for new games like PoE, the feasibility isn't given and there's no point in discussing this particular point any further. Are you comparing the PoE community with professional programmers who - mostly - actually know what they're doing? I would not make that claim. Can't prove it might be the opposite, but code review is still a pain in the ass and there's a difference between gamers trying to assist gaming companies in bugfixing their pastime hobby and programmers who do this for a living. Gamers are fickly mistresses and I do not hold much faith in them, but this is my personal opinion and I won't argue about it, because neither of us could actually argue for their respective point of view. But If this is my weakest point (and I can agree that it is) then I'm not too worried about my argumentation. P.S.: Also, I don't consider the code for any non-profit-OSS to be exactly clean or easily maintainable. The ICQ (or was it pidgin? It was some messenger software) branches prove that. They are a horrible thing to look at and most programmers won't touch the core stuff, for which the main programmer responsible is not working on the project anymore, out of sheer fear of breaking anything and not being able to fix it. Most oss software is a pile of garbage due to poor documentation and the few rare cases - the big ones - are just a small oasis in a vast sea of code-horror. P.P.S.: I'm not sure if they finished the job, but up until a year or two ago, or so, even JAVA wasn't actually (totally) open source. Many of the core code was (is) still closed-source. Maybe they did it and now have a truly open source project, but I doubt it.
  7. 1. He stated that they integrated a central hero, which they promised, and they delivered. Not a feat, I agree, but it's a promise they held. 2. It's not about whether the characters are better or worse than BG2 or PS:T (a comparison I will speak about later on). In my personal opinion, some characters are better, some are worse, but most of them are memorable, there's no denying it. 3. The combat system is not a fail. It might not be as good as BG2, I agree, but it's not utter ****, as much as Sensuki might wish it so. It's a new combat system so of course there are going to be flaws. Am I fine with the combat system? No, I have my gripes with it, but it's not a fail. It's a slight miss, but they never promised the exact same combat system as BG. It is similar enough to be successor and different enough to be an evolution of it. 4. Comparing almost any game'a story and writing with PS:T is ridiculous. PS:T was a once-in-a-lifetime-achievement in storytelling. Apart from that, the whole PS:T setting had already been worked out. You just had to fill in the gaps and most of the story and writing was made possible due to the setting. They could draw inspiration from it and Avellone can thank whoever he wishes for having the luck to create such a rich story and immersive writing. A game such as PS:T will probably never exist again, due to circum- and happenstance. Everyone who thinks that there'll easily ever be a game with a storyline and writing as good as PS:T is - simply put - delusional. And what if they didn't achieve it? You don't care as much for storywriting anyway. For you PS:T must've sucked, because the combat system was never on par with the BG series and still miles away from PoE. The whole focus of the game was storytelling. PS:T comparisons are just ridiculous, anyway. And if you think the writing was average then tell me of all the games that are better written than PoE, except for PS-****in'-T. BG2's storyline was underwhelming when compared to PoE. The plot was forseeable, there were no surprising moments and it was so full of fantasy-tropes that it seemed like a trope-fest come true. PoE has its tropes, yes, but by far not as much as BG2. BG2 might be considered a stellar moment for D&D storytelling and writing, but let's be honest the overwhelming majority of D&D stories are utter crap. If it wasn't for the war of the spider queen series, I would even say all of them were just plain bad. It's no achievement to shine in a sea of dung. 5. Just see above. 6. What? So you say no and that's it? Nah, I'm not going to take that as an argument. I'll just say hell yeah it does. So in my opinion, even with the weighted checklist, the game does not come up short. It delivered. If you thought that this would be a second PS:T cross BG2 then I have no idea what you were thinking. And if you really think that you have to live up to PS:T - to PS:T! - to be a worthy successor then even BG2 isn't a worthy successor - which was released almost a year later btw - and no other game after these two, including IWD 1 and 2. You're bashing on the game because you have rose-tinted BG-glasses equipped, that's all.
  8. I think it wouldn't necessarily have to be the way where you mask quest-npc names behind generic descriptions. But it sure would be nice to see more non-quest-related-npcs to have names and a bit of situational dialog. BG had those, too. Not every npc was named, but that doesn't need to be the case. There were just enough npcs who had a unique name and told you something no other npc would say and I liked it. It really adds to the immersion, flair and atmosphere and while PoE isn't necessarily lacking much in these areas, it is lacking in unimportant characters that will interact with you. I totally agree with Magnum here. As soon as I noticed that all golden-plated chars were backer characters and that every unimportant npc didn't have a name, I felt like they could've as well been removed from the game entirely. No smalltalk with common folk, only long (sometimes expletive) descriptions of disconnected situations and some floating texts. You know exactly who you need to talk to, or will need to talk to, and who's just filling up the emptiness of the map. If the backer characters had actually interacted with the player character in some way, that would've been awesome. I was actually hoping that it would be just like that and if I had paid for a character of mine to be ingame, I would've been disappointed to see it integrated into the environment in such a - very sorry to say it that way - cheap fashion. It's not like Obsidian would've had to do the dialog all by themselves. They would've only had to supervise dialog scripts a bit, which would've been the same effort as supervising the backer character stories, and those were quite atmospheric, just much too passive.
  9. The Linux kernel was developed by a student who was trying to get a better understanding of operating systems and proving a point. The Android OS was created by google to get market dominance, the same goes for the Chrome browser. The Apache Web Server and actually every other software except for the Linux kernel, are supported by big companies who can provide for most programmers, or are maintaining a profit by selling support (especially the Apache Web Server). Even the Java developers are paid by several companies and the ulterior motive for the programming language was to create a platform independent programming language because Microsoft was dominating the market with their OS. In the end, all of those companies earn a living mostly by selling support policies, because, quite frankly, they can. And all of those examples are pretty bad comparisons to PoE. Obsidian could never expect to make money by selling support services, nor is a specific game implementation a platform for anything. The UE3/4 engines are sold to bigger companies and the reasons why they're mostly free to small developers is again to create a market dominance (quite successfully, I might add). The same goes for Unity3D, by the way, which is partially free. But it's an engine, a platform for creating software. The risk of having any bigger game developer copying PoEs code, modify it enough to not warrant a copyright lawsuit, and then selling a game along the lines of PoE would be just too big. It's not about redistribution, because I'm pretty sure Obsidian could just create their own license which would restrict redistribution, the risk is about copying game mechanics. And Obsidian isn't near big enough to compensate for that, as opposed to Google or Apache. For Obsidian, competitors are an immense threat. For Apache and Google, not so much, because they're an established brand and work on a complete different scale and/or basis. It's absolutely incomparible, as much as I'd like to help Obsidian work on PoE bugfixing. P.S.: Also, coding guidelines. As much as everyone thinks that it's not an issue, I know that most people would be too stubborn to do the very boring task of documenting their code, work with the coding guidelines given by Obsidian and whatnot. It's a horror to get a piece of code from someone who's not acting by your coding guidelines or who was just too lazy for documentation. And code review takes up a lot of time.
  10. I think I have to agree with Exoduss in some points. If Obsidian actually designed PoE to be soloable on every difficulty, I have to say that that's a pretty bad design decision in my opinion, and I've seen it in many games, where game design was partially influenced by achievements. It's a trend I strongly dislike.
  11. I knew even before I opened the thread that Edér would be the last on this list. :D
  12. Yeah, it felt like Durance and Grieving Mother would've spawned from the same mind. They really feel pretty similar, in a good way. They're both enigmatic, their conversations are strange and confusing at times, and they're both pretty much damaged. Also, in my opinion at least, both their names would perfectly fit for PS:T characters, but that's just an aside. And by the way, I love Edér. His voice acting is amazing and his character is just lovable. P.S.: They're also in my standing party. Namely: Edér, Aloth, Durance, Pallegina and Grieving Mother.
  13. Well, I guess that the story itself is concentrating too much on being a good, socially apt, kith being. It assumes that by seeing the ritual in the beginning, where several people are sacrificed and which also kills your companions, the character automatically assumes that whoever would do such a ritual cannot be good in any way. Rationally, this would be the only thing you'd opt for as a decent kith being, since kith sacrifice is inherently bad. And due to the narrative complexity of creating a storyline for a good and a bad character, the game only goes into one direction, namingly you being the good guy. Now, I can understand why that is and surely all of you can, too. So, when you're in the catacombs, assuming that a bunch of kith who're hiding away in the underground, with masks, who sacrifice people for whatever reason, are bad and you wouldn't want to fall in with that crowd, makes sense. Also, I think there are enough options, which let your character state that he's actually quite fine with being a watcher.
  14. You would miss out on at least one different outcome in a quest in Dyrford, which involves the Grieving Mother, but that's just if you want to have the best possible outcomes for all quests. Also, the companions comment on some dialogs here and there and then there are the companion quests you would miss out on (e.g. Edér, Aloth, Pellegina, etc.).
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