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Everything posted by Nerei

  1. Actually the metre is currently defined based on the speed of light and before that the krypton 86 emissions, that silly platinum-iridium stick has not had any significant scientific value for over 50 years (yes I know about the origin of the metre as 1/10^7 the polar/equator distance but today it has no relation to earth). Okay admitted I would be surprised if they somehow defined a second around 9.192.631.770 state transitions of the 133 caesium atom like we do and then decided that the distance light travels in vacuum in 1/299.792.458 of that is a meter. As for the other very relevant unit, mass that would be fairly believable given that it is basically just "this lump of platinum-iridium is a kilogram" Yes I grew up with the SI system and have used it quite extensively. Really my point is that finding a method not related to planet Earth (or advanced physics) to define say a length and calling it a meter is very much possible, and given that the imperial units of lenght are (generally) derived from the human anatomy, the in-game lore could make them just as unrealistic as playing with atoms and photons. Consider if humans did not invent the units of measurement, why would an elf, dwarf, orlan etc. use the human anatomy for his units? Really just having humans (and likely a plethora of other terrestrial animals) in the game is darn unrealistic in the first place, just ask someone that have read a bit of astrobiology All that said I tend to agree with you, having some simple archaic units would be good. The trick though is to keep the number down, 1-3 for mass and length (short/medium/long style) at most with a simple conversion. Having the game feel like a modern day science book (which SI would likely give it) would really hurt the suspension of disbelief. Imperial is fine and all if kept really simple (it is fairly oldschool to say the least), however I will riot if I have to learn the relation between inch, foot, yard, mile, nautical mile and league just to be able to keep track of the distances npc's in the game might throw at me. Okay this got a bit long, and a bit off topic maybe, so in short a system that is simple and fits within the world. Should such a system derive the names from the imperial units effectively making it a near imperial system, that would be fine. It should however be easy to keep track of no matter if you grew up with SI or imperial
  2. Simply focusing on the entry is not all there is to making a game non-linear. If that was all there was to it I could say Dragon Age Origins was one of the most non-linear game ever. It has what? 5 ways to enter the “game”? That it does pretty much nothing with those entries literally 2 minutes after dropping you off at Ostagar is another story... That is an extreme case yes, but it still highlight the problem of just focusing on the entry, it is not the entire game, with all likelihood it is a very little part of it. It would not matter much either if teleporting to or sneaking into Ostagar as also an option if it still just said “welcome warden” when you got there and dropped you into the main plot. Neither would it mean much if I could take the scenic route to Lothering if that part was still pretty much identical no matter what route I took. ABE, ACE, ADE, they all end in E, that part means it is still partly linear and no matter how much you focus on B, C and D, it will still be that. You are still on the plot railroad to point E you just take some detours be they minor or not. Actually just focusing on the entry to each area could then easily be little better than the train taking track 1, 2 or 3 through each station and then claiming the next 40Km of track is “non-linear”. That is what DAO did. To me it matters just as much what I can do inside a room/area as how I entered it, more actualyl considering I will probably spend more time on it that just entering. If you just focus on the entry you are missing all the other parts. You are not going to keep my interest in a second playthough by allowing me to get to somewhere in 3 different ways if it means nothing when I get there. If you on top of that makes each scenario of the story disconnected from each other then I personally feel it as being little more than rubbing into my face how little it means if I pick B, C or D on my way to E. I might try them all out, but if 90% of the game is still the same (or completely unaffected by my actions) I will just load savegames and try different options, not play though the game again and marvel at how I can pick which doors to enter the huge dread-fortress of the big bad (or which one of them I picked when I left again). That is not to say the entry has no value, but if that is all you focus on you are getting a bit close to Mass effect 3 where apparently you had choices: Do I save the Geth, the Quaren or both? Do I cure the Genophage or not? etc. Those are chapter endings yes, but if it is the entry or exit that is slightly different is fairly irrelevant. What matters is that all the other parts in between is not. You cannot solve that just by having people crawl through the ducts, cut their way through the main door or go though the sewers. People will still notice that the majority of the game is identical to their first playthough. So focus on the entries to the areas yes, but also the exit and everything in between. Allow me to have multiple ways to deal with the boss, the henchmen etc. Have the way I treat people in town have an effect on their lives other than “and they lived happily ever after” and allow me to decide which of these it is. Have what skills I have have an impact along the game. Have my actions actually matter in the game-world and the central story being affected by it. The entry to an area can do part of it, but not nearly all. Try and make all parts of the game as non-linear as possible.
  3. uhm, SWTOR sold something around 2.1M units which had dropped to around 1.7M subscribers in february (just under the 3 month mark and beyond the 1 free month) and 1.3M in May with the August report saying well above 500K. Those are numbers from EA press announcements related to their investors meetings. From what I remember SWG never broke 500K. As for the profitability of SWTOR lets assume 800K subscribers on average (which might be somewhat of an underestimate) paying 15$ (europeans pay that in euro) each month for 12 months and on average 20$ for those 2.1M units, that is 186M$. From that I remember L.A. Times took flak for overestimating the cost of making it when they assumed 200M$. Again that is not to say I would call it a great success but calling it a failure is not really true either. Also with regard to technology SWG is from late 2003, WoW is from late 2004 (and almost broke 1M before 2005 despite not even being released outside the US, it also hit around 3.5M 2005). I really cannot see all of the blame going to technology. Okay this is starting to get off topic so I think I will keep it at this
  4. It is not impossible no, but considering that ToEE was not really a financial success selling 128K units (according to wikipedia) and it being radically different mechanically to the current MMO market I really would not count on it. MMO devs are not very likely to throw millions at a project where the prospects at best is uncertain As for SWG lets be honest, it was never a very large success. From what I remember ToR got several times SWG's peak subscribers sortly after release and unless it has dropped significantly since I last checked is still ahead. NGE was not really a success either and lets face it, there was a reason for them to try and overhaul the mechanics. Not going to say ToR is a great success (although from what I have heard it is the 2nd largest subscription MMO, atleast in the west) but aiming for the success of SWG would probably not be advisable either.
  5. MMO? This game will AFAIK not have any multiplayer component at all so you are really far off then. Also I would be quite surprised to see ToEE mechanics put to MMO format. Maybe from a small indie company (though naturally then without a D&D license), but the large AAA publishers will not touch it with a 10 foot pole, the record is just not appealing to them. Also got a feeling they would be on to something, I really do not think the majority of ToEE players are also MMO players. You can look to games like the Kotor series transitioning to the MMO market and how a large part of the old guard complained about it. For D&D MMO's there is D&D Online and apparently also soon a D&D: Neverwinter but those are far from ToEE style mechanics. If you just want TB mechanics I would recommend looking at Divinity original sin, not exactly D&D mechanics but in 2012 you can not be picky when it comes to western style TB RPG's
  6. Well one thing they do take from ToEE is the Ironman feature, lets just hope it actually work this time... Also the artwork is going to resemble ToEE a bit more than the IE games from a technical standpoint, 3D models on a 2D background.
  7. From a computer game perspective the stories are bad simply due to them being horribly linear. I remember running through the knight storyline with both a pure light and pure dark character and I hardly noticed any difference (killing a character is not really a difference if you never see them again anyway). For the Victory scene I noticed one different sentence and that in a situation where the extremely anti sith jedi should have been putting my darkside monstrocity to the sword. Add to that that something like 90-95% of the questing/levelling content is identical for all classes for the same faction and levelling is suddenly very repetetive. That makes it extra problematic that a major part of their endgame content is rolling another character to see their story.
  8. Could also be that it is based on D&D 3rd edition and that game included a mechanic called "taking 20" Basically it means that in a situation where you can continually repeat a check you will eventually get 20 on the D20 (just like repeatedly trying to unlock a door in BG where if you can succeed you sooner or later will if you roll a good enough result, here it is just automated). It does not do it for say pickpocketing, even if it is outside combat as it is a skill where you cannot casually repeat it. Also you could still fail out of combat actions if the check was higher than 20 + you skill, try recovering a deadly trap, the check is something close to 50. Technically according to the p&p rules it also takes 20 times as long, something NWN did not simulate. Having something along the lines of this mechanic would be fine with me, it would also make sense that if I take my time I would be able to get a better idea of how to solve the problem. That is actually also a reasons why I dislike the locking the seed approach to things like lockpicking. I prevents simulation of such a scenario unless it always assume I take 20 minutes picking a lock. That said I will still say that having the "option" to reload and try again does not mean that the RNG the game comes with has been taken out of action and the player dictates the outcome. For one the people that does not reload it will work just as it has always done. Only to the people that do it will it have less effect. You also got a problem if you implement such the mechanic like you suggest. Going back to the pickpocketing, using that logic if I have any chance of succes it should always succeed. For the people reloading that is great, more power to them. For those that do not they suddenly have a 100% succes rate they might not like. I remember playing some well-made rogue/city adventure modules for NWN where one of the mechanics for pickpocketing was if it failed you should run, hide and wait for the danger to pass. I really liked that, it made sense that the entire city was not out for my blood due to the 2 coins I stole. Being able to casually rob the 2 major towns blind at first level would be a pretty terrible design.
  9. How are you bypassing something that you where not meant to be able to do? Reloading a savegame and trying again will in no way at all allow you to do something you where not allowed to do in the first place. All it means is you get an additional chance at the exact same scenario you tried before unless you actively change something. Indeed given that it is pretty irrelevant to talk about people that are not allowed to enter your shed considering that they do not exist in that scenario. Really they also have a key to the door. Reloading is in no way different than being lucky the first time you tried. As for your painkiller scenario you are right off assuming that people reloading savegames to get the result they want is a bad thing, it might be an inefficient way but it is not bad unless you want to make it that. Do I consider it bad when I do it? not really. You might consider it bad but that just means there is no consensus on it. Rolling 20 on a 20 sided dice 200 billion times is possible, insanely unlikely but possible, reloading savegames is really just the player trying to help the system get such an unlikely scenario. Reloading a saved game and trying again will never allow you to do something you could not do the first time had luck been with you unless the game is broken in other ways! It should also be said that all the IE games except planescape have include a console (some of the other games referenced on the kickstarter like NWN2 or ToEE also included it). If you want to talk about principles then they should not really give players a hydrogen bomb to play with and then complain about them playing with firecrackers. Then there is the trainers, savegame editors (both likely to appear at some point) and ramcheat tools, that is our black market WMD's in that scenario. The firecrackers would be the last thing I would worry about if the goal is to maintain the principles of purity. I still do not see why a game developer should dictate how I play a game that I have paid for unless it affects someone else that also uses that product. The world of games is one of the places where I really want to be free from people telling me what to do, I got people doing that all day. Again if it affect other people I can naturally accept it, but in this case it is a game that is unlikely to even include any degree of multiplayer. Having people dictate my playstyle at that level to me just feels a bit too much like someone read 1984 and liked the ideas it proposed a bit too much.
  10. I would also have preferred it to have been a single-player game. Be it related to the KotOR games or some completely unrelated SW story. As one that have tried the MMO I will also say that in many cases it felt like a single player game. I sure could get through the good parts without talking to any other human being. That said I am not sure how much we should blame the MMO for the situation with Revan and Meetra Surik. Much of it is from the book Star Wars: The old Republic: Revan which was actually released before the MMO. Both are probably written in conjunction given how deeply some of the characters from that book is tied into the MMO story but the blame might be on Drew Karpyshyn and not Bioware. It could also just be that they where trying to match Lucas writing of Anakin That is not to say I cannot say a lot of bad things about the MMO (I wrote 3 pages to bioware in my "why did you stop your subscription" reply), but I will let that rest, no need to start an hour long rant. I will however say that I cannot remember how many times I have thought "had this been a good RPG I would have had option X". A MMO just feels like a bad place to tell interactive stories. I am not sure how I would have written the stories had I been in their situation. There could probably have been made something interesting with the storyline they have. The result they delivered however is something I would consider great, it is way too linear. At least we can hope that There will be some decent CRPG's set in the SW universe, but until that happens I guess we will have to stick with the ones we do have.
  11. Personally I am not too much for minigames. If they are optional and fit into the world as a whole and at least are moderately fun (and does not take too many resources from the core game) fine, but mandatory minigames please no. That is not to say I dislike them as such, I just rarely play them. One of the few I liked was pazzak, it was fast, moderately fun and within lore of the game. I would however be irritated if I had to play pazzak 5-10 times in a row, which could happen in such a system even if I was not constantly reloading to get a successful roll. A hard part of the game could result in me dying regularly and thus would also trigger it. If there where to be a penalty like this I would rather go with the style that New Vegas (IIRC) had where you could not play in the casino for something like 1 minute after reloading. A similar system could be made for skillchecks. That is not to say I liked it, but I would prefer it over many other options.
  12. I am still going to stick with: Make the game so I do not want to or do not feel the need to reload, not a game where it is hard to reload. What you have in that example is still just a restriction, nothing more nothing less. If I feel the game is unfair to me I will still want to reload. That has not changed at all, what you have changed is my ability to do so. You are not making the game "fair" (definition of fair is open to debate), neither are you taking away my need (be it imaginary or not) to reload. If we want to reduce the amount of reloading in the game, lets look at the source of the problem, the skill system (or game mechanics as a whole), not the seed used by it. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are nice examples of games with nearly no reason to reload due to skillchecks, if the system is good is another story but that to me feels like the place to start. I still can not ever remember having seen a seed system that made me less interested in reloading. It might make it too hard forcing me to find another route or give up, but is either of those good results? Actually the seed system in games like Xcom 2012 can make me more prone to reloading, just so the AI gets the next 5 horrible seed values and not me. I have friends that swear to that strategy. For them the seed is just a different reason to reload. The odds are also that there quickly will be some way around it, effectively making it useless. Odds of there not being tools like gatekeeper (an easy way to skip things like skillchecks) are fairly slim, and likely also a console which could mean I do not even need the 3rd party tool. Should those fail I can probably use some ram cheat tool. Sorry if I (or someone else) have said some of this before but I still do not see how saving the seed will in any way help with making me less prone to reloading except by making it too hard for me to bother. To me it still basically feels like a multiplayer anti-cheat tool coerced into a new role. As an option fair enough, but then there is already ironman as a closely related and confirmed feature.
  13. That is probably solved just as easily with the trial of iron (ironman) difficulty option that is already going to be included, unless you copy your savegame you pretty much have to accept all results you get there.
  14. From a time/cost vs result I really do not think this is worth it. In an ideal world sure, but this is a project with limited time and resources. First off given that backgrounds are going to be pre-rendered 2D images if the art posted so far is any kind of reference it would make it hard to do anything worthwhile with a physics engine. Pictures like those from mafia requires collision boxes to work well be it from the ground or world objects. An image does not have this naturally, it is flat and dynamic calculations on a flat plane is fairly boring and in most cases not very accurate. Characters or objects would just fall down and not tumble down stairs etc. It would be possible to define the collision boxes sure, however that is extra work and we still got the problem of the game-world being 2D images. Damage also require additional renderings (and post rendering touchups). Just making a house in a pristine and burnt down condition is pretty much twice the work for the art department. Less damage could require less work by reusing large parts of a model, problem however is that 2D images are not really a dynamic media and could make it labour intensive (consider being able to dynamically burning down part of a house). That is not to say that having minor pieces of the environment destructible is impossible. Such a thing can be done by having chairs/tables/barrels etc. as 3D models witha a "death" animation as have already been suggested. Having major parts of the environment dynamic on the other hand would be a quite big task with fairly limited payoff. After all should the limited resources be diverted towards making it possible to torch a village or collapse a bridge? Maybe burning a random patch of trees or grass? Remember that even with reused 3D models there is still post rendering touchups (and likely adapting the model to the scene). I would so much rather see those resources go towards a better core game. This does not mean that major parts of the world cannot be destroyed, but it would likely a) be required by the plot and b) be done offscreen. A bit like Saradush in ToB Ragdoll physics to me also seems like a bit of a waste, the chance that we can do much more than predefined attacks are slim making predefined animations just as good, especially in a "flat" world. That is not to say that I would not like to see a completely dynamic game environment, but I just do not see it as important enough that this amount of resources being diverted towards it and setting fire to the village with a fireball due it being wood only to come back later and find it in pristine condition would bother me more than the game ignoring the fire in the first place.
  15. In an ideal world where there is no restrictions in time or money I would say why not. However with limited time and budget I would definitely prefer resources being dedicated towards making a better core game. Those features personally give me nothing, I tend to agree with Hormalakh that features like ironman are generally a waste, especially if it turns out as "great" as the ToEE Ironman feature....
  16. To be fair most of the AI/tactics mods include quite a bit more than just AI updates, they also change and/or add abilities to the mobs. I remember some of them that among other things also said they “improved the AI” also changed the enemies to the point where the challenge most definitely did not just come from the new AI. With a few it was just brute force in the end that made them hard. Naturally that is not to say there was not some fairly good updates among them, I remember a beholder mod that made them play a lot better, for one they actually tried to disable the casters instead of wasting it on the fighter. It was still a "glory or death" charge which will always irritate me, but I guess I can live with that if they just fight effectively while they are alive. I would definitely take the AI in those mods over the basic IE AI. I might even accept it, although not aways their methods of increased difficulty (improved Bodhi I am looking at you). My wishes for what an AI should be able to do is somewhat coloured by the number of grand strategy games I play I will admit that and I know I cannot have such an AI, but I am allowed to dream I remember you making a similar post in another thread where your argument was also basically destroyed. I am not really going to use too much time on this given that (as Hormalakh said) you should probably read the links you posted. It looks pretty bad when the misconceptions part of a page you link to hits you. Your targeting ideas are also way too complex to be effectively programmed into a game (and in many ways with the AI we have today could be done just as effective with a simple random check and a few predetermined scripts). Remember the AI is not able to do logical reasoning, the programmer have to do all the work. Hence why the AI as a whole is fairly primitive. It is possible to make an AI that use too many system resources, but it would either require bad programming or devoting way more resources to making it that any game developer would consider (again making it a programming issue). It would also still not be able to accomplish complex tasks effectively (and likely fail hard should it try).
  17. The AI might not be "human" level, but we can do a little better than "IF (see X enemy) THEN (attack X enemy). " Throwing in a few more possible actions would be nice. Allowing enemies to communicate with each other can do a lot to make combat more interesting. My comment about the great AI is really more directed at the talk of kiting (and other more complex situations the AI might have to handle). You can add a lot of fancy mechanics, but if the AI fails to handle them properly (which it likely will) it is just more likely to fail completely. Take the IE games, they actually had a morale check. However it usually just resulted it enemies running a bit away and then standing idly waiting to be put to the sword. For complete hilarity you could have the lone kobold end his morale failure check and charge the 6 bloodstained adventurers that had just butchered his 20 friends. The IE games have fairly lousy AI, improving on it is certainly possible and naturally should be done to the best of Obsidians abilities. I agree that the tactic of pulling 1 enemy away from the group of 3 and killing it alone like you could in BG was silly, cheap and borderline an exploit (and as mentioned fairly easy to solve given that modders could do it). You can add all the cheap ways of killing Drizzt to the list of examples of bad AI exploits. However changing that does not make the AI a tactical genius. It pretty much just means it has advanced past the "too stupid to live" point. Making the AI handle things like kiting properly (or any other complex strategy for that matter) is something else completely, it is far more complex that pulling. If the AI cannot handle the situations presented to it properly I would never label it as better than "adequate". That is really why I say I do not expect it to be great (and why I in general never really expect complex games to have a great AI).
  18. I'd argue that kiting is actually the end result of RT implementations. The AI has to compete with player input, game state checks, some degree of sound/graphics processing* for a slice of each second. Each unit representing it's own AI. AI requires complicated algorithms to achieve good results, complicated algorithms require time and horsepower. So the AI in any RT system is going to end up with deficiencies simply because it's severely resource limited. Tossing some more processors at it helps, but ultimately, you end up bound by the amount of processing that can occur in around 1 second. Which isn't nearly as much as people think it is with AI, since AI generally consists of NP-complete problems. *While GPU's and hardware sound chips handle most of the processing on their own, the CPU still needs to process the triggers for the graphics at the bare minimum and depending on the implementation may process part of the job as well, older GPU's and on-board sound often require CPU resources during processing. So what you are saying is that the computers we have today cannot handle the AI effectively in realtime due to a lack of basic processing power?! If that was the case I really wonder how the fossil computers that ran games like Dune or C&C (or Baldurs gate for that matter) could handle anything then. The laptop I am typing this on has a CPU that at the basic level is something like 100 times stronger than what I originally ran those games on! In many cases when I run RTS games on my desktop they do not even all my system resources. Claiming that AI deficiencies is then down to my CPU not having the power to run those scripts effectively seems a bit strange. http://en.wikipedia....ions_per_second Yes I know MIPS is not an entirely accurate measurement of the power of the computer, but it really does paint an interesting picture of the increase in processor power over the years does it not? The limitation for the AI is in the programming, not in any way related to the actual power of the CPU (it might have been at some point though, like back in the 1990's). Making an AI that can do as complex things as a skilled human being is technically just about impossible. That is the limitation. Personally I do not expect the AI to be great mainly due to it not really being possible to make an AI that can use 100 different abilities or tactics effectively in a multitude of situations. No scripting the events does not count.
  19. This is entirely up to the method of implementation. But yeah that's why I suggested the file which keeps track of these checks be a separate file as there is no need to retroactively write anything to the save file this way. The game could just reference the external file when it encounters a check that's been made already. I didn't want to go in this direction but here goes.. So every time a similar point is made on reloading behavior I often see these kinds of responses. - Don't force your play-style on me - People should have more will power and resist reloading - Including measures against reloading is like hand holding for the weak who can't govern themselves If I made a thread saying, hey I really think the default shortcut for the game menu should be the escape button and not "o", no one would care. But since I often see strong reactions like the above you guys obviously do care, and there's interest in keeping things the way they are. Disregarding playstyles for a minute, one forth of the skills available to the thief class was effectively a dump stat if you played the reload game. I think a lot of people would objectively look at that and say, hey that's a bit broken. What are the arguments in favor of choosing to leave things the way they are? Like I said in a post above somewhere, given the opportunity to build a new game, why would you be against attempts to minimize situations where it's advantageous for the player to reload? Shouldn't we be working towards the opposite? The real problem I see with saving the random seed (or pre-generating it or whatever) is that you do not affect my need (or interest in) reloading, only my ability to do so. That is why I have a problem with it as a mechanic. It just restrict my options without giving anything. Cheap results will stay cheap and mechanics like "save or die" will stay the same. Rolling a "9" when you have to roll "10" in order to avoid dying is not changed, only my ability to try again should I want to do that. If such mechanics is included or not is about game design which is where you should look in order to reduce the need for reloading, not in locking the random seed. Locking me to a result of a check will just lock me to results of cheap mechanics if these are in the game. It will not make me feel those results are less cheap and make me less inclined to reload. If it affected my need to or interest in reload I would have no problem with it, but I really do not see how it can do that. It just makes it harder to do so when I want to do that. Finally If it is possible to fairly easily defeat the anti-cheat mechanic (which will likely be discovered within weeks of the release if there is a decent amount of people interested in doing so), what is then gained? You have just added another step to my reload sequence giving me more busywork to do (or forced me to take another route to get the result I want). It would not make me do it less unless it was such a long and annoying process that I would rather stick with my old result, which is not exactly good either. In short, make the game so I do not want to or do not feel the need to reload, not a game where it is hard to reload. Locking the random seed is the latter. Edit: I cannot speak for other people than myself, but I have no problems with your post. Also if any of my posts sound harsh then I am sorry that is not the intention
  20. The problem I see with this is that you either have to restrict the developers to create characters with fairly even backgrounds, which in turn can lead to uniform characters or they would have to create completely useless/overpowered characters. If Nalia really was that bad, how many people would take her? If Anders really was that OP, would he be fun to have in the party when he completely overshadow and outdoes everyone else? The majority would probably answer "no" to both questions. If we take this approach then the player in BG should also be completely useless compared to Khalid and Jahiera (and most other characters for that matter). They have experience (years worth in some cases), the player just has a bit of training. That could easily lead to a seriously boring game if the protagonist basically is junk. It is fine to create a realistic game and I agree that as far as possible it should be realistic. However if realism gets to the point where it breaks gameplay or makes the game bland/boring, the devs have made a mistake. If the characters in BG/DA/ME should be balanced according to this I would say they should have their background made to fit this, not made completely useless/OP. That however might in some cases be too restrictive for storytelling/gameplay.
  21. Basically what you want is the game to save the random seed. That is a fairly common method actually, Firaxis did it in the 2012 Xcom game and from what I remember have done it in basically all Civilization games since III (or allowed it as an option) The problem I see with it is how to do it effectively in a very freeform game. Either you have to write it into the savegame post creation, which I would say will likely increase the chance of corrupting it, especially if you save infrequent. I still remember trying ToEE ironman 3 times and all 3 failing due to corrupted savegame files so I am quite paranoid with tampering with them, be it me or the game doing it. Also it would just mean that players would have to create more than one savegame (say save + quicksave to keep it fast) to cheat the system and if it is that easy to beat, is it even worth it then? Naturally you could write to all files, but that could be a real mess. If you take the Xcom approach and basically roll a huge number of virtual dice then the player just need to go pickpocket a random peasant (or whatever activity would use that variable) to burn that bad roll and it is back to square one. This approach (which IMO is by far the better as it does not tamper with files post creation) is fairly bad for freeform games. That said I really do not understand this obsession with such systems. I really think it is up to the player to decide how to play the game, not the devs or other players. If you want to have such restrictions, I honestly think you should impose them on yourself (or at the very least have it as an option) instead of imposing them on everyone. Had this been a MMO or a competitive multiplayer game I would understand it, there it spoils the game for other people if you do it. However for a game that are very unlikely to even include multiplayer so it would just affect the player. It really feels like imposing something on players needlessly (and not even that effective a system either) and wasting limited resources doing so. If there should be a feature to save the random seed it definitely should be optional. There is also the Ironman (or trial or iron as they call it) mode that pretty much prevents all kinds of reloading, with that already there I do not see any reason to create another softcore ironman mode.
  22. While I would like to have NPC's as independent as possible I really do not think it's practically possible to have the AI handle characters as well as it should for it to work in a game as open as PE will (likely) be, especially not with a total budget of 4.1M and less than 2 years of time. Making things like combat scripts that can handle all the characters even remotely effective in all the situations that they can/will encounter is not really going to happen, and given the limitations of the AI I would expect it to mainly end up being cursing at the screen and constantly reloading after it commits suicide (permanent death would likely kill all but the PC in a few hours). That said during dialogues/events it is much easier to work with given that pretty much all of it being pre-made (writing a massive BG style dialogue tree would mainly be a matter of time) and really this is where the characters personality should, and with the limitations on AI technology, can shine. This is also where I hope the game will shine and make the characters feel alive, not during combat as odds are that will pretty much just be them demonstrating a complete inability to sustain life. So yes to extremely independent characters during conversation and general character development and no to the AI controlling them during combat. For vote that is pretty much all (sharing loot, having an opinion, leaving the party etc.) except the AI controlling combat of #1 but I will go with #2
  23. Is making an AI that makes an über stack of doom from units spread over the map hard? It is not, it is actually fairly easy. Any moderately decent AI programmer can do that. It would not be hard to make the Starcraft 2 AI select all units, assemble them into one big stack and go hunt down the player. You could make it even simpler by just giving it omniscience and repeatedly attacking nearest player unit after making the stack. However do they want to make an AI like that? Would people want an AI like that? What would that do for gameplay? If the AI use cheap tricks like instant rushes you can be pretty sure that the players will complain. Even exploiting that type of AI would be somewhat simple in a fairly even scenario. An AI like that is just bad. It is fairly irrelevant what type of game it is, be it Civilization or Starcraft. The challenge for an AI programmer is to make an AI that is competitive without it effectively cheating. An AI that play like a human (generally without trying to use cheap tactics like the human probably would) and provides a challenge without having omniscience and/or X% more resources than a human. That is the goal, not an cheap unbeatable construct. If we are going to claim that the AI in a TB game like say the original Xcom (or just about any TB game from the 90's) can do a decent job simply due to it having more time, then a modern AI can do just as well in real time simply due to better hardware. Many of the TB games from the early to mid 90's could run on a I486. If the AI fails at handling basic tasks it is not about it not having the the calculation power but bad programming or a lack of time to make it. Compare the calculating power of a good I7 quad core to that of a 300 MHZ P II the latter easily being capable of running early RT games like Command & conquer (C&C can run on a 100 MHZ I486). You forget one of the main problem of making a good AI for a TB game. The (generally) higher complexity it has to handle. This however is not just down to the amount of calculations but also a matter of programming workload. If you have 100 tools at your disposal, you may very well be able to handle the majority if you are good, but odds are the AI will not (the programmers might not even predict all the scenarios). If the AI does not handle the additional options well you are likely to just hand the player more ways to easily beat it. That I would say makes the game a lot easier. Many people bring up ToEE as a nice example of good TB combat (and on that I agree, it is a good system). However the standard AI is not all that great. It works okay for basic combat but not special situations. I remember effectively breaking it without even trying simply due to the things it could not properly handle. One of the improvements the Co8 mod includes is improved AI. As for the pressure of time being illusionary, that highly depends on the game. If you can manage it largely with auto-attacks or basic AI, then the challenge would probably not be too hard no matter if it is TB or RT. That tactic is little more than overrunning your enemy with larger numbers or stronger forces. If we stick with Starcraft 2 as example pulling a large number of special abilities targeted at different enemies in a few seconds very much can make a difference (especially if your opponent tries to do the same) and is an example of time pressure in RT. Alternatively just try fighting 3-4 close battles spread out across the map (for added challenge make the 3-4 attackers human players).
  24. To me puzzles feels a bit more at home in classic adventure games like space quest or kings quest than Baldurs gate. That is not to say an rpg cannot have puzzles, baldurs gate 2 had some, but those games where filled with them.
  25. If the game is going to be anything like Baldurs gate then weapons do not really get thrown away casually, I usually stuck with weapons like Varscona until pretty much the end. Also while the concept is interesting how are you going explain that I cannot replace a +1 longsword with a +2 version? There might be slight length and balancing differences but overall they should not be "that" different. I would also expect a master swordsman to be able to compensate for this quite fast. Overall while I agree that going from a dagger to a lucerne hammer would be a major difference and might take some time to adapt to, it should still be fast if you are good at using the weapons and the a good user should adapt really fast from one longsword to another. For such a system I would actually say that simply sticking with on like in the elderscrolls is better (ignoring individual weapon familarity), the more you use a weapon the better you get at using that type of weapon (if you got 97/100 in using longswords swapping from one to another should be easy and fairly fast).
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