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About Bleak

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    (3) Conjurer
    (3) Conjurer
  1. If all post history is kept, you should find something if you are curious. I agree about the dialog... at least from what we've seen so far. But I will definitely give it a go since, even though I would have preferred an authentic BG sequel, I liked DOS2.
  2. Well, I did make an analysis, a long time ago, about what was wrong with the Deadfire, in terms of game design, narrative, disconnected gameplay loops etc. A couple of people replied on point, but the bias is strong here and in every game forum belonging to a particular game/game company. (Not that I blame anyone for that, it's perfectly natural, since people who hang around here are more likely to like the game than people on the RPG Codex). Anyhow, I wonder what do you think about BG3? Long story short, my first impressions aren't good. And it's easy to attribute this dislike to "nostalgia" or other buzzwords that cancel out someone's opinion, but the 2D art for starters doesn't hold a candle to BG2 (or Deadfire). 3D in isometric games just isn't there yet. Face models look like medieval Zoolanders, screen/skill effects are rather cartoonish and so on. My point is that, when someone goes on BG forums and tells them "you know, I think that BG3 doesn't feel the same way as BG2", people will dismiss them as "nostalgic" without realizing they are talking about these things - just won't or can't articulate them in detail. Feedback ought to be "feelings". It's the designers' job to translate these feelings into data. And I know it's easy and convenient to dismiss someone expressing themselves as nostalgic and whatnot (with extra characterizations on top) to prove your own point, instead of trying to see why they feel that way, but it's irrelevant to a meaningful discussion.
  3. In that particular example of attack/spell resolution, it's what I, at least, consider as a type of good complexity, because each way of attacking is mechanically unique. Yes, one will also need to learn how saves work and read the description of each specific spell carefully, but I don't think it's that big of a hurdle so that it makes players look up the rules after they familiarize themselves with it. I don't think systemic is always a good thing - sometimes it comes at the price of variety. That's not to say that DnD isn't more complicated than it needs to be or that it isn't filled with band-aid rules. DF's system is a good attempt at improvement, it's just that it misses some of the marks that made DnD more enjoyable for me. This is obviously subjective, as especially things like its degree of randomness may be very unappealing to some.
  4. If you want to make a good system in general, find one that fits with your game first and foremost. Even the most complex systems can be made intuitive. Owlcat (P:K developer) claims that they will make their next pathfinder game (WOtR) far more accessible by interpreting the rules in more intuitive ways. How exactly, remains to be seen. Perhaps they may "translate" the dice results and ranges into numbers and % percentages. It's not that I don't like PoE's system, but in my opinion it's inferior to DnD. I just like how spells in DnD don't have the same attack resolution (speaking in PoE terms) as normal attacks, its degree of randomness, effects of weapon specialization and scaling of stats better, among other things. I am all for a new system in general, just not like this one.
  5. Well, say you compare it to P:K, (Witcher is a different kind of animal in most aspects), while I do believe that DF wipes the floor with it in many areas (e.g. world design/graphics), after replaying both games several times I found it to be vastly richer as far as RP & skill checks, skill check consequences and skill check variety go, with skill checks present in pretty much every sub-area and with all skills equally sharing the spotlight. And I have seen that being mentioned before in discussions about the game, even it being the sole reason some people prefer that game as a crpg (not in this particular forum). I also recall people mentioning that skill checks are not very prevalent in DF in this forum as well. Don't take my word for it when it comes to other people, as I don't have time to search YT and forums to link them, but that's my personal impressions as well. Keep in mind that if I were to compare DF with most of the IE games released in the recent IE "renaissance period", indie or not, I consider DF to be vastly superior to most of them. For example, I consider D:OS 2 to have far better pacing and story, or, say, Underrail to have better C&C, but DF pretty much wins for me in every other aspect. But I think it's mostly natural to compare it to what I think was best, sold better and is very similar (that's why I don't mention DOS much), since there would be hardly any point otherwise, unless PoE were to change more radically. I've also raised the points you mention about the story being linear and mini-game (both its gameplay and stronghold aspects) more than once. Again I never claimed to pin everything on its intrinsic gameplay flaws, but I do believe they made a difference (DF obviously measures up well, but it does have stronger competition this time) and, as fans, players and customers, we should be examining and posting feedback about these intrinsic gameplay flaws first and foremost, so that we get the best PoE III possible, if that time comes. Stop roleplaying Eothas
  6. Fair enough, habit got the better of me and I was rather pedantic about how one would go about examining these reasons. While, as you said, social media tend to be crude and reductive, when conveying a message or a criticism, it's mostly the absence of coverage and the lack of proliferation, that I was talking about. As for reviews, I definitely would never expect a negative reception, since the game is pretty solid overall. However, I do have to disagree that things such as unimpactful skill checks or disconnected stronghold (which are just some examples), can be considered as nitpicks or too esoteric. Especially not for someone who is looking for a crpg and is familiar with the genre. This is the game's main target audience after all, so, while I wouldn't pin everything on them, I would definitely pay more attention to core crpg characteristics in general, if I wanted to examine what and how it went wrong. Not sure what you are referring to exactly, that won't work. They actually have replied to most of my points instead of repeating themselves. As for "utter conviction", aren't you being a tad hyperbolic? I don't think anything I said warrants that expression. Since you keep mentioning it in every reply you make, if you were piqued by how I phrased my initial post (by using "amused"), again, I didn't mean to provoke or insult, so apologies if I did. However at any case, paying attention to the message, instead of just the way the message was phrased is more important.
  7. Again, I never claimed to have made a survey about "how many people care about these problems", nor did I claim to know that this was the only reason the game didn't sell well. I just pointed out some practical gameplay problems, which we are able to identify by playing the game and without making any surveys - unlike the "setting theory", which is based on pure speculation, for which you *do* actually need a survey, if you want to make these claims. And that's why I found it amusing - because some people seem to prefer making pure speculations, instead of first examining what is right in front of them. And I obviously disagree with that speculation, so I wouldn't say "what I so think played a role was...", unless I was dishonest. Let me stop you there before you say "oh so you are able to identify the problems by playing the game after all", ergo, "so these shouldn't really have affected sales", like you have said earlier. Proliferation is what creates traction and people don't just watch reviews or peruse stores to buy games anymore. Marketing is only starting and then stoking the fire. It obviously is very important, but social media (steam, twitter, twitch, fb, etc) are even more so, in this day and age. Put simply, proliferation happens by "word of mouth" - which translates to tweets, posts, wishlists, recommendations, streamers etc etc. Streamers themselves work with traction in their majority (it's like any market would be) - because it is their job and make money off of it. A poorly proliferated game (for whatever reason) will have less viewers, streamers, recommendations and traction. So don't underestimate the value of intrinsic characteristics when it comes to sales.
  8. So what you are saying is that you have concluded that the game is flawless enough so that its sales weren't affected, is that right? Can you blame me for being amused? It's because mine is not a completely speculative theory, that wants to justify something mostly based on wishful assumptions which I don't have clear evidence on. That's why I find them amusing - not because I try to be edgy or critical. I just observe the problems the game has, which is the most practical/direct thing one can do - it's still a great game, but it is clear to me that it suffers as a CRPG both at quality and implementation. Already made detailed examples in the previous post and in the posts I linked in it. Reading the less-than-stellar reviews of the game, the "neutral" ones from RPS or Kotaku, or actually not avoiding reading criticism about the game, will give you some hints about how much people care about these intrinsic details. But then again, no point on leaning on reviews or the opinion of some greenhorn game journalist to indicate things that are more than obvious. Refuting my points is the easiest thing - you can just dismiss the importance of these problems - however I still think they are integral to a game of this genre.
  9. I believe a mobile fortress is a great idea too. It is the execution I don't agree with. I've made a relevant post about it in the past explaining why in detail. Is it not natural to compare it with the best fortresses rather than the worst and to compare anything with the brightest examples of its kind of that matter, if one wants to strive for something better? There are definitely both better and worse examples to compare it with and I never said anything along the lines of "this fortress is the worst", so that you have to point out that there worse examples. Of course there are (thankfully). As for, say, the examples I brought up specifically, I disagree that they were better, especially, than the POE I fortress. Here is an old post explaining why in more detail. The thread is called "Armchair theories on why POE2 didn't..." - of course I would be posting my own theory/criticism here. And I certainly don't expect everyone to give the same answers I would give, to the questions I made. Now whether what I am mentioning is "nitpicking", something extremely minor or not, and what exactly can be considered as an "intrinsic qualities" of a crpg, that's up to debate I strongly believe that the things I mentioned, in their core, are pretty important for the genre, when it comes to a new user's engagement with a crpg and especially when it comes to what a crpg fan is looking in a crpg, so we can agree to disagree here. The marketing imagery may show a clue of Obsidian's verdict in all of this, but keep in mind that their marketing imagery strategy is something in post-development that they can change or experiment with, while the things I mentioned aren't. If we really want to know what they came up with (as the "culprits"), we have to see their next sequel in the IP. Then we can agree or disagree with them. The stronghold is hardly the point here - put bluntly and generalizing the problem, the point is "content that lacks sufficient meaning, to engage the player", explained also in the examples I make in the posts I linked. If I wanted to make a proper attempt at narrowing that down, I would have to spend a lot of time here, therefore I try to convey it with the examples I make. Trust me, I never overestimate people, but I think you do underestimate them. You could justify it with "because people", but I justify it with the assumption that an rpg/crpg/isometric fan would actually look into these things, because some of them are core elements of the genre. Besides the pirate theme being rather superficial and the game being a properly traditional crpg in its core and most of its aspects (which was obvious even without buying it), if you think the choice in theming can be that dramatic look no further than Fallout, Arcanum or SM Pirates. (What can bring a dramatic change is the consistency of the theme itself, which the game doesn't suffer from imo). Well in that context, meaningful would mostly mean, put bluntly, a variation that changes the player's gameplay/actions through the game. Getting a different skill for example depending on how you interacted with the souls was a neat, albeit small variation. I admit that greater variations, like, say, Eothas changing route, alternative textures/scenarios involved in locations and so on, might be too costly. Oh nice this may actually make me replay the game. Full VO are something I hate as well, too many cons, superficial pros.
  10. Full/extended VOs definitely earn a place in the "10 best ways to murder an RPG" list.
  11. Forgive me if I misinterpret your reply, so in case you aren't joking - could it be that you are missing the fact that we are living in an information-driven society, where social media (gaming platforms included) are the deciding factor for market traction and news proliferation? In more simple terms: A potential buyer will never know all of the information I just posted or the answers to these questions, but the game will simply fall under their radar, because of the various reasons that this thread is attempting to examine. Example: Say you have two products, both have invested the same in marketing and all selling factors (except the products themselves) are identical and none knows details about them. A is the jaw-dropping product and B the lackluster product. More people will pay attention to A, e.g. will bother to review it or even praise it -> A will be proliferated like the Australian bushfires (prayers to them, and to all of us for this horrible humanitarian and environmental disaster), B will obviously get less traction and coverage, so fewer people will even notice it exists, much less buy it because of it being praised. TLDR: A game's success can actually be influenced by the game's intrinsic qualities! So why wouldn't anyone examine the game's intrinsic qualities to find out why the game wasn't as successful as expected?
  12. On the programming part I think he likely means gameplay. As for the writing I found it a bit too corny for my tastes - it's almost as if the writers are under the impression that the more adjectives you add to a sentence, the better it will turn out. Personally I enjoyed P:K's russian-translated writing much more. Deadfire's worldbuilding (in the strict, aesthetics sense) on the other hand, imo, is superb. As for Disco Elysium - it's a masterpiece in its category so no surprise there.
  13. One thing they could have done to not make it feel overwhelming, as many hubs do, is to gate some districts behind some cleverly crafted requirements. In general aesthetics-wise it is one the few best cities I've seen in a game. Its geometry is superb, as is the use of the 3rd dimension, its design and the order of the places where the player is guided is great, the content of the districts themselves makes sense, are beautiful and interesting, imho.
  14. Can't help but find it amusing that people actually blame the setting itself. It was pretty traditional actually, with the exception of geography (which was masterfully made) and a mobile player "fortress". What they did with the setting is what really matters. Ask yourselves the following questions: 1) How engaging was that mobile fortress, its upgrades, events or maintenance? Was it connected to the gameplay loop or character development? How much of a source of RP was it? Tried comparing it to the Mage Sphere or D'Arnisse hold in BG2? 2) What about the islands? Did they have enough content or felt empty? How many skill checks did their enviroments have? Were most of them just a plain area in which you had to kill something for a generic quest? What about the pseudo-locations (resource/item buildings). Did they have any compelling stories? How much of a difference was there in regards to gameplay when you got e.g. fruits from a clearing? 3) How compelling was it to chase after Eothas? Did your actions cause any game-changing consequences during that sequence? Were there any meaningful variations during this chase? Did the rest of the world resonate with what was happening?
  15. True and if they can't, that can cause more harm than good. And it's also true that these forums may not be a perfectly representative sample (they still are a sample). You always need some kind of feedback though - but you can choose to get it only from the post-mortem methods, like statistics or sales. Ok ok, not getting upset but this is me below, Not applied in this situation man and frankly don't know where the thing you are talking about applies. Maybe you are talking about community driven projects. First of all, if anything, commercial products are more inclined to support their customers. As for Linux, it is open source and community driven, which is a different thing so let's not get into in. By all means and accounts Path is a commercial product and not open source, doesn't matter if it's free. Anyhow, we shouldn't expect less support/communication from paid products, but quite the opposite and we should appreciate, as consumers, the few companies with these consumer-friendly practices.
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