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Pshaw

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Posts posted by Pshaw

  1. I liked DA:O. Like you've said it certainly had its highs and it's lows.

     

    However I personally felt that combat was one of those lows. The threat system wasn't really clear enough and I often felt that even as a straight up tanking character keeping the attention of the majority of a mob was a pain in the ass. I found that as a result of adapting the tank, healer, dps roles from MMOs you were a bit too restricted in terms of your party selection. Maybe with a larger 6 person party this wouldn't have had more wiggle room but as it stood I always felt forced into taking characters I didn't really want to and it annoyed me.

     

    I am a big fan of cooldown based combat however. So I was glad to see that make an appearance in DA:O.

     

    Now combat aside DA:O did have a great way of ending the game. Out of all the RPGs I've played throughout the years I really felt that the epilogue sequence in DA:O provided some of the best 'feedback' to your gameplay choices. Of course in game many of your choices effected the landsmeet and the like but I loved that what choices you made in regards to the fate of the kingdom or Andraste's sacred ashes or even the elder dragon up in those mountains were mentioned in the epilogue. I liked that you got to talk to your companions post mission and see what they're plans were now that the fight was over. In my mind if anything should be taken from DA:O it should be this sort of feedback to player choices at the end of the game.

     

    Also I think that biowares choice to let games pull references out of previous games saves is great. It make mes feel more invested in a franchise when I can see my actions from previous games play out or at least be mentioned in later games. I would like to see this copied by just about any single player RPG.

  2. Considering they want stealth to be a viable means of combat avoidance I believe that this may not be much of an issue in this game. I do agree that in many games stealth is only useful for the modifiers it provides in combat (plus damage when attack from stealth, ect) and not much else. I don't think this will be the case in PE though as they want you to be able to skip entire sections of combat by sneaking around them.

  3. I don't really remember this bothering me much in BG or NWN. However it is currently driving me crazy in borderlands 2 where I can't see the enemies past my floating electric death balls so I need to take cover until they fade away. So feeling that pain I support this. While I like a flashy spell effect now and again they shouldn't need to dominate the screen. Each spell or ability needs to simply be visually distinct from one another. Look to your action RPGs for examples of flashy effects that don't strictly interfere with your visual information. I rarely find that while playing Diablo I can't see incoming enemies due to my constant spamming of abilities.

  4. Even if they got their funding up to 6million while it's certainly a generous amount it's a far cry from what a AAA title gets in their budget. So even if it got to 10million or more we wouldn't be realistic to expect DA:O type graphics.

     

    I personally hope that even within the fixed isometric view they allow for your PC to be able to be customized like you would in NWN2 / DA:O if only so that they look unique even while restricted to the camera angle. So long as they don't go with the extremely generic paper doll look from BG1 & 2 I'll be happy.

     

    I will say that while the idea of fixed isometric view as certainly passed out of popularity it is by no means worse than a fully 3D environment like DA:O or NWN had. Polygon count doesn't equal beauty or quality. I'd rather play a game with great cell shaded animation than something that just tries for high polygon count and realism. I would say that to me any Vanillaware game is more visually appealing than skyrim or other graphical powerhouse. While I love the uncharted series and cannot even for a second deny how amazing those games look I still prefer the distinct artistic style of a game like Diablo 3 or Borderlands to it. I prefer the look of Breath of Fire 3 to that of Final Fantasy 7/8 which were the games coming out at the same time pushing 3D graphics. Granted the scenery in those games was still painted and those environments were gorgeous.

     

    So I don't see this as a divide where we have to ask for both great graphics and a good story. In my opinion we're already getting both. That temple screenshot they released is gorgeous to me and that single screen capture is more visually appealing to me than any scene I could find in DA:O.

  5. Minor point that I've left out in the posts in the previous threads.

     

    I find that romances tend to help the replay value of the game for me. Granted this is because I enjoy them and I want to play through them all first hand. If you don't enjoy them I don't expect you to feel the same. That said they're one the only dialogue options you can (usually) only complete 1 of per playthrough. If everything is limited to bro-mance and friendships I can generally knock out all of the dialogue tress in 1 maybe 2 playthroughs to my content. However if I'm still missing out on romance dialogue I will replay and complete romances.

     

    Now I don't think romances should be the sole driving force behind replay value of a game. There should be many reasons to replay this game and from the sound of it even without romances there will be. Still having a new romance tree of dialogue to see for the first time with every playthough does add to the value, at least in my case.

  6. I love all these games but personally I've found that Fallout 2 has stood the test of time more than planescape.

     

    Planescape had an amazing story and I loved Sigil as a setting. They companions were some of the most memorable of any RPG I've ever played. But to be blunt I find the replay value somewhat limited by the fact that Nameless tends to just play best as a fighter everytime due to the training class system and the combat itself is just completely stale. These 2 main factors prevent me from getting through the game when I go back to replay it fairly consistently. As much as I love the game, and I do love it, I just can't get over these gameplay aspects enough to enjoy the story/characters as often as I'd like to.

     

    Fallout 2 mainly due to it's turn-based combat and the ability to make a variety of characters that are different right from the start has more replay value than planescape. In the end as much as I will agree that planescape did plenty of things better than Fallout 2 as game it's inferior to me because it's gameplay isn't as good.

     

    I don't say this to to try and say you're wrong or anything like that. Simply that from my perspective when choosing my favorite game out of those you've mentioned I have to pick fallout 2. It's the only one of them that I know if i went ahead and installed I'd be staying up too late in order to finish out The Den before turning in for the night.

  7. The only realism I really care about is having plausible characters. They can be touch over the top but I don't want them being 1 dimensional.

     

    Aside from that if they allow people to be resurrected from the dead I'd like it clearly defined someplace why you can / cannot be resurrected in certain situations. I hate moments where NPC death is show as an important event yet people can just be resurrected with spells/potions without a problem.

  8. With a few exceptions (like the romance thread) I've found most discussion on this forum to be pretty constructive or at least civil. It's the main reason I've decided to stick around.

     

    However I think in some respects the idea of discussion being required is where forums go wrong. I like that forums allow for a bit of back and forth but in the end for the most part you won't ever change anybody's mind. So I think that discussion while well intentioned is what leads to the bickering and fighting. I think things are generally better off when left what you think and moving on.

    • Like 2
  9. When it fits I'd be all for it. Not every character or NPC should be artistic and express the journey through art but I think it does add flavor for it to happen sometimes. I'm not sure if anybody is familiar with The Way of Kings, a fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson, but he has a character who does this fairly well that book. She's a noble who spent a great deal of time practicing drawing and as such at chapter breaks you get to see some of 'her' artwork about what she's seeing as she leaves home for the first time. If there was an artistically inclined character I'd love to see some of the concept art from the game make an in game appearance as 'their' work.

     

    Here are 2 quick examples of the sketches from The Way of Kings.

    abc83770b7c918914aaa66be000ce369-d2z8ovk.jpg

     

    wayofkingschulls.jpg

    • Like 1
  10. Grinding for the sake of grinding. I know RPGs are pretty much founded on this idea that if I take my 20 hour game and add another 10-25 hours worth the pointless battles to slow you up constantly I'll then have a 'huge game.' Many RPGs just have a pointless amount of combat when 75% of the time that's probably the most boring part of the game.

     

    Which isn't to say combat shouldn't be present at all. It's needed and it's part of what takes an RPG out of the adventure game space. Sometimes however when replaying an RPG I cringe knowing that I'm in for 1.5-2 hours of nonstop trash battles before I can get back to the next bit of story or an interesting boss fight. So I'd just like to see that buffer brought down a bit for the sake of enjoyment/pacing rather than trying to pad out the play hours by forcing you into combat constantly. Once in awhile it's fine. If you're off on a journey to a particularly lonely stretch of land or monster filled stronghold I can totally get it being a longer engagement. I just don't like to see all areas needing 1.5-2 hours to clear.

     

    Also if I need to kill 70-100 people in a random cave I can't help but wonder how in the hell they're all getting enough food to live off in this cave that is apparently devoid of anything but treasure and people to slaughter.

  11. I think that there are more interesting ways to interact with the party than this. At the very least the idea of voting seems a bit silly to me. I'd be okay with removing 1 party member and having another one say, 'well they go so do I!' Provided of course they have a reason to do so such as an evil PC kicking out a good party member and another good member opts to go with them in light of your actions.

     

    However I don't think it would make sense to limit it to just when you're adding or removing party members. I think if companions would disagree with the PCs choices yet are continually brought along they should be able to pushed into leaving for good or attack the PC. Companion reactivity is cool, it makes the game world and the NPCs themselves feel more realistic. However I don't think having a vote followed by murder is the best way to go about this.

     

    So yes to having companion reactivity / interactivity but no to how it was implemented in Ishar.

    • Like 3
  12. Memes are ok if they fit the game. BL2 and Fallout have a dark comical atmosphere throughout the game so memes, easter eggs, and pop culture references worked and didn't upset the atmosphere. DA:O for example had a more serious tone and as such there really weren't any of these things, at least not that I noticed. So if it fits within the tone of the game I welcome them. If not it's not big loss.

     

    Personally if they do include things I'd rather they take a nod to things that are already 'classic' and standing the test of time. As much as I enjoy BL2's trap card reference that's not going to stand the test of time, in a few years people won't know what the hell Zero is talking about.

  13. I dislike scaling encounters, at some point I like to be done with the random battles either by not encountering them any longer or by overpowering them so I can squash it fast and move on. If random battles don't taper off all together then I like the idea of bandits and other ne'er-do-wells running off. However if they do include some kind of running off I'd like to have an option to pursue the fleeing badies if you want to squash them. This also fits well with characters who are very into the greater good who might want to chase down bandits in order to keep the streets safe rather than allowing them to run away. It wouldn't take much more than a dialogue window describing the situation, 'A group of footpads emerge from a nearby alley but upon seeing such an obviously skilled group they turn around and wait for easier prey.' Then you get your options of ignore the footpads, pursue them into the alley, ect, ect.

  14. I agree with you here. Combat takes up too large a percentage of your play time to be left to feel boring or grindy. I do however feel that BG2 wasn't even all that great in fight variety. Even if swapped back and forth between 1 hard monster, 2-3 above average monsters or 5-10 cannon fodder monsters I found the same tactics pretty much got me through every encounter.

     

    Sadly I can't think of any positive examples of fun and interesting combat in games like this that aren't turn based. Hopefully they can keep it from feeling repetitive in the real time with pause system because while many games don't do it poorly I don't think I've ever really played one where combat was anything but the least interesting part of the game for me.

     

    Part of me wants to say make positioning matter a lot. Let your orientation and distance to the enemy matter. Let line of sight over other party members matter for ranged and casters. Add lots of ground effects that you want to move out of/lure enemies out of. I think this might be the simplest way to keep combat a bit more dynamic. That said I can see it becoming annoying if it was the hallmark of every single fight so maybe it's not a whole solution but 1 part of it.

  15. Honestly that just sounds too fable like for me. Too much freedom leads to redundancy. Even in Skyrim you got plenty of houses and an expansion to build your own and even though I bought the houses (never got hearthfire) and got all the guildhalls as homes I didn't see the point in residing in them. I mostly used them to dump potion ingredients and move on.

     

    However I did feel a bit more attached to my stronghold in BG2. You only got 1 based on your class but it felt more suited to your character and well earned. So even though I didn't get to pick my stronghold out of dozen of choices or even improve it's looks or anything I prefer them over all.

     

    Now even though I never bought hearthfire for skyrim I did like growing my own mushroom palace in morrowind. I think that if you can develope your own house and perhaps guide it's growth a bit that's the best way to go. However such things don't always fit into the story. Keeps don't spring up overnight so unless the story is set up in a less than urgent fashion building a castle for yourself in the midst of the story might be a bit much as far as suspension of disbelief is concerned.

     

    TL:DR

    More choices isn't always better for something like this, see fable where houses were bland. I like the idea of taking over a seat of power via clearing it out as a dungeon, see BG2. Finally developing you own seat of power is always rewarding but doesn't always fit well into an urgent story.

    • Like 1
  16. I think one of the main cilches I want to see is innocents being hardened by the task at hand. This is EVERYWHERE in fantasy games and books. However I confess that I like it. I like Rand al'Thor leaving two rivers full of hope and a desire for adventure only find out that being hunted is in fact awful. Forced to make hard choices without being prepared in anyway for the life he was being thrust into by events. Struggling with the things he'd done. Then coming to terms with it. Lliara in ME was similar as she was a dreamer in ME1, disillusioned and a bit ruthless in ME2, and struck a balance between the two in ME3.

     

    I would only request that where it's done you be given the choice to guide either the PC or NPCs going through such a change either towards finding a balance between the doe eyed dreamer and harsh reality OR guide them to being hardened and cold. Even though it was a bit thin in exicution I did enjoy this aspect of Alistair's and Leliana's stories in DA:O.

     

    I certainly don't expect everybody to agree with this as sometimes the bright optimistic part of the cliche is annoying rather than endearing (Aerie) but I'd like to see 1 or 2 characters like this, preferably in the companions. They could also just start disillusioned and tell you about their innocent youth and you could go from there to cut out the potential annoying first bit.

    • Like 1
  17. No and no to both choices. Dark endings, sad endings, and cliffhangers do not mean good endings. They can be good endings but it doesn't guarantee it. Wanting a dark ending isn't anything new and is just as cliche as 'happy' and 'complete' endings. Make quality endings regardless of the tone.

     

    I certainly don't want a cliffhanger by any means. The story should be wrapped up for better or worse in 1 game. An expansion can take the story further without needing a cliff hanger. This was done in Throne of Bhaal and DA:A for example. Cliff hangers are an overused device and in something like a video game where you might now want to or be able to buy the sequels I think it's a bit of a cheap trick to not have most everything wrapped up in a game. Some threats can be left at large but the major plot line should be wrapped up not left hanging.

     

    In the end I think multiple endings are really the way to go based off how you played. If you pillaged every town and killed everything in your way things shouldn't be so peachy in the wake of the destruction. If you work your ass off keeping everybody safe and everybody happy it's a bit of a shot to the balls to get to the end and be told that everything still sucks regardless. Let our choices dictate the endings don't pigeon hold us into something dark or happy.

  18. I'm a huge fan of cross class synergy. If you want similar stacking buffs I feel that they need to come from other classes. I dislike the idea of 3 bards all singing the same type of song and you getting it's bonus 3 times. I'm ok with 3 bards each singing a different song and you getting the benefits from each unique one.

     

    Simply put in a fighter has a +5% damage shout and a priest has a +5% damage spell they should stack as they're both different spells even though they have the same effect. However I don't think that 6 fighters should all be able to stack the same +5% damage shout.

  19. I enjoyed the subject matter behind that particular bit of DA:O even if the acting/writing was a bit over the top and melodramatic. Since we won't need to worry about voice acting I think it's more reasonable for this game to have more emotional dialogue since it will be solely relying on the writing and we can add in the NPC 'voice' in our own head. So yes I'm all for tough choices in this game and that is a good example of one in DA:O if they had removed the ability to get there with the help of the mages circle.

     

    I also confess I get more emotional impact from Mordin's death in ME3 than I do over this. He was a companion so you got to know him well and as such him dying meant more to you. I certainly don't promote killing of companions George R R Martin style but when it serves a higher purpose I think hard choices with companions and well known NPCs yield greater emotional impact as you're more invested in them than some random NPC. Using the DA:O example yes that lady is a distraught mother but your only interaction with her before that is her being a complete bitch. As such it doesn't really deliver the emotional impact it sets out to because killing her to save her kid isn't that hard of a choice.

    • Like 1
  20. I'm mixed between none and only one.

     

    The thing is that I'm okay with unkillable encounters but never unwinnable ones. If you want to put some sort of elder dragon that must be driven back into a cave before somebody triggers a rockslide to trap them I'm all for it. It implies that it's too strong to beat/kill with your party while still allowing you to win. Those are the types of encounters I'm okay with but I'd only like to see 1-3 of them so they don't start to feel stale.

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