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Everything posted by Halric

  1. I'm told that in the pinned FAQ they make mention of releasing a patch this week, so hopefully tomorrow (Friday April 3rd) we will get a fix for this. It's frustrating for sure, but once it is patched and people can resume playing the game, then hopefully we will all be too busy in the game to post on forums.
  2. I disagree, judging by the volume of people still asking when it will be released (I believe there was another post just this morning). You can stubbornly post it in one place and say, "that's good enough, just ignore all the other posts or chastise them for not finding it". Or you can say "If I have to keep telling people where to find it, perhaps I'm not communicating as well as I could." The goal posts have never moved, my point was always centered on communication as a tool to mitigate frustration. Previous examples would include such titles as Inquistion, Assassins Creed Unity, Watch Dogs, each of these titles I purchased and had launch issues. I didn't have to touch their forums to know what was going on. They know lots of people are experiencing issues, instead of waiting for customers to find the information, being proactive and releasing a public statement can mitigate a lot of the negative feelings. That's all I'm saying. Unless I have overlooked a valid reason why it's better to only use the support forum?
  3. They have! It'll be this week, which a pinned thread right at the top of the forum says! Yes, you are right, there is a pinned post describing the bugs reported so far. But it makes no mention of when a patch is expected, and doesn't solve the issue that a pinned support forum post shouldn't be the sole method of a major update to your customers for a product. I would expect them to post it on their front page, or contact Polygon/Kotaku etc with a follow up response to the articles those media outlets have run about the game's issues. More communication is always better than less, especially when dealing with launch issues. The FAQ thread says "week of March 30." A pinned support forum post shouldn't be the sole method of a major update to your customers for a product.
  4. I agree, that being said I think that they should be interested in the most efficient way to communicate due to their limited resources. Perhaps communicate using the games media, an email response to their articles would be enough to prompt the journalists to post an update. Also perhaps use the front page of their site. The most visible areas should be used to get the information out successfully the first time. Hoping that everyone will dive into the forums, and read all the pinned threads for information is wishful thinking. And ends up being more work for them in the end.
  5. They have! It'll be this week, which a pinned thread right at the top of the forum says! Yes, you are right, there is a pinned post describing the bugs reported so far. But it makes no mention of when a patch is expected, and doesn't solve the issue that a pinned support forum post shouldn't be the sole method of a major update to your customers for a product. I would expect them to post it on their front page, or contact Polygon/Kotaku etc with a follow up response to the articles those media outlets have run about the game's issues. More communication is always better than less, especially when dealing with launch issues.
  6. Whether you agree that bugs are acceptable or not, one thing that I do think Obsidian needs to improve is communication. There have been many AAA broken releases in recent history, DAI: Inquisition suffered from frequent crashes to desktop and usability issues. Though Bioware made a public statement, through the games media, to let everyone know what the major bugs were, which ones would be fixed in the next patch, and a rough time frame for delivery of said patch. Customers shouldn't have to dig through support forums to search for posts from developers to try and estimate a delivery date on their own. Someone from Obsidian needs to step up and say: "Listen, we've got bugs, here is a list of issues we are working on, here are the ones we have fixed, a patch will be released in the next few weeks (or whatever time frame they think is reasonable). I love the game, it's amazing, I've only gotten to play 4 hours of it before I got stuck on the ramparts of Raedric's Hold. Everyone should keep in mind that bugs and technical issues can be fixed post release, but bad story, terrible characters, or disappointing writing can not. Obsidian got the important stuff right in my opinion. So with that in mind, my point is that communication can do a lot to assuage frustration. People are frustrated because they can't play a game that they want to play. Not unreasonable. Neither is it unreasonable that we get some more direct communication from the company about the state of the game, and assurances about when we can expect fixes.
  7. Day/Night cycles really help the world seem real, and offer some intresting quest possibilities. If there are quests that required a certain time of day then there must be a mechanic to allow the player to easily fast forward to a desired time. Of course there will also have to be some design put into the quests so the player can't stall or muck up a quest because of the time of day.
  8. D&D Has a similar system that was the "Lengendary" items supplement for 3.5 It was built on the concept that some rare and powerful items actually gained levels with the character, but it wasn't guarenteed and the player had to make sacrifices for greater item power through rituals and the like (Some involved taking penalties to abilities). Sometimes, such rituals required certain conditions or reagents that were difficult to obtain like having to use the sword to kill a powerful demon or a rare gem not native to the prime material plane. These items spawned fun side quests to make your weapon or armour truly lengendary, and you felt like your character was a central part of the history of the item. We all pick up items like Varscona and read the history, but what if your character was the one who made the item so powerful in the beginning? It's an interesting concept.
  9. I agree with Kane_Severance, while it would be nice to have randomness in storylines it will soon result in an exponential increase in possible paths making the task of writing the story a massive undertaking. In my experience, when developers decide to do this it usually results in a lessening of overall story quality in favour of quanitity. They start having to make assumptions in order to bring the story back on track that leave the player scratching their head wondering what just happened. If you want to peek at a guide and evaluate all the paths necessary, and that is fun for you, then by all means. You bought the game, play it however you like. I don't think it's a good idea to try and introduce randomness to try and "thwart" those that use game guides to pick the "best" options. Like a little evil gnome in the code that pops out and randomizes events to say "Ah ha! and you thought this was going to be the best option! Now all your plans are ruined!" I disagree that "all the mystery" is gone once you play through the choices the first time. I usually do multiple play throughs with different characters that make different choices and get to see how the other paths develop. Like the time in "DA:O" when I killed the bartender at Redcliffe with my evil character and got access to all his store inventory, that was fun possibility I didn't know about until my second playthrough. Little moments like that are littered throughout the game and together make the replaying fun.
  10. I don't think you can take AC to that high level and not include HP in the abstraction. If what you said is true, and AC is only responsible for preventing damaging contact to the physical body, then it should be possible for me to do HP damage without hitting the target's Armour Class. Which we know is impossible because AC is the target number for an attack roll. Why should I be able to do HP damage? Hit Points, as we know, are not isoalted to a measure of one's health, they are also a measure of one's combat training and fighting ability. Which is why they increase with level, the character's phsyical body between level 1 and level 15 doesn't change enough to justify the increase, however their combat training and ability to effectively fight does. Thier experience lends them to be a tougher target. In this capacity, HP are also a character's "Battle focus" or ability to continue to apply their training to prevent physical harm. (I illustrated this in a previous post using the level 1 and level 15 fighter getting hit with the same arrow.) With that in mind, if what you suggest would be true "AC is a measure of preventing damaging contact", then it should be possible for me to reduce the character's battle focus without causing phsyical harm, which means I should be able to do "damage" to the HP pool without hitting the AC target. (Which isn't possible) This would represent a barrage of attacks the fighter parries, none of them does physical damage but they do reduce his battle focus, eventually he may slip up and take a grazing slash. I suspect this is why Obsidian is venturing to create a stamina pool in order to represent this battle focus outside of the character's physical health. I agree that AC systems are legitimate and they work, but this muddiness between HP and AC intertwining has led to some of us Game Masters and Dungeon Masters to strive for something clearer. And it usually results in redefining Hit Points.
  11. D&D's AC mechanic leaves a lot ot be desired, and that stems from a fundamental problem with what Hit Points actually are, because they are a blend of several factors. There were a few posts that were a bit confused about AC in D&D, AC did not mitigate any damage at all. It was a mechanic that either prevented damage completely, or left it to the mysterious Hit Point pool to deal with. Once you got hit in D&D, that's it, you're taking damage. How much? well there were other things that allowed you to mitigate, like feats, and most importantly, what level you were. For instance: A level 1 fighter with 8 hit points gets hit with an arrow, that attack roll was higher than his AC so he's taking damage now. Long bows weighed in at 1d8 damage and lets say it was a 6. The fighter is almost dead, that was a nasty hit. Maybe he's got an arrow through his thigh or some such. A level 12 fighter gets hit with the same arrow, but his HP is 145. The arrow did 6 damage? that's bearly a scratch, in fact, maybe it actually *didn't* hit him at all and he managed to dodge it. The 6 damage? that wasn't "real" damage, that was just a loss of battle focus. This is because HP are a representation of a characters training, skill, talent, and phsyical toughness. Why? Well there are many reasons, I believe it is because D&D did not offer an opposed roll system for main combat rolls so there was no where else to jam all the modifiers for a character combat ability and prowess. The attacker rolls against a static value. My vote is for a system where Armour more closely represents it's actual role in real combat, to prevent damage to the wearer. In my opinion, this means moving to an opposed roll system where the defender and the attacker pit their rolls against each other. These rolls after modified for factors like skill, training, natural talent and environmental factors. If the defender wins, then it means s/he dodged, parried, or otherwise avoided the attack. If the attacker wins, then a hit of some kind was scored and the armour will determine how serious that hit was. Once in the damage phase, we can evaluate things like armour effectiveness against damage type. These are things we usually stay away from in table top because it slows things down, but a cRPG has no such problem when a computer is doing all the math. Shields are interesting, I'm leaning towards shields being more of a bonus to your defense roll against a ranged attack. Essentially allowing you to parry the projectile. You could also say that shields grant you a cover bonus to your defense roll from ranged attacks. For melee, they offer a defense roll bonus since you use it as a parrying device. The bonuses to defense roll for ranged attacks could be increased over melee depending on the shield.
  12. I agree Two handed weapons were always a good option for someone who sacrificed defense or number of attacks for greater damage potential. Or someone who just likes large weapons. As long as the attack speed and damage are balanced and not too over the top it'll be fine. To add some food for thought on this topic, 3e offered a "Monkey Grip" feat that would allow characters with sufficient training and strength to wield 2 handed weapons as 1 handed. Going one step further, you would take a bunch of two weapon fighting feats and end up with a melee character who toted 2 two handers. Perhaps a little over the top, but to be fair the character had spent a lot of training and effort to get to that point.
  13. It sounds like your problem is more with being interrupted and not really to do with casting time. Remove casting time from your argument and put this in terms of table top turn based gameplay. You will still suffer the same fate if you lost the initiative roll, took damage, and failed the concentration check to cast your own spell. The difference here is that there are ways to make your caster harder to interrupt with Combat Casting feats and the like, or just having a good Constitution. This is also assuming the scenario is two mages that are just standing in the middle of a room playing magical roshambo, which shouldn't happen. Players could be encouraged to use the environment for cover, that was a big part of table top as well was using the environment to your advantage. Creating cover or obstacles with inventive spells, conjuring an obsuring fog or having a defensive wall erupt from the ground, blocking line of sight from your target. The alternative is to do away with interruption altogether, moving towards more 4e type magical system where magic is not interrupted but everything requires an attack roll against a defense. Magic Missiles can be dodged or blocked (maybe even parried if you want to get inventive with your descriptions).
  14. Auto levelling characters not in the group allows the player the freedom to experiement with different group dynamics. My experience with this approach is, that it still forces some upkeep with those idle characters. While their level may increase their gear usually does not and thus you are still required to re-equip them. This may or may not be an issue if you have an abundance of coin and access to vendors that sell magical items. However, the best items are not usually obtained simply by walking into "MagicMart" and picking some up off the shelf, nor should they be. That cheapens the specialness of magical items. But I digress, that's another topic. The point being, auto levelling alone won't allow the player to swap group members up without some investment or effort. Personally, I rarely change up my group members. I start new games if I want a different dynamic, but that's my preference.
  15. I suspect you haven't seen an RPG without them because some people like them =) I have a lot of characters I like to bring to life in an RPG, some of them are human, some of them aren't.
  16. As long as your character is truly dead, and doesn't show up in the DLC alive and well with no explanation... I'm looking at you Dragon Age. But yes, if you had to sacrifice your character at the end of P:E1, then it'd be great to have references to your dead character in the story for PE:2 so you as a player get that feeling of accomplishment and recognition for your sacrifice.
  17. I've brought this up in a different thread about combat mechanics, but I'll restate it here as food for thought: 4th Edition D&D rules for spell casting uses a mechanic of "Daily" spells, which is similar to your idea of still forcing the caster to rest for 8 hours before being able to cast them again. However, it introduces the concept of an "Encounter" based spell that can be used once per combat situation. This allows for some strategy of when is best to use it, without the player feeling they need to horde it for another future encounter but limits them to only using it once per combat. The last teir is the At-Will spells, or the fall back spells so a Caster never has to take up "stone throwing" duty, they are always using magic. It's an interesting concept for dealing with the problem, and may offer some ideas for futher discussion.
  18. In relation to D&D Specific rules: I've always thought that Humans are not a baseline, they are not bland either. They are a blank slate for players who didn't want their archetype dictated by the bonus/penality spread that the other races recieved. It was referenced that the longer lived races were not as talented in areas outside their cultural norms. Dwarves rarely became powerful wizards for instance. (I'm not saying it wasn't possible, but it was rare) Whereas the shorter lived races, namely humans, were so adept at so many different areas of expertise. 3e reflected this by giving other races a +2 in a predetermined stat, and -2 in a predetermined stat, but humans no stat adjustments. This creates the impression they are the "baseline" but 3e was more about classes/multiclasses to indicate flexibility and talent. So humans were able to choose any class as a favoured class allowing them to excel as a mutl-classed character far easier than other races. (and of course the +4 skill points and extra feats) 4e gives +2 to two predetermined stats for other races, but only one +2 increase to humans but it can be placed in any stat. Also allowed for the player to choose a bonus At-will power, skill, and offered a +1 bonus to defenses across the board. To me, this isn't a baseline, it's an option that allows more flexibility. That being said, this is Obsidian's world and their rules so I'm sure that every racial choice will have it's own benefits and drawbacks. I have confidence that if humans are involved they were either be that "blank slate" alternative or have their own special adjustments the same as the other races.
  19. I agree that it's a balance issue, it also depends heavily on the type of "feel" the desigers are aiming for. When magic can miss, this means you can cast more of it. So if they plan to have spells that you can cast a lot without haivng to rest, these will most likely have attack rolls associated. If, on the other hand, the spell is gone after you cast it until resting then it will most likely have a save mechanic or just hit automatically. In D&D 2e/3e era, spells required rest to recharge, and you only had a limited amount of slots per day. This meant that you weren't likely to be throwing out all your fireballs in the first room of a ruined temple. However, when you did let one of those precious flaming balls of destruction loose, there was a measure of certainty that it would do damage. D&D 3e only allowed saving for half damage unless your character possessed a specal evasion feat that would allow them to save for none. In D&D 4e, magic missile became an "At-Will" spell, meaning you could cast it as much as you wanted. The balance was that it no longer was an automatic hit and required an attack roll against the opponent's defense. IIRC for magic missile it was a Intelligence Attack vs. Reflex Defense. So while it's a balance issue, it is also one of the key choices that determines how a magic system will "feel" because a lot of other choices will be based on the decision to allow magic to miss.
  20. Spellcasting in the IE games had some pretty rough edges, and I've always thought that was due to the fact they tried to adapt the table top rules into a cRPG. D&D 2e, and to a lesser extend 3e were not meant to be easily melded into the dynamics of a cRPG. I may regret saying this, but 4th Edition D&D caught a lot of flak for the system they proposed, but the truth is the 4e system was changed fundamentally to fit more easily with cRPGs. I'm not sure if it was a deliberate design choice by WoTC to increase the licensing revenue opportunities of their game engine, or just a coincidence when they moved to a "power" system in an effort to appeal to an emerging younger audience. For anyone not familiar, 4e changed all abilities into powers that fell into one of three categories: At-Will, Encounter, Daily. This worked for spells by saying some back-bone spells were At-Will (weaker but you were never without them), Encounter (more powerful, but only usable once per encounter) and Daily (traditional once a day and have to rest to get them back, but they were the most powerful and often would do something even if they "missed") This allows the character to have a few At-Will spells available at all times, like magic missile (which in 4E is not a guarenteed hit anymore), and other more powerful spells only useable once per combat, and the big "I'm really in trouble" spells only usable once per day. For table top, this system really wasn't recieved very well, but for a cRPG it's some food for thought.
  21. The games I enjoy most are the ones that don't push or pull you in one direction, they offer multiple paths and shades of gray allowing the player to unfold the story as they see fit without rewarding one path over another. It is, after all, a "role" playing game and the the player has created a character role to play. So it isn't whether one choice is "better", the results are just different and help the player tailor the story to the idea of their character. Essentailly, the players helps tell the story. The open endedness, however, comes at a increased technical cost to the designers, writers, and programmers to facilitate whatever the player can come up with. This usually leads to concessions on flexibility and narrowing down the "expected" paths. I understand this compromise and I won't be disappointed if I'm not allowed to branch the storyline out with a myriad of available choices. I would be disappointed if there were rewards or penalities for choosing one path over another. In cases like that, it may just be better not to allow the alternate paths and have the character follow the storyline as intended.
  22. My take on it is that it may be a minor cosmetic detail, but if the goal is to create an immersive experience then, at the very least, weapons should not be displayed at all when a character is in non-combat situations. It becomes harder to suspend disbelief if your character is brandishing weapons at all times. If there is time and budget for polish in this area, and other higher priority concerns addressed, then perhaps it would be a "nice-to-have" to refine this and add sheathing/unsheathing, removing or donning a helm, etc.
  23. While you are correct that most spells could be cast instantaneously, there were some that required more time. Also, the interruption mechanic was present in almost all incarnations of the table top. 2e explained this by saying some spells required somatic components and taking damage in the round required a successfull concentration check. So it was still possible to have melee characters thwart spell casters... which is why you are supposed to defend those weaklings =) I think casting time was a necessity in the IE games because of the real-time combat component. As for shutting down powerful mages with lower level spells, I have to admit the AI was pretty weak in this regard. There are options for a caster to defend himself against interruption through the use of counterspelling or defensive magics. I hope we can see more this type of strategy in the future. Adding an element to mage vs. mage strategy, I can say it was always pretty fun in table top when two duelling mages were engaged in a test of magical might while the melee characters clashed between them.
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