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About DreamDancer

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    Writing, Gaming, Dreaming


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  1. I think this is an interesting proposal and kinda ties in with their seperation of combat and non-combat skills. In a typical game where you have just one pool you can indeed do a lot of side quests and/or main quests that involve mostly leg work or social skills and gain 1 or 2 levels, then spend all points in a fighting skill and suddenly youre a veteran fighter without having drawn your weapon once. I admit, I have always hoped for a seperation of social exp and combat exp, social in this case meaning everything from quest objective exp, to solving puzzles and succeeding in dialogue skill checks. With a system like this it would also finally pay off to be more of a diplomat and focus on social exp and skills.
  2. I don't understand where people get the notion that having a character that isn't super powerful or even god like is equal to him being weak or average. Its right there in the poll choice you selected: Yes, but that's what I don't understand. Power does not need to be tied to combat performance, and I assume that is what the OP means when he talks about characters being weak or average. As I explained before, power can be expressed in different ways but when people talk about powerful they usually only mean combat. I picked that choice because I don't have a problem with "realistic" levels of combat prowess, but only if there is a power progression elsewhere, in the way I described.
  3. Hm, I think I usually encounter exactly the problem sacred describes when it comes to cheap/RP skills vs "good"/useful skills. For example there is always one character in my party, who is completely specialized in all the fluff skills that do nothing for combat but a whole lot for lore and dialogue/Rp scenarios. Guess what, that character is always my own. So when I gather a party around me it is nice to imagine they are there to protect me. All the great gear goes to my companions and compared to my PC they are way above my league. And I am totally fine with it, because I can play exactly the role I want within a game like this: that of a diplomat, a counselor, a scholar and explorer. So yeah, bring on the cheap skills please! I'll pick them all and be happy with it :D
  4. I don't understand where people get the notion that having a character that isn't super powerful or even god like is equal to him being weak or average. I assume we are talking power visible in game mechanics, right? Like typically in combat situations where the fighter can later on slice through half a dozen ogres simultaneously or the mage levels whole buildings with his spells. While I admit that it can be fun to be able to do that, the true power rise I want to see is usually a bit more subtle and hidden. I could care less for godlike spells or abilities if my character's power is visible in the reaction of the people he deals with. Seeing how much weight his words carry, how many he can influence with a rousing speech. Or the way people may cower based on the reputation for an especially nefarious deed he did some time ago, or maybe the other way around when people shed heartfelt tears of gratitude for a good deed. I will agree that there need to be some sort of power progression to a point where the character can truly shine, but you can keep this entirely within the realm of "realism" without the need to resort to ridiculously powerful abilities. Think of something like the Godfather. Physically a bit frail but emanating power like crazy. But yeah, knowing these kind of game chances are that the devs will go for flashy. Not that it's wrong or anything. Anyone remember that late end game spell from PS:T with its own animation sequence where that huge meteor crashed down on the planet? Hilarious. And Lina would have been jealous
  5. First of all: Excellent thread. Definitely going into the Meta-Gaming here, because it basically comes down to the question: How do you approach a game? It's about style and personal preference really. I bet you can ask a dozen people how they play a game and come up with 12 different answers. How we play a game, how we engage with its mechanics and the game world it presents is less of a technical issue and more of an emotional one. Why? Because we play games to have a good time and enjoy ourselves, don't we? If we don't like certain game mechanics (like the excessive buffing prior to any combat) we will try to avoid it and find a way that we do enjoy (like the rogue approach or luring enemies into traps). In any case, what happens is that we try to make the game bend to our will and personal preference, and a good game gives lots of options to play the game "right", right being the way that fits a player's individual, unique approach to gaming. Considering the nature of the issue there is no way to make it "right" for everyone, so the only way to still appeal to a bigger crowd is to offer as many option as possible for overcoming challenges. Granted, this is of course mostly combat/dungeon crawling related, but as these are common elements of this particular genre, it is important that they are designed well, dynamically and in a flexible way. At least appeal to the three categories the OP mentioned so people falling into those categories can all have a good time with the game. Now for closure my personal take on this. I pretty much shifted from one extreme to another when it comes to how I play games. A few years ago I was pretty much a power gamer, min/maxing like crazy and trying to squeeze the absolute optimum performance out of my character and his party. I cared a lot about game mechanics and the math behind it. I also tried to get all the gear in a game so I could create a ridiculously powerful character. Ah...those were the days. Nowadays it's all about the story for me. The experience, the immersion. I am approachng it more from a writer's perspective and as someone who enjoys a good story being told. That being said, game mechanics and all the InGame preparation needed for combat encounters, are getting in the way. If possible I put the game difficulty on the easiest setting and try to get to the story (or RP centric) parts as fast as possible. And I am having one hell of a good time, although I do occasionally still enjoy a well made combat mechanic and some number crunching. So I hope the devs will offer a broad range of ways to proceed through their game, because we all enjoy our games for different reasons
  6. I really would love to have different outcomes of battles other than the usual Game Over/Reload Save Game or Victory/Loot Dead Bodies. And it should definitely go both ways, meaning that it would be pretty cool if you had some options what to do with foes you defeat, like sending them to prison, selling them off to slavers, offering them a job in your stronghold, etc. Not having death and only death at the end of a conflict means giving the game world more depth in general, because the victory or death approach shouldn't be the only solution in an otherwise complex narrative setting. It works well for some of the dumbed down action heavy "RPGs" because there the killing and fighting is pretty much the only focus, but it wouldn't be appropriate for the spiritual successor of games like PS:T. That being said, I'd love to see RP scenarios like Prison escapes, breaking out of a slave pen, being dragged to a foreign kingdom, abandoned in the desert, etc. All those scenarios can usually only happen if they are planned for the main story line anyway or...your character is defeated. And lives to tell the tale.
  7. Just listened to the Interview from Total Biscuit with Adam and they talked abot the Megadungeon and confirmed a few important things. So it seems that the dungeon will be optional and it is meant to be for those who love dungeon crawling. I am happy for those who enjoy this activity but personally I will just skip this and leave it for the end maybe, when I feel I have nothing else to do.
  8. I had such a situation in my playthrough of DA:O where I played as a rogue and later on got Leliana and Zevran joining my entourage of companions. We pretty much had the same expertise when it came to rogue related tasks, so going purely by game mechanics they were dead weight. But that's where personality comes into the equation. I liked the way they were written enough that I thought they were fun to hang out with, so I could hear their comments and sometimes snide remarks which usually made me chuckle. In other words, they were good company, so I had them in my party when I set out to do quests. 3 rogues in the same party is of course far from the optimal or efficient way to do things, but that's the point where you gotta ask yourself what is more important to you as a gamer. So to answer your question: I'd do what I do regardless whether they are more awesome, equally awesome or plain suck at what they do: I'd pick them based on their personality
  9. It makes a lot of sense if companions are a lot more experienced or better than your character, although only in their respective areas of expertise. I mean, that's what a traditional adventure group is after all: a team of highly specialized individuals that combine all their strengths to create a very powerful force. Beyond pragmatic reasons though there is also the social and emotional aspect of why people group up. On the most basic level it is because they like each other enough to be willing to travel together and feel safer than if they were alone. Now when I pick the members of my party I don't want to make a choice based on their stats or what they can bring in terms of game mechanics. I'd very much like to do it like I would in RL; based on whether I like their personality or not. And if I choose based on personality, it doesn't really matter if they are more awesome than me in game mechanic terms. I think it s fairly safe to assume that my own PC is also a specialist in one or more skills or skill set, so I needn't worry that my PC is useless or just tagging along. He will contribute to the overall success, even if there are other team members who might occupy the same specialisation. Now what makes a leader great or awesome, is the ability to manage the individual personalities of a group and forge them into a team spirit. That requires a certain empathy and charisma and diplomatic skills. A game usually conveys that in dialogue or scenes where you have to make decisions. It's basically the RP part of an RPG. And as long as the game allows me to be (or feel) awesome in that particular part, I am happy and don't mind if my companions are more awesome in other aspects of the game.
  10. I would be very happy if the mega dungeon holds any meaning except an opportunity for XP and loot. I'll admit it right here: I dont like dungeons or dungeon crawling. Those passages where you stumble through endless caverns or catacombs are my least favorite part of an RPG. There is a reason for that though, aside from preferences. Dungeons usually serve no other purpose than making a quest last a lot longer than necessary. Need to go talk to that bandit leader? Great, but would you please first fight through his extensive cellar hideout, then his secret underground lair and then his even more secret fortress? It is different if you add meaningful content to those huge networks of corridors and rooms. Maybe the underground lair and fortress are part of a hidden city below the ground where fugitives and exiles from the other kingdoms have built a place to call home. Maybe there is all sorts of activity going on down there, from gambling to secret societies meeting and forbidden cults practicing their faith. I'd really like the mega dungeon to not become the standard monster line up waiting for you to clear one level after the other but indeed something like a secret city for interesting factions. It would certainly be a waste of resources to turn 15 levels into a mere loot and xp dispenser.
  11. I thnk we can all agree that the perception of concepts like good and evil are subjective and relative. That being said I would side with the people here who don't want the game to judge your decisions at all. No artificial moral meter, no alignment scale, no renegade or paragon points. Because good and evil wll always be in the eye of the beholder. Personally I always found it silly, that certain professions automatically assume that you are evil. Think black mages, necromancers, warlocks, demonologist, etc. If you weren't of an Something Evil Alignment you couldn't even pick those professions. What was great though, was the fact that the game world sometimes reacted to your class/profession choice. Usually with scepticism and fear, but then you had the great opportunity to prove that just because you commune with dead spirits and dine with demons you don't necessarily need to be an evil bastard. So I'd like to see getting rid of those artificial moral mechanics and have the game world only react to your deeds. I dont want the game to judge my actions based on a rigid mechanic but rather relative to the context it happened in. What I mean by that is that I want it to be like in ME, but without the Paragon/Renegade mechanic. Having NPCs react and comment on your deeds is great, but don't tell me what I did was "good" or "evil". 'll decide that for myself. Oh and while we are at it... alignment specific gear. That concept is so bad that it is hilariously funny at the same time. So you just found that cloak of awesomeness +1 but you cant use it because it somehow detects that you have been a bad boy and refuses to be worn? I mean, seriously. Are there some mysterious evil particles floating around my character? Will the cloak try to strangle me if I try to wear it? This is just another example of why good/evil mechanics are usually not such a good idea :D
  12. I agree, an "evil" person usually doesn't travel with a band of merry companions saving the world. He is in it for himself. A game that really played well with a concept of "evil" was imo ME and ME2. Going renegade didn't mean you went overboard with stupid-evil actions. It meant you were less likely to grant mercy. It meant caring less for the well being of others. It meant having an overall darker perception of the universe reflected in your actions and what you said. There was that great scene with that evil scientist in ME1 where you and Garus finally caught him and then the game presented you with a nice moral dilemma. Adhere to laws and higher moral principles or just execute that bastard. The game made me think, and I love it when a game does that and also challenges my perception of morality. We can only hope we will get something similar in PE
  13. Granted, but some of us may see no point in missions where we are not rewarded. I suppose that's were good and evil comes in. The good guy helps the beggar just because, the evil guy demands the last shirt off his back so his time isn't wasted. True, but in reality games rarely make sense in that regard. The good guy helping the beggar would indeed do so without expecting any kind of reward and the game should not reward that action beyond a heartfelt thank you from the beggar. Now what happens in most games in the case of an evil guy, is this: He also agrees to help the beggar, does the quest and then demands his shirt or coin. And that is, for me at least, complete and utter nonsense. An evil guy would never even accept that quest or even talk to the beggar. It would make much more sense for that evil guy to walk right up to the beggar, beat him up and then take his belongings. Or just refuse the quest and instead force him right away to give up his stuff. That is my major gripe with how evil is portrayed in most games. You put in all the effort for that NPC guy, even if you knew it would put you through hell, then come back with his precious stamp collection that he somehow lost, and THEN suddenly decide to go all Mwahaha, I am evil, so I will not only take the promised reward, but also your stamp collection. Because I am mean! What I am getting at is: to really have a distinguishable good and evil approach you need to alter the events more than just have different quest flavour text. In my example, a selfish/evil person wouldn't even bother to come back in order to hand in the quest. That person would probably not be interested in the stamp collection to start with. Or that person wouldn't even bother with the quest and just threaten the guy to hand him some loot. It just makes no sense that no matter what kind of person you are, you will do the same quests in usually the same way, just with a slightly different final dialogue/reward.
  14. Now come to think of it...it is also pretty weird that we have come to always expect some sort of reward in these kind of games. I mean, even the poorest beggar will eagerly hand you his last shirt if you did him a favor. That is of course an exxageration but you know what I mean. It feels too contrived sometimes if you get a material reward every time you do someone a favor. At the very least you usually get a small amount of coins. I don't think it has to be that way and rewards should usually be consistent with the situation at hand. And I agree, rewards shouldn't be tied to some artificial morality system, although purely based om difficulty isn't always right either. If it makes sense that those you helped reward you with something very valuable, ok fine, but dont give out artifacts like candy, just because the quest required a bit more effort to complete.
  15. Indeed, the reward already comes from being consistent in your character and roleplay it in a believable manner. Just going by the loot a quest or NPC might reward you with is more likely a power gamer or min/maxer approach. Which is totally fine, have done that myself in the past, but it's not as fun as staying true to a character concept and sometimes suffer the consequences for it. Like being very altrustic and usually leave empty handed. I really like situations where it's not clearly a good or evil choice but generally just a mess and you understand both sides. Like in ME2 when deciding whether you let Garus shoot that guy who betrayed his squad or convince your friend to just let it go. I really had to take a moment there and ponder it. Then I let him kill the guy :D
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