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Brasidas

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  1. A 91 on Metacritic is nothing to scoff at. Will it trend downward over time, or is the score pretty much set at this point? Also, do we have any comparable data on how a high Metacritic score influences sales of a niche RPG like PoE? This is, of course, purely self interested--at only 20 hours in I'm already hungry for sequels.
  2. I'm a few hours in and loving it. The writing, the story and the mechanics all feel spot on and give me the same good feels I had playing BG2 as a kid. However, I practically leapt out of my seat during character creation when I realized I could make a black character who isn't a designer's afterthought. He can have varied facial features, skin tones, and hair styles. His culture isn't pigeonholed into stereotypes based upon the modern White perceptions of Black people in the United States. In fact, there is a fully developed culture to which he belongs, and I chuckled when I realized it seemed to be old Europe. As a result, he can be of any background or class without stretching the lore! I was caught off guard at how happy this all made me. Maybe it's that I've never encountered my own background so fully and thoughtfully represented in a game before. Either way, I'm grateful! Given the setting, it makes me wonder if Obsidian has explored the ramifications of colonization on oppressed peoples in some parts of the game. If not, that's ok. At this point, it's great to just have visible representation.
  3. Edit: Yonjuro has essentially the same idea. We could make pre-buffing an always on effect changed only at rest or with a grimoire switch, with a limit on the number of buffs active. For example, a priest could choose to have negative plane protection, mass protection from evil, bless, or some other such thing always on, changeable only at rest. It wouldn't remove the meta-gaming problem, but it would get rid of the tedium and offer interesting choices between which buffs the player chooses for their party. However, to make the choices really interesting and less about the meta-game, the buffs would need to focus on synergistic effects with other abilities instead of raw number increases and hard counters. Shallow examples: having freedom of movement always on and employing web and entangle effects, or employing high fire resistance buffs and spamming fireballs.
  4. Thanks for the link! Apologies for bringing up a topic already covered. I was referring specifically to the human race in PoE, and it's clear from the concepts on the wiki that at least black is represented.
  5. When I select my portrait and character avatar in PoE, will I be able to select my race? Can I choose to be Black, White, East Asian, South Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern, etc? Will the features and hairstyles of my avatar reflect those associated with my race? I realize the cost of including such differences is large; however, the extra effort is meaningful to gamers like me who often feel invisible in the games we play. I'm not trying to start a troll or anything, and I want to applaud Obsidian's work with class, gender, race, and sexuality in video games. It's clear they are paying attention, and I have been particularly impressed by their thoughtful and subtle work representing folks who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. So, kudos to taking on issues that are often easier to ignore, even if they get messy at times.
  6. While I am more and more excited by the class mechanics, I am continually surprised by the quality of the art. That's a beautiful shot of the ruins. I can't wait to see areas populated by creatures and characters!
  7. As a result of dyslexia, I sound out words very poorly. "Normally" spelled words and unusually spelled words make no difference to me. The sound of these words define many of my associations with the setting. As a result, I would hungrily listen to short pronunciation clips in an in game encyclopedia. I would greedily listen for cleverly placed barks and shouts. This is because the flavor of Project Eternity sounds so delicious.
  8. Nice post, Locust. Changing the armor bonuses to a percentage reduction and never varying the base DT values for each armor type would keep weapon effectiveness consistant against armor types. That goes a long way for letting the player judge, at a glance, whic weapons are most effective in each situation. I see two possible objections. First, your solution introduces a new variable, increasing complexity. Imagine explaining it to a new player: "So, your weapon has a base damage, and your opponent's armor reduces the damage taken by a flat amount. However, if your weapon is a piercing weapon, it can overcome a certain amount of DT, and if it is a crushing weapon it will never do less than 60% damage. Your opponent also as a defense value to overcome, measured against your attack. If you don't overcome their defense, you will do 50% less damage, before DT is applied, but you still can't do less than a weapon's minimum damage. (Or is it half minimum damage on a graze? I've forgotten.) On top of this, if their armor is magical, it will reduce the damage you do to them, after other calculations, by a flat percentage. If your weapon is magical, it does..." The above objection may not be fatal, but I think it illustrates the value of reducing complexity. Second, the percentage reduction might interfere with the scaling Josh has been talking about. To be fair, I don't really understand what he means by scaling. If he's referring to increasing armor DT as one upgrades to better versions of armor in the same class (Plate --> Plate +1 or Bronze Plate --> Iron Plate), this would definitely mess with that dynamic. However, something very similar has been tried out in New Vegas, so we should look at the combined DT/DR mechanic there to evaluate its effectiveness.
  9. Can someone (not necessarily Mr. Sawyer) explain the choice of high minimum damage instead of increased armor penetration (DT-) for crushing weapons? Tinkering with quick mock up (though turn based) that gives crushing weapons increased DT- instead of high minimum damage, and drops their standard damage below piercing weapons, worked well. However, the mock up is not nearly as complex (three weapons, three armor types). Why does the complexity in Josh's system necessitate this choice? If the system's problem is too many input variables as Josh mentioned, what's a reasonable number to shoot for? Is there an analogous system in other RPG's that accomplishes the elegance Josh is looking for? My experience lies primarily with D&D and White Wolf, but I wasn't finding them helpful. Maybe someone who has spent time with GURPS, JRPG's, or LoL/DOTA would have some useful examples.
  10. Whatever is easier for Chris. I'm happy to hear his thoughts in whatever format they are packaged in.
  11. In order to capture unique and varied "barbarian" cultures, it may be wiser let racial bonuses and penalties, as opposed to classes, define the differences. As previously noted, railroading anyone who is not a city dweller into the barbarian class severely limits the game's ability to represent different cultures. Adhin noted D&D Barbarians might be better named berserkers. Renaming them thusly in PE and then opening up all classes to cultures traditionally called barbarian would alleviate railroading problem. Then, city-dwelling peoples could have berserkers (like the Norse), and everyone else can have the wide array of classes needed to create a robust social and roleplaying opportunities. "But," you say, "There are two problems with this. First, it doesn't make any sense for illiterate cultures [insert other handicap here] to have wizards [insert other class that doesn't fit with the culture's dynamic]! Second, these other cultures will play just like their city dwelling cousins, defeating the purpose of creating the barbarian class in the first place." These are two valid objections. To the first point, either restrict classes by racial group, or make it clear to the player they are creating a non-traditional character for the group. The second point is where things get interesting. A solution is to make strong racial bonuses and penalties that influence the character's selection of skills within a class. For example, if we created a Mongol race, horsemanship, archery, strategy, and terror should all be a part of their racial abilities. This would push a player to create a fighter that capitalizes on these strengths, and that plays very differently from the honorable knight or the stereotypical barbarian berserker. Even better, we can push the racial affinities to influence our hypothetical Mongol's choices in other classes as well, giving them a much broader range of expression. I'm very excited to hear that Josh and Tim were considering something akin to this. They said something like they wanted racial abilities to influence how a player built his class, so that a hypothetical elf fighter would look and play very differently than a dwarf fighter. (I also think they were a bit vague, so I could be reading too much into their comments).
  12. I see I'm late to the party, but I wanted to add that I support the minimum damage mechanic 100%. I know exactly what Josh is talking about with the new X-COM (employing the ideal tactic and having it completely backfire) and I like the strategic focus the minimum damage mechanic brings. For example, in old BIS game there were many fights that were winnable at lower levels due to the RNG. (I'm thinking of the Raiders in FO2, Decker in FO1, and Firkraag in BG2, to name a few.) Don't get me wrong- these fights usually still required oodles and oodles of tactics, and I have fond memories of reloading over and over again to test out new strategies. However, once my tactics were refined, I still lost these fights to the RNG repeatedly (even at higher levels!), and was forced to save and reload tediously until i could get that perfect set of rolls. I find the fun in these games to be developing and testing out new tactics, not in hoping the RNG will allow me to execute them perfectly. The minimum damage mechanic goes a long way to support a more strategic focus. However, I think some players genuinely enjoy the drama of waiting on a perfect roll, and pride that comes with beating a tough monster as a result. From some of the voices I heard in this thread, I believe we need to decide as a community which kind of focus we want in PE.
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