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Everything posted by Continuum

  1. While I'd certainly love to see more companions, more wilderness areas, more all sorts of things, I'd rather the dev team focus on delivering on all the existing stretch goals that came up in the Kickstarter campaign then keep adding more on. Save great ideas for more for expansion packs.
  2. Main story - no. Time limit to end game is just frustrating unless the game is perfectly linear and thus the time frames are driven by your plot progress. Individual quests, including those within the story - somewhat. It's ok for certain segments to string together, as long as it's done in a way that doesn't lock out side quests or exploration of a region or that makes it clear you need to finish up the area/side quests before tackling the next phase of the main quest. It generally just works best to have completion of key story tasks be the only thing that locks out areas in terms of moving on. I don't have a problem with the game having various story events that change the available map/quests once that point in the story is past. In fact, I think that used properly that can create a more living world if a city or area changes as the story progresses.
  3. The concept of rogues as primary damage dealers has mostly come from games where players only control one character but group with or fight against armored warriors and magic users. If a lightly armored sneaky class can't do more damage than a heavily armored opponent, then they are completely pointless in mass combat. In a party based RPG, the rogue does NOT have to match the damage output of the warriors and spellcasters. The rogue just has to pull their weight enough in a fight to be worth having along for their various utility skills. The balance should come in how skills are allocated. Whether by class designation or skill allocation, it shouldn't be possible for one party member to simultaneously be able to absorb the most damage AND produce the most damage or there is no reason for a variety of party members. I think the whole "why can't warriors backstab" argument should boil down to what type of weapon and armor they plan to specialize in. In my mind, the critical damage bonus of backstabbing/sniping comes in using a type of weapon that can more easily reach vitals on a precise hit but do less damage on imprecise hits. Small, fast penetrating weapons like daggers or arrows. In a frontal assault these types of weapons do crappy damage compared to larger swords, axes, maces, etc. Every character should get bonuses for flanking/rear attacks. Certain classes/builds, like the assassin-type rogue, would specialize in combat styles that allow them to quickly or stealthily obtain the flanking/backstab position. Heavier weapons and armor naturally encumber that type of fast movement. Assassin type weapons should have lower normal damage but have higher critical multipliers when backstabbing/sniping. This makes sense. A dagger does much less total trauma than a mace but it's much easier to quickly and accurately stick it in a guy's heart or lung. If a warrior wearing heavy armor and carrying a five foot sword is in the position to get a free shot at an opponent's unprotected back, then yes it should result in a devastating amount of damage. The dagger would have a higher critical multiplier than the sword, but the sword's larger base damage would result in an equivalent or greater fatal amount of trauma. The key equalizer is the likelihood of an armored warrior obtaining that positioning and the likelihood of an opponent turning their back on a five foot sword, and that's what the combat system should reflect. The point is that you can't exactly have everybody in the party be sneaky dagger-stabbers in light armor and expect to take on armored opponents. You need the armored warrior to be able to survive going toe-to-toe with them. Similar, the guy taking point is going to want the armor and the sword, not armor and a dagger to try to shiv his opponent swinging a mace at him. There's a rational way to balance this out where rogues deal more sporadic, precise critical damage while warriors deliver the constant output of heavy frontal trauma. The total amount of physical damage the warrior deals out in heavy frontal attacks should exceed the rogue, but the rogue's skill at backstabbing should encounter less mitigation (armor/shield/parry). There are perfectly logical reasons why different weapon/damage types balance different combat style and why no one character would be able to rationally swap the weapons/armor in midfight to flip between frontal assault and backstabbing/sniping style combat. In combat backstabbing should not receive as high of a multiplier as ambushes on a completely unaware opponent that is not in combat. The fact that a class specializes in backstabbing/sniping makes sense. It's all in what you devote the practice to learn. All people are not equal at stabbing key points. A surgeon may have precise knowledge of human anatomy, but unless they spend hours and hours practicing how to quickly and precisely perforate said anatomy, it does not make them a skilled backstabber. Similarly, a warrior has a finite amount of time to train and practice. If he plans on fighting in heavy metal armor 90% of the time, then he's going to spend the vast majority of his practice time on using weapons and techniques that work well in heavy metal armor, not on how he might get really good at sliding behind his opponent with a dagger while wearing very light armor.
  4. This is not the kind of thing we're afraid of in terms of kiting and pulling. We're talking about the kind of AI behavior you see in some RPGs and especially in MMORPGs. If we applied this MMO pull logic to your example, the Western knights and infantry would all be standing within 50 yards of each other. The Mongol would carefully edge closer - in full sight of the enemy - until he got to the exact distance were the two knights standing 25 feet away noticed him but the five infantry standing ten feet away from the knights. The knights charge screaming while the mongol backs up another 50 feet. The infantry is completely unaware for no apparent reason. The mongols would then kite the knights by running in a circle around them peppering them with arrows. The infantry stares at them. The knights chase the mongols around in a circle rather than standing their ground, retreating to the infantry, trying to cut the mongols off on a turn, nope... just chase them haplessly. Eventually the knights die. The mongols then walk the 100 feet back over to the infantry and begin shooting the infantry. The infantry yells in surprise and attacks. Most of them are mowed down by the mongols fire and the survivors are cut to pieces by the mongol swords. This is the sort of situation we want to avoid. The AI shouldn't be butt stupid. The areas should be designed in such a way that there is a manageable amount of enemies to create a challenge without being overwhelming, and the enemies can't be trivialized with combat tactics that take advantage of a level of combat ineptitude you wouldn't see on a peewee hockey team. There's nothing wrong with concept of pulling and kiting in terms of how they might actually work against an intelligent enemy.
  5. Multiclassing is a D&D relic that evolved to deal with the rigidly defined classes. D&D required a certain level of simplification because a human had to track all the math and roll the dice. A modern CRPG should simply use a more open class structure if they want players to have the option to have thieves that cast spells or mages in armor or whatnot. Multi-class is basically just a cop-out to get around a class system that people aren't happy using. Prestige class can work when tied to progress. All fighters could start generalist and that at level 10 or what not prestige towards more of an armored knight or a mobile archer, for example. Or they could just use a more open class/skill system with well-balance tradeoffs.
  6. I would like a form of tactical combat as a regular part of the game. I would like the default difficult to make combat interesting, but not so difficult that I have to retry battles a dozen times to beat them. I would prefer not having to rely massively on consumables. I think there should be an easier, narrative-focused setting that minimizes combat frequency and difficulty for folks who don't enjoy the combat in P:E, and a more challenging setting for folks who want most encounters to require highly skilled and precise use of their characters. Personally, I'm not interested in a level of difficult that frustrates me until I master it because I play RPGs for entertainment and relaxation rather than competition. I would like a non-combat solution to be available in many instances and not feel like a tacked-on "pick this option if you don't like to fight" button in the dialogue tree. If my characters are in a dungeon, I expect most encounters to be combat. If my characters are in a non-hostile city, I expect most encounters to NOT require combat.
  7. PLEASE do not make kiting or pulling MMO-style an essential (or particularly useful) mechanic. It's one of the worst things about MMORPGs - the toughest challenge in most MMO fights is not actually beating the enemy but rather in getting a small enough group of enemies far enough away from the others to push the same buttons 30 times to beat them. Space enemies out appropriately, and design it so that they all react appropriately when they can realistically see and hear your party. And yes, the IE games had some awful, awful, awful pathing. Pathing is probably the #1 reason that I often prefer turn-based control of a multi-character party. Even Dragon Age drove me nuts, as you either have to turn off friendly fire entirely or micromanage to a degree that it might as well be turn-based anyway if you want to use AoEs at all.
  8. I'm not saying yes or no because it really depends on the gameworld. I don't think guns are automatically a bad thing. But there has to be some reason they're balanced. You really can't have anything beyond primitive muzzle loaders in the same setting with medieval weapons and armor. The only advantage bows/crossbows have over guns is they are quieter if we are talking any sort of cartridge loading fire-arm. So unless there are some steampunk leanings, I'd tend towards no guns.
  9. I enjoyed BOTH Fallout 3 and New Vegas, although I did like New Vegas better. I don't get the Bethesda hate. If it was that they make buggy games, ok. But F:NV was just as buggy if not more so, since it used the same engine.
  10. There's a lot to be said for being able to kill all NPCs, with the following caveats: Don't let people kill quest NPCs that they'll need to advance the game. They will do it, and then they will whine and cry on the forums, and will just need to undo it with console commands or such. There should be always be consequences to random killing. Appropriate guards/factions should react. Killing people in towns should generally get you in jail. Reputation with non-evil party members and NPCs should take a severe hit. Good people do not randomly murder people or tolerate people who do. Make absolutely doggone sure that the game doesn't let you ACCIDENTALLY kill friendlies. I hate it in games where I just push the wrong button or such and have to reload an earlier save because I just committed a terrible crime. Or I kill an innocent because their AI is so frigging idiotic that they wander in to the middle of a firefight that I am caught in. I don't want to commit horrible actions simply because of failed mechanics.
  11. I would like as full and complicated an influence and relationship system as possible. What I do NOT want is a number, metered mathematical system like Dragon Age, with purchasable gifts to buy people off. Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas was pretty darn good at this. I trust 'em. Yes, I know F:NV did have mathematical systems attached to companions and factions, but they were buried within the code and not metered out. Faction reputation was fairly transparent and had stated levels, but companion reputation was opaque and only revealed through conversations and quest options.
  12. Spiders are pretty much the only type of creature that irrationally scare me. It was ingrained on me by mother when I was a kid, it makes no logical sense to me, but that's why they call 'em phobias. I'm not disturbed by them so much that virtual representations bother me, but my mom (who does play numberous RPGs) is to the extent that she simply can't play some games solely because of the spiders. Spiders and snakes are incredibly common phobias, to the point you can find arachnophobia mods for many RPGs. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for developers to put options in to replace them with a different visual model. People who are scared of them know it's past the rational point, and are generally content to accept an out of place visual model knowing it is blocking what scares them. Anything can be a phobia, but the number of people with IRRATIONAL fears of things like bears or dragons or lizards is pretty small compared to folks with phobias for spiders and snakes. It's perfectly rational to be afraid of a bear in the wild (or a dragon), that's not a phobia. (Different argument as to whether it's rational that every carnivore in RPGs attacks heavily armed humans on sight.) Personally, I'd be quite happy with a spider-less P:E, although they bother me less than emo vampires would.
  13. I don't really see the New Game + mode being very applicable to the type of game I'm expecting from P:E. An action game with RPG elements of gaining skills/stats/equipment (e.g., Batman Arkham Asylym/City) benefits from New Game + A hybrid RPG/shooter like Mass Effect 2/3 benefits somewhat from it. A party-based tactical RPG? Doesn't fit. It just imbalances the low levels too much, or party balance, or... just a PITA to implement in a useful way.
  14. One thing I remember not liking about many old party CRPGs was having to juggle party lead just to open up options in a conversation. If I have Merlin standing next to me, I don't want to find out that he could have solved the entire problem if I'd just let him be the party lead for the conversation. You're party of the group because of your expertise, that should be contributed in non-combat situations as well without me having to pass you the talking stick.
  15. It really depends on the quests. Quest markers are necessary if it's going to be really difficult to navigate to things. If the maps and layouts are simple and distinct enough to find things and quest instructions are clear enough, then they aren't needed. It's less of an issue with a basically 2D map than a full 3D map. Playing a game like Skyrim with no form of quest markers at all would be an absolute pain in the butt. Half the time I couldn't find the path to get to things that I could see on the mountains, let alone if my only guide had been "it's a book in a yeti cave on the south side of that big mountain over there." While I have much nostalgia for the good ol' days, I hardly want to go back to having to keep my own written notes for every quest and mapping things out on graph paper. We have a few decades worth of improvements in in-game tools to draw from. I enjoy exploring in games and finding new things. I hate wandering aimlessly in circles trying to find a quest objective with a vague description and no map markers.
  16. Depends on the difficulty and complexity of the fight. If there was any reasonable possibility of injury to my party, I generally turned IE games in to turn-based games. But I remember those games having a lot of trash fights that didn't require much oversight.
  17. There are some definite downsides to day/night systems. But I think the downsides can be handled in intelligent ways, and it's worth it for the extra immersion it adds to the world to have things be different at night. It always seems a little fake if everything is always exactly the same. Of course, day/night dependent access to shops, quest, monsters, etc., requires some form of waiting system, but that's something dozens of RPGs have managed just fine. It's also cool when NPCs move around as long as there is some sort of tracking system to find them. I get it's more realistic, but I lost track of how many hours I spent running around the Mage's College in Winterhold in Skyrim trying to find the various #$%&ing mages. And that's not even a large college....
  18. If a game is open-world at all, then I think it's a bad idea to have objectives be the only way to gain XP. Example - Fallout: New Vegas. If I gained no XP for killing things, that would mean that an awful lot of my time in game generated no progression, because I spend lots of time exploring. If it's a fixed objectives that basically only have one path through them, then it doesn't really matter. Example - Mass Effect 2/3. There is no point in awarding XP per kill there because you have to get through everything to complete each objective, and all your characters are the same level. Even at that, thought, ME2 went too far in ONLY awarding XP at mission end, which ME3 rectified by awarding XP at multiple objective points in mission. If a game is closed-world, multiple path to complete, XP per kill is counterproductive. Example - Deus Ex: HR or other games where you have multiple options to completely avoid combat. XP per kill would penalize the more creative solutions. I'm assuming P:E will be somewhere in the continuum between Torment and Fallout: New Vegas - not one continous open world like F:NV, but that there will be open areas of the game. I'd like to be able to explore for the sake of exploring, and I'd like to still improve my characters when exploring outside of the set quest lines. I'm fine if many or most areas of the game are scripted instances, but I assume there will be some aspect of open world to it. I'd like to gain XP for a wide variety of activities, from quest conversations to skill use to quest goal completion to monster kills.
  19. I voted running, but only in the sense that I want the default speed to get me around quickly. Taking 10 seconds to cross my screen is not entertaining. If running and walking are separate speeds, I'd prefer running to be some sort of limited sprint mechanic rather than simply being a way to get from point A to point B in a less boring amount of time in the game.
  20. I'm not saying there is no way to make a fun game out of a merchant character, but I don't see a good way to make a 1P RPG where a merchant can advance the same storyline as a warrior/mage. Unless you have some special type of merchant combat in mind. I think it would be a lot of work to make this concept interesting AND fit in well with the game, and it's not interesting enough to me that I want Obsidian devoting time to it.
  21. Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, and Fallout 1/2/NV. I don't want just an updated Infinity Engine game or Fallout clone, though. What I want is the kind of narrative complexity and choices found in Planescape and Fallout, in a tactical RPG that allows me to control a full party. Mechanically I expect P:E to be a new and modern version of the top-down/isometric party RPG. I don't want it to just try to be an updated D&D game, but something designed specifically to work as a computer RPG focused on character, setting, and narrative.
  22. Romance can definitely add to a game. The most common problems with romance in video games are: romance (or general companionship) gets turned in to a minigame with a score (I'm looking at you, Dragon Age). very limited romance options with very stereotyped characters leaving only one or two popular romances the path to romance is so unclear and the love interest reactions are so unpredictable that you have to research online how to "win it" If P:E can avoid these common pitfalls, then I'm all for it.
  23. I picked it up when it was on sale for $5 on Steam recently, and I'm sorry I did. The control is absolutely horrible; I tried both gamepad and keyboard/mouse and had problems with both. I have no clue WTF I'm supposed to do in the computer hacking minigame, and normally I have no problem with word, spatial, or mathematical puzzles. It just hurt my eyes. I spent time fussing with a bunch of different settings and control was still craptastic for movement and targeting. I figured that some of these things probably improved with skill points, but... I've made a rule for myself about games that make me not have fun with the promise that at some point I will get to have fun. It's just crappy design. For comparison, things like stealth, accuracy, lockpicking, etc., are all very weak to start with in F:NV and improve dramatically, but that doesn't mean F:NV starts you out struggling miserably with simple tasks. I was disappointed when it came out initially and got trashed in reviews, but they convinced me it wasn't worth $50. I believe people that there is a fun adventure hidden beneath the craptastic controls and interface in AP, but as it is, it wasn't even worth $5. Sorry Obsidian. I really want to like all your stuff, and I loved games like F:NV and ToEE in spite of their avalanche of glitches, and I kickstarted P:E happily.... but AP was a disaster.
  24. I agree that Skyrim could have used more monster variety, but I do think it was a good thing that it tried to keep the monsters thematically consistent. I think P:E should use a wide variety of monsters but make ones that are tailored to their setting rather than adopting monsters from various mythologies wholesale and dropping them in like one might find in a D&D game.
  25. I'm pretty tired of werewolves and vampires in general. Done to death all over every facet of pop culture. Even Skyrim had to make two major questlines about being a werewolf or being a vampire. I don't want to be a werewolf. I don't want to be a vampire. I don't want an angst-filled plotline. I don't even want a major plotline centered around werewolves or vampires. I don't mind if they are a type of monster that I can kill, as long as I don't have to have emo conversations with them. If there ARE werewolves and vampires of any sort, please go OLD school with them. Like, pre-Hollywood old school... no silver bullets, etc., but old nightmares from legend that aren't really human anymore. If there are no werewolves or vampires at all, that would be just fine. Also, it'd be lovely if there were no spiders, but I realize it's some sort of rule that there have to be spiders. It would be very nice if random wildlife didn't attack me (e.g., normal wolves). It's fine if monstrous, evil versions of wildlife attack me. Thanks. >_>
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