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DeathQuaker

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DeathQuaker last won the day on March 11 2013

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About DeathQuaker

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    CRPGs, table top RPGs, Doctor Who, Read or Die, drawing, reading, writing, singing, chocolate, Scottish-accented tieflings

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  1. I think the KotOR franchise should rest in peace--sometimes an excellent thing needs to end an excellent thing and not be added to. but I'd totally back an original IP space opera by Obsidian. Although I want an espionage game (a la Alpha Protocol) more...
  2. What makes it NOT obvious are two factors: 1. The reputation system. If you're unspoiled and thus unaware you are ostensibly SIDING with a particular faction to angle for an invitation, hearing them say "X and Y Factions won't be pleased," can lead you to make a very logical conclusion that all you're being warned about is a REPUTATION LOSS, NOT a quest lockout. Moreover, since you can play the game so that you have reasonably good reputation with ALL THREE factions, you could equally logically decide taking the quest would probably not lower your rep enough to lose friendship with a given faction. (Even after the hearings, my rep with the Crucible Knights is pretty much equal to my rep with the Dozens.) 2. You perform the necessary quests to get the invitation before you have any idea you need an invitation. Moreover, the quests involved are pretty banal fetch quests that don't seem plot-important on their own, and have absolutely nothing to do, directly, with getting into the duc's palace. If the quests were, say, "Assassinate the Head of House Doemenel" rather than, "Find some rusty useless weapons," that might help make the matter clearer. A VERY EASY FIX for this: Keep all three faction quests locked, completely unavailable, UNTIL you talk to Lady Webb and she tells you you need an invitation to the Duc's Palace. Then when that conversation occurs, you could add a single line of dialogue from Lady Webb that says something along the lines of, "Each faction will probably want you to do a favor for them to prove your loyalty before they name you a delegate; bear in mind if you do this favor for one faction, the others will surely withdraw interest in naming you a delegate." Word it so it's clear "if you do this you don't get an invitation," not "if you do this they won't like you," which, again, suggests rep loss, not quest lockout. And I think the Bodhi/Thieves Guild comparison is flawed for a simple reason: Bodhi and the Thieves Guild are the only major influencable factions in BG2, and IIRC there's no faction reputation system in BG2 the way there is in POE (IIRC BG2 had universal reputation but not faction rep) -- and in POE there's also town reputations and other group factions as well, and it isn't apparent any given one allows (or not) access (or not) to key plot quests. POE in terms of factions is more like Fallout: New Vegas (which in many ways sets the standard of what to expect from present-day Obsidian) ---- and I think a KEY issue here is that as far as factions go, many unspoiled players get the sense that the Dozens, Crucible Knights, and House Doemenel are like, say, the Chairmen, the White Glove Society, and the Omertas, when they are in fact more like, say, The NCR, Mr. House, and the Legion ---- in other words, they feel like lesser factions who add flavor to the city and you can befriend or destroy in whatever combination you like and this just more minorly affects the game's outcomes, when they are actually more plot-important groups whom you must pick at one point at the cost of losing the opportunity to support the other. (Though in fairness, I don't think they are as majorly plot crucial as the New Vegas comparisons.) All this said, I haven't hit the endgame yet, but it seems like all this does is set up how you get into the hearings, and I haven't seen any other consequences yet. It's annoying, but doesn't seem dire or game breaking either. Am I wrong?
  3. Honestly, I've not had much trouble handwaving the idea that either 1) The Magic Soulbound Statue takes care of it all because Magic. After all, she can lock/unlock doors and seems to have some limited mystical/telekinetic control of the area (she blocks doorways, etc.), she can also communicate to other people and allow access to stores for payment, etc. and/or 2) The Watcher just sends out a notice to NPCs to do construction and has some unseen administrative staff to help handle things. Yes, it would be nice to see these people, but since they have little to no bearing on the story, I don't care that my game isn't wasting resources to generate their sprites either. As for why you have the rights to the land: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the person you seek out at Caed Nua had the "deed" to the land as it were, and you inherited it on his death with the Statue Steward as the witness to the transaction (i.e., the statue wanted you to have the land so orchestrated your inheritance). He was nuts, but he did own the place. Large estates like that usually include copious acreage of farmland, etc. upon which were probably either said dude's actual tenants (who weren't getting much out of him) or squatters who couldn't afford Defiance Bay, were afraid of the Glanfathans, and didn't want to live under Raedric's tyranny up north. You and or the steward via magic statue magic communicated to the tenants/squatters that you now had control of the keep and if they paid you a reasonable sum, it would help you be able to fix the keep and hire guards, etc. etc. And again, the collection is handled by Unseen Tax Collector #3. If this were a dedicated stronghold building game, I'd be annoyed these factors weren't handled well, but it's not, so I'm not going to waste much energy being concerned about it. Do I wish the stronghold were more complex and more of the nitty gritty apparent? Sure. I'm an old-time Suikoden fan and love me some stronghold improving and recruiting and all the niggly details within. At the same time, I accept this game is not part of the Suikoden series and that I should not set my expectations at the same level for a game like that. (I'm also glad I don't have to recruit 108 allies or fight army battles in between my party adventures.) IIRC, the addition of the stronghold was a late backer-boosted add-on---incorporated after design of the game was already under way. So it also feels a bit separate because they had to design the core of the game without the presumption of a stronghold being there. They had to make it indeed as something that they could insert in, whole cloth, later. So it feels like it is, indeed, an extra object inserted into the game last minute. It's perhaps a downside of Kickstarter based style game design planning. I also get the sense that they really wanted to do more with the stronghold and just ran out of time/it wasn't high enough on the priority list. I do hope in an expansion they might be able to add to the stronghold. If I could have just one thing, I'd want a menagerie I can put all my spare pets. As much as I love weighing down Eder with a backpack full of puppies, kittens, and pigs (and I know he loves it too), it would be cool to put the pets you're not using somewhere and seeing them run around Caed Nua. But yes, some more people, and making it look busy and thriving and actually look like a living estate... that would be nice too. But while I'd love for it to be more, it doesn't bug me it is the way it is now. TL;DR A wizard animancer did it. NBD.
  4. A first look at the game is over at Paizo's blog. It's written by Nathan Davis of Obsidian so I'm surprised they didn't crosspost it, but it's here: http://paizo.com/paizo/blog/v5748dyo5lhd2?A-Look-at-Obsidians-Adventure-Card-Game
  5. FWIW: when I read "this will make you unpopular," the only "clear" assumption I could make, not having been spoiled, was that you will lose reputation with the other factions. "Lose reputation" does not lead logically to "you are declaring irrevocable loyalty to one side and declaring the others effective enemies now and forever" -- especially since the game allows you to have good rep with many of the factions at once. I wasn't aware till this thread (this is what I get for reading spoilers) that you would necessarily have to rely on one faction or another to advance in the game--the presence of factions in a game don't always indicate absolute sides you have to take, just potential enemies, allies, or in between. I've been playing through with a "well, I'll take the consequences of my decisions as they come" attitude so the revelation that I've apparently "sided" with the Dozens for doing a couple fetch quests for them (even though in other quests I've also killed them or worked against them) isn't rage inducing, though I get why the OP's annoyed. I think at least part of the issue is these quest do not feel like world-shattering decision making quests, but rather come off as simple fetch quest jobs you can be doing solely for the monetary gain of it without caring about the organizations' ethics or goals. Looks like there is supposed to be another way around though, and hopefully all the OP will do is have to wait for the next patch---or accept that he can't quite do what he wants in this playthrough and see things through--who knows, it might still get interesting!--and then try what he wanted in a new playthrough later. Perhaps they should consider how reputation plays in with "siding" with different faction, or not, and making that clearer. I actually got the conversation with the Crucible Knights where Clyver says, "Well, I can't ask you for your help, you're too friendly with the Dozens," but I assumed that WAS due to the fact I had a positive reputation with the Dozens, not because I had accepted--but not yet completed--a certain quest (because how would he know that I had?). On the smaller matter of "but you kill a patrol" -- IIRC you are attacked by them without provocation, so you can defend your actions later--and I believe your reputation does not suffer. There are other places where you are attacked by Dozens or Doemenel likewise and it doesn't necessarily hurt your rep. Maybe it should? IDK, but defending yourself from an attack you didn't incite isn't a declaration of war against a whole side.
  6. Thanks for seeing about changing the epitaph and listening to your fans who were hurt by it (I wasn't personally but I did see why it was concerning and am sympathetic to those who were)--and also giving the backer a chance to change it himself. Thanks also for the rest of the patch---and for a great game. Proud to be a POE backer and a longtime fan of Obsidian and to remain a fan for a long time to come.
  7. It makes it less likely you're going to get positive reputation with Albatross, which can affect handler bonuses if you choose to have Albatross guide you on the missions he's available. It also may affect your ability to get his assistance in Taiwan and the endgame. You may still be able to be an ally of Albatross's if you want, especially if you're playing Professional, but it might prevent you from gaining the highest handler bonus for positive rep. If you're going for negative rep with him on purpose, then it can be helpful. Also of course you will not be able to completely unlock Sis's dossier, if you're trying to be completionist about stuff like that. If you've played before and want to see something different then by all means go for it. I think I did a playthrough where I killed Sis and was largely antagonistic to Albatross and G22 and I felt like it made things different, even if yes, some dialogues don't change, but I haven't tried killing Sis but still trying to befriend Albatross.
  8. Let's be more accurate: he has CLEARLY taken on all these responsibilities in order to avoid having any time to play Arcanum, thus forever depriving us of gleefully watching his suffering.
  9. I've always liked the idea of in-game books you can read for the flavor it provides, but seldom been satisfied by how it works in practice. Either the text is too brief and/or inconsequential, or it's pages and pages of dry material that takes time to read that I could be spending fighting, talking, and exploring. I've been playing a lot of Skyrim lately and been just saddened at how long and dry these texts are... saddened, because someone took all that time to write that stuff, but I'm not going to bother to read it or only scan through it at best. And frankly, I'd rather whoever was writing all that text be spending their time writing in-game dialogue and narrative than some bits of fluff that largely have nothing to do with the actual game save to provide some random bit of largely irrelevant background information. The happy medium I'd like is if you clicked on a book and got a paragraph or two that was an excerpt of the text. Something that gives us a sense of the writer's personality and what information is conveyed, but takes little longer to read than, say, an item description or a fair chunk of dialogue. And if they didn't spend their time writing book-text because they were writing other stuff instead, I'd be fine with that.
  10. I remember in 3rd ed, I think elves were described as "achieving majority" at age 120 -- which is different from the age at which you achieve maturity. They might be fully grown much earlier, but are not in society considered full citizens, for whatever reason, until that age. In a homebrew world I run, I've run with that idea, and assume elves hit adulthood around age 25-30, but are not necessarily full citizens with certain legal rights until they are much older--they have to prove their worth before they can do so. They are expected to explore but also go through various rites of passage (perhaps including those which confer the resistances most elves have in D&D--which might take some time to develop), and perhaps engage in something rather esoteric which would take up a lot of time but not necessarily be reflected in a character's combat skills (perhaps memorizing some epic poem, or spending 50 years crafting the perfect wood flute--but all you're good at is making flutes). (I'd also have no trouble with someone wanting to play a "young" elf younger than 120 years old, but that's only me.) I do think it's weird when it's assumed elves just take 120 years to grow to adulthood... that's a loooooong-forming brain there. I don't want to wish something like a decades-long puberty on anyone. On the other hand, if they do have a 30 year long puberty or something, that could explain their relative idiocy by the time they hit adulthood... it's the trauma.
  11. SoZ had companion-characters -- it was limited/in a different fashion than the prior games, but you met NPCs you could recruit and take with you. If you had a full party of four, then up to two more (with the Leadership feat) could be companions. They weren't as deeply developed, it just wasn't that kind of game--but they added to the game's ambience, making comments only they would make, providing unique information, reacting to other NPCs in their own way. My favorite was the privateer captain, she had all kinds of colorful things to say about pirates and bandits, and she was really useful in the Umberlee quest. I agree in terms of storytelling MotB is one of the best. SoZ had some gameplay functions that are worth paying attention to however -- and I'll echo that the ability for different characters to participate in conversation was one of the best ones.
  12. Wow. This sounds more exciting than a Suikoden stronghold (and them're good strongholds!). I LOVE the idea of non-party companions doing their own thing. Really helps to add to the sense of a living world. It always felt weird to have people just sitting around whose lives had no existence or meaning if you weren't bringing them with you.
  13. I like boobies. I enjoy them immensely. I got a whole huge book of pulp art 'cause of that. But I also like the nice warrior ladies looking like they can actually take a hit because they're dressed appropriately. Every female character everywhere should not have to look like a very specific kind of masturbation fantasy fetish. NOR SHOULD every female character everywhere have to be dressed in muu muus. I think it would be nice to get away from extremes. Generally, I trust game designers to choose the art style that is best for their project. That's it. And frankly, I think of all the pictures the OP posted, the only one that looked attractive or sexy to me was the Project Eternity picture. All the other example art looked like monstrously ugly caricatures. I think the human female figure is gloriously beautiful, but none of his example images looked very natural or human at all, in my personal opinion. I feel very sad if that's what the OP thinks women really look like, or should, when there's so many beautiful women in the world (and they don't have to prance around in a thong all the time to prove it)--but they definitely don't look like the freaky alien examples. (And yes, I know I have an Annah avatar. But while I adore the character because of how she was written, I've actually always hated her character design. She looks like she's got water balloons stapled to her chest in lieu of real, properly proportioned, soft, beautiful breasts; and everything comes off at weird angles; and how the hell does she pee when she's wearing that outfit?) But yes, I know because I'm suggesting there might be room in the world for more modest designs AS WELL AS more risque ones, yes, I am a terrible evil puritan who is oppressing you horribly and torturing you and beating you and destroying the world and the world is ending because you just don't have enough boobs to look at. Poor, poor, pitiful you and the hardships you must endure. Honey, you're on the Internet. If you want to look at boobs, you have ample opportunity that will not go away ANY time soon.
  14. I'd LOVE to see them do another contemporary action/espionage RPG. I loved Alpha Protocol, despite its flaws, and I think there's a lot they (can) have learned from its development, and there is SO MUCH POTENTIAL that could be explored and realized in an espionage game. Especially since AP handled stealth so well (it was the easiest/best/most fun way to play AP IMHO), designing a game that incorporated lots of stealth and cleverness would be so much fun to see. I liked seeing how they handled a contemporary "real world" setting as well. I'd love to see what they could do with their own IP and license to develop a spy game as they saw fit. The only thing I'd want to be sure that was different from AP (beyond general bug fixes and mechanical balance) in terms of structure is to be sure you had an option to play a female PC. Narratively anything goes. But really, whatever most excites them. If Obsidian had a passionate vision for and then thus made Phonebook: the Video Game, I'd probably play it.
  15. What it all boils down to is "don't take away the player's agency." Especially don't take away the player's agency because you can't be bothered to script in exposition dialogue in a more clever way. If you're thinking of scripting a railroad moment, think of it this way: if this happened in a tabletop RPG, and my GM forced this to happen in this way, how likely would I be to do violence to my GM for pulling that kind of nonsense? If the answer is "quite likely," then don't code it in. The thing that the OP complained about... being dragged against your will by a game engine into an obvious ambush? THE most frustrating. I remember this happening all the time in Dragon Age: Origins, and I remember actually leveling my characters' skills in such a way to allow them to defend themselves from being surrounded as I know the game engine would constantly drag my mages and ranged attackers into the open against my will. It's bad game design when you have to design your character build to fight the dialogue triggers as the greatest enemy in the game. In a tabletop game, if the GM picked up my PC's mini and placed it next to his big bad, I would shove his big bad's miniature up his nose. There is no situation when that would be cool (let alone immersive or interesting), I don't care what game you're playing. If there's information that you MUST give me, give it to me in a way I can find it that doesn't force me to endanger myself when there's no way I'd actually do that given free will and the slightest modicum of common sense. And if I WANT to attack the big bad standing in the open without having a chat first, I should have that option. I should be allowed in fact to skip the exposition dialogue if I am not interested in it. If it's that important, leave the necessary information in a note on the boss's body. Not to mention, if the big bad is smart, he won't be standing out in the open. He'll have an emissary there. Or an illusion of himself, which can deliver the necessary dialogue and be unharmed -- all in a way that storywise, makes actual sense. THERE ARE WAYS to be sure necessary information can be shared without making the player feel helpess or out of control of his or her own characters. If you're taking away the player's agency just to give information, you are not being creative enough, you are not taking the time necessary to work the information in organically in a way that does not make the player feel like they're involved in an occasionally interactive movie rather than a game. And for god's sake, put Stealth qualifiers on dialogue triggers. If Stealth check is greater than or equal to X, then PC does not trigger this dialogue mark. OR at least have the decency to put in your dialogue that we apparently MUST hear at all costs a reason WHY the speaker can sense the stealthy agent. And again, those triggers should be there only if absolutely necessary. And yes, the PC should be able to trigger dialogue if he wants. Even in combat--if you let the NPCs go "wait, I want to talk!" before the PC is allowed to make the killing blow, then the PC should be afforded the same choice. It's not fair if the NPCs appear to have more free will and agency than you do.
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