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Posts posted by DeathQuaker

  1. I thought it was pretty obvious that if you help one faction and step on the toes of another, it's going to lock you into that faction and the other is going to be hostile towards you. Just like Bodhi and the Thieves Guild in BG2. But this time, there's three factions in PoE.


    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?

    • Like 4
  2. 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.


    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.

    • Like 1
  3. I thought it was perfectly clear - I refused the quest from the crucible knight because he downright said - this'll make you unpopular with the 2 other factions.. The dozen said the same when I took their quest.


    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.

    • Like 1
  4. 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.

    • Like 1
  5. 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.

  6. 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. ;)

  7. I loved NWN2 and fell in love again when MotB hit the shelves. Then when SoZ was released i purchased it immediately on release, but was so disappointed when i found out it didn't have companions like its predecessors that i shelved it. Haven't touched it since. It's fair to say i loved to death the concept of companions.

    Since we are on topic i would like to say that Mask of the Betrayer is a masterwork chiseled out by gods. It's up there in my top ten.


    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.

    • Like 3
  8. 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.

    • Like 8
  9. 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. :)

  10. 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.

    • Like 3
  11. Thats a really insightful post, thanks for commenting. This was the type of feedback I was looking for and you have confirmed some of the issues I was thinking about. Can I ask you a general question, how do  you find these forums in regard to other forums where  ladies are treated rudely or with irrelevance?


    I'm fairly new here (joined a few months ago) and so far I've had I guess a neutral to good experience. I haven't seen or experienced any overt abuse--but again, I've noticed a lot of people assume I'm a guy (despite my profile noting otherwise). Sure I have a fairly gender-neutral username, but that shouldn't necessarily invite presumption (and given I've seen guys with "feminine" usernames, determining gender by username isn't reliable anyway). So am I treated well because I'm just one of the members here, or am I treated well because people think I am a guy? Honestly I assume the former rather than the latter, but it's still food for thought.


    I have seen some disturbing comments made in a Project Eternity thread regarding how female vs male PCs should be treated, and of course there was a thread discussing Anita Sarkeesian's "Feminist Frequency" series that had some disturbing comments, which was sadly unsurprising.  (Now, I don't think everything Anita Sarkeesian has to say is gold or even good, but it is possible to disagree, agree, and discuss the points she brings up in her video series without either taking a mention of feminism as a personal attack--which many people do for some reason--or getting unpleasant, and unfortunately the mention of her name--which I realize I risk even doing so here--invites the wrath of those inexplicably frightened by her). But at the same time, the comments in those threads I've found disturbing were not outright abusive or hateful, and it was possible to carry on a fairly reasonable conversation. We can't and shouldn't necessarily censor or drive out opinions some find disturbing on that alone, especially if we can use it to build a more productive dialogue later. I've also seen similar subjects broached at other message boards and having gotten MUCH more messy and out of hand than they were here.  So I'd say so far, for a gamer board, this is one of the more welcoming ones. 


    And then of course there's Hiro Protagonist's post above, with the inevitable "female gamers must be playing browser games only" which, again, reflects an attitude I find extraordinarily irritating and non productive to encouraging women to both be gamers and publicly "come out" as gamers. And everytime I see female gamer demographics discussed, I see that alienating attitude flaunted by someone, and it just doesn't help at all.


    All that said, I think the community is more welcoming than others, and that it tends toward discussion and exploration rather than fighting and alienating, and that is a very good thing. You're not going to avoid discussing issues of gender and sexism and related issues, so the community having the potential of keeping it as a discussion and not turning into a flamewar is a good thing.


    I'm just one person though; others' experiences may vary. I would hope, however, the majority are good.

    • Like 1
  12. First, there are probably more women here than you think. I've been called "he" several times here, when I am most definitely not a he. There's a lot of people who, even subconsciously, still believe in the old "there are no women on the Internet" adage, and just assume all posters are male.


    Secondly, it IS in fact an unfortunate truth that many online gamer communities that are male dominated ARE unfriendly to women. This is slowly changing, but early online cultures tended to be especially abusive toward (openly) female members so they left and don't bother with communities like this. Many female gamers just don't bother testing the waters to see if a place is friendly or not, they just stay away from it. The unfortunate side effect of this is these online communities remain male dominated, regardless of the actual demographics of people playing video games.


    Also, as a female gamer who does play Obsidian and all kinds of other games, it really really is irritating to hear "oh, well the female gamers must be playing facebook games" whenever the ESA stats are quoted (that's where the statistics come from, the Electronic Software Association, who survey gamers every year and assemble such stats. Technically I believe it is that we are 48% of video gamers). I'm sure there are a lot of women--and men, for that matter--who play games on Facebook, but this, "but they can't possibly be one of us" attitude is precisely... well, why a lot of women decide not to make themselves known in gamer communities. If you're told you constantly don't exist, better to just go off and play New Vegas or whatever than waste your time trying to convince some idiot on the Internet that you are in fact real.


    Also if you want to see a healthy contribution of female gamers to an Obsidian game discussion group... IIRC the Neverwinter Nights 2 community at least used to have a large number of vocal female members. I only say "used to" because I don't post there anymore (I lost my login when Bioware was bought out by EA and didn't feel like setting new stuff up). That's not on this board, but it is an Obsidian game.

    • Like 4

    Just started playing Dungeon Siege III recently... I think I'm about 2/3 of the way through the main story. So far I like it (I remember getting bored silly in the original game, so big improvement there) and wouldn't change much save for some tweaks:


    - It is really hard in-game to get a sense of what the stats do and how they help you/don't help you. I think the stats could be simpler and I wish there was some way we could get some improved feedback during combat to see how stats are helping (or lack of stats are not helping). For example, I often can't tell if it would be better to boost armor, boost blocking, or boost stamina. It's hard to see sometimes how a given piece of equipment is really useful versus another one, except when all around the stat bonuses granted are higher.



    Regarding the stats and picking of equipment, there's a menu in game that tells you what each stat does. Also, on the subject of picking gear, You should really be thinking about what build you are going for from the outset. It really depends on how you play: whether you usually block or dodge, if you depend more on the special or the normal attacks, if you want to maximize criticals, and so on.


    These things you say are true.


    However, I found it difficult to see in-play, you know, actually playing the game, to see how the different statistics were helping or hindering me. For one single example, I have trouble telling if I was taking a lot of damage whether I should boost armor or stamina (or take the damage but take retribution, and was retribution actually helping me if I did have it?). The in-game encyclopedia may explain what these things are and what the differences are, but in practical experience it was hard to make the call of, "Gee, that ability didn't go off like I hoped it would, maybe I should boost my X." It was also hard to tell what damage types hurt what creatures more. I assumed the archons didn't take much fire damage, but it was hard to tell whether they reacted to poison, cold, or electricity, or if was better to pick a weapon that just had a high attack and boost sheer DPS. In short, the in game feedback wasn't very informative.


    Also, having to go in several pages through a tutorial encyclopedia doesn't help when you just want to equip your new gear and get on with it. Hence wanting better info on your stats in the inventory window (so you could see total stats, etc. on the same page as where you are equipping your gear. For example, I don't want to just see how much an item will improve my Will, I want to see my Will total to know whether I should prioritize boosting it more, or whether I can sacrifice an item that boosts Will (because my WIll stat is already way high) to boost something else I have a deficiency in.

  14. Favorite RPGs (including action RPGs and games on the fringe of that):


    1. Fallout: New Vegas

    2. Planescape: Torment

    3. Suikoden III

    4. NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer

    5. Baldur's Gate II

    6. Rune Factory 3

    7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    8. Suikoden V

    9. Might and Magic VII

    10. Alpha Protocol


    List is subject to change depending on mood/memory. Top 3 are probably solidly top 3, the rest are in no particular order. Based on memorability, general awe and enjoyment, and how many times I replayed the game, if at all.


    Important factors that I think feed into many/most (but not necessarily all) of these:

    - Strong dialogue including memorable party members and party banter

    - Lots of party side quests that let you get to know your party better

    - Good balance between RP opportunities and cathartic butt kicking

    - Story which has factions, recruiting people to your side, and political influences/ramifications

    - Your decisions affect the outcome of the game. Preference in this regard for games like Alpha Protocol and New Vegas, where there isn't a right/wrong choice (i.e., a "good ending" and a "bad ending", just different choices and outcomes.

    - Some of these have good/interesting stronghold or home building, with play including ways to build up your stronghold

    - Interesting item crafting and/or upgrading systems

    - A game length which is a good balance between "long enough that I feel like I played through a complete story" and "not so interminably long that I will never (complete a) replay because it is just too time intensive."

    - If romance is an option, it involves meaningful dialogue and getting to know someone, and really having to earn their respect, not just having them fawn all over you. And well written where, say, a simple but meaningful kiss can fuel the imagination (as opposed to some mediocre bedroom scene that stabs at being titillating and accomplishes little).

    - Options for "playing evil." Preferably options where "playing evil" means being clever and manipulative to put forward your own malicious ambitions, not murdering orphans and puppies for the hell of it. (Few of these games sadly accomplish the latter, unfortunately.)

    - Recruiting not only party members, but allies that support you (fill out your stronghold, provide information, etc.).


    Things that I'd love to see many of these games do (even) better/improve upon, because as much as I love them, they are not perfect:

    - Avoiding insane inventory management. I love crafting systems, but if the crafting system is so complicated that I'm spending hours just looking for a Twig of Amazing Mystification so I can finally, at level 25, build an ordinary wooden club, then somehow the point is getting missed. Likewise, if I have 99 different weapons that are all basically "a pistol that goes boom and hurts things," then why are there 99 of them? I'd rather 5 distinct weapon or armors or whatever than a gajillion things that make it all ultimately inconsequential as to which one I use.

    - Clingy jealous bitches. A handful of these games think "romance" equals the formerly awesome strong females suddenly bickering with each other like 12 year olds because you managed to flip the "on" switch to romance with a couple of them. Nothing's a bigger turn off for me than to see this creepy attempt at ego-stroking bickering based out of a ridiculous display of insecurity coming from someone who a minute ago was being a firmly adult, self-assured, self-contained willing to be confrontational individual. (Mina, this is why I let you die now on all subsequent AP playthroughs.)

    - Making sure an impossible-hard combat does not keep me from enjoying the story I want to enjoy, especially if combat is largely easy and then suddenly is made stupid-hard for this one scene. This does NOT mean combat shouldn't be challenging--I like challenging combat. But the challenge level should be relatively consistent, and I hate it when I can't get to the next plot trigger because I can't get past a single combat.

    - Along with that, avoid "the ten zillion final form" boss fights because THEY'RE BORING. I want to fight the end boss ONCE. I do not want to fight the boss in his bedroom, then chase the boss to the Chamber of the Final Boss Battle, then kill him, then have him transform into his ULTIMATE FORM, then kill him, then fight his super powerful lackey/summoned god/animated teddy bear, then fight his final no really actual final fight ULTIMATE FORM. Making a fight two hours long is not entertaining (especially when you die 119 minutes in), when again, what largely makes these games entertaining for me is the story. A single, well designed, challenging (but not ridiculous) end game fight is FINE, and should be over in, generously, less than a half hour. There can be sub-boss fights (like fight the boss's lieutenant, then general, then animated teddy bear), but once I've hit the main bad guy, I want to fight him/her once and then be DONE. And not too many "lieutentant" fights either. 85 waves of end bosses is boring too. 

    - Stop showing me influence gains and losses, or do it in a way that I don't feel like I "lost the game" because I lost an influence or reputation point with someone (or a faction). I want to play the game to roleplay first, not to earn the most "points" with NPCs; it's awesome when the NPCs like you more because they agree with you, but I don't want their disagreeing with me to make me feel like I have to play the game differently/like I'm doing it wrong. I liked the way AP did this, where even pissing people off has notable benefits, depending.

  15. But that's exactly what I said: it's the extra reasons added. it's not "you'll be reborn" but "you'll be reborn in a worse state than now"

    That's not a given in PE.

    Then look at the other point I made: that since any living thing can possibly be connected to you because of rebirth, could be an ancestor in a new form, someone may wish to avoid harming them.


    I don't know if they will make it a valid philosophy. But there is room for it in the framework they've created if they want to.


    I will also reiterate, since gamers on message boards seem to selectively choose only parts of arguments made rather than the whole, that I do not actually expect PE to have a true "pacifist" option in the game. Only that it would be nice to have some substantive alternatives to violence in appropriate moments.

  16. I'm wondering in a world where rebirth is an accepted truth, how much life truly is prized though. At least in the Dharmic religions there are incentives for treating others right, in that it determines in what animal or caste you get reborn (or whether you are lucky enough to find oblivion)

    I'm curious what would motivate someone living in the PE world to hold all life as sacred when rebirth is such a given.


    I need to reread the PE explanation of their cosmology and philosophy, but belief in a reincarnation cycle can actually lend itself extremely well to a pacifist point of view. IIRC, there are some real-world pacifist views that stem from the very idea of rebirth -- that any animal, insect, creature, could be one of your ancestors, so you must take care to protect them.


    Also, if the cycle of rebirth depends upon the nature of the life you live--generally trying to be respectful and virtuous is the usual way of being reborn as a higher being, which could include reverence for life--if not complete pacifism, at least a desire to protect it as reasonably possible.

  17. It may be a matter of personal taste, but I found, for a small few examples, Veronica's talking about her struggle with the Brotherhood, or the hilarious dialogue of the Think Tank, or the skeezy twisted morality lectures of Vulpes Inculta to all be very compelling, each in their own way. I think some of Christine Royce's not-dialogue even got the old eyes to tear up at one point. I also found the responses of the Courier to have some "character" to them rather than just be blank-slate responses you often see in video games, which I liked.


    I don't think FO3's was awful, and it had some good moments, but I can think of few memorable dialogues I had in FO3 (with the caveat that it's been a longer time since I played it, so my memory of the whole game is fuzzier), and most of those were with Moira Brown. ;)


    If it's not to your taste, though, that just is what it is. Personally I thought the narrative text in F:NV was superbly done. But then, I have a Master's Degree in English Literature, so I probably wouldn't know good writing if you hit me over the head with it. ;)

  18. Regarding the OP... most games these days tend to have some kind of kill count. Like Fallout tracks the number of humans, aberrations,
    robots, insects, etc. you kill. Alpha Protocol counted the number of orphans created, which was clever. If you can track it, it seems like
    you can then check that kill count variable in dialogue. So then you could have dialogue options like, "[if human kill count <10] Well,
    you seem to fight only when cornered, so I think we can trust you," and "[if human kill count >1,000]You're known to cut the throat of any
    man who dares cross you, I'd rather work with someone a little more...stable."  ((And so on. Some would like the high kill count people, some the low, etc.))


    So even if there's no true "pacifist run," the way you resolve issues and/or avoid combat or initiate combat could contribute to your reputation, which would be interesting.


    I've also always been desperate for a "parley" option to come up in RPG combats--it gets so boring and old to have your only option be "fight to the death" or "run away/sneak past." I remember a really really really long time ago, I think it was in the original Might and Magic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum, where when you came upon an encounter, you had something like four options: fight, bribe, parley, or run. Each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Its implementation was rudimentary, but it made a lot of sense; of course you couldn't bribe the tiger, but maybe the goblins will settle for your gold rather than your lives. I'd love to be able to have an option when fighting intelligent creatures to talk them down when it makes sense. Say you're attacked by bandits. Rather than just have a pile of guys fight you to the death, give an option to click on the leader and talk -- "If we give you 500 gold, will you leave us alone? That way no one gets hurt, including you." or "Look, you're nearly dead, give up now and I'll let you and your band live. Just leave us alone and it'll stay that way." After all, a lot of people are going to be willing to back down from a fight if things are going poorly for them or another way out looks better. It's stupid that once a fight starts you have to always go to the death (save for cutscenes which force you to talk even when
    you don't necessarily want to, which is its own different brand of player-disempowering annoying). Some enemies could even disengage and flee due to morale failure. Of course some enemies ARE going to want to fight to the death, but it shouldn't, verisimilitude in mind, ALWAYS be the default behavior.


    I mean, if you're going to have options to talk your way out of things, you should be able to do it properly.


    Which leads me to a further ramble/rant... most "pacifist runs" aren't. "Pacifist runs" are really "Avoid combat" runs, and often some  consider it okay to let companions do all the killing for you. A pacifist, by which I mean a practitioner of nonviolence dedicated to solving problems without physically harming people, doesn't always run away--they will try to find alternate solutions to problems. And sure, in real life, some pacifists will stand and take the hit (even to the death) than hurt or kill someone (sometimes they get killed; sometimes the attacker gets unnerved and backs off). While others will avoid combat by getting out of harm's way, a practitioner of nonviolence is going to find a way to talk their way out of it or (silently protest their way out of it), or at least find a way to non-harmfully create obstacles to their enemies, before simply fleeing, because running away doesn't solve problems.


    They're also not going to condone their friends' fighting--a pacifist will not hang around someone who just kills for them, it eliminates the
    point that they adhere to a philosophy that prizes all life. An ally being violent in their presence when they knowingly could stop them 
    would not be acceptable--they'd feel responsible if they did nothing to save the other person's life, even if the other person was an enemy. Now, some might consider a pacifist way of life naive--after all, many famous pacifists are also martyrs (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr.)--but they can also find ways to unexpectedly be effective (think of the impact those men had before and after their deaths). It would be really, really interesting I think to see a game that allows a true "pacifist run," but I've never seen one before (again, not an "avoid combat" run). I don't know if we ever will though--it would be hard to design (it's hard to live like that, after all). Now, I don't expect to see a "pacifist run" or an "avoid combat" run in Project Eternity, necessarily -- but if they do provide some nonviolent solutions to combat, I hope they work in some that are more robust and challenging than "sneak past" or "run away."

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    And while we're here, it was also a little less overt with the "spiritual successor to X!" claims


    Maybe a little, but the differences aren't so great that you couldn't make the exact same whine arguments about P:E. If you backed one, there isn't really any good reason not to back the other.

    Except that I did back both. The very first thing I said in my first post here was that I backed Numenera Torment. To repeat myself once again, it looks like a good game with a good design team. So does Project Eternity, so I backed them. I disliked some of the marketing surrounding them, especially around Numenera Torment, and I stand by my statement that P:E's had a different focus than TONT, but they still look like good games regardless of any discomfort I may feel about that marketing, enough that I put money toward both. I can support something while having misgivings, it's okay to have complicated feelings sometimes. Especially when the misgivings are ultimately minor in the long term. I still felt what I said was worth saying, and again, stand by it.

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