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Everything posted by Amberion

  1. I really didn't want to think about the ME3 ending anymore, but I just felt I should chime in here with my 2c. My feeling about ME3's ending is that 'you go through the entire game, work your butt off to gather the people and the materials needed to build this machine nobody knows how it works, you get to the final encounter.... you LOSE. and the enemy decides to give you an ending where you don't lose quite so much.' That was how I felt when I finished the game. Like I hadn't won.
  2. While we're on the topic of color(and due apologies if this derails the topic too much) I just want to give my feedback that I felt that the icons(particularly loot and items) in IWD2 were very drab looking and hard to look at. I would like to see more vibrant UI elements, ALA BG2. Moar color please!
  3. No, you're absolutely right. It's been a consistent thing in recent years, particularly with AAA games where the plot is extremely linear, particularly in the later stages of the game. Part of this is due to cost considerations and a desire to tell a compelling story within a fully cinematic experience. The recent Tomb Raider reboot is an excellent example; it's a linear game, but has non-plot important nonlinear elements(mostly revolving around gathering items and upgrading weapons). Tomb Raider is, IMO this year's best storytelling experience in a AAA game, but it is definitely linear. I remember a mission you were given in BG2, to raid a slaver compound and rescue some slaves for a barbarian. There were two entrances; the front door, and a secret sewer exit. The sewer exit has an ultimate exit inside the copper coronet tavern, which is incredibly easy to spot from the outside. When you get the quest the first time, the natural thing to do is to fight your way in through the front door; eventually you find the back entrance after killing all the guards and the captain. On subsequent playthroughs, it's more likely you will take the sewer entrance and carve through the slaver compound in reverse. I really liked this design, for while the level itself is linear, the hazards and encounters can be different each way.
  4. I do not care or mind if purple/pink is used in any situation, as long as it is appropriately used in terms of location and aesthetics. Furthermore, I think deriding purple/pink is silly. I am completely comfortable with my masculinity and want to make sure my color spray is properly represented with the entire rainbow.
  5. *rhetorically* whatever happened to enjoying the game because it's fun to play, and not because of some artificial reward matrix?
  6. It's not. Quest XP is rewarded after the fact. It has no role in the initial decision of whether to accept a quest or not. I do agree that quest rewards should not be visible before the quest is accepted or completed - that's kind of spoilerish.
  7. It tends to make other quests with lower XP reward irrelevant/ a bad choice. Only if you see no value in quests other than the XP they reward. Additionally, lower XP != no XP. In a single player game, there is no real reason NOT to do a quest, aside from role-playing motivations. There is no 'bad choice'.
  8. No offense, I appreciate that you went to a lot of effort to plot that out, but that's a pretty linear level. The only choices you make in that level are whether to brave the deadly room, whether to look for the secret clue, and which exit to go through. The first level of irenicus' dungeon is less linear than that.
  9. Actually that gives me the idea that the stash itself - Like the physical object that stores it - Could have magical properties. Like it's a big chest or something which functions like a bag of holding and is magically present wherever you make camp. (Hahah, now I'm imagining a backstory for this mysteriously helpful chest and everything.) Or, y'know, the Luggage. I was thinking about the stash the other day. I was thinking about the difficulties inherent in an infinite 'loot dump' and the tendency for pack ratting. I was also thinking about what the stash would actually 'be' in roleplay terms in the game world. And my vision of it was a pack mule. The stash is either a mule laden with packs, or a mule pulling a cart or wagon. And that got me thinking about the costs involved in moving large quantities of items from place to place. You have to feed the mule, pay the muleteer, buy/maintain the tack and gear, the wagon, etc. So how would this be represented in the game? Well, I was thinking that you would have certain capacity thresholds, past which you will need to buy another mule and wagon(this would be handled automatically, so you don't have to micromanage pack mules). For every threshold you pass, you have to pay more in gold every time you travel. It could start out trivial, and increase at a linear rate. Exactly how much it would be would be subject to balancing, but by design I would think that as long as a person manages their stash responsibly and sells after each major adventure, that the cost of using the stash would remain trivial(as in less than what you lose by leaving 100 leather armors to rot on the highway). This would provide a motivation to keep lean, but not outright prevent people from packratting, if they so choose. Edit: and now i'm totally brainstorming. What if your stash gets so ridiculously large, that you've become a complete caravan? What if you get proposals from merchants to join your caravan to the next city in your itinerary? they could offer a gold fee to join(for protection from brigands), and have some adventure opportunities with dealing with a merchant caravan. Maybe even make it a regular thing!
  10. How about this? You and your party have certain values for reputation. These values are myriad, and can cover everything from 'tendency toward selfless acts' to 'reputation for wanton slaughter of civilians' and all sorts of different 'things' that you can do in the game that would give you a higher or lower reputation in these things. Different factions have different likes and dislikes for different reputations. If you gain a reputation for killing thieves, for instance, the thieves guild would probably have you on kill on sight. If you get a reputation as a crack thief, the thieves guild might want to have a little 'chat' about working on their turf. If you gain a reputation for selfless acts, the local church might ask you to help them with a charitable donation, or someone might ask for help, only to lure you into a trap. As an example: Killing a thief would net you +1 thief killer reputation. Killing a guard would net you +1 anti-authoritarian reputation. The higher those values go, the more they affect the reputations that have those values in importance. Some people won't care one way or another whether you kill lots of guards, or kill thieves. Some will like both, some will hate both. some will like one or the other, and so on.
  11. All quests have to come from somewhere. If we have mutually exclusive quests, they have to be designed, fitted into the game, and tested. If we have x number of quests, the mutually exclusive quests have to come from that number. This results in the total number of quests playable by each character being reduced by the number of exclusive quest branches. If we have 10 mutually exclusive quest branches, that means our playthrough will have x-10 quests. The more mutually exclusive quests we have, the shorter the game gets. That's not to say we should have NO branching quests, just to keep it in moderation.
  12. The core story should probably be linear. Maybe have a choice of scenarios to go through to progress the story. a -> b or c -> d, with the option to go back and do the skipped-over area if you like. Side-quests should be contained quests with little direct relation to the main story.
  13. Calling someone 'good' or 'evil' isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it should never ONLY be what that character is. I mean, Irenicus(Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn) is basically an evil character. But his motivations are more interesting. I don't think i'm spoiling too much by saying that his sin was basically pride and ego. He reached too high, got slapped down, refused to accept his punishment as just, defied his punishers and got slapped down again. In a very real sense, he's like that computer hacker that breaks into the DoD's most secure servers and gets caught, tried, punished, imprisoned, and then gets out 10 years later and hasn't learned a thing from being locked up.(I'm pulling the 10 year thing out of my ass, i have no idea what the punishment is for hacking a DoD server). Irenicus was also manipulated by his sister. He's really quite stupid in a lot of ways. So it's more than just 'muhahaha I'm evil so i want to kill all the good people'. I have no idea where my verbal blather is going. If I'm making sense, great, if not, I blame fatigue and substance abuse.
  14. Another idea would be to have a personal library, that you could add books to, and be able to read them anytime you want at your leisure.
  15. It's better to build a character using history, motivations, issues, prejudices, etc. Then, once you have answered questions about your character(how does Argu the half-orc feel about either side of his heritage?), then you can more accurately decide where his or her alignment lies. Alignment is a gamification, and should be one of the last things you decide when building your character.
  16. actually, it can be considered a donation. Any rewards, though they are tied to how much you contribute, are not 'purchases' in the usual sense of the word. For example "I pay you three dollars to buy a carton of milk at the grocery store." "I give you a donation of 20 dollars to fund your game, and as thanks for my donation I get a reward tier that gives me a copy of your indy game." It's more like an exchange of gifts than a purchase. Is it semantics? I dunno. The line IS pretty fine. But neither Kickstarter nor Obsidian are charitable institutions, so it doesn't really matter.
  17. The mass effect 1 system of skill based persuade/intimidate checks was really annoying for me. I would always regret taking those skills whenever i needed a combat skill i didn't have yet. The fact is, those skills were so necessary that I would get them every time. If someone is going to get them every time, why have them at all? If they're mandatory to get a good game, why not just bake them into the character? But I don't want a generic 'persuade' or 'intimidate that everyone gets. That's dull and uninteresting. I would prefer a class based option, where if I was a priest, for example, I would get a response option that reflected my profession, and perhaps that response option would vary depending upon my alignment. Certain encounters would provoke better reactions from some classes than others, but with many many conversations in the game, there ought to be sufficient opportunities for all classes to get interesting dialog options.
  18. messenaic plot elements. They've been done to death, and I could do without them tbh.
  19. You realise saying IT CANNOT BE DONE is just asking for someone to go ahead and do it just to prove you wrong, right?
  20. I have this scenario in my head now of a necromancer raising the hero again as an undead to continue the quest.
  21. Without more information on what exactly they are doing, and absent any indication that the money is going somewhere useful, this is a pass for me.
  22. I like interactive puzzles that use the environment. I don't really enjoy logic puzzles in the games that require me to go out of the game to work out the solution. Any puzzle that takes me too long to figure out is annoying. I do like manipulating things to solve puzzles.
  23. The devs -- especially JE Sawyer -- have discussed degenerate gaming at length and on multiple occasions. They do want to make it a design goal to make a game that discourages it. I agree with them. Degenerate gaming is symptomatic of a design flaw. Why? Because degenerate tactics are not fun. They're repetitive, compulsive behavior. It's characterized by Skinner box mechanics: pull a lever and sometimes -- but not always -- a pellet comes out. It's quite easy to design a Skinner box that traps people. Some do it on purpose, in order to squeeze as much money out of you as possible (slot machines, MMO's). Degenerate behavior in cRPG's is accidental and benefits no-one, not the player, not the maker of the game. It's just an accidental trap that captures the player and makes him waste his time stuck in a loop. Therefore, a game should be designed in a way that does not promote degenerate gaming, as far as it's feasible or possible. It may not be possible to completely eliminate it, but it is certainly possible to push it to the margins. I hope the P:E team succeeds in their effort to marginalize it. I'm confused. How is having fun with playing in your own unique way(low level play) a trap? How is it preferable to go out of your way to prevent low level play?
  24. At the core of it all, this isn't an MMO. It is possible to have a character that does less damage and still be a viable and productive member of the party, buffing other character's damage and proving their worth in that way. It's not like the player is stuck playing that character, and that character alone, for the entirety of their non-MMO career. Sure, you could play a party of 6 warriors, and supposedly be able to finish the game(with difficulty, I assume). This is just as valid a playstyle as a mixed group of classes designed to complement each others' strengths and weaknesses. There's nothing inherently wrong with either choice. It's up to the player to decide what they want to do. I see so many people who obviously come from MMO backgrounds bringing these arguments that are rehashed from wherever they came from(my particular class is underpowered in WoW, so nerf mages!) They don't really apply in a single player, squad based tactical RPG. In essence, all 6 characters in the squad are your character, and should be treated as a unit, and not as a group of disparate individuals who look at each other jealously, wondering if they're number one on the DPS list.
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