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Everything posted by Ffordesoon

  1. I always interpreted Josh's comments as more "Every build is gimped in different ways."
  2. Has anyone here played Bravely Default? I know JRPGs may not be the bag of some folks here, but it's a damn fine game for what it is, and there's one aspect of it I think PoE could learn from. The game teaches its mechanics not through one mandatory slog of a tutorial, but through a staggered group of fifty wholly optional "quests" that give very slight in-game rewards to you for completion. So, for example, it'll tell you that items may be hidden in unexpected areas in the gameworld, and then tells you to go to a certain building and find the item hidden there in order to "clear" the "quest." Do it, and you get not one, but two minimally useful items. Most of the "quests" are like that. I realize this probably sounds pretty annoying and intrusive, which is why I'm hoping for someone who has played the game to speak up, because this is anything but annoying or intrusive in practice. In fact, it's the opposite. People who engage with it are gently led through the ins and outs of the systems of their own volition and at their own speed. Those who know how to do everything already or want to learn on their own can simply ignore it, as the rewards are inevitably things you will have earned a jillion of before you ever complete the "quests." Most importantly, when the game starts, it starts. There's no "Now we're gonna show ya how ta walk, Marine!" tutorial section. You're just in the world and that's it. If you never pursue a single one of those "quests," then you don't. The game doesn't force you to be taught. Now, I realize PoE is a different sort of RPG for a different sort of player, and I'm not - I repeat, not, once more for the inattentive, NOT - suggesting that this system be transferred as is into PoE. I think it's safe to assume a certain degree of literacy with RPGs on the part of the player who pays like twenty bucks for this thing, so we can skip the "quests" that teach you how to equip weapons and explain what leveling up means. My idea is to take this basic idea, tie it to a certain early-game quest giver, and then have it be a checklist of advanced tactics you can go down at your liesure if you take the quest. So maybe there's a mad old veteran obsessed with tactics holed up in your stronghold, and he promises to give you a great reward (that ends up sucking) if you try all the tricks he wants you to try in your battles. Or maybe he's an author writing a book on tactics whose only problem is that he's terrified of actual combat, so he needs you to go and prove his assertions right. Or whatever. The point is for interested players to be guided through the ins and outs of the game's systems over the course of the game without feeling like they're being led by the nose, and for experienced players to be able to bypass the system entirely without feeling like they've missed something. Thoughts? Oh, and if anyone's played Bravely Default*, please do speak up. * - No, not the demo. The full game. The demo fails where the full game succeeds.
  3. Horse****. The current froufrara over the Hugo awards at Worldcon and the bat**** response from the SJW contingent shows that political correctness is alive and kicking. Link?
  4. I'd have no problem with a list of buff/debuff icons on the character portraits, as long as I can see an explanation of their effects on a simple mouseover, maybe on the portraits, maybe on the paper doll on the inventory... Just somewhere more convenient to access than scrolling down on a completely separate Character Record screen. Actually, that brings up a good point, and proves me wrong on at least one account. The problem is not the similar spell animations. It's not that the information isn't there. Those are symptoms of a larger problem, especially in BG - the cluttered design of the menu system and the consequent fragmentation of useful data into, er, fragments of the same data. I understand the old IE menus in the context of playing on a CRT monitor at 640x480, but there's oodles of screen space to fill with info now, and there's no excuse for hiding pieces of information I need to know now in like three separate untabbed pause screens. The same amount of information - more, actually - could be compartmentalized effectively into a few tabs on a single menu, complete with pop-up information panes on mouseover. Every spell doesn't have to be super-different graphically from every other spell; that's not my point. My point is that when I see a stack of buff and debuff icons, I want to be able to find out what those things mean without having to press a key or a button I would never otherwise press. Give me a single tabbed menu with meaty chunks of information overflowing from every tab over BG's seven or eight screens of cluttered, counterintuitive UI, each containing a shard of the total information I need. Figuring out how to counter a spell in a computer role-playing game shouldn't feel like triangulating the location of a criminal's cell phone every time, you know? Well, not unless it's a curse. Figuring out how to deal with curses is cool.
  5. It seems not for some people. Apparently some gamers need visual aids like breasts to distinguish between their male and female party members, because as some people have said, 'I'd prefer to be able to distinguish my characters'. The curser over the character is not enough to identify the party member, the skills they have when you do select that character, their clothes, their voices when you click on them. No, we need erect boobies to protrude out. It's worth noting that, given ownership over this project, I would tell the people who want boob armor to go jump in a lake. My only point is that there are quite a lot of them.
  6. The fact of the matter is that this game was backed by a sizable number of people, women included, who want to be able to differentiate male and female characters. The reasons for this are as varied as the backers themselves, but I'd imagine it's because most want to look like the badass _____ of their dreams, and many of those dreams are inevitably going to be gendered in some fashion. If you want to play a "badass warrior woman," you're probably not going to be happy when her character model looks the same as a dude's character model. It may be more realistic to give women sensible armors (and I suspect that will be the name of a mod that hits right after the nude mod and the boobplate mod), but this is just as much the player's fantasy as it is the developer's. There's no reason not to give him or her what he or she wants. There is also a large group of backers who already believe that the current armor is has been neutered because of "political correctness," a straw devil that has gained a surprising amount of traction among reasonable people all across the political spectrum despite the fact that its pejorative connotation - and indeed, its use in serious American political discourse at all - is the brainchild of the American Right, and as such should be looked upon with the suspicion reserved for any phrase with an implicit agenda behind it. But that linguistic ship has sailed. It is also worth noting that the tradition of boobplate in fantasy art is a long and storied one, with many beautiful pieces using boobplate, boobmail, boobscale, etc. While I personally don't give a rat's boiled **** about upholding that particular tradition, many backers do, and as this is a project steeped in nostalgia for the Old Days, tradition carries weight it might not otherwise carry. So I understand the desire for that "classic fantasy feel." The point is, you've got two sizable groups of backers who gave money believing this game would be "for them." Then you've got a group of backers who believe the same, and are annoyed by things like "boobplate," which they see as traditions best worth forgetting. The way Obsidian has handled this is characteristic of their management of this project all along. That is to say, they have chosen to pursue a compromise between classic fantasy feels and true verisimilitude. As such, we get women who are recognizably women even in armor, but they're wearing more than two cotton balls and a tea cosy.
  7. Where are those people? All I asked for was a clearer visual differentiation between spell effects and (especially) spell icons. Otherwise, we might as well just have the words "Improved Haste" float over casters' heads and no visual effects at all. Good graphics are important in that they are readable at a glance and communicate ideas effectively. This was as possible on the Commodore 64 as it is right now. And, frankly, I will challenge the notion that paying close attention to the combat log is somehow "better" than paying attention to the action on the screen. Combat logs are great. Being able to refer back to stuff is great. But they're no more or less "quality" than readable onscreen action, and having both to choose from is not in any way an unworthy goal. One other thing: the reason I took that "shot in the dark" is because I haven't played BG2 in a few days due to life stuff, and I couldn't remember whether or not enemy defensive spells are shown in the log. Whether or not that's true, however, is peripheral to my point, which is that visually distinct spell animations and icons are helpful for players and require no more effort than any other visual aspect of the game.
  8. @Stun: You know, I knew I was taking a shot in the dark on that one, because I hadn't played the game in a few days and couldn't remember whether or not it was true. My bad. @Hiro: I watch the combat log every single battle. I miss stuff sometimes. My God, can you ever forgive me for making mistakes that quite a lot of intelligent people seem to have made?
  9. I worry that it'll be the same in PoE, yes. And yes, I am referring to the animations. The ones that exist solely to tell the player visually what spell a dude just cast. It's kind of a big deal for those animations to be similar enough that reading their descriptions is necessary to identify them - and that's assuming you know what spell is being cast, which you often don't. Enemy spells that don't hit a party member are not listed in the combat log. And yes, you bet your ass I'm going to complain if spells aren't distinct enough. If that bothers anybody, well, sucks to be you. I want this game to be great, and I'll piss off as many people as I have to to make it great.
  10. Yes, I imagine bad eye sight, or the unwillingness to read a combat log window as it scrolls during combat can indeed be seen as a "problem" for someone. But for those people, BG2 offers its auto-pause settings to instantly solve such gamer deficiencies. (hint: auto-pause on spell cast) I don't have a problem with reading a combat log, nor is my eyesight bad. I meant exactly what I said. Many spells look exceedingly similar to vastly different spells. There's no way around that. It's fact. Auto-pausing on spellcasting (in addition to being an irritating waste of a key press in many cases) does not mitigate the fact that a lot of spells have similar animations, models, etc. There is no way around that being confusing, especially for new players.
  11. I would like to respectfully point out something that has perhaps been overlooked in this discussion: a lot of BG2's spells look pretty darn similar. Which may not sound like much of a problem, except that it totally is, because you can't definitively go, "Oh, he cast Cause Serious Wounds on me, I should do the following" without getting hit by it and watching the combat log like a hawk. This is assuming it's one of the spells that shows you what it is in the combat log, which is somewhat rare. Add to that the vast list of spells, each of which has its own unclear name and icon, and the fact that you can't practice magic openly in Athkatla without paying 5,000gp, and the fact that your only slightly unsquishy early game mage gets taken to Spellhold along with all her spells at the end of Irenicus' dungeon. These in themselves are fairly serious impediments to systemic transparency.
  12. @W. MacKinnon: I know, I know. This was, unequivocally, my bad. It has to do with another argument we had a while back that shouldn't have gotten under my skin as much as it did, just so you know. I'm sorry to derail the thread with that, and I'm sorry I got passive-aggressive in the first place. It was wrong of me to act the way I acted. I am also sincerely glad if my crappy behavior entertained you. That wasn't the intention, but if it made you laugh, that's great. We could all use more laughs, you know? Now I'm just hoping this doesn't go like the typical internet argument. Believe me, I am not invested in "winning," nor do I consider my obvious loss by default a win. It was a failure on my part, and I'm praying that I can make it right.
  13. @Hiro: I am asking you from the bottom of my heart. Please. I will be happy to point you to all the posts where I haven't done the things you call me a troll for if it matters that terribly much to you. I said something I shouldn't have said in a moment of frustration, and I apologized to you. Please have the basic human decency not to kick me when I'm down. I am being one thousand percent serious right now. I don't know what else you could reasonably expect of me. I will put you on Ignore if that's what you want me to do. Just please, for the love of God, stop with the name-calling. I am not asking much of you.
  14. *sigh* I hate to admit it, given that I consider you a jerk at best, but you're right. That was passive-aggressive, out of line, and inappropriate. But please stop calling me a troll. I believe what I'm saying. I'm not out to score internet points. If I seem angry, it's because you angered me. You did push my buttons, expertly. This is the result of that. Please don't do it again.
  16. I agree with you, but to be fair to those on the other side of this issue, I can remember times when I've enjoyed each item on that list. I've just never enjoyed all of them in the same game, and I certainly don't think they're good for a broadly linear cRPG with a strong narrative focus.
  17. @Stun: So, basically, you have to play the game in one highly specific way known only to writers of strategy guides, or you're a mouth-breathing moron who doesn't deserve the greatness that is BG2. Really? There's no wiggle room in there?
  18. Legally, they are under no obligation to do anything. Morally, they are obligated to deliver a really f***ing great game in the style of the IE games. The style. Not "the exact same next game we would have made if Black Isle hadn't gone kaput." That's impossible, not to mention myopic. The IE games were all pretty astonishingly different from one another anyway. If you absolutely can't accept this game as a spiritual successor to the IE games, accept it as a fourth series in the IE stable.
  19. He does, but I'm not sure it's something that's really all that big a deal. I'd assume that this type of thing would not happen inadvertently in-game (or at least, would be extremely rare if it did - QA should root out any common occurrences, one would hope). And as far as players going out of their way to exploit the game mechanics - does it really matter? There will always be players that do this. If the devs design the game so an exploit doesn't occur accidentally, but can pretty much only occur if the player actively seeks it out, then I see no big issue. This is the thing. Nobody can end all exploits forever, even in one game. But what you can do is make the game in such a way that any exploits players devise aren't something you can accidentally run into in the normal course of play. If players who seek to break your game break it, then they're having their special brand of fun, and mazel tov to 'em. The problem is when "correct" play is built around the idea that tactics you are not taught by the game - tactics that run counter to the game's previous lessons, in fact - are inarguably the most valuable and efficient ones for all players.
  20. Then - and I say this with all due respect - you do not know what you are talking about. You may think you do. You don't. You may think I'm being mean. I'm not. What you are doing right now is akin to lecturing an experienced spelunker without having ever entered a cave.
  21. @Sheikh: I'm going to go out on a limb and say you haven't done a lot of creative work before.
  22. DA:O is not by any stretch of the imagination a bad or even mediocre game. It is, in fact, a very good game. Furthermore, even I, someone who found DA:O's combat largely dull, would never say that every single combat mechanic in DA:O is A) a bad idea, or B) badly executed. There are plenty of good ideas in DA:O, and of those, many are well-executed. The crowd-control mechaincs are a good idea, for example.
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