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The Pain Yak

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About The Pain Yak

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  1. Torment actually provides, for me, good examples of both how to do the end game (MMOs and their vile usurpation of such a basic term can suck it, btw) and how not to do it. How to do it: How NOT to do it: Ditch the interesting quests and entertaining characters and send the PC into a bunch of unavoidable combat encounters in half-baked areas that were very obviously not polished or even completed at the time of release. The quests in Curst were disjointed and seemed largely pointless and for much of your time there the emphasis was placed far more on combat than on meaningful plot encounters. That didn't matter as much in Torment, given the whole 'can't die permanently' thing, but for games where you actually have to reload, turning the final areas into a meat grinder designed to punish diplomatic or stealth characters is a far too common thing.
  2. A lot of games, not only RPGs, tend to start coming apart at the seams towards the end. After all, reviewers probably never bother to play that far before they hand out their reviews. And while most everyone will see the beginning and the middle of a given game, a smaller percentage will actually play the game to its conclusion. As such, in terms of budgets and the like, its unsurprising the end game gets the short end of the stick. The company is primarily interested in getting people to buy their product, and therefore the selling point is all the cool stuff they can see from the start. I just really hope Obsidian takes the opportunity provided by this Kickstarter to avoid falling into that trap this time around. It would be extremely nice to see a genuinely satisfying end game for once, to not watch as the carefully crafted story derails completely because of a rushed release ala KOTOR2 or you end up going from an interesting quest hub filled with cool characters and detailed quest lines to...well, something like Curst in Planescape: Torment, which felt very much like a rushed and forgettable area next to the glory that was Sigil. When a game ends on a weak note, it always makes me walk away feeling a bit deflated by the whole experience...and as Mass Effect 3 recently proved, done really poorly it can be like a match on a tinderbox for the fandom. The end game is important. Please don't neglect it.
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