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Everything posted by eschaton

  1. Not really. Moving away from HP, or at least gaining them upon levels, doesn't mean you couldn't have room for other stats. As I said, as one levels up, you could take ranks in dodge, parry, or combat conditioning, which would make you harder to hit and perform better in combat if you sustain a non-mortal injury. I have to admit, I do not like how stat systems have been utilized in general. Most game models either have stats be essentially static (minus a few in-game boosts) across your entire play experience, or add a few points each level. Neither one is fully accurate, because a p
  2. There are ways around this though - realistic ways - much more so than the concept of hit points anyway. The first is of course armor. There's a reason why full plate, despite the weight and mobility limitations, was so commonly used by fighters who could afford it in the late middle ages and renaissance. It made you basically invulnerable to swords, and was pretty good protection against other weapons as well until the flintlock musket was perfected. If anything, the effects of armor in a lot of RPG settings are underemphasized. Then there is dodging and parrying. Honestly this
  3. My bad experience in Fallout: New Vegas was in part an inspiration for writing this. I remember I had a mission to take out a group of enemies. Several of them were asleep in their tents. I figured I'd finish them off with headshots before they could even wake up. I snuck into their tent, crouched down, aimed straight for their heads, and let loose. Even trying a dozen times, I was unable to kill. I could not kill a sleeping target with a sub-machine gun! Obviously the reason was because the combat mechanics in no way reflected how reality actually works. But it pretty much
  4. Yeah, basically I'd like to see "action"-style mechanics, without it being an "action" game. I suppose it would be a bit excessive to expect developers spend a lot of time developing a sensible combat system, only to use combat rather minimally (allowing for most encounters to be solved through diplomacy, stealth, or assassination instead of in the open field of battle, if that wasn't the player's thing. I wonder if some integration of mechanics from stealth games and survival horror would be helpful? I've had limited experience with both genres, but it seems they both have elements of
  5. For the last few years, I've been thinking about how much I dislike some of the bog-standard rules of cRPG combat - rules which mostly spring from D&D originally. These include: 1. You can get hit dozens of times by something pointy (or even shot by a gun) without any real effect. Your "hit points" may go down whatever that means. In real life, if you stabbed someone they would almost invariably either be dead, dying, or so maimed as to be nearly useless in combat. Perhaps if they were hopped up on adrenaline, and highly trained, they'd maintain focus even with a major wound. But
  6. I am certainly a reader, but I think one issue the game has is it drops you right into the world's lore without much introduction, meaning some of the discussions about gods, nations, and factions can seem arcane until you get the hang of them. I honestly liked the DA:O system more, where your codex updated with lore as it was revealed in the game. I tend to read closely things which I know may be plot or tactics relevant, but skip flavor, because I work full time and have two kids, giving me only a few hours per night to play. For example, it doesn't take long to realize you're not go
  7. We all know PoE does not give XP (mostly) for defeating foes in combat. Instead, XP is mostly given for: 1. Completing quests 2. Exploring new areas 3. Opening chests/doors, disarming traps, and "other interactions" Of course, there is a small amount of XP which you gain on the first few encounters with enemies, until you have completely filled out the bestiary entry for an enemy type. You of course miss out on this entirely for human and demihuman enemies. Given the relatively low XP cap in the game, there's also the question of if you need to maximize this area of XP. Of
  8. Hey all, To start with, I should say that I am a veteran of old IE games. Cut my teeth on BG and BG2 back in college, love Planescape:Torment, etc. I'm not a noob to cRPGs of this style at all. That said, while I'm loving the game, I'm finding the combat pretty challenging, and I'm playing on easy. I'm pretty sure I'm doing something wrong here. I'm just trying to figure out what it is. It's not like I'm dying all the time, but in the tougher combats one or two characters routinely drop to zero stamina, and I can tell I'm not utilizing my casters properly. Combat feels like an aw
  9. I think part of the issue is there's a wide gap between sexual/emotional contact between the PC and some of the NPCs and "romance" as it has been come to be known in later Bioware games. To use the example I gave upthread, I think it would be refreshing to have a romance which is destined to fail. Maybe there's a male NPC who seems (if you play a man or a woman who he isn't romancing) to be a fine, upstanding person. But if you get involved, he turns out to be possessive, controlling, and ultimately hits the PC. Or maybe your "love interest" is merely flightly, or a cheater, or somethin
  10. This isn't true. There were friendship mini-games in, off the top of my head, KOTOR2, DA:O and DA2, at least insofar as if your companions had high approval of you, you got big bonuses. The same was true to a limited extent in Planescape: Torment with some characters.
  11. As I said, fundamentally, the only difference between a quest which is only undertaken after dialogue, and a quest option put into the log after another event (reading a tome, combat encounter, etc) is the former usually give you a dialogue option to accept the quest. So you can say no, and it doesn't go into your quest log. In contrast, unless the game actually had a pop-up after self-initiated questing events, the event would just spam your log, which would, indeed, encourage completionist play. Keep in mind though that a well-written self-initiated quest is every bit as real. Indee
  12. I do sort of agree that since quest XP is the only kind of XP, the game should actually be more loose with what a "quest" is than RPG convention has called a quest. Think of a quest at its broadest. Often, an adventurer can be set on his (or her) task without talking to anyone. Maybe they read about an ancient treasure in a book they find. Or they decide to hunt someone down who picked their pocket. Don't these deserve recognition as well? The only problem I see with allowing for self-given quests is it has the illusion of taking agency away from the player. In truth, it will stil
  13. Speaking historically, if you're an unarmed peasant (as if there's another sort) being alone outside of town (or hell, alone in town after dark) was very dangerous, between highwaymen and the chance of running into a bear or a wild boar. But there's little in a peacetime environment which should challenge a lawful armed party. After all, any threat big enough to attempt to take on a half-dozen armed, well-trained adventurers would pretty quickly run afoul with the local lord, and have some expedition sent out to wipe it clean. Only in areas which are nearly impassible (swamps, mountains), o
  14. In general, I think role-playing games overplay the wilderness aspect given the period in question. True wilds became rare as the middle ages progressed, and as this is an Early Modern game, there should be even rarer. By the 16th century in Britain, use of coal instead of wood for home heating and cooking became common in large part because virtually all forests had been chopped down. That is not to say there might not be dangers in the fields, particularly in times during or after wars and famines. But virtually all good land should be covered with farms under normal periods. One w
  15. I think the problem is twofold. On the one hand, a mature, story-driven RPG should have some sexual content. After all, a world full of sexless eunuchs isn't very realistic. And it should generally be more content than the stereotypical prostitutes. On the other hand, a long-term romantic involvement between the player and a party member should not be a given. Compatibility is a finicky thing, and it's highly likely that not one of your companions would find you interesting. Later Bioware games not only failed on this, they got ridiculous, with every single character bi and imm
  16. o rly? All 15 levels of it? Didn't say it would be easy, but it should be possible to create a dungeon full of traps, puzzles, and the like to keep the player entertained enough that they don't worry about the whole no combat thing. I'd be fine, as I said, with a few sensible encounters per level. Just no mooks please unless it makes story sense!
  17. I would LOL so hard if the mega-dungeon actually had no combat encounters. Lots of people would be pissed, but in a good RPG, you should be able to create a fun, dangerous and immersive dungeon without any combat encounters at all. My ideal, though, would be only a few, sensible and challenging encounters in a dungeon. Things like undead are fine, and maybe there's a hidden base somewhere down there. But the over-populated dungeons in D&D never made much sense, even with the whole "food chain based upon magic absorbing mushrooms" excuse.
  18. IMHO a game should have the following regarding loot: 1. You can take/sell just about everything not nailed down, but most things are of piddly value. 2. Inventory space is limited. 3. The really cool **** is only available at incredibly high prices, or as a result of special encounters/quests 4. Gold has weight. It keeps you from accumulating huge amounts. If you have too much, open a bank account, use writs of payment, or buy/keep high value things like magic items or precious gems. The beauty of such a system is it makes the payoff for selling vendor trash almost not wor
  19. An interesting middle option would be short-term NPCs - party members who stay with the party for their personal quest only and then leave. This option is useful because it allows for an NPC to be somewhat fleshed out within their own plotline, but you really don't need to develop huge interactivity with the "regular" NPCs who are permanent party members.
  20. PrimeJunta pretty much hits exactly what I'm talking about here. The point is not to turn an RPG into a squad-type combat game with disposable party members. The point is to make combat with unfavorable odds so dicey that even "warriors" scale back their encounters tremendously from what we have in RPGs today. I think such a system would help tremendously have a much more immersive, reactive game. Let me give a few examples. 1. Even in the average fantasy novel, being ambushed in a dark alley at night can be terrifying. You don't know what you're up against and you're caught flat-foo
  21. Not really, they were in fact highly reliable and very effective, it was an iron ball with a cavity inside (made of two parts molded together) filled with compressed gun powder, sealed with a lead plug with a hole for the fuse and some wax. Fuse cords are very reliable and easy to make out of nitrated hemp. Discounting early experiments with grenades by the Chinese and Byzantines, they didn't come into use in the West until 1688 (the Glorious Revolution). This is a bit later (probably around a century) than this setting technologically. Grenades didn't take off in a big way until
  22. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought there were local, periodic, yet critical shortages of saltpeter until the 19th century (when remote guano islands became accessible), which limited the use of gunpowder weapons to a great extent. It would be thus easy to deal with this in an in-game mechanic by ensuring that gunpowder was too expensive for a peasant to have access to. I'm rather hoping there are black powder bombs though. Hell, the Ultima games even had those. They would only really be useful as part of a trap - either set by the player or by foes. Setting up such a trap would b
  23. But this isn't a medieval game. The game technology is clearly set at the Early Modern period (1500s-1600s). And not just due to the use of early firearms - also because of the sophistication of sailing ships, and the proto-colonialism in the world. The only exception to OTL is the printing press isn't invented yet.
  24. In another thread, I mentioned a hypothetical scenario where you, as the player, are put in a seemingly impossible encounter, but one lucky shot (say lighting a barrel of explosive powder aflame) kills off a large number of foes, and evens the odds. It makes me think about the issues of narrative versus gameplay freedom more broadly. Scripted solutions to in-game problems are of course required to some extent, as a game engine cannot allow for infinite choices. But one can go further and say that generally speaking, if the solution (or solutions, preferably) to a quest is mapped out by t
  25. Toughness does not equal physical strength in all cases however. Women are pretty much proven to have greater endurance (on average) than men, despite lower strength (on average). Athletes, particularly those who engage in team sports, do have higher pain thresholds. But differences in terms of how much poison affects one person versus another seem to be mostly genetic, and don't really have anything to do with how physically robust you are.
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