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Dawn Quixotic

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Everything posted by Dawn Quixotic

  1. Burlew's argument in the thread centered on the idea that, regardless of logical justifications, there was still something iffy about killing a baby of sapient species, and that actually justifying it with the idea of "even at hatching it's as smart as a human adult and is a vicious hungry monster" itself is questionable. And also the idea that, while it might be practical in real life (i.e. you might consider it okay to poison rat babies in real life to prevent spread of vermin), that including "kill the rat babies" as a specific quest is kind of... eh, just because it's fantasy entertainment. Same with, if there was a sick puppy in the game and you had to euthanize it... something you'd have to do in real life, but including it as an in-game objective... would be pretty terrible. PnP games are a bit different in that respect too, where, I would be more disapproving of players wanting to do stuff like that and would probably be, "not at my table".
  2. Right. Simply lacking any specific protections against dealing hit point damage to or killing child NPCs isn't that bad. But if you have the ability to, say, buy a house, get married, and then engage in realistically developed domestic abuse (not just hitting them/killing them like any run-of-the-mill NPC, but more contextual and complicated stuff), that's something that's less justifiable, and is like you say, something that might legitimize it to a portion of players likely to actually do this in the future or have already done so. Like if their dialogue changes to reflect the state of their relationship... that's something that'd be pretty out of taste, since it goes beyond the cartoony kind of "I'm gonna kill everything!" that motivates most video game destruction sprees.
  3. I saw a video once commenting on how many older games were very good at implying what you were supposed to do and subtly teaching you about the game as you played without using heavy-handed tutorial sequences and the like.
  4. How is it easier to balance a game where you might be wildly more powerful depending what level you are when you get to an area? that makes no sense to me...the easiest way to do that would be to make the game linear. Ease of balancing shouldn't even figure in this discussion IMO, that is the developers job not ours, and they are more than capable. Sounds like you want the opposite to me to be honest, I've been playing RPGs for a long time now, and I'm a bit fed up of being epic. I'd imagine the game will go for a middle ground though to be honest...and as I said earlier, if you are battling demi gods in game one, where does that leave for the sequels to go? One could argue the point would be to forego a franchise... Though, from a commercial standpoint, that's unlikely.
  5. Well, that would certainly be interesting to see. Though, since it's a lot more difficult to create, there's a lot more room for disappointment if it's dissatisfying. Programming all the numerous ways one could utilize a political connection and have it be sufficient for the player experience would be tough. One of the things that's a lot simpler in PnP RPGs where you way an unlimited amount of wiggle room.
  6. I think the best way to handle the potential of "epic" levels is to have a place in the setting for them. Take your example of D&D, the setting is built around level 1-20. Once you get up to level 15-20, it's a given that you're probably done mucking about doing sidequests and random encounters and fighting mooks, and you're fighting elite things like greater demons, golem guardians, high-level NPC enemies, top it off with some dragons... Because there's still a lot of dragons, demons, and such in the setting... not as many as low level orcs and gnolll, but enough that it doesn't make the setting break. D&D then attempts to go *beyond* that and then you're at the point where there's too many high-level things than you expected from the setting... especially if you get stuff like 20th level "peasants". A setting that's designed that way... that there are regions of the universe that are more densely populated with such powerful things... would go a long way in making it go smoother. Kind of like how Final Fantasy works (even though it's still kind of silly in its own way). Especially if your power curve is designed to handle that. D&D tops out at 9th level spells like time stops and meteors and there just isn't much else to go... so the epic level progressions, rather than being dynamic like 1-20 just become repetive number infaltion more and more. I say poeple have a very shallow view of power. What IS power? How do you define it? How do you measure it? Why do so may people in RGP's only see it as increase in the NUMBERS. And it's about time such expectations were shattered and changed. Because making it by numbers is easier to program as a game. I'd say once you've gotten rid of the rising numbers, you're better off getting rid of numbers entirely, and making it a different sort of game... an action-adventure, a point-and-click adventure... but not an RPG. It'd also require a system of control more reliant on the skills of the player. In an RPG you rely on stats and hit points to avoid or soak attacks because you can't parry or dodge at will like you can in, say, a fighting game or something like that. Which is the kind of game I prefer to play, but that's not necessarily what we're getting here.
  7. The amusing thinng is, if there *was* a serial killer, the one taking care of it would be you. What if... when you kill enough people... you get a quest to investigate serial killings... and as you investigate, you find out the killer... was YOU!
  8. Remember the epilogue to SoA where those hooded guys were like, "This Spawn of Bhaal is DOOOMED!" and like, who were they? What happened to them? D&D just seems more egregious because epic levels often feel tacked on. Like, Level 20 is supposed to be the pinnacle and then you go beyond that... and there's stuff in the third edition epic level handbook that expects you to be 50 or 60 levels.
  9. It's kind of interesting, because in that respect, ToB shows how D&D itself tends to break down at around that stage. Ridiculously powerful enemies everywhere, with armies of "elite orogs" who are basically foot soldiers but levelled up to be challenge to you guys... repetitive loads of loot... some stuff you can't even use.... and tons of junk like everybody has a +2 or something weapon, again, to stay competitive as a challenge for you, lots of +5 weapons (which, I can kind of see the justification for wanting a +5 weapon of every kind), and it's like... if you had more exploration and sidequests it'd get even more ridiculous because how are all these challenges existing here? Any one of the Five had loads more charisma than Melissan did.
  10. There's another aspect to this I'd forgotten. In Skyrim, you can still attack a child, even by accident, causing them (and possibly anyone around them) to become hostile to you. They didn't attack you, but it still caused problems. I'd say that's something to be avoided. If you make them invulnerable, make sure they can't become hostile. Turn friendly fire off entirely, to avoid these kind of mistakes.
  11. This is kind of how I see it. To me, if they don't want you killing random people, don't let you. If they enable you to do it and want to make you feel terrible for it, that's fine too. I mean, I dunno. They let you do some pretty dark things. And it's not just random stuff either, but plot stuff. Obviously, there's limits. There's boundaries. Have dialogue options for racist slurs and anything involving sexual assault is not something to include. But take Skyrim for instance, you can still take part in an elaborate storyline where you murder people, partly for money but partly also for the sake of murdering them for wierd cultish reasons too. (even if most of the people you kill are kind of pricks anyway) Take Torment where the worst things you could do weren't anything as base as hacking at NPCs but things like attempting to sell your companions into slavery. Some people put killing children on the other side of the boundary, as separate from killing adults. I could say that's valid, sure. I can see where they are coming from. I've rarely seen a good morality/karma/whatever system. Torment was interesting in that, you had options to Lie or Truth as far as, like, roleplaying goes, and some of the evil stuff was more complicated than just stealing or killing. I liked some of that stuff because... in BG if you ever did something good, you always got a better reward, so there was no way to be evil, but acting good just to manipulate people. BG *was* annoying though. Since like, there was not way to be evil and just as successful as good... and I don't even mean like, really super evil, just, not goodie-two-shoes. In such a way that you didn't have to listen to your evil NPCs whine (and the evil ones were often my favorites). But of course if you got too high you could just turn into the Slayer and knock it down 2... So ehh...
  12. Wasn't that a working title for God of War? Urquhart, Shut Up and Jam: If You Can't Game Like the Best, Lame Like the Rest. The whole concept of light and dark is overused. Music is close. We need different senses. What about "Eternity Chronicles: A Pungence in Dyrwood"? Or, "A Taste of Eternity". How about a Smash Mouth reference? Dyrwood All Star: So Much To Do, So Much To See. I was about to suggest they just put a symbol on the cover and everyone would have to refer to it as "The Game Formerly Known as Project Eternity".
  13. I remember a friend once showed me an article about "how to be a real man". The first thing was something like, "a real man doesn't care what anyone thinks" I always thought that was funny that, the guy writing it seemed to believe that yet expected every man in his audience would care about *his* advice. Wonder what this person's list of what self-respecting women should have would be. The average US citizen probably can't afford many trips. Most people I know have only been to Canada and even then only because you can drive there.
  14. The thing I always loved about BG is when your teammates would talk to you. I mean, there were the romance subplots, sure, but I was always more interested in the dialogues other characters would have you about various things. Like the one where Minsc starts going on about how adventuring is awesome and how he should get you an "ice weasel". And also pretty cool was when the party members would start heckling each other about stuff. Gives lots of characterization beyond their usual interjections and when you first talk to them. And I always love me my characterization. So I hope all the possible recruitable dudes are all super cool and interesting. Have they said much on front? As in, will it be more like Torment where basically there's enough for the party, plus a couple extras, or closer to the first Baldur's Gate where there would be a ton to choose from? Or in the middle, like BG2?
  15. Yeah. I hate that when... you walk into what is clearly supposed to be a "big fight" and there aren't any lines or dialogue, they don't even have a token "have at you!" it's just a room full of red rings that attack you. Admittedly, I have a bias there in that, I just don't feel engaged in a battle against enemies that don't have personality or characterization. Doesn't matter if the fate of the world is in the balance or how climactic it technically is, I don't want the final battle just being more random redrings. It's why I like the of a villain that gets developed as such throughout the storyline, to get the satisfaction of, "FINALLY I get to go toe to toe with this guy and beat him to the ground".
  16. See, I think a potential feature any kind of "hardcore" mode would be turning off invincibility for key NPCs. So, on the easy mode, you wouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing, but on the extra rules, you would be free to create your world of silence. Now if only you would permanently eliminate any kind of, like, respawning encounters... That would be a nice sense of finality to the game. Every living creature but you is dead... all that is left is to forever run around in the empty world, gathering up all the items that exist and hoarding them in your stronghold.
  17. I mean, it's an RPG with combat. Of course there's going to be a Final Boss. Even if main conflict is some kind of inner turmoil, you're still going to have to go inside your head and beat the **** out of it's abstracted-incarnated form at the end of game. And I think if you're going to do that, you're better of having that final battle be fought against someone that has a personal enemy relationship to you, rather than some symbolic entity that just shows up, or a big bad you never met before but knew you had to face... Even in something like Chrono Trigger... you never really speak with the villain, Lavos, and it's really just a monster that shows up and tries to destroy the world that you have to fight in the end... but the plot develops that villain subtly and powerfully until confronted. And then you have guys like Jon Irenicus who personally screws with you in some very serious ways and keeps getting away until you finally corner him. That's the kind of antagonist I like. I mean, Torment was kind of different in that the villain was less a personal relationship enemy and more an embodiment of the various explored themes, and you had the option of beating him with dialogue options rather than combat (but then, in Torment, dialogue options were designed to be just as interactive as combat), but that's still similar in principle that you had a conflict that got summed up in an appropriate final boss. And if you don't want a final boss at all, well, sure, okay, but I like having a structured plot so I can get a sense of finality and purpose when I get around to finishing that end of the game. And... I mean, there's dozens of ways you can do this too. Take Pokémon for instance, you're big climactic fight is against your rival, who, while a jerk, is pretty much a hero in his own right, and while you fight him repeatedly, the conflict is much more about your personal growth and journey coming to a head, rather than merely fighting your rival one more time. Ehhh, that kind of conflict works for novels. Less so for video games. If I'm going to be fighting stuff this whole game, I want to end it with one big last fight. And I would want that fight to be against another character. Not "addiction demons" that are given stats for the purposes of serving a boss fight to represent overcoming my addiction. You might suggest a different method of conflict resolution rather than "representation by combat" but if you're going down that route, well, that's going to be creating a wildly different kind of experience/game, and would probably be better as a choose-your-own-adventure novel rather than an RPG that involves you getting into mechanics-based fights. Though the idea of somehow caught in a relationship with a resurrecting comic book/video game style villiain is fantastic story premise. See, I never got the appeal impersonal antagonists. I find them boring as hell, and it's why I hate so much "literature" because of it's preponderance for those kind of conflicts. Also why I can't stand the vast majority of zombie stories. For me, people are what is most interesting. So I want a villain-person. Though I am still displeased with "cliché" villains (and other characters) who fail to be closer in complexity to what real people are like, I still find them more interesting than anything else if they're entertaining enough.
  18. This is such a weird topic. As in, weird that it's spelled out this way. Because, I doubt the majority of gamers who want children to be killable are in it because they really want a child murder simulator. The real question is... are there going to be any characters that are not able to be harmed? Which sounds a lot more valid. Which... the discussion centers around this, because children are usually the prime candidates for arbitrary immortality, and they always seem to show up. The solution never does seem to be, "let's not have kids in the game". Probably because they feel the setting needs to include them for verisimitude or whatever? But the question is "can we kill the children" not because we hope there will be children so we can kill them, but because it's already assumed they'll be there, because they always are in the big sandbox world kind of game, and we want to know if there's going to be arbitrary invincibility on. Another thing is... say you have some kind of deal where you want to limit what terrible things the player can do... that makes sense to me. And like, you can already kill anything else. It's more acceptable to just have unharmable NPCs because, well, they just aren't enemies and that's not the point of the game. Different kind of game... yeah, you're not supposed to, but it's fantasy, you can play evil, you can murder people. Also, if there's stuff like... say, Skyrims dragons which attack people and can actually kill them... but the kids are still invincible, well, maybe they jus shouldn't be there, if it has to be that way. Because really, yeah, it's stupid and immature, but it does get frustrating when you're *that* kind of player, who every so often gets a "what if I killed everyone in the world" urge and you just... can't. And you rack up a really huge bounty because the last witness was that one kid you can't kill. Same deal with "important" NPCs, who, while having a definite purposes, also get in the way of Mission: Kill the World. But then, there'll be a mod for it anyway, so, if it's a PR thing, then maybe it really is best for game creators to stay on the no-kill side.
  19. Depends on how the difficulty increases work. If it's something like "enemies do double damage" then that's not really interesting. If it's something like, 'there will be some extra enemies and they'll be designed a bit tougher in general" then that feels a bit more interesting. Less "fake" in a way. My first play will probably be Path of the Damned, Expert Mode, Trial of Iron, just to see how far I can get. Then probably tone is down and take off Trial of Iron. If I have to resort to cheapness, then I'll definitely end up lowering difficulty. Not too interested in most extra challenges in this sort of game. Much more interested in "challenging" stuff in a game less focused on requisite stat growth, and something more like a Legend of Zelda or Megaman and your goal is "make it through the game without taking a single hit". A game like, say, Skyrim, you're *going* to take hits no matter what so you better have some hp, unless you want to be really cheap.
  20. For wood elves, I think they can get a pass when they can usually afford to frolick and treat everything like a hobby. For drow, or something, who are living a life of constant struggle, and are under lots of pressure to excel, it makes a bit less sense. You can chalk up a lot of it to high casualties and therefore shorter lives, but there are still plenty of dark elves even so that have lived centuries.
  21. No futuristic technology in Eternity (it's taking place in the equivalence of... mid 1600's? Something like that IIRC). Neither does it have any Healing magics (there is no Resurrection magic either, so if one of your characters dies they get maimed on lower difficulties and outright die on harder difficulties. It's an optional On/Off thing). Dead means "point of no return" in Eternity. Right. That was more in reference to other games it could be implemented in.
  22. I'd say this is okay as long as there is a way to fix it. If the setting has healing magic or bio-regrowth-technology. Similar to how, if your character is dead, you can just cast "Raise Dead" on them if you need them back and don't want to go through the hassle of reloading. OR if you can change body parts, like cybernetic limbs, or geting a golem arm, or something, to make up for it. If there's various Eyes of Vecna floating around you can conveniently pop back in. For most games, anyway. Unless you are going to make that super-hardcore RPG where you have to eat and drink, have to treat injuries immediately or they will fester, everything has time limits and most things have permanent consequences. Might be an interesting game experience, but you have to go into it expecting it to be that kind of ridiculous. At the end of the day, I think it just wouldn't be worth programming in, really. I don't think it would really add anything, especially considering you need to include a way around it, or they'll just reload anyway. Debilitating criticals make more sense if it's like, "you received an eye injury so you are blind for now" or "you got a serious arm injury so you are unable to use your right arm for now". But that stuff should go away when you rest, just like taking all those hits from a sword that didn't hit in of your immediately vital organs did... y'know? You're health is already abstracted to hit points, so just keep the concept. Thinking on it, I do like the idea of an extra bonus for a critical hit that isn't simply massive damage, but some kind of permanent injury just doesn't add anything.
  23. I think there's a fair amount of... pressure... to conform to a certain aesthetic, that is particular to your "inspiration culture". That this is part of why you don't see so many "mixed" or "original" style cultures. Also, there might be an odd idea that you can't mix too many cultural elements into it, even though other fantasy does that all the time. Medieval fantasy draws on the entirety of Europe, and there are always elements brought in from Asian or Arabian cultures by way of trade, travel, etc. Asian fantasy, particularly as created in the west, often tends to blend Chinese, Japanese, and miscellaneous elements into the same work. The Middle East is also a pretty big area to work with, and Arabian flavored works blend stuff in from Arabia to Persia to Turkey across several era (i.e. pre-Islamic Arabic vs. Ottoman Turkey). Likewise, European works can vary from Holy Roman Empire through the Rennaissance. And people who read fantasy are used to all these fusions and conflations. But if you say, based on Pharaonic Egypt, isn't that kind of limiting? And it might be, especially since we might not know quite as much about such an ancient and distant culture, you have a bit less to draw a lot of setting elements from, and there's stuff that just doesn't exist in Egyptian mythology or lore. And Egypt is still a pretty popular setting for stuff. Stuff like Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas, that's even moreso. And those you might still have considerably less archaeology to draw influences from. But who says you can't expand it? Who says you have to be limited to just that small section of culture? Since most standard fantasy influences clearly haven't limited themselves.
  24. My solution to inventory space in BG2 was to sell all the non-healing potions. >.< I think the original post's idea is problematic because it gives players something to worry about. Hoarders are already worried about "using something they need later". Hoarding isn't to be "discouraged" , using is to be "encouraged". You need to put an element in the game to let those players know that, "hey, it's okay to use this". I don't think it would need to be complex mechanics or anything. Maybe even something like a screen-loading eyecatcher type tip.
  25. I always wanted to see less-used cultural themes in works. Even in terms of Europe, there's some that are rarely seen. I've seen lots of generic western europe, british, celtic, germanic, french, spanish, italian, or nordic themes. I'd love to see something more eastern European or Russian, not just as bit characters or "gypsies from afar" but for a whole section of the setting to have that flavor. Also would like to see more Finnish influences. I also want the "exotic" cultures to use different styles too. In a typical European-inspired fantasy, the "exotic" cultures are always Arabian or Oriental. While I suppose that makes sense geographically compared to the real world, I'd still love to see different cultures. Oceanic cultures is something I never see. Would love to see some Samoans in my fantasy. Closest thing I can think of is Quest for Glory 3.
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