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About Goddard

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  1. I am planning on working on GemRB and will experiment on that, but conceptually it is not complicated. I will let you know when I get the chance, Mind flayer.
  2. You are taking simulation too literal. We are talking about a fantasy land simulation with magic, monsters, and dark passage ways. What my example is referring to is the most basic of intelligence emulation. I even included a related emulation in preventing theft by having the creatures agro if the player is caught stealing. The lines of distinction are pretty clear. We aren't talking about a physics simulation for the annihilation of a bridge at hurricane speeds. I am saying I could create general intelligence for all creatures in the game. It would just be apart of their make up and it wouldn't take up any CPU cycles at all because it would still be reactionary. This would have a direct effect on game play in reference to Mr. Sawyers design ideology. His design ideology is extreme control. The game feels like it was designed for on-line multi-player in a persistent world the way everything is so locked down. If the idea is to simulate the fantasy land and also provide a sort of "choose your own path book" kind of story telling style then it would make more sense to highlight the player and their decisions. Every creature in D&D has a certain range of intelligence and specific abilities. Being able to perceive the world to a large degree without outside help depends on your own intelligence. If you are buffing next to a pack of kobolds most likely they might be some what stunned by the pretty colors or something. If you are casting a healing spell in front of human clerics they will know exactly what spell that is whereas a human fighter might think you are casting something that could harm them if you aren't exactly allies, or your relationship is new. That is why you could have multiple faction delineations with intelligence checks. This is just the same as in BG where you actually need to identify items. You see all these things make sense, but Mr. Sawyer already said he doesn't care about things making sense. He just wants control over the system so it is perfectly manageable with respect to encounters. That is a very boring from my own experience playing games. In a multi-player world such as NWN where you played in a persistent environment that sort of thing makes sense. It doesn't make much sense in a game that is not massively on-line and doesn't even allow you to play on-line with friends.
  3. Ah, that is another topic. Changes to number and statistic aren’t all at exciting in an electronic game, where those calculations are happening “under the hood”. Adding +2 after doing physical roll of dice doesn’t have the same impact when those things are done for you. I think Deadfire made a step in a right direction by unifying a lot of statistics between classes and trying to differentiate them through active abilities. It reminds me of Tim Cain’s talk that was posted a while ago on these forums. An example he gave was shotgun: rather than increasing base damage of a shotgun you can allow player to upgrade recoil control. That way shotgun doesn’t magically do more damage, but you still increase DPS fulfilling same design role, while feeling more natural to the player. The corollary to that is that in a game like PoE where the actual actions taken are automatic and I just tell the characters to do it, something like a damage bonus is much easier to see and feel the impact of with every use of that weapon. If I was aiming and dealing with the effects of using the weapon directly, it would be a different story. Something like straight stat bonuses are much more impactful in a game like BG2, where the strength does more than just effect damage and scripted events but directly impacts the player themselves through the inventory, something like Oblivion where your dex impacts how high you can jump. Similarly, although the bow you get in WM 2 produces it's own ammo, not having ammo in the game means that magical ability doesn't have any impact, while the bows that produced their own ammo in the BG games were *amazing*. The coolest items in PoE are the items that have unique spell effects or abilities attached to them. Things like summoning skeletons, or overbearing wave when critically hit, or making you frenzy. But each of those requires it be made special by the coders, doesn't it? That is what I enjoy the most. I enjoy trying a lot of different strategies and creating my own challenges. Also with the items I really prefer strategically placed items with cool effects. I really hate random item systems and crafting. Crafting by going to a special NPC to piece together an epic weapon is fun to me because I like the story. You have to walk a fine line in my opinion between trying to control things and also allowing enough variation. The main issue with not allowing pre-buffing is you NEVER need to go into combat worried. Instead of changing your spell book, or altering spells cast so they last longer, or casting some short lasting spells at the right moments versus walking into every battle knowing it is "challenging" enough where you never have to be prepared before hand. You walk through the entire game and all the encounters are "balanced" and "controlled". It pretty clearly reduces the variation of encounters. Alternatively, yes it probably makes it easier to manage encounters and yes some people will meta game otherwise. Some people will role play. Some people will just take it easy. Removing restrictions to me means let the world be what it is and then let people play it in interesting ways. You can still make fights challenging as BG2 is evidence of. Playing games is about how you feel while playing it. In BG you are empowered with little limitations. I would say one limitation that is funny is having to gather your party before venturing forth, but hey... :D In a dangerous world combat is always a possibility and you need to be prepared at all times. At least in the Forgotten Realms. In PoE the world isn't dangerous until you take out your pokey ball and start combat with your harry potter wizard wand....haha jk Ok in all seriousness, lets take the twitter post by Mr. Sawyer who I respect, but just disagree with. He gives an example of a gif image where the "player" repeatedly casts spells on himself. First it is an exaggeration for humor I get it, but with proper A.I. this is solved. EXAMPLE #1 Give certain enemies intelligence ratings Give certain buffing spells a hostility counter ( so a global variable of some sort in the world on your character / party that is player_hostility_check += 1 ) If the player raises over that hostility counter based on the enemies intelligence of what is occurring then make the enemy freak out on the player. It is like in this game you want to remove things, but add nothing cool that makes the game more intelligent. When you walk into a house and steal something and a person is standing by you they might go agro. Why not expand on those checks? Make more of them. Add more variation. I know it makes things more complicated, but I think the PoE team can do it.
  4. I get it from the standpoint of a business. It reduces the hours for development time. It is much easier to just disable something that has many variables. I don't get it from the stand point of trying to make a truly innovative experience which I really admired about BG. ...... “It’s not the same as a game I played 20 years ago” so it’s not “Innovative”. :-D It’s nothing to do with complexity of design, or creativity or being innovative. It’s just some people don’t like going through checklists before every fight. But we have been through all of that before. It(BG) was very innovative for the time(still is today in many respects otherwise people wouldn't be looking to them now for inspiration) and if you think otherwise I would suggest watching the video I posted about the history of the games. It is very long at like 2 hours, but it details many of the aspects I think have merit. I have said this over and over again, but that wasn't required(pre-buffing). It never was required(pre-buffing). No one ALWAYS does it.(pre-buffing) Again if you like PoE then that is good, but I don't think disabling something because it is hard to deal with is pushing the boundaries.(innovative) Making a fantasy fight simulation realistic is opening the game up. Removing all restrictions and having the enemies react in realistic ways where your actions effect the outcome of the story in a world where you can be good, indifferent, or evil to the core. Obviously you can't have a DM, but today our computers are powerful enough to create semi-realistic AI and deal with pre-buffing I think pretty well.
  5. I get it from the standpoint of a business. It reduces the hours for development time. It is much easier to just disable something that has many variables. I don't get it from the stand point of trying to make a truly innovative experience which I really admired about BG.
  6. The idea of eating food before combat is the same as pre-buffing except without the cool magic and visual effects.
  7. Kind of fun to just take out a pencil and draw it as well. The simulation of a real adventure.
  8. When I went through CDL training, part of it was about a week just being taught all the ins-and-outs of how to use a road atlas. There's so much more to it than most people know! Each and every symbol has meaning on those things. If you know what each colored triangle means, what the code is for the interstate numbering system, stuff like that you can plot a detailed course at a glance. I had a bit of experience with that as well when I was young as a traveling salesmen, but then later in geography and surprisingly geology class. Those maps are so very dense and interesting. I was told and shown evidence along with pictures they had some topological markers for people that actually went out in the field and it is highly discouraged to touch them.
  9. I remember playing Zelda in the regular Nintendo days and we created our own maps. In some older D&D/Strategy games you would also keep your own journal. While these things might not be for everyone it would be awfully fun to compare journal notes on the first go'round with a friend. Anyone actually ever used a real map to travel in real life? It is actually pretty easy and fun although when driving solo can be hazardous.
  10. So... if you put gelatin into a "potion," and make it a solid that you could then eat, is it food, or is it a potion? What makes a potion magical and food not-magical, in a world in which magic exists and ingredients/reagents can have magical properties? Also, just FYI, you're sending mixed signals by saying you haven't a care in the world about this, then proceeding to present arguments about it. o_O Being a little too literal with your FYI. You know what he means even if for whatever reason you dislike his opinion.
  11. That was BG2's answer to the problem that the player regularly enters a fight pre-buffed while the NPCs can't, as they only activate their AI routine upon sight (or more precisely, when being in range, leading to exploits like activating them stealthed and letting their buffs run out). For technical reasons, it was difficult to have actual pre-buffing (and still is, seeing how video game AI still works on enemy aggro ranges) so they tried to emulate it to level the playing field and make the encounter more believable: On activation, the enemy mages applied their buffs through scripted insta-cast (even when they accompanied it with a "sequencer" message, that was usually just window-dressing). What you are talking about is bad encounter design. So instead of developers trying to make things more dynamic and fluid they were limiting encounters to a very specific linear fighting style. A possible counter argument would be rather to have it so enemies have more intelligence. For example, spells have pretty visuals and do damage to an area if it is within the AoE, but rarely if ever do those spells reverberate at a distance further then the spell effect. Having a spell with a 20 meter range, but the sound of the effect is maybe 100 and it triggers an internal alarm, or a literal in game alarm such as a bell would be a simple solution. This would increase the importance of characters such as Rouges, Rangers, and Assassin types. Now another annoyance is the idea that a fully plated fighter can go stealth, or some how a mage can perform complex hand motions with armor on. For one the plate armor is very loud. It is unrealistic to the n-th degree to believe a normal metal armored character could also be stealthed. Rather then these games getting more realistic and more dynamic they are getting more limited to systems that are easily controlled by developers. Other options as opposed to getting rid of pre-buffs because currently the only argument that I can't debate is "I don't like clicking a lot before and after combat", which fine. I am not arguing that point. I am saying pre-buffing removes power from mages and generally makes all other characters such more alike. 1. Give hostiles that ability to sound alarms, have spells reverberate. 2. Trigger some hostiles to pre-buff or even to leave the current area and seek out the sound. 3. Have hostiles not be complete idiots and if they get damaged and see no character then to seek them out with some kind of path finding script. 4. Have encounters where hostiles are smart enough to realize they are being choked off based on intelligence or something by doors and narrow passages. These are all things that makes a game more dynamic and interesting and would even fit better into story plot. One of the funniest things in IE games was when you either killed everyone in an area and then the boss fight acted like you were still cool with them. That is what I expected to see in newer games honestly. I expected things to be better integrated into the world story. See how tangled you can weave the world.
  12. I feel like people are really attempting to just shut the conversation down by suggesting questioning the game mechanics is toxic, or comparing PoE to D&D is bad, but I am not sure if you guys understand that claiming a game is a spiritual successor and then expecting people not to discuss the game and this game is suppose to have the spirit of and its system is pretty strange. If you have your feelings hurt by this discussion then you don't have to reply. I really just want to discuss the two systems. I am more or less trying to debate not fight. @smjjames yes the original discussion was about opening the game up and increasing options. I think pre-buffing has a cascade of effects on play style and effects that trickles down to the spells, item effects, severity of effects after battle, resting, and death. It is a pretty huge deal. That isn't to say an alternative couldn't be thought up, but simply saying "it takes too many clicks", or "it hurts balance", or "it allows meta gaming" are things I think are very simplistic and that is why I keep discussing and pushing the issue. I want to really get to the root of why people think that is some how futuristic and I am challenging those ideas because I do not believe your assumptions are correct. Yes this game isn't D&D, but it pretty clearly takes A LOT of inspiration from current D&D versions. The zeitgeist of the game is very much inline with many current versions of D&D so it follows rather then leads in my opinion on many aspects. @Skaddix my friend if you do not want to speak about the topic, or you are attempting to suggest this thread should be closed or moved then simply stop discussing it, but I am just offering my view on something. I am not insulting or at the very least not intentionally trying to hurt your feelings. @Skaddix buffs do not last that long, some last for a lot time until completely saturated like stone skin. @Valci I never said you needed meta information to beat an encounter. You did. What I said is that meta information makes you more powerful as it does with every game. That is much bigger. Guess what the smarter, or more wise you are about aspects of the games lore in which it draws upon will naturally make you better. That is just life. Nothing you can do about that unless of course you are trying to make a game so abstract no one can relate and it has a high learning curve. Also why would it be a problem if you needed greater knowledge to play a game? I of course think that would limit the baseline of the game and it wouldn't appeal to the masses which is usually an excuse to dumb things down, but that doesn't mean the game wouldn't be good. It just means it wouldn't be placating the lowest common denominator with respects to their knowledge of a world or lore of the fantasy land. I am not suggesting that is the solution, but I am challenging that assumption that is all. I also do realize that talking to this forum will have a slanted view point towards people who are dogmatic about PoE's system because of course the people that dislike it will just leave and move on some place else.
  13. 1. Plenty of surprise elements in combat. BG2 is a prime example. I'd love to play with you and see you beat every encounter on your first try on core D&D rules or better with a legit character. The idea that a person can't get good at a game is pretty lame. 2. In order for you to be prepared, as much in real life where you pack a coat, you would need the spell, a mage, or the like, in order for you to have the petrification buff ready. It makes those things useful. So you think do I sell this protections from petrification, learn it, or use it. Protection against fear is much the same thing. If you are casting it pre-combat how it "balances" is that you have to reduced the number of spells you have. How PoE works now all the effects are almost identical. Stun, Paralyzed, Petrification, Daze..Confused.etc.. all are the same. I assume they do that so it doesn't hurt people's feelings. No imprisonment, not fatal petrification, no death spells. No item gives any great effect. 3. It is a single player game. No one is worried about you cheating. Stop trying to limit people having fun in a game. If some one wants to meta-game then let them. Some one could also go over to http://gamebanshee.com, or http://sorcerers.net that doesn't mean anything. Maybe they like to play that way. Yes once you play a game you are better at it. It is the same for PoE. If it is BG2 which allows pre-buffs or not that really means nothing. Some one can easily activate the cheat console and play in God mode and have a perfectly fun time. Also one HUGE thing you are forgetting is that it is a roleplaying game. In BG2 or any D&D game really the person knows the effects a beholder has if they have ever played. They know what will happen with certain creatures as long as the developers implemented them correctly. In roleplaying though it is about story. Encounters are secondary unless you are talking about an Action Role Playing Game like Diablo which this isn't right? 4. It doesn't do any of the sort. You are forgetting you only have so many spells. If a Druid casts barkskin then they have one less spell. They increased their AC, but that ins't to say it will stay on the character, or be effective against their next boss, but here is what it does do. It allows the player to decide based on knowledge the player gets as the game unfolds. If it is their first play through or if they have "meta knowledge" I am sure they cast a specific spell before hand. Fighting an encounter isn't going to make it more fun just because you can't pre-buff. You still know what the creatures are going to do if you can pre-buff or not. All games have elements you can exploit and they are for fun often. Having pre-buffs or not doesn't change that. In PoE almost all fights are the same. You arrange your party in some configuration that gives you an advantage and protects your non-melee characters and you hit point grind. A character being able to make it so you can't hurt them with some special attack you have doesn't mean the game is broken. It means the player figures out how to win. Why is that bad? That is a game. If it is a puzzle, or a fight. The style of combat in PoE doesn't make it more difficult because I have to cast spells while in combat only. What makes it difficult is the fact every fight is essentially the same with one key difference throughout. Some creatures have the ability to "stun, daze, confuse, paralyze" your character. That is about it. No effect is permanent or has long duration, no effect is anything you have to fear. It is incredibly linear. I can purposefully let players die because I know it has absolutely no effect on my game. A vampire is nothing to fear because level drain has no longer term effect. Getting level drained no only makes combat harder in BG2 it also hurts your pocket book, or if you have a cleric delays your game play. It has multiple negative reinforcement effects to incentivize the player to wise up and learn how to defend against it for multiple reasons. If you got good at BG2 that is because the game mechanics worked well. It doesn't mean it is broken.
  14. Just because everyone jumps off a bridge does that mean you will as well? Well, that implies that pre-buffing is objectivelly better than buffing during combat. Also things change over time. Not nescessarily because some say so but because better ideas are introduced and collectively we decided they are for the best. Yes and I am attempting to objectively look at those changes and talk about them and you are talking about what the crowd is doing, or your personal feelings. That is why I made a list. 1. You don't need to cast all your pre-buffs at every encounter. 2. Removing pre-buffing removes a big part of RPG games. It removes ambush and you being ambushed. It removes logical story, meaning your character is so dumb and is perpetually caught off guard. 3. The game should use intelligent characters to provide clues, isn't that what we got all these skill checks for? In order to do skill checks and have extra story clues and triggers for fun? 4. In single player games pre-buffing becomes important in conjunction with item storage and counting in game creation. The game developers can "balance" things by simply counting the number of items given. 5. Removing that game dynamic eliminates many possibilities for more interesting combat. Dispel magic for example will be virtually unimportant without pre-buffing. Detect Evil characters now becomes pointless. A stealth character now always has an advantage over everything because now we only care about what happens in combat and no non-detection, or detect invisibility. This is going in circles. You keep adding the same list, people here, including me, are saying why they believe pre-buffing is not good. There's nothing more to say and there's nothing to be done. I don't believe anyone has addressed what I brought up. I keep saying the same thing because no one is countering my points. They just keep saying, "I cannot be troubled to click the left mouse button 3 to 5 times and don't like it".
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