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zain3000

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zain3000 last won the day on April 17 2014

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  1. I'm really digging the number of abilities that trigger when characters are low on health - adds another layer of strategy that involves more than merely chugging a health potion or retreating from battle. In a way, it almost incentivizes more aggressive strategies. Will enemies have access to the same abilities as PCs? Do I have to worry about an [edit] enemy barbarian going into Carnage mode when down to his last few hitpoints? Because that would be awesome.
  2. TLDR: Scroll to bottom for main points. I've been playing through Fallout NV recently. It's excellent quest design has brought to my mind a few points I'd like to share about NPC agency. Let's talk about the oldest trope in fantasy RPGs - that of the "quest". Usually a PC is given quests that entails "solving" problems for NPCs. If the player accepts a quest, then directions to complete said quest and possible rewards for doing so are made clear. If the player chooses to ignore the quest, then not much of anything happens (more on this point later). This plays into the power-fantasy that these games have historically filled. The player is either a White Knight travelling from town to town solving problems or an Evil **** (my own label) who benefits from said problems. This has always struck me as shallow and ultimately conceited; the White Knight's motivation is seemingly helping others in need but in actuality, his/her true motivation is the feeling of power gained by doing so. And if the player chooses not to engange in a quest (for whatever reason) then nothing changes because the NPC is incapable of handling the problem without the player's intervention. In my opinion, Kreia (from KOTOR 2) is the best NPC character I have ever encountered in any game. Her interactions with the player shred all the preconceived notions about being both a White Knight or an Evil ****. The conversation where she tears the player a new one for the ostensibly "noble" act of charity toward the traveller trapped at the port in Nar Shadda is permanently etched into my mind. "Such kindnesses will mean nothing, his path is set. Giving him that which he has not earned is like pouring sand into his hands." The notion that simply doing good deeds for others is the end-all cure to their problems was in desperate need of being thrown out with the rest of the simplistic moralism espoused by a lot of fantasy games - and Kreia was the one that did it for me. Back to New Vegas - one aspect of the quest system that really stood out to me was it gave the player the choice of not only solving the problems of NPCs but empowering NPCs to actually solve their own problems. A great example is one of the first quests you receive: Ghost Town Gunfight. Instead of merely eliminating the Powder Gangers and "solving" the problem, the player is put in a postition to empower the people of Goodsprings to help themselves. Rally the troops and have them play to their strengths in order to fight off the invaders. There is certainly a sense of satisfaction to be had from helping people help themselves. Sadly, this was not done nearly enough (even in NV). By declining to do a quest, the NPC would usually see you off with a "I'll be here if you change your mind" and then simply wait around for you to return and help him/her out of the problem. The quest that comes to mind is the one where the Brotherhood of Steel initiate asks you to return the laser pistol he dropped in the wastes while running from Radscorpions. I wanted to tell him that if he snuck out of the bunker for target practice, he can certainly do it again to retrieve his pistol, and if he's too cowardly to do so, he can talk to the quartermaster, admit his mistake, and bear the consequences of his actions. In short, he should SOLVE HIS OWN DAMN PROBLEM. Sadly, this was not an option provided in the dialogue tree. I left that quest undone on moral grounds, even though to complete it would have probably netted me some free supplies from the quartermaster. For those of you who are still with me, here are my simple recommendations for dealing with NPC agency in quests: Ensure that there are noticeable outcomes (positive, negative or otherwise) for both choosing to accept a quest and NOT choosing to accept it. If possible (because it isn't always possible) enable player to help NPCs solve their own problems. Seeing as how both the games from where I have taken ideas are Obsidian games, this is probably already well understood by the devs. I'd simply like to see more of it.
  3. I think it's a great idea. No longer would one need to make town runs just to sell loot (always an inconvenience when all I want to do is kill goddamn lycantropes!) And again, I'm sure it's a feature you can eschew if you feel that it breaks immersion.
  4. As far as peoples' opinions on the journal/quest system: they were discussed at length here: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/64840-quest-system/ As far as the player house goes, that was a Kickstarter stretch goal that was more than met. Search through the backer updates and you'll find detailed information regarding the meta-gaming involved therein.
  5. I'm all in favor of being able to prepare for tough battles before hand by keeping track of information provided by NPCs, clues found in the environment, etc. Being the type of game PoE is, I'm guessing that a lot of low-level battles will be winnable by brute force, especially if the classes are as flexible as the designers indend. Only the boss fights might require some special preparation. It seems similar to how CDProject Red is handling monster hunting in Witcher 3 (which also has me giddy). Listening to gossip, finding clues, reading books all in an effort to discover the weaknesses of a potential foe and prepare accordingly.
  6. I like the idea of alchemical bombs being difficult to craft/find, expensive to buy and extremely powerful. It would make sense to have some sort of skill check to determine how accuately the bomb is thrown. Depending on the bomb, there could be a, say, 50% chance of it finding its target, plus whatever bonus is granted by agility. If the initial skill check is not met, subsequent skill checks can be made to calculate exactly how far from the intended target the bomb lands (60% to land within 5 feet, if not, 70% chance to land between 5-10 feet, etc.) Using the bombs as a last-ditch hail-mary to get out of a tough situation could be extremely satisfying: having only one party member standing with three near-death orcs approaching, only to chuck a potion of fireball and desperately hope that it meets its mark.
  7. This system would work quite well in a turn-based game, but seeing as how PoE is RTwP the system might not be as applicable. Here is my suggestion based on all the idea so far (adding on from my previous post): 1) Archers (or any class for that matter) have a quiver of unlimited normal arrows. 2) Upgrades can be placed in quiver slots to improve normal arrows (make all arrows +1, etc) 3) As archers level up they can learn skills that grant them a limited quantity of special arrows per engagement (e.g. 10 fire arrows) This way archers can simply carry around a small number of quiver upgrades instead of a massive amount of various arrow types. Quiver upgrades can be general and apply to all enemy types wheras the archer-specific skills can target specific enemies (such as a skill that grants 10 holy water arrows - useful against undead). I understand the aversion a lot of folks have to the "unlimited quiver" but I don't think that carrying around 20 stacks of arrows is the way to go. On a related note, I love the idea of arrow retrieval but think it would be more suitable to a game where management of resources was an integral aspect of the gameplay (Fallout, Wasteland, etc..).
  8. Can't believe I've never heard of SCS. I'll have to give it a try.
  9. How about an unlimited quiver with three "buff" slots into which you could place specific quiver upgrades? Perhaps the upgrades could grant a limited amount of specal arrow types per engagement, similar to a mage memorizing spells. The balancing would have to be tinkered with during play-testing, but the system offers a good balance between quiver management and incentivizing use of resources in the "now" as opposed to some hypothetical future battle which may never come.
  10. Honestly, I never liked the idea of "limited" quivers in the original IE games. My archers would have inventories full of arrow bundles and I'd never use the good arrows for fear of needing them for a more difficult encounter. The system should just be streamlined so that a quiver of arrows is treated like a simple item buff. It should provide unlimited arrows that provide +1 to hit or +1 fire damage, etc.
  11. Like Josh mentioned in his GDC talk, it's important that the conversational UI retain the "feel" of the original Infinity Engine games. That being said, now that they have way more pixels to work with, I'm sure they are thinking about ways to streamline it. I like the idea of having party member portraits show up if the situation calls for an interjection from one of them as well as buy/sell icons when dealing with traders.
  12. Would it be difficult to integrate an image capturing mechanism while you are creating your character? Pose for the camera, *snap*, add instagram-esque effects and Bob's-your-uncle?
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