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Everything posted by Sarkus

  1. All of Interplay's D&D stuff is in a weird legal limbo. Interplay has no rights to use the D&D license anymore, so they can't produce new copies of any of their old games that used it. That includes titles that use place names, so that's why Atari can farm out Baldur's Gate 3 to someone else. However, aspects of the games do belong to Interplay, so it's not like Atari can just put out the games themselves. Basically, to see any of those games again will require an agreement between Atari (which holds the D&D rights) and Interplay (or it's successor).
  2. The ending sucks, just get over it. I don't know anyone who understands it after the first play through. It's not going to change with any patch either, so stop hoping it will.
  3. Personally, I'd probably try and get it replaced somewhere. You have nothing to lose and sometimes places like WalMart will do defective exchanges even if you don't have proof you bought it there in the first place. In fact, I know of a guy who took a bunch of unopened XBox games in there and they gave him full store credit value for them without any receipts. So, you never know.
  4. When you say it doesn't work, what do you mean? Do you mean you installed Steam and let it update and it still gives you that error or that you can't get Steam installed and/or updated? If you updated and it still doesn't work it's likely a defective disk. I guess you'd have to directly contact Vivendi in that case. Good luck.
  5. There are certainly exceptions, but the Final Fantasy series has already compromised in two of the four areas I mentioned in my post. First, Final Fantasy has console controls (obviously), and second the recent and known future Final Fantasy games have adopted real-time combat and abandoned turn based. I would also point out that the number of RPG's on this generation of consoles is less than what the original Playstation had alone on the last generation. Finally, even the console RPG's are beginning to reduce their length - case in point the recently released Xenosaga II, which at 25 hours is half or less of Xenosaga I just a few years ago. My argument is simple: big budget game development follows the money and the money is in consoles (80% of the market) and consoles are increasingly dominated by casual gamers who want shorter games.
  6. I can only base that on personal experience, for what it's worth. But what I mentioned above is not an isolated incident. In general, as gaming has gotten more mainstream there are a higher percentage of casual gamers who don't want to invest more than 10-15 hours in any game. While most of these are coming from the console side, that does represent 80% (or more) of the gaming market now and that's the market most publishers are going after.
  7. I don't know, I'm pretty concerned about the lack of RPG's under development right now in general. If you take out the ones that are going to be for both PC and console then it's even smaller. Truth be told, I'm getting some of my RPG fix these days by playing games like Half-Life 2 that at least have some RPG elements because the pickings are so slim now. As gaming becomes a mainstream hobby, the big money will follow the masses. Traditional RPG's are being marginalized and I think we are seeing that with the demise of Troika, etc. Some aspects of RPG's are not attractive to the mass audience - I work at a game store and today had a conversation with a guy who was complaining about how he was 15 hours into KOTOR 1 and how he thought that was too long. Guys like that are now the norm, not the exception. Does this mean traditional RPG's will disappear altogether? No. What it does mean is that if you want a "big budget" RPG it will make concessions to the mass market to pay it's development costs and we'll see shorter games, first-person perspective, real time combat, console simplified control, etc. Bethesda and Bioware are the only really flourishing RPG developers right now (at least among those who still care about the PC market to any real degree) and both are making these concessions in their games. Troika tried it with Bloodlines. Obsidian is accepting this model as well. Those of us who want more traditional RPG's will have to settle for smaller developers and dated graphics. At least, that's what I hope will happen because right now there don't seem to be many entrepreneur RPG developers that realize they need to radically rethink the development business model. We need more Jeff Vogels.
  8. If some people feel that KOTOR 2 was so bad that they will never buy another Obsidian product, then that's their choice. I don't know what they think they are going to buy instead, given the few RPG choices we have now, but that's still their choice. Personally, I got enough enjoyment out of KOTOR 2 that I feel I got my $50 worth. So, I'm not going to hesitate in picking up another Obsidian product. What really suprises me is that LucasArts would make such a poor decision, late in the process, to push the game out early. How could they not be concerned about damaging a potential franchise? It's all the more confusing because the interview in the latest Game Informer magazine with the guy that now runs LucasArts is full of really positive ideas and philosophies on his part. Things like not over-exposing the Star Wars brand with too many quickly produced games. That seems contrary to the idea that LucasArts changed the schedule on Obsidian. It makes me wonder if we really know the whole story on what happened that lead to the truncated ending to Kotor 2.
  9. I seriously doubt that Kotor 3 will be on the current XBox. If you look at the release schedules, there is very little past the middle of this year planned for the XBox. All signs point to MS telling developers to switch to XBox 2 development sometime last year. As for what Obsidian is up to, my guess would be Kotor 3.
  10. This is from the March issue of PC Gamer and it's article on Elder Scrolls IV: "The genre's (referring to CRPG's) biggest challenge might be the simple fact that graphics technology has reached a point where first-person immersion can't easily be ignored. The worlds made possible by Source-and-beyond engines almost demand a first-person experience. As a result, the "classic" style of third-person, map-oriented, menu driven RPG's may soon be obsolete." I agree with the idea that first-person immersion has it's value in a CRPG and I also understand the commercial attraction of first-person CRPG's being able to attract a cross-over audience of FPS fans. That said, one problem I see is creating the party element in a first-person RPG. Is that even possible? Reactions?
  11. As someone who purchased all three of Troika's games at release and paid full price, I feel qualified to comment on their apparent demise. I think Troika's biggest problem was that they were more artists than businessmen. As artists, they committed to more than they could deliver without being realistic about the business side of things. I remember an interview Tim Cain did a few years ago where he talked about why he left Interplay. It was clear he had strong negative feelings about how he perceived being treated there. It always struck me as odd because there was no other company but Interplay, with Brian Fargo's Wasteland history, that would have green lighted a post-nuke RPG in the mid-nineties. I think that Mr. Cain may have left with unrealistic ideas about the business of CRPG's. Each of Troika's releases raises serious questions from a business standpoint. Why did Arcanum, which was done months before release, ship with so many bugs? How did TOEE release in even worse shape when Troika was given more time than they had originally contracted for to finish it? How did Vampire end up unfinished with all the delays to HL2? Finally, I can't get over Troika's "we won't patch it unless we get paid" attitude, expressed so clearly with TOEE. Regardless of who's fault a buggy release is, it is clearly in the best interests of the developer to patch the game for the good of their own reputation. Compare Troika to BIS, who when facing criticism over IWD2, a game they were rushed to complete, created a free expansion for their fans. All that said, I hate to see Troika go, but I'm left with the hope that maybe the core folks that made Troika are best suited to let others handle the business side of games while they focus on the artistic side. If they realize that then hopefully we'll see them involved in some great stuff in the future.
  12. Honestly, the game is pretty good. As others have said, it does get off to a slow start, but that was true of KOTOR I as well. That said, the final ending area is pretty awful, not only in how short it is, but in how obviously unfinished it is. That and the final ending leaves you with a "huh?" feeling. Still it is worth playing.
  13. What do you expect OE to say? If what we all suspect is true, that LA moved up the completion date late in development to meet a XMas release for XBox, then I doubt OE will come out and say that. Sure, they could be like Troika and blame the publisher for what resulted, but look where that has gotten Troika - they may or may not be around much longer because they've had public spats with three publishers (Sierra/Vivendi, Atari, and now Activision). I assume there will be a Kotor 3 someday, mainly because indications are that Kotor 2 sold well enough on the XBox alone to justify it. We know that Kotor 3 was in development up until last fall internally at LA. It's possible that OE is now in the running to do Kotor 3, but even if they are not, either way they gain nothing by burning bridges with LA.
  14. As Caleth58 said, this was a rush job. That said, some things can be explained. 1) Bao-Dur built a device that you set off earlier in your career at Malachor V on Revan's orders that killed a bunch of Jedi and Mandalorians, but which meant the Mandalorian's were defeated. This mass murder of force users caused the "wound" in the force and caused you to disconnect yourself from the force (you have a special force power that allows you to unconsciously influence force sensitives to your point of view through the force - presumably that means you could also feel the negative feedback of all those deaths so you disconnected). The process that Bao-Dur's remote goes through on Malachor V is designed to reverse the effects of the original device, at least in terms of the intense gravitational pull. The cutscene allows either possible ending - the LS ending sees the planet subdued and allows the Ebon Hawk to escape, and you can thus assume Bao-Dur's remote won. The DS ending does not see the planet subdued and you can thus assume Go-To won. 2) As for who was with you at Malachor V, I don't know. We do know that Mira/Hanharr were there, as were Go-To and Bao-Dur's remote. I guess I assumed everyone was, but I can see the logic of Caleth58's theory. I do know that in the DS ending, after you defeat Kreia the camera just pans away and you never see the Ebon Hawk leave the planet. Rightly or wrongly, Kotor 2 really requires you to play the game several times to get the whole story and to vary some basic parameters (male vs female PC, light vs dark force choice, light vs dark Revan basis, male vs female Revan, using different NPC's each time because your influence over them is based partly on experiences you have with them outside the ship, etc.) as you do it. Even then, the rush job at the end means you will never fully be satisfied with the answers.
  15. The influence system in Kotor 2 is very dependent on the player using the NPC - only the NPC's you take with you outside the ship for extended periods of time will ever completely open up to you. As such, you have the play the game more than once to get all the NPC's back story's. I think the conversion of some NPC's to jedi's is also influenced by how far you are light/dark. If you are strongly committed to one side of the force, it will influence that NPC to that side much more quickly and allow the dialogue options that lead to them becoming jedi themselves.
  16. I think some of you need to finish the game before you start complaining about things like "the last Jedi" or formulaic planet set-ups.
  17. Bioware's thinking was that they had done a whole string of games based on licensed settings and wanted to create a setting (or settings) of their own. Think about it - Baldur's Gate I & II, Neverwinter Nights, and KOTOR. Sure, Bioware did them all well, but when all is said and done Bioware doesn't own any of those games. By creating their own stuff (Jade Empire, Dragon Age, etc.) they have greater creative flexibility (no canon to follow) and they own it themselves and their profit potential is greater as a result. If it fails they can always fall back to doing licensed stuff. Also, Bioware's management has made it clear that they do not want to grow beyond a certain size, which limits how many projects they can be working on at one time. Doing KOTOR 2 would have meant delaying something else they wanted to do. My guess is that Obsidian or someone else entirely will end up doing KOTOR 3, though the fact that Lucas was developing it in house earlier does raise some questions that have not been answered.
  18. When I used the term "unrealistic" I meant in terms of thinking Delaware isn't KOTOR2. As a previous post mentioned, Obsidian didn't really exist until June 2003. We know from the EGM article that they had KOTOR2 before KOTOR even shipped, which means that had it pretty much at the same time they opened their doors, or shortly thereafter. While they now have the staff for two games, it's taken some time to reach that point. Finally, KOTOR2 will be official shortly - it's almost certainly the first game they will release. Given their naming convention, it's likely it's Delaware (the first state). The fact they haven't set up another project named board means whatever number 2 is, it's probably a way's off from being announced. Just my opinion
  19. I think you're being a little unrealistic. Feargus didn't leave Interplay until March or April of 2003 and obviously needed some time to put Obsidian together. KOTOR shipped for the XBox in June or July. The EGM article about KOTOR2 says they were already working on the game before #1 shipped. It sounds to me like KOTOR2 was first on the plate. At some point soon, when they stop pretending that KOTOR2 hasn't yet been announced, we'll know for sure.
  20. A few comments on this discussion: 1) KOTOR was clearly a story oriented game, as mentioned. It's limited implementation of the D20 system was clearly related to the limits of it's story. Some may question why they'd bother using the system at all under those circumstances, to which I'd reply that what they could use undoubtedly made their work easier in the sense that the didn't have to spend the time fully fleshing out a whole new rules system. 2) the majority of KOTOR buyers are approaching the game primarily from the standpoint of the movies only. They could not care any less about what rules system was at it's base. What was important to them was that the game had a cinematic and story experience similar to that of the movies. In this KOTOR succeeded, IMHO. The success of EA's LOTR games shows many gamers are happy with limited gameplay when dealing with familiar settings. 3) Given that's it's unlikely that Obsidian can re-create a story for KOTOR2 that can carry the game like KOTOR1 had, I'm hoping we do see the broader character choice options many are hoping for. However, it is more likely they will try and duplicate KOTOR1's formula and hope they can create a story driven game, much like the Final Fantasy series has managed over the years. I think it's best to view the KOTOR series in this console style light, as that is clearly what they were aiming for in the first game.
  21. I think it was the intent of the game designers that you end the game with the 3 Jedi party. This "Jedi focus" is straight from the movies, if you think about it. Almost all the main characters in the second trilogy are Jedi, and the ones that aren't don't usually contribute much in the fights. The original trilogy was jedi focused as well. That's the nature of the Star Wars universe, a universe that can only really be defined by the movies. Other media, even if "official", will never be incorporated because the vast majority of Star Wars fans know only the movies.
  22. Right now the game industry is dominated by licensed or established settings. Why? Because the cost of developing a game and getting it into retail is so high that publishers feel they need a "hook" to sell a game. Established settings have a potentially built in audience to draw on. I think OE made a great choice here. Establish themselves with a relationship to a good dev like Bioware, use an established setting, then do your original stuff down the road. Fargo's InXile is doing the same thing with the Bard's Tale setting. In an ideal world we'd see a nice mix of original and sequel games, but that's not the reality now in this industry. The movie industry would be the same way if if weren't for the star power of individual actors who can draw to any project. With so few "star" individuals (Sid Meier can do whatever he wants, for example) it's setting and sometimes developer reputation (i.e. Blizzard or Bioware) that sells games. In that environment, establishing a good rep is OE's most likely path to success.
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