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Posts posted by khermann

  1. That was said just a month ago?

    /shogun's brow furrows




    Without coming right out and saying it, I read that as developer speak for "It won't be what we want when we release".

    I'm making a leap here, sure, and it's fair to caution against comparing to mature systems, but it's tantamount to 'softening the blow' when we recognize at 1.0 that the combat system doesn't achieve the high expectations this team put forward. They sold us on their impressive resumes, but this tells me they are bailing water to hit those benchmarks.


    If I'm right they're going to make concessions to simplify the mechanics so it is some measure of predictably playable in order to hatch 1.0, and keep refining the system while people are trying to enjoy their first run through the world, with a combat system that doesn't reach or exceed any gold standards.


    I will try to stay optimistic.

  2. I agree that the enemy AI is frighteningly bad atm.


    From my perspective buggy combat AI and general NPC behavioral control is expected in a beta, even this close to release as it's one of the most difficult design areas to implement in code and you need a large sample size/variation to really fine-tune it and get the coverage & balance desired.


    While this is a downer when playing the beta, I more or less expect it. The big concern here is do they have the bandwidth to address this AND all of the other issues in time? With all the classes and mob combinations, this is one area where I can see them having bitten off more than they can chew, perhaps. /more_speculation

  3. The reason the Backer Beta is now is because of Gamescom. Obsidian decided they were going to Gamescom ages ago and decided they were going to have a playtest at Gamescom. This meant the backer beta had to be soon after as to not make backers grumpy. This is why we are doing this now.



    This is a great point, I had not connected those dots. I don't know how much it alters my assessment, but it helps explain why the beta hatched when it did. Thanks

    • Like 1
  4. "Planetscape"? ;)


    I'm not attacking you. Just saying the definition of "beta" varies. You've probably heard of the Steam Early Access program. Obsidian seemed unwilling to put this beta up for sale there, and at the time we didn't understand exactly what they were so afraid of. Well, now we know - it's clear that their definition of "beta" is something that isn't really suitable for a mass audience. At least, not at the beginning.


    heh. Sorry if i sounded combative - wasn't the tone I was going for.


    To be fair, most of my experience is in the FPS genre for testing, and I know the development process is much different for an iso-RPG. On the other hand, I've been working with software development and integration for 20 years and occasionally I make logical jumps that make sense to me but may not be justified. Occupational hazard. This may be a case of unjustified expectations on my part and they are going to get things is working order much more quickly than I envision.


    The lack of a bugtracker is a very reasonable concern, though. It makes me feel like my time isn't valued and they just propped up a forum because that is always the easiest and quickest thing to do in order to give folks a place to vent their problems, if not particularly effective for the game or continuity of the beta.

    • Like 2

    I think personally I am damaging my own overall enjoyment and enthusiasm for the game by doing the beta testing, but I do want the game to be better overall, so it's a bit self-sacrificial.


    That is why I am not touching it until it's halfway decent.



    Yeah I am in this camp. I'll peek at the patches, but if I don't see significant improvement I'm just going to wait for 1.0 and hope for the best.

  6. OP: Which games have you playtested? Were they triple-A games with "open betas"?


    Cuz you know - not the same thing.




    It's a beta, I get it.


    I get that, and yes some open betas, some closed, and to be fair only a few isometric RPGs, most notably Platnetscape Torment years ago, and most recently Shadowrun: Dragonfall (what a great game, btw) which also had good bug reporting support. SR:D obviously benefited from the stability inherent to an expansion, so that is not a fair comparison, i get that.


    I'm just one voice, these are just my opinions. I'm still a fan, and I still want the game to be good - but Obsidian isn't making it easy for us to help them and yet there appears to be a long way to go working on core elements before they get to final polish.

    • Like 6
  7. am gonna wait and see how much progress is made with the first patch. keep in mind that many o' the issues you observe were known issues Before beta release, so is not as if obsidian only started working on fixes.


    have good game in january or february, as opposed to december, is not a problem for Gromnir.


    HA! Good Fun!


    I have no doubt most of the major bugs were known, that's the nature of a Beta, but it's the volume and types/areas where they are that are my concern.


    Regarding the release date - my main concern is they will hatch this in a "we'll patch as we go" mode and deliver something substandard - that would be a disaster and I doubt they would do this given their experience, but who knows how much money is left?


    They didn't get a whole lot to support this long of a development cycle (it adds up FAST). The concern would be that they release the game because they simply have to for financial reasons - sh*t gets real, you know? It doesn't only happen when publishers are breathing down dev's neck to wrap it up; everyone has to eat and take care of their families.


    Edited: a word

  8. So let me try this again. I apologize in advance for the cynicism below, but I am compelled to say my piece.


    This game is supposed to launch at the end of the year, is that right? "Winter 2014" , "December 2014"


    I can't see how that is possible given where the game is at today.


    Bugs, giant, glaring, basic gameplay bugs are everywhere. Subscribe to the Bug forum and you'll see, or better yet, just play the game. I'm old by gamer standards, older than some of the developers, and I've playtested my share of games. I expected more from a game that is only a few months away from release, a lot more.


    It's impossible to play the game and feel like the backers are THE QA for this game, yet we're not even given a bugtracker, only a forum that buries threads in to oblivion.


    The fit and finish is abysmal for a beta, in my opinion, with notable exception to the obviously heavy investment in aesthetic backgrounds and some assets. There obviously has been a heavy emphasis on developing the story archs and dialogs, too, which is great. But having core mechanical issues like pathfinding, from this team, is hard to excuse - this should be a slam dunk, not to say that pathfinding is easy, but look at who we're talking about here... this should have been a priority.


    The outdoor scale is off. I know IW games don't do 1:1 scaling in outdoor environments but it is just off, walking around town feels like a group of giants romping around a dollhouse-scaled town. I may be in the vast minority in this, but for me it's enough to disrupt immersion. 


    The feeling I get is that the development has wandered down paths of priorities that they were most interested in, making "cool looking stuff" and "cool stories" - which is awesome! Don't get me wrong, but while working hard to generate content, the game mechanics have been relegated to "just do enough so we can see our content, we'll work out the playability issues later once we get our playtesters (backers) in"


    I hate to sound so cynical, I want this game to be a huge success, but I'm not really interested in struggling through broken game after broken game the throwing "bug reports" down a forum black-hole. I would be spending almost as much time documenting problems as I would playing. I didn't back this game for the "insider" honor to be a primary playtester and bug reporter.


    So take this all as "wah wah don't play if you can't handle it and don't want to contribute to the quality of the game" (thought I already HAVE contributed to the quality of the game, quite a lot, thank you very much), or, to be more fair : that I'm simply not a good candidate for this backer beta and am disappointed with the technical acumen applied thus far to the mechanics and stability so close to release.


    I hope the team is skilled and managed well enough to get in the coverage needed before launch .. from my perspective, however, it doesn't look promising. I truly hope I am surprised and would be so delighted to be wrong.


    I'll probably check back in after a patch or two, but until we get a bugtracker and the game isn't constantly telling me to search the bug forum, see if the bug has been reported, and enter a 'new'  bug or add to that thread, I simply won't be participating in bug reports.


    Good luck everyone, for what it's worth the parts of the game that do work predictably I am reasonably pleased with it and the content.

    • Like 36
  9. Because ****, i wasn't expecting Chris Roberts phenom but in so far as :beta: goes and delivery, wow. Is all I can say. Wow. Upload all the polygons!


    I'm on mother****ing board, but I'm just saying this has been in the oven for a while, and where are we. This stands at a solid B class production at face value and i get it's a beta, but keep your tongues in each others' **** and out of mine. 


    I'm going to call it like I see it and right now, that's how I see it. I'm participating, hopeful, and eager to see things improve.

  10. For windows:

    I wrote the following batch file to back up savegames and the output.txt to a folder prior to launching the game via steam.

    This will save all *savegame and the output_log.txt to a new date-timestamped folder under a folder you specify in bkupfolder below. It's very simple and no compression but if you can implement this you can add compression pretty easily if you want to.


    You can comment out the steam.exe launch line (prefix with two semicolons ::  ) if you just want to use this as an easy way to save on the fly.

    @echo off
    :: start editing
    set bkupfolder=G:\PoE_Saves\
    set Output="G:\Steam\SteamApps\common\Pillars of Eternity - Public Beta\PillarsOfEternity_Data\output_log.txt"
    set SaveGameFolder=%appdata%\..\LocalLow\Obsidian Entertainment\Pillars of Eternity\Saves\
    :: stop editing 
    For /f "tokens=2-4 delims=/ " %%a in ('date /t') do (set mydate=%%c-%%a-%%b)
    For /f "tokens=1-2 delims=/:" %%a in ('time /t') do (set mytime=%%a%%b)
    set bkupfolder=%bkupfolder%_%mydate%_%mytime%\
    xcopy %Output% "%bkupfolder%" /F /R /Y /I
    xcopy "%SaveGameFolder%*.savegame" "%bkupfolder%"
    G:\Steam\Steam.exe -applaunch 317120
    • Like 5
  11. I'll start with my version of the 'bad news', first. Very very early impression. It's generic, pretty, and a long way from done. Less complete than I would have expected for this phase (backer beta). Pathfinding still being such an issue is a concern, you would think this group would have prioritized this aspect and nailed it long ago - I mean, this is fundamental to the engine and gameplay. You don't get that right and nothing else is really going to matter, like a stone in your shoe that you'd just rather forget but it's always there. So, that's unexpected and a little worrisome. Beautiful content and scripted set piece encounters can only go so far. 


    But oh, it is very, very pretty. The environment visual acuity is clearly where a majority of the man-hours have been spent and I think that isn't a surprise for anyone who has been diligently reading their project update emails. Interaction and character setup is good, if a little generic on build deviation - it's too early for me to judge this fairly, though.


    I'll stop there to play some more before writing again. So far, fun, good.

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