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Sylvius the Mad

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Posts posted by Sylvius the Mad

  1. One of the major differences between Infinity/ToEE games compared to most modern RPGs is that there used to be friendly fire, meaning if you layed down a giant fireball AoE spell you would not only be destroying that army of skeletons but also your NPCs, allies and townsfolk. This also makes the game much more tactical and deeper as players aren't just mindlessly dropping AoE spells. Any word on whether the plan is to have friendly fire? I would definitely expect it unless told otherwise.

    1. Obviously friendly fire is something we need.


    2. Dry hair is for squids.


    Seriously. Jack Deth? Is that a Trancers reference?


    Okay, I will admit I"m not at my best right now to answer this, but all's I would ask is that you keep in mind Feargus was answering a specific question and, while he's the head of the project, he's still part of a team. I think you might want to give it a little time. Yes, that was the question asked and I did convey the essence of his answer, but I also think you might want to get more info from the likes of Sawyer and Cain, which is also what el Jefe said.

    I'm not objecting to the design. I'm claiming he's describing the game incorrectly.


    I don't really care if the authored narrative requires combat, because the authored narrative isn't an important part of my gameplay.

  3. I generally like Gaider's work. I really do. I've interacted with him numerous times in the Bio and old Interplay boards. I like the stuff he's written in BG2, Kotor, DA, and parts of NWN, HOTU.


    But his novels are...mediocre. That's not an indictment. I read them, and enjoyed them for what they are. I think for a professional writer, he is an average prose novelist.

    I would describe him as inexperienced and improving. So far, yes, his novel portfolio is inferior to his game portfolio, but it is my opinion that Asunder is better in almost every way that The Stolen Throne or The Calling.

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  4. Feargus just responded to a question by asserting that combat will be necessary to complete the game, which of course means that combat is king. You know, I think it's time to repsect that the design tema wants a combat or at least encounter driven game. No biggie. I disagree iwth the exp. scheme, but that's the way it is.

    I already know that I disagree with Feargus on this. You might think that's crazy. How can I possibly disagree with Feargus when he's describing a game about which he clearly possesses more information than I do?


    Because I flatly reject the definition of "complete the game" on which his statement relies. A roleplaying game has no fixed end point. A roleplaying game has no winning conditions. There is no sensical definition of "complete the game" which is not unique to a playthrough.


    But you can't tell stories like I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream If there must be a possible happy ending.

    The thing I like about roleplaying is the ability to create narratives through gameplay. The choices I make for my character tell a story. That story may bear little or no resemblance to the story the one the developers wrote.


    If I can ever, though gameplay, tell a story of Harlan Ellison's quality, that's pretty much the best game ever made.

  6. Well, if you're not the only one who can do it, how do you create tension around the fact that the player is the only one doing it? Or is the idea that they should assume it's going to get done either way and the PC is just in a race for first place?

    Just because anyone can do it doesn't mean that anyone will. If the PC doesn't do it, perhaps it will go undone.


    I'm not asking for the PC not to be exceptional. I'm asking for any exceptionalness the PC has not to be built into him by the designers.

  7. He's just a regular guyyyyy... hes in the right place at the right time.... over and over again..... how is he so luckkkyyy... but hes such a regular guyyyy..... he's kinda dumb and smells kinda bad and gets constipated and has a bad back and gets rejected by women and yet and yet and yet there he is in the right place at the right time again... why does he always show up at the right time... he must be involved in these bad events somehow... lets kick his ass....


    and this is the character, judging by multiple threads on this forum, and the poll in this topic, that most people want to play.


    Seriously, people don't know what they want. They think they know, but they don't.

    I think the poll just has some granularity unexplored. A person doesn't seem some magical boost of godly selection or lineage to be not a regular joe. He could just be the try-hardiest joe on the planet. As much an everyman as John McClane. The guy with guts.


    Even if that was the case, he WOULD gain a huge amount of fame simply by his actions alone. That's Commander Shepard for you in a nutshell and yet I GUARANTEE you most of the people would go "oh god not commander shepard, he is SO a chosen one, he's always being bugged by NPC's about how great he is and conveniently being put into situations".

    The only aspect of Shepard that makes him the Chosen One is that he's the first human Spectre, and that's handed to the player right at the start of the game. If, however, Shepard became the first human Spectra by virtue of something the player actually did, then I'd say there would be no reason at all to describe Shepard as the Chosen One.


    I don't like the Chosen One mechanic. I like my character to be unexceptional in the aggregate (so he doesn't follow any rules differently from other random NPCs), except insofar as how he behaves. Because that's my input. He's chosen only by virtue of me playing him - everything else about him is typical. So he might have uncommon ambition or uncommon perseverance or any other character trait I assign him, but in terms of his natural opportunities he is basically average.

    If you do great things, you'll be treated as a great person, regardless of what your history is or your base stats.

    But anyone could have done those things. That I did is what makes me special. At the start of the game, none of that should yet have occurred.


    It doesn't matter whether someone is perceived as special. it matters whether he is.


    Forcing the player to choose one or the other means that you will loose the balance. Specialising in combat skills means you will be functionally gimped in the non-combat sections of the game.

    You'd also be functionally gimped in sections of the game that reward versatility. That's sort of the point.


    I want both combat and non-combat skills to be valuable, but I would also like various distributions of those skills to be valuable. i'd like parts of the game to reward specialisation (and punish jacks-of-all-trades). I'd like parts of the game to reward versatility (and punish specialisation).


    When I say I want my choices to have consequences, I don't want all of those consequences to be positive. I want negative consequences, too.

    Obsidian's solution is elegant. It doesn't mean that your character will be equally good at everything, but they should be able to function ably in both arenas.

    That's my objection. Why is the minimum possible level of versatility not zero? This seems like it's designed to protect the player from himself, which is something the game should never do.

    The balance to that is likely, as I stated in my previous post and above, is that all skills are likely to be dependant on base attributes.

    If that's the case, then I hope we get to roll for stats, rather than being forced into a balanced point-buy system.


    Unbalanced characters are fun.

  9. But if they do just hang around waiting for me, either travelling near me (DAO), or staying in a central location (BG2), or standing in the wilderness where I left them (BG), they shouldn't earn any XP.

    From a gameplay perspective, having to level up under-leveled characters is not fun. If they're under leveled, then you can't take them into the current content, which means you have to go grind old, worthless, un-challenging content. Grinding isn't fun, and I don't want to spend my limited playtime grinding or have to give up ever using the other characters again.

    That problem only exists if there's a linear (or close to it) XP curve. If we use an exponential curve (like 1st & 2nd edition AD&D), then it only ever takes one level for everyone to catch up.

    From a realism perspective (in our magical fantasy game), do you expect that they have no life without you? That they just sit around twiddling their thumbs while you're gone? That they can't spend their time practicing, training, studying, etc? Sure, they don't die, but you can gain experience from non-threatening activities, and as you're still alive to come back to them it seems just as likely that they'd be still alive. As to why the PC doesn't do the same, well, you do sometimes (quest reward XP, non-combat quests), and fighting a combat dummy doesn't lead to the most exciting gameplay.

    What's exciting is up to me. If there's a risk-free way to gain XP that's available to my companions, then it should be available to the PC.

  10. But if they do just hang around waiting for me, either travelling near me (DAO), or staying in a central location (BG2), or standing in the wilderness where I left them (BG), they shouldn't earn any XP. This is always something that has bothered me. If the companions level up on their own, how are they doing that? How are they earning risk-free experience? It must be risk-free, because they never die when I'm not watching them. And they also never collect loot, so they're obviously not adventuring off on their own. And if there is some means to earn risk-free XP that doesn't break the setting, why isn't the PC doing it?


    So if you're not there to baybysit everyone, then they should die?

    Could. Not should. They could die when they're with me. Why can't they die when I'm not there?
    Reffering to update#7, there will be no xp for killing things, only for completing goals/quests.

    So there is always a plausability for people to level.

    Risk-free? Again, if there's some way to gain XP without facing any risk at all, why isn't the PC doing it?

    And besides, balancing companion levels will be better for your options so that people who enjoy switching around their party composition can do so without annoyances.

    That versatility should come with a cost.

  11. Because other characters of a comparable level will have the same amount of auxiliary skills, (and challenges appropriate for this level will require them) of course! I think you've missed the point. An auxiliary class is a class which excels in non- combat skills. This means, that such a class is better prepared for non- combat challenges than other characters of the corresponding level. Capisce?

    I'm sure that if you're so inclined, there will be a way to gimp your characters combat abilities to the point where they will be pretty bad at combat. What abilities other people's characters have shouldn't matter. It's a single player game.

    Not other player characters. non-player characters. By splitting the pools, the game doesn't allow a character to be ever better with non-combat by avoiding combat skills. Yes, he could choose to employ non-combat skills every time, but his maximum ability with them is artificially limited by his having been forced to spend some points on combat skills.


    Splitting the pools doesn't just allow us to be good at both combat and non-combat, but it prevents us from being exceptionally good at one at the expense of the other.

  12. I could not disagree with you more. You should NEVER have to choose between being a strong idiot or a competent wimp. That was the single worst design aspect of Torment, and I'm so glad to see that they're going in a different direction here. I'm sure there are still going to be some tradeoffs, such as points put into stealth limit points put into conversation abilities, choosing between martial prowess and magic, etc. but there should absolutely be two different pools for combat and non-combat skills.


    Having to choose between combat and non-combat abilities necessarily pigeonholes your character into a certain type, and limits your role-playing options.

    Pigeon-holing is itself a roleplaying option.

    I don't want to be forced to handle every situation I come across the same way. If I want to kill my way through a group of bandits, I want to be able to do so. If I want to charm my way past a nice guard, I want to be able to do so. If I want to intimidate my way past a rude guard, I want to be able to do that as well. In short I want to be able to pick a situationally appropriate option, without being forced to do the same thing every time by my character sheet. One dimensional heroes that always act the same are boring, predictable, and I don't want to play one.

    Then don't. But I think that versatility you desire should carry an in-game cost.


    I also like playing versatile characters, but if versatility is a no-brainer then leveling up risks becoming less interesting.


    I want the game to punish me for spreading myself too thin, and I expect it will, but I see no reason to place an artificial limit on where that punishment starts. Splitting the skill point pools establishes an arbitrary minimum amount of versatility - I'd rather see that minimum amount be zero.


    And in a party-based game, you're not likely to have the whole party unable to choose a variety of options. I don't think the problem you're imagining is real. In a single-character game, it could be (but, again, you could avoid it by no building a one-dimensional character), but in a party-based game you've got six characters across whom to spread those disparate abilities.

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