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Danvil

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About Danvil

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  1. Hey everyone, thank you for your comments! I don't have much to add as my original post was already quite long. It is important to give positive criticism to encourage others to continue and improve. Resources like time and money are limited, especially for the first in a series, so I am really looking forward to an even better expansion and sequel!
  2. So I finished playing PoE this weekend and thought to leave some of my impressions here. Perhaps you had a similar -- or different -- experience, or one of the developer is interested in how their game works for a random gamer out there. I will discuss four topics: story/writing/companions, gameplay/mechanics, graphics/art/animations/environments and music/sound. There will be no real spoilers, but if you have not played or finished playing PoE yet, you might want to make up your own opinion before reading this. Story -- Writing -- Lore -- Companions Let me say this: The writing in PoE is really, really, really great! I did not had a game with writing on this level for a very long time. It might even be that the last one was Baldur's Gate itself. There are many interesting philosophical and psychological hints and remarks throughout many of the conversions. The presentation of some of the more central discussions is combined with visual and audio effects which increase immersion and involvement a lot. I really like that many of the characters have a diverse personality and can not be clearly judged as good or evil. Also no grammar and spelling errors (opposite of this text). This paragraph seems small, but the writing really was the one outstanding thing making the whole game very special for me! Congratulations to all people involved! The story itself is also very good. SPOILERS: The main villain is excellent and carries most of the story. He might have used a right and a left hand though. This could have been a great opportunity to portrait different views on the world order he tries to establish. I like a story structure where you have a grasp on who is behind all of this, but first you need to go through a bunch of other guys who are interesting in themselves. Some of them are acting on there own behalf, while others are linked to the main villain. The game is a bit too long for **** to carry it all. There is one thing which I was missing a bit. Some of the events and conflicts which happen right now, like the hollowborn or the conflict between settlers and natives, are mainly presented in text. They can not really be seen in the world itself. As an example: hollowborn children are one of the central problems in the world. Yet, there never is a random encounter with a suffering family and a child which is about to go insane and attack everyone. I was missing theses little cutscenes a lot, they would have been a great way to manifest the story in the gameworld itself. I like the lore around the game a lot. The eternal cycle of souls, their take on necromancy, the small science elements -- all well thought through. Some of the names are a bit confusing to me. Why call it fampyre and not vampire? Primordial, wilder, pwgra -- too strange for me. Additionally, sometimes I was not sure I got everything from the background story. Still not completely sure who killed whom and why during that Saint's war of Eder. Perhaps that was intended. Last but not least a word about companions. I played with Aloth, Eder, Kana and Durance, and can only talk for them. Overall they felt a bit blank, and there quests where a bit short and could have been embedded in the world better. My personal favourite of these four was Eder -- his uncomplicated nature was somehow aimable. I really liked the thing with Aloth's personality, but felt it should have had more room or impact on the game. Like giving him a special skill he can use in combat. His other thing was in my eyes not very well played out... Kana was a nice guy, but nothing special. Durance has quite a personality, but he was a bit annoying. He delivered the killing blow(s) in the final fight though -- I have to give him that. Graphics/Art -- Animations -- Environment/World The graphics in this game are really very close to the original IE games. And this is an understatement as graphics are of course much better than those of Baldur's Gate & Co, but they still feel the same. Theses old games were played in 640 and 800 and today I play in 2560 and it looks great. The art style is probably a personal thing, but I really like it. It is neither too dark nor to colorful. Weather effects and day/night cycle are a nice bonus which increase immersion. There are many different areas in the game and they all look brilliant and have a love for little details. Sometimes, especially when you look on the map, it is apparent that many dungeon maps are layed out in a very orthogonal way with clear straight dungeon boundary lines. Some more organic layouts would have been cool. Some effect textures seem to have a really low resolution, like the lightning from the returning lightning spell or the glowing lamps in the final level -- perhaps that is a bug. One thing which bothered me was the occlusion of my characters by walls and trees. I love to fight near doorways and most of the time my party was occluded by a wall. Fading out the walls or trees around party members would have really been a nice feature. Animations are generally good and smooth, but the game could have really used more variety. Watching a whole party walk from one end of the map to another, all in perfect synchronization with the same walk animation looks a bit silly. Especially because the large and massive Aumaua have the same animation as the small Orlans. This seems to be true for walking, idle, holding weapons, attacking, etc. One of my biggest criticism is with respect to the general environments. While maps look beautiful, they are lifeless. I miss small random critters like birds, dogs and rats. A sewer without rats, oO... I miss random homes which you can enter to search for loot at night, with homeowners who threaten you with the city guard. People are not going home at night to sleep in their beds. They are not even sitting down on a chair... Most of the people stand still at one location for the whole game. Gameplay -- Mechanics -- UI -- Stronghold PoE is a game and not only interactive story telling, so let's look at the gameplay. The combat and RPG system is different from the original IE games, but not by much. Sometimes I have the impression, that every number is just multiplied by 5. Which is a thing I do not like. This is perhaps personal, but I can grasp smaller numbers better. Having a sword +1, with +2 very rare, and +3 only on five weapons in the game, somehow feels more empowering than +4, +8 and +12 with some random +5 and +6. The combat itself is in general tactical and fun. I played on hard and used pause a lot, which I really like. I would have wished for a hold position button for my front-line fighters. Too often they left a perfectly calculated chokepoint to run heads on in some environmental hazard created by my spellcasters opening up the line of defense. Spirits were really annoying as they did not care at all about the engagement mechanics, but I found ways... Some of the larger more difficult fights were plagued by too much randomness. For example I needed like 10 attempts on the final big fight, until my two paralyzes went through spell defense and suddenly everything changed from super hard to easy. That fight with the green dragon was also very frustrating as he just insta-kills everyone... I like the UI in general. A good old inventory, a nice character sheet with numbers, statistics, etc. The thing with the portraits was a bit difficult, as its hard to find one for the main character. The global stash thing is nice, though I missed a "sort by value" button and would of course have preferred to call it "stash of holding" I found it a bit annoying that amulets and capes share the same inventory slot. I did not quite get the stronghold thing. It was nice cleaning it up and building something. But in the end it was two lists with little impact on the game itself. It would have been nice to present it in form of holding court in a council room. I could not find a pattern behind the taxes, or the people you can hire. My hold got overrun by skeletons even though I had defense of ~18 and six hired people -- so what is the point? The warden and bounty thing was a positive exception. Music -- Sound I do not understand much of music, so take my remarks with a grain of salt. In general I liked the soundtrack, though after some 40 hours of game the music was too repetitive. A longer and a bit more diverse soundtrack would have really paid out here. In my opinion, music is one of the most important things in RPG computer games. A very positive example is Skyrim: after some time I realized that I am just playing to hear the awesome soundtrack. Not sure if the whole soundtrack of PoE was recorded with a live Orchestra (I saw a remark in the credits), but sometimes the music felt a bit flat and artificial. Music and ambient sound could have made a create difference to give some of the areas even more personality. One thing I liked was the close interaction of music and story in some of the story cutscenes. Regarding sound effects: They do their job, but there were some blatant oversights. Why do ranger companions do not make a sound? My damn bear was fighting and dieing hundreds of time and did not give a single grunt. That was really sad... Same is true for many other creatures in the world. I felt that the budget for sound effects was way too small. Summary TL;DR Overall a great game with great writing and only smaller issues. Congratulations to pulling it off and reviving the IE RPG game area. I hope you will find the energy and financial capabilities to make an even better sequel! Edit: Avoided potential spoilers.
  3. If the ranger pet never takes hits to it's health, than it it should not have a health value at all. This feels like a bug. I noticed the fatigue on the pet too. This is probably also a bug. The pet should share the same fatigue as the ranger. My bear is pretty durable and actually makes a good tank. And even if he dies, the hit my ranger takes is not too terrible.
  4. Yes, this seems to solve it. Altough I would like to read the tutorial messages And yes, the game is definitely great!
  5. After playing for a while there is a stuttering sound played. It sounds like a page in a book beeing flipped, just repeated endlessly in a very short interval. It's pretty annoying... It happend around five times now: first time after ~1hour, last time after ~10 minutes. When doing save, quit and load it goes away. It does not go away when I just save and load.
  6. I am currently playing with the ranger and chose a bear animal companion. A couple of things regarding the animal companion mechanics are not clear too me and I could not find hints in the manual or strategy guide. When the animal companion endurance is decreased during combat, after combat its health actually never changes. For the player and normal companions the lost endurance is removed from health points. Is this indendet? Can my animal companion actually never die? If the endurance of my animal companion drops to zero my main character gets a penalty. But after combat the animal companion just recovers to full health and endurance. Is there actually no penalty for an animal companion dropping to 0 endurance?
  7. Please find attached my DxDiag,txt and an output_log.txt. The output_log.txt was created in a session where I clicked some buttons in the character creator, opened some menus in the game and walked around a bit. --- If have to say you do like the color green RGBA(0.000, 1.000, 0.000, 1.000) used 38778 times. DxDiag.txt output_log.txt
  8. My system is: Windows 7 64bit (Service Pack 1), GeForce GTX670, Driver 332.21, Phenom 2 X4 965, 3.4GHz, 8GB RAM. While this is not the newest machine it should be well enough to run this game. Please don't put this issue away as "lack of optimization" - there is definitely something amiss here if it runs completely fine one some machines with lower specs but on other systems there is a lag of more than 5 seconds each time the character model ist loaded. Perhaps it is an issue that I have a Unity3D (non-pro) installation for my own projects?
  9. Thank you for the feedback NCarver! Any hints what we could try to avoid the problem? For example changing any graphics settings or hidden ini settings?
  10. Did you manage to avoid the problem? I would love to actually see all the different classes or even the game itself. With the lag that is highly demotivating...
  11. Personally I think crafting in an RPG is always more an obligation than fun... If you can craft the most powerful and unique items it feels like you have to do it because you will never be able to get that item otherwise. I prefer a system where for example you find a broken weapon and bring it to a blacksmith and he tells you to go to a specific spot and find some rare ressource so that he can fix it for you. Or you find a part of a weapon and have to search the other fragments. This is much more fun than collecting every pile of rock or pick any plant you see just in the case you will ever need it in some recipe.
  12. I completetly understand that you want to keep the forum clean. But I think backers and supporters who pay for your game should not require post approval. This just generates a lot of additional work for you which could be better spent elsewhere...
  13. I very much like the idea of specialization. You could later in the game be given a choice to pick a special "kit" as cleric or druid. The kit would increase the potency of a few core skills and weaken some skills of an opposite "school". This could also go as far as adding a new special spell or completely removing one. For example with the druid shape-shifter kit your animal forms get increased duration and damage. Additional you get a completely new skill to transform into a powerful beast with large health pool and life generation. At the power of your healing spells is halfed. As another example you good be an anit-undead cleric. Some of your undead turning related spells are more powerful, but your damage related spells are less potent.
  14. I just paid 20$ for the beta (in addition to my initial pledge) and can not even post in this forum. Now I have a game breaking bug and my post in the bugs forum avaits "approval from a moderator" for 2 days now. This is the worst handling of a paying customers I had in a while! But like my previous post, this post will probably also never be "approved by a moderator"... Keep up the good work at suppressing honest feedback from people paying for your stuff!
  15. Same issue for me. This makes the game completely unplayable. I can not event create a character when every one of the 57 attribute points takes around 7 seconds...
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