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About Gatt

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  1. My thoughts? This is terrible design. It generates numerous unresolvable problems. -First, it invalidates the decisions you make during character creation. Picking a well balanced party is pointless, because even if you don't take a thief you don't miss anything. So the "decisions" you make during party creation are meaningless, because it ceases to matter what party you make, you'll be just fine with anything. -Second, it promotes degenerate gameplay. Since it doesn't matter what party you have, the only party to have is the one with the highest damage outpout. Right there, the healer class, thief class, bard, ranger, druid, etc, they're all useless. The only characters to make are the Fighter and the Mage. Because all of those special purpose classes no longer have a purpose, since "We don't want any class to be necessary", those special purpose classes are no longer necessary. In a system where you don't need to have a thief to open locks and find traps, there's never a reason to pick one over a fighter. In a system where you don't need a healer to heal you, there's never a reason to pick a Cleric over a Mage. Especially since that also means your class won't open/close any quest doors. --Third, it starts closing doors on story. Can't have a storyline involving your Cleric desperately trying to heal someone, they can't. Can't have a storyline about your thief trying to steal something, your thief isn't special anymore, anyone can do it since we don't want to have to require a thief. Honestly, PE is really starting to reek of 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. At-will magic powers with cooldowns, no healer required just get your "Second wind", etc. Considering that 4th edition D&D didn't do well at all, I'd really caution against using the systems from it as a design model. Generally speaking, if product A sold badly because of it's qualities. putting them into product B will have the same result.
  2. You actually give a good example of why this system makes no sense. Steps 1 & 2 - Gain experience for asking people a question. Step 3 - Gain experience for walking into a jungle. Step 4 - Gain experience for a scripted plot sequence. Step 5 - Gain experience for walking through a door. But in none of those steps do you actually gain experience for doing something your character is trying to gain experience in. Step 5 being the most obvious example, you can wander the jungle and kill 1,000,000 critters and your fighting skills do not improve, but walk through a door and suddenly you get better. Once again, what problem is it we're solving here? I still do not see any purpose to this implementation other than behavior control, or more specifically, because someone somewhere might choose to grind or exploit the system, which doesn't affect a single other person. Because if we were actually trying to solve the problem of gaining xp for actions other than fighting, then the best answer is to give experience for actions other than fighting.
  3. Just for the record, that's not exactly true. Atari games were generally written by one person over a period of a couple of weeks, in many cases the design phase consisted of a random conversation between a couple people in a hottub while getting tanked. Those games were an order of magnitude more profitable than anything today in terms of ROI. Commodore 64 games were often written by one or two guys over a period of a couple of months at most, Ultima is a wonderful example, I'll guarantee the first few were an order of magnitude more profitable than nearly everything these past few years. Today's games are written by dozens, or even more than 100 people, often with less content than games even just a few years ago. Fallout and Planescape only needed to sell 100,000 units to be profitable IIRC. EA announced recently that if a game doesn't sell 5,000,000 units it's not worth continuing the series. Nor are games the most profitable on a console, in fact, the reality is quite the opposite. The installed base of consoles is miniscule compared to the installed base of PC's, and PC's do not have platform fees, and don't require boxed product. The PC market is easily the most profitable in many ways from games like WoW to games like Minecraft. Publishers ignore it, because the console platform allows them to force studios into slavery. If the PC platform resurges, and it will when the Steambox is released, it'll crush the Publishers as it'll put the money back into the pockets of the Developers instead of the Publishers, and do so on a unprecedented scale. I would also argue that your conclusion is incorrect. While the Playstation generation might not jump on en masse, they're really a tiny fragment of the total market. The average gamer is 37 years old according to the 2011 survey. This group is quite familiar with the mechanics behind Baldur's Gate and Torment. Further, once you get outside of America and Japan, such as into Europe and Russia, games like Torment and BG are embraced. There are currently alot of misconceptions flying around the Press, who in many cases are just offsite PR for Publishers. You've mentioned several of those misconceptions here that they've been broadcasting. The truth they don't want you to know is that the PC market is much larger (and completely out of their ability to control), much more profitable (Especially for developers), and much more diverse (They can't shove just anything out the door).
  4. Above a certain (fairly low) level, potions were not going to get your front-line characters back up to peak condition unless you were dumping gallons of potions down their throats. Whether it was due to loss of hit points or loss of per-rest/daily abilities, parties eventually had to rest in IE games. Pre-3E, clerics (or druids) had to devote a lot of their spell slots to healing. Some of those healing spells were used in combat, but often they were used between combat -- in essence trading the loss of one resource for another, but still accelerating the diminution of party resources. It also practically demanded the presence of a dedicated healer for extended exploration. I'm a bit confused about why this is a problem. It's a arch-type, the Healer. Once you remove that job from that character, all you end up with is a Mage without a spellbook that can use a weapon. You remove the entire identity from the class in order to solve something that really isn't an issue. Again, I'm *really* confused as to why this is a problem. If some group is foolish enough to wander off into the hostile wastes with the intention of getting into alot of fights, and didn't think to bring someone who can heal with them, they deserve to die. Strategically, this is an extremely foolish mistake. Further, all this does is encourage min-maxing behavior (Powergaming), by removing a necessary role from the party roster to replace it with even more offense. Making it a strictly better choice to not take a healer if you don't require them to heal, in favor of taking even more offense. Put simply, this whole line of thought means that the best strategic decision for any party, or even any army, is to never hire healers, just warriors, because there's now no need for healers. This system encourages power gaming, it makes the healer class redundant, makes them a "Mage who is really bad at being a Mage" compare to a real mage. Further, it really doesn't make sense to excise the healer. Who is going to go on a long journey with a certainty of being injured, without taking someone who is trained in treating injuries? Further, exploring this line of thought to it's conclusion means that every class should have the abilities of every other class, so that no class is necessary. In short, every class should have melee combat skills, every class should have magic skills, because we shouldn't have a dependence on classes. Finally, it reduces choice in character creation,. It effectively turns the game into Fighter/Rogue/Mage, removing an entire silo of character archtype. Removing variety is never good, especially when the removal just facilitates powergaming.
  5. Time for me to sound off a little. Having kept an eye on this board, I've observed there are 3 significant issues with this game. 1. Ati Cards. Are you running an ATI and complaining on Obsidian's forums? You're in the *WRONG* place. ATI's drivers have, consistently throughout the company's history, been bugridden and poorly written. Your problem is not the game, it is the videocard. You should be on ATI's forums complaining there, not making claims it's somehow Obsidian's fault that ATI's drivers are generally horrible. I'll also point out, on every forum with every game I've seen in the last 5 years, there's a half dozen threads about ATI cards and problems. Nary a thread on the same thing with NVidia. In addition to that, ATI has a long history of spending more time coding their drivers to cheat at the benchmarks than solving problems. If you're someone who doesn't know much about computers, I sympathize with you, you shouldn't have to deal with these problems. But if you're someone who knowingly bought ATI over NVidia, you bought yourself these problems, they are *nothing* new. 2. Sound. Some people buy from Dell, some people build systems. If you bought your computer and you got stuck with onboard Audio, I sympathize, you *shouldn't* be stuck with these problems. If you built it using Onboard Audio, you knew better than to do it. Either way, Obsidian isn't responsible for the generally poor quality of Onboard Audio drivers, and again this is the wrong forum for the problem. The people that you should be complaining to are the ones who sold you the computer. 3. Bugs. These I agree with. But the actual bugs present in the game do not destabilize the game, nor do they have a huge gameplay effect, except in some extreme cases where critical triggers don't occur. These are legitimate complaints. The "My game crashed!" or "I can't play with sound!" generally present themselves as Driver issues. Not bugs. Be very blunt, if your computer is running an ATI card or is using Onboard Sound, you're in the wrong place with your complaints. Obsidian writes to DirectX spec, and if the drivers for your Hardware are so bugridden that they don't comply then you need to be complaining to them, not Obsidian. You want someone to take responsibility, there it is. ATI. Intel. Asus. Abit. MSI, Gigabyte. Dell. Gateway. E-machines. Via. Those are the people who should be taking responsibility. Not Obsidian because Hardware drivers don't meet MS's specs. (Side Note: If you're one of the ones bit by the disappearing enemy bug, and a plot trigger failed because of it, disregard everything above, you've got a legitimate beef)
  6. Troika didn't get where it is today because of Bugs, it got there because of bad design decisions. Their first game was aestitically difficult to get into. Combat at the begining was very bland, and you got things that you not only couldn't use, but couldn't begin to imagine how to use it. It's story just didn't pull you in when you first started playing it. Overall, as far as games go, it wasn't accessible. To be honest, I'm an RPG Hardcore, and I played BC3000AD longer than I played this one(2 hours). TOEE was an alright game, but major design oversights left this one in obscurity. It did the 3rd edition rules better than any game before or after, it's combat was entertaining, and it's story was good. But it stayed with Low Level, Low Magic, which following on the heels of BG2 wasn't a good decision. It also left absolutely critical information out, like what exactly any given Magic Item actually did. To play this game adequately, you honestly needed the DM's guide on your desk. Between it's Low Level Campaign following the genres High Level BG2 success(And IWD), combined with the lack of absolutely critical information, this game was limited to niche success. The Vampire game was setup for failure. The previous game, Redemption done by a different studio, left *alot* of people feeling burned. Troika *Had* to ship a 5 star product on this one. Anything less, and those burned on the last one weren't likely to buy another. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Troika shipped a bug-ladden version. That's what lead to Troika's state. They were *Very* good at shipping a decent game, but they made design oversights that crippled them, specifically a serious lack of information or initial story, making it difficult for people to get into the game. I, personally, discount Vampire because IMO they were setup for failure because of the way the last one went. Obsidian is in a different position. From my observations having gotten as far as my third world(Did telos, and Dantooine, and started Nar Shadaa), Obsidian was rushed. The areas and quests that seem to dead end speak volumes to me about Obsidian being rushed to meet a date, rather than being given an extra few weeks. Dead end areas and Dialogue that seems to be missing(The quest to see if Dantooine's security head was prejudiced seems to be missing alot), just indicates to me that Obsidian had more to do with those areas, but had to cut them in Beta to make a ship-date. Which also says to me, Obsidian is still the BI team that brought us Planescape, IWD, and Fallout. Given *realistic* time rather than being rushed, Obsidian can turn out games of the quality that BI did. Plus, Obsidian has Feargus, and Avellone. You can't go wrong with those two. They've got more A list title between them than most entire studios.
  7. Um, Odds are as long as I have the graphics I can do it in Java in the span of a couple Hours. Tic Tac Toe is not exactly something all that complicated...
  8. 50 bucks? That's a pretty tough number to meet these days. For 50 bucks I'd expect you'd probably be able to find an Nvidia GeForce 4 model card, Normally I'd say to avoid the MX models, but at 50$ you're going to have to take whatever you can get. Stick with Nvidia, ATI's have *way* too many driver issues. Not a game gets released without the forums filling with complaints from ATI users. Often it's just little issues like some graphic feature or another not working, other times it's outright crashes. OTOH, in the last 4 years Warcraft 3 was the only game I saw that gave Nvidia's fits and even that was only on certain steppings of the early GeForce 2 chips.
  9. Alot of the reports I'm seeing are coming from people with Onboard Sound, who report that the game plays fine when they have sound off, but doesn't with it on. Here's my theory. Onboard sound shares the System Memory with the processor. I.e. If you have 256megs of Ram, it's shared between the processor and the Sound Card. This is in contrast to a stand alone sound card, which has it's own reserves of memory it uses exclusively. Now. We know/suspect that KOTR2 has a memory leak, meaning that it when it loads something into memory, it doesn't always remove it when it's done using it, eventually filling the memory up completely and causing a crash. What I believe is happening is that the combined load of the Memory Leak, with the Onboard Sound tapping into system memory, it's overfilling the memory quickly causing the game to be unplayable for those with Onboard Sound. If it's the Sound Files the leak isn't removing, then it would occur even more rapidly, as not only would the CPU's slice of memory be filling up, but identical copies would exist in the Onboard Sound's slice of memory as well. Support for this idea is in the "Working Systems" thread where at 512mbs of memory or less people are crashing/hanging/aren't able to play. But one user with an Onboard Soundcard who has 1gig of memory can. Double the memory is harder for a leak to fill. How to fix it? Tough. Very tough. Three options I can think of off the top of my head. 1. If the Bios has options that would restrict the sound card's access to memory, it might be sufficient to get things working, at least for a while. 2. Before trying to play, unload *all* other programs from the background that aren't necessary. Virus scanners, Chat programs, P2P, Sound Utilities, anything that appears in the area next to the clock on the toolbar remove. That'll free up some more memory, maybe not enough, maybe enough. Go into the control panel, and try decreasing how much memory Windows uses to Cache, it's a gamble as it could create a whole new problem, or it could just slow down load times somewhat and stabilize things since more memory would be present. 3. If you can get it to work for awhile, save and exit often. That should force the clean up of the junk being left in the main memory. Odds are good though, if I'm right and that's what's causing the problem, if you've only got 256megs of memory and onboard sound you may be screwed. Also, onboard video cards would be equally bad as they would also be sharing main memory leaving very little for the processor to work with. Anyways, if possible, some of the onboard sound peeps try testing #1 and #2 and test to see if that helps. Might be able to track it down and pinpoint the cause. If we can pinpoint the cause, Obsidian can fix it quickly. **DISCLAIMER: Do NOT try changing settings in Bios unless you understand what you're doing and are comfortable with it. If you haven't yet learned how to make Bios changes, you may make your system unbootable. If it turns out to be Bios settings that need changed, I'll walk you through it later with precise instructions, PLEASE don't try to experiment now if you aren't comfortable**
  10. If you have to keep the onboard sound, best thing I can tell you is to go into the control panel and cut "Sound Acceleration" all the way to the left(Software emulation I believe). Generally, this will get most games working when you've got incompatibilities.
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