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Found 9 results

  1. For starters: I am starting this thread influenced by series of videos titled “Boss Keys” by Mark Brown analyzing dungeon design in Zelda series: (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc38fcMFcV_ul4D6OChdWhsNsYY3NA5B2) While I played a lot of games clearly influenced by Nintendo's work, as someone who never owned a Nintendo console I found his videos on Mario & Zelda series fascinating. The only Nintendo games I played were: Super Mario Bros on Comodore 64 (was it even official?) many many years ago, and Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros, Brawl for Wii, thanks to my modest undergraduate social life. I am very impressed by design of dungeons from old Zelda games – how much clever exploration and interaction with environment can be done with low tech. As limitations of such game resembles constrains a pre-rendered isometric game has to face, I started to think, if complexity of Zelda games could be(or should be?) implemented in cRPG like Deadfire. When I think about my favourite RPGs dungeons I notice some similarities in design – unique mechanics, a bit of backtracking, multiple locked doors to open, puzzles to solve, a feeling of exploration in a linear dungeon. Naturally, adopting some of the key tricks from Zelda games is impossible in cRPG – after all our party’s skills can vary and forcing player to play or interact with dungeon in one certain way goes against what cRPG is about. Vanilla PoE had some fine areas – Roderick’s Hold, ruins in Cliaban Rilag and Lle a Rhemen but unfortunately, I found majority of vanilla PoE dungeons disappointing. While beautiful to look at the interaction with them was minimal. The most disappointing to me was the Endless Dungeon. While I was hoping for something as unique as Durlag’s Tower or Watcher’s Keep, what we got was a stretched out combat gauntlet filled generic enemies. Instead of a break from main game, it was more of the same, just with different backdrop. White March has improved so much on dungeon design. Even the most basic areas have unique features, with main path being a stand out – clearing Durgan’s Battery was a joy. For example the mines – while getting to the exit is simple, it will take some exploration to open the doors. There are couple different areas in this level, all unique – ambush in a mine, a ride in a cart, Hall of Remembrance for which we need to find sigils to disable traps, locked Workshop. A well designed, varied environment, requiring conscious exploration, interaction with environment and utilizing different branches of gameplay (puzzle, conversation, scripted interaction, combat). The Abby of the Fallen Moon only expanded upon design, combining an open nature of Roderick’s Hold with complex, multistage design of WM dungeons. Tyranny’s dungeons were really neat as well – gradual collection of wall “keys” encouraged backtracking and gradually unlocked the whole area. I liked how new paths were opened, puzzles to solve to unlock spires. Dungeons we have in the beta for Deadfire isn’t much to brag about. While combat is much more varied than PoE1, it is once again a linear dungeon consisting mostly of couple combat encounters. I am not saying it is necessarly a representation of what will get, but after WMes I would be disappointed if it was. Now with expanded “scripted interaction” system we could get some really special ones. What are your hopes for Deadfire dungeons? Any particular likes or dislikes? Do you think that additional mechanics like vertical dungeons or special hazards could improve exploration?
  2. so sometimes, especially my two most melee characters, have ineffective weapons. I have a rogue who has piercing/slashing and can swtich to crushing/piercing. sometimes neither seems to be effective. some monsters don't have their DR stuff listed yet. I was wondering if the Prima guide might be of help, or if anyone here had suggestions. what I have done with my rogue and fighter have been to use one melee one ranged. I just got a ranger, so I can switch up the fighter. also, I am the least effective member of my party (if I can keep mage alive) the rogue invisibilty I use, in the heat of combat, does not seem worth the talent point to get the sneak in. also, she is squishing so a sneak attack at 2 meters then involves sprinting back to the tanks, sometimes not fast enough. sorry for long post. liking game. just wanted advice.
  3. I was digging through my old games library and found myself playing this gem again for the Xth time. While i do appriciate the experience again with the graphics, soundtrack and the sense of exploring an unknown and varied world, i couldn't help wondering if there is any FPS that has captured the same feel and atmoshere as this one did. (I played it with the latest patch and the high-resolution textures installed) Are there any similar ones, or was this game just a fluke among vast wasteland of FPS games? And no, Unreal 2 doesn't count, that game failed miserably on almost every level.
  4. Just finished replaying NWN2 expansion Storm of Zehir (played it through before right when it came out) and thought to share some thoughts, especially as SoZ contains many of the features one might hope to see in PE and being Obsidian work is obviously something they would draw from. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_Nights_2:_Storm_of_Zehir ** Will contain some minor spoilers. ** First to get it out of the way, the interface and camera were horrible. After a couple of years pause it took until halfway through the game before I didn't have to continually struggle with the camera. No obvious way to use feats or abilities, constantly forgot how to get the cartable spells or choosing what to memorize if I accidentally closed the window. Traveling in the overland map. Overall, it was good fun. Great to see possible encounters pop up and detour to avoid or take them. Made the exploring seem worthwhile and for once there was some use from ranger skills. Seems impossible for anyone to actually live in a territory though, either jungle or sword coast, with monstrous bands and undead and whatever rushing you every 5 seconds or so. Way, way too much pointless combat. I was overjoyed when finally got the teleportation system fixed, only to be disappointed in how the trips were one way only, giving not half the hoped relief. Locations and encounters. Most of the areas were tiny in RPG terms, dungeons or temples or whatever having usually only a few rooms and most every occupant rushing you from wherever they were as soon as the fighting started. I really, really liked this if only as a change of pace. No clearing mobs one room at a time but one big prolonged fight. Combat. Well this I disliked then. I do use the NWN2 AI on and let most of the party do whatever they want, which is part of the problem. The AI behavior settings were very welcome, though even set in the lowest the spell casters were pretty loose with magic. The visuals of mid high level D&D were the main problem for me, the combat was one big field of fiery explosions from spells and weapon effects, then the losers drop dead. Never in control of anything, just one big mess where you can't tell who's actually accomplishing stuff. Companions, adventurers guild. So you make the base party and later pick up one or two reinforcements. And many of the reinforcements come up hopelessly late in game which is something I'm happy to hear PE is going to avoid. The adventurers guild, which you get into maybe halfway through the game was a unhappy affair all in all. Hearing at that point, there'd be some minor bonuses if I have an all Elven party, or if all the members in the party are well accomplished in ranger skills or other stuff like that, was just disappointing, as almost certainly almost every party was not able to get anything out of there. Something for the replayers maybe. Enchanting and creating items. I remembered this was in and picked a good load of crafting skills which were of no use. Might have crafted one sword or a piece of armor. Generally though, you get your hands on usable ore so late in game, you're almost sure to have already found or bought better stuff already. Enchanting was easy enough, fun and useful. Adding bonuses and damage effects to weapons and armor. Creating wondrous items not so much, needing hard to come by ingredients, the most stupid example being some magic boots which I never got to make. I had the gems and the skins of rare animals, but never found a pair of ordinary hide boots to use as a base! Trade and upgrading your stronghold Added a fine layer into the game, the desire to get enough trade bars to meet the next something was a working way to ensure the willingness to explore and build up the trade network. Building church and orphanage and upgrading the stuff the patrols had was a fine thing, though completely pointless actually. From rags to riches came a bit too abruptly though. Once you have a couple of trade routes established, the income totally dwarfs every other money source in the game. I don't mind that actually and it *was* fun to reach the "money is no object" state, for once. It just came all too quickly once the cash floodgates were opened.
  5. One of the more interesting topics on the Wasteland 2 forums was a series of posts by the community on interesting encounter ideas. I think that might also be a useful topic here, so how about it? Do you have a brief but unique idea for an encounter or a short side quest in the P:E setting? It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just something unique or memorable. I'll throw a quick one out there to get the topic rolling:
  6. Behold: http://mars-one.com/en/ This thing is astonishing.
  7. I'm quite partial to the Baldur's Gate 1 style: it gave me the feeling of a massive world (contrary to the continuous maps like Skyrim, which scaled down world aspect feel wrong to me), and the feeling of freedom, and the discovery aspect. Oh and I love roaming in the countryside, I hope they'll put in a lot of non-city areas to explore.
  8. My brother and I have both played through Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 countless times since we were teenagers, and we were debating the other day about which we prefer. We both more or less agreed that BG2 was an improvement on BG1 in pretty much every area: storytelling, combat, NPCs, classes and character specialisation etc etc. But despite all of that, in a way I still prefer BG1 for one reason: the immersiveness of the world, due to the inclusion of 'unimportant' zones across the world map. In case you haven't played either game, compare these two maps: In BG2, if you want to get to the Umar Hills, it's a single click from the Athkatla City Gates, and you're suddenly on the other side of the map. In BG1, after you leave Candlekeep you have to traverse two entire zones to get to the Friendly Arm Inn. Then you go South to Nashkel, which takes you across 4 zones. If you decide to do the Gnoll Stronghold side quest, you have to go across about 3 or 4 zones. All of which are 'insignificant' not only to the main storyline, but also to the large side-quests. Yet these unimportant in-between zones add so much to the immersion of the game. In that way, it's very similar to games like Fallout 3 or Skyrim. You can spend endless hours exploring the scenery and having random encounters, without ever progressing through the main story. And that, to me, is what makes a great, immersive RPG world. What do you guys think? Obviously every bit of content that goes into the game takes time (and money) to build, so there has to be a bit of a tradeoff. Would you rather see a fully populated world, with lots of inconsequential zones between the quests? Or would you rather that more time and effort went into major areas where the quests are actually carried out? And in case anyone from Obsidian is reading: what is your opinion on this? Do you guys have plans to create lots of in-between areas?
  9. You know, if it hadn't been for Athkatla in BG2, I would have had pretty much zero interest in the game. I didn't care enormously for the story, there weren't many interesting choices to make. But Ahtkatla. Exploring Athkatla was enormously fun. And it showcased that, maybe, just maybe, an isometric game that "abstracts" a lot of its world is the best way to bring a city to life in an RPG. It had character (it almost *was* a character), it was atmospheric, it was dense, it was occasionally dangerous. The same goes for Sigil in Planescape: Torment of course. How exciting it was to explore just what lies in the city's various districts. How awesome was it to leave the slummier and dirtier Hive Wards and Lower Wards behind and find out that, yes... There is another goddamn district waiting to be explored in the Clerk's Ward, this one with a completely different flavor. Basically, Athkatla and Sigil were a really big part of BG2 and Torment. A lot of the games revolved around those locations, and it didn't feel like the games sold the idea of a big city short. They felt big and lively. Now, including such big areas in a game is obviously not an idea to be taken lightly. Would you like for there to be a big city in the game which "dominates" much of the gameplay? Would you rather have more, medium-sized settlements (that may differ more culturally speaking) to explore? I wouldn't be disappointed if we got smaller settlements. But I *would* definitely love a big city that you can really dive into.
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