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Favourite improvement in deadfire? Biggest step back?

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22 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Sure they are. Didn't you get the memo?

we got the memo. penned by thaos, the missive were delivered on woedica's personal letterhead.  props on the quality paper stock, although the memo had a faint but distinct odor... burnt flesh and cumin?

regardless, we tend to be dubious 'bout the conclusions o' self-serving executive memos.

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I think the biggest "step back" in Deadfire was the companion affinity system.  It seems like a ton of work went into this system, but I think the result was a ton of superficial reactivity, most of which was not be seen during an initial play-through of Deadfire.  Even on successive playthroughs, with different party compositions and different triggers for reactivity, the different reactions from companions to the player or to each other did not result in reactivity that felt significant.  I am not sure how cutting this system and all of the associated dialogue would have affected the game's budget, but if it was possible to trade this system for expanded companion quests or one quest or area that was similar in scope to Fort Deadlight I think it would have been a fair trade.  However, companion reactivity during quests and scripted interactions based off of that companion's abilities was always nice when it came up, so seeing more interactions like those would be great.  

While not a "step back," I also think consumables generally felt just as extraneous in Deadfire as they did in PoE.  Sure, there are a few niche usages (like mega bosses) where certain consumables come in handy, like Potions of Ascension, and Luminous Adra Potions, but the useful portions of those potions were not affected by Skill level scaling after a few patches.  Enemies also fail to take advantage of consumables in any major way.  If there was going to be another isometric Pillars game, I think the consumable system could stand to be completely overhauled.  Personally, I can think of a few options to change this system.  One option would be a change of economy, where consumables could very rare and difficult to craft, but also very potent.  Another option would be to change consumables to per rest resources, where investing skill points would result in balancing between a variety of different types of consumable or specializing in a specific and very potent type of consumable.  If the latter route was taken, then hopefully enemy NPCs would then be able to take better advantage of consumables, thus, making consumables feel better integrated into the game.  

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Posted (edited)

My first step concerning consumables would be to forbid the ones that simply copy class abilities. They take away uniqueness from the classes and they feel a bit "cheap". 

Consumables should not do something that can be achieved by abilities. Except maybe the classic healing potion - but I could do without.

The food and drinks are ok in Deadfire I think. Giving a buff that lasts from rest to rest is something unique. Poison and explosives: also ok (but would been way better if there were any means to specialize in meaningful way with either skill or abilities - or both). But scrolls and most potions: nay

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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The only beef I have with food-based resting bonuses in Deadfire is how many items provide immunities.  I think the over abundance of items that grant immunities in Deadfire resulted in otherwise interesting encounters being trivialized with a blue lobster or an umbrella drink, which also resulted in diminishing the use of keywords. If it was harder to obtain Mind or Intellect immunities then battles with fampyrs might require a player to consider blinding the enemies or their own party.

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Enjoy the game, but feedback is a gift:

 

HIT: Graphical and sound upgrades, definitely added to the combat experience.

HIT: Multi-classing choices definitely pushed me to play a few more runs.

HIT: Large selection of spells and abilities.

 

MISS: I miss the endurance and health system from POE1 - it was truly a brilliant idea.   While we are at it, I'm not a fan of PEN and Armor system.

MISS: Main storyline was rubbish... as were the companions... too many sidekicks and not enough depth.

MISS: Consumables that replicate signature abilities... cheapens certain classes/spells.  

MISS: Large number of useless (situational) spells and abilities.

 

 

 

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Wasn't the whole idea of Kickstarter and that to be able to make your dream project free from any demands of corporate suits at the publishers? There are so many things which scream compromise, or demands from the management suits above the creative team. 


nowt

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14 hours ago, daven said:

Wasn't the whole idea of Kickstarter and that to be able to make your dream project free from any demands of corporate suits at the publishers? There are so many things which scream compromise, or demands from the management suits above the creative team. 

am thinking your observation reveals a fundamental misunderstanding o' creative folks. get rid o' publishers does not erase the reasons why the publishers made compromises. once the creative folks is put in the position o' deciding how to spend money, fact they end up making same /similar compromises should come as no shock, but should be a teaching moment for developers who gnash teeth 'bout suit interference.

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Well, on the other hand publishers made pretty bad decisions in the past that didn't help selling the game, didn't improve the game, frustrated the creators and led to bad critics. Just because they thought they knew what sells best. 

I'd say crowdfunding takes that problem away entirely. I mean if you can finish with the budget you collected from backers. Since you already got the money you can implement the game like you want to, nobody can force you to warp your game just because it may sell better if you do.

And then we have publishers line Devolver Digital who almost never interfere with the artistic vision but all they offer is their expertise in the field of publishing. They are very small, but they are also very successful and publish creative and fantastic games ever year. I read that they have to turn down 25 games every day because everybody wants to get published by them.

I mean sure: if you are responsible for the finances you have to make so hard choices, no matter if you are self publishing or are the publisher.

But trying to maximize the profit and prioritizing that instead of focusing on delivering a sound game while making only "good" money seems to be the reason why most creatives believe they would be better off without a publisher if they only had the means to fund and distribute their game without one. Hence crowdfunding.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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point is it ain't an other hand situation. forever, has always been publishers who were making ultimate money decisions, so all choices, when looked at in retrospect, were responsibility o' publishers. as such, point out all the publisher fails ignores our observation. crowdfunding has been our firstest opportunity to see how the creative folks handle the money calls. you seen the sea change daven were noting were the hoped for result o' crowdfunding?

the money calls is often more difficult when you is personal involved, rather than easier. do what is required to make the best game possible sounds simple, but it is naive. feargus, Gromnir has criticized ad nauseum, isn't some faceless suit with a princeton or stanford mba making decisions based on quarterly report and shareholder impact. when feargus makes a choice, he is thinking 'bout all those folks he sees in the obsidian building, people who are depending on obsidian so they may continue paying their mortgages and maintain their health insurance coverage.  more than a few folks at obsidian were no doubt hired with some feargus input. obsidian is not just a building or a game development company. feargus money choices affect real people, people he knows on a personal level.

-do what is required to make the best game possible

-do what is necessary to keep obsidian doors open and the power on so the people who make up obsidian may continue making games.

all too often the calculus is gonna be different for the two aforementioned goals.

crowdfunding is a nice dose o' reality for the creative types, but am wondering how many has learned necessary lessons. get rid o' the suits don't get rid o' hard choices.

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Posted (edited)

I think that crowdfunding wasn't even "invented" to circumvent publishers (or other investors) in the first place. It was invented because some developers (of whatever product) couldn't find a publisher for their idea (see PoE). The part about cutting out the publisher seems to be more of a romantic thing players add to the narrative. Of course: once you realize that you really don't need one (see Larian) you might indeed think that you're better off if you do it all by yourself. In this case the games have been very successful though - so not much pressure.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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12 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I think that crowdfunding wasn't even "invented" to circumvent publishers (or other investors) in the first place. 

ok. so? regardless, thanks to crowdfunding we get to see how the creative folks deal with the business side o' creation. free o' the suits, the creative folks has a kinda spotty record handling the money issues. 

perception o' blame is as much an issue with consumers as the creative folks. belief that suits is being the folks forcing compromises which ruin games is not a notion held sole by the folks who came up with crowdfunding.  

one o' the main reasons we first started posting as Gromnir back on the old interplay boards is 'cause we saw, after totsc, a kinda tribalism were developing which made criticism o' the developers increasing improbable. the developers were the good guys and criticism o' the heroes who made bg, particular n00b criticism, were receiving an almost instantaneous antibody response from the quick growing community. blame the publisher or circumstances, but blame developers, the makers o' BG, would be tantamount to an attack on the body itself. repel the virus. 

the unwelcoming environment offended us and so we kinda directed our clear antagonistic style at those who were reflexive defenders o' the faith. color us surprised when the biowarians appeared to find our antics amusing and even beneficial. 

reason we bring up is 'cause many crpg developer message boards is having the kinda tribalism which annoyed us so much in late nineties and early 2000s. developers, on many boards, get a kinda free pass. blame on publisher. blame on circumstance. 

*shrug*

the business side o' making games is difficult. while it may be easier to blame publishers and suits for bad choices, those choices is rare as simple or easy or clear as fans believe. as such, crowdfunding realities should be a wakeup call for creative folks and fans alike. 

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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21 minutes ago, Gromnir said:

ok. so? 

So I think that daven's initial statement wasn't correct.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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1 minute ago, Boeroer said:

So I think that daven's initial statement wasn't correct.

fair enough, but is only a matter o' overstatement as 'posed to being complete wrong. freedom from publishers and suits may not have been the "whole idea," but it were clear a significant consideration for many.

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Yes, that I don't doubt. I think it is a tempting thought - especially if you (as a developer) had some bad* experience with publishers before.

)* objectively or subjectively doesn't matter in this case I guess.

Still - for some studios it worked well - that may also be a lesson for (pushy) publishers.

 


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I'm not even sure you can say these games were free of "the suits". I mean, there's still executives and managers at the company. It's not like Obsidian had no corporate structure just because they had crowdfunding. And even Josh Sawyer said in a post mortem talk about Deadfire that he wanted to axe the ship combat feature but was vetoed by somebody "above" him.

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Thing is though: several heads of development studios aren't businessmen and/or managers by heart but were game developers who fell up the career ladder.

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It occurred to me that I do really enjoy one Deadfire improvement that I don't think has made this thread yet:  The interrupt system.  Pillars 1's interrupt/concentration system was very murky, RNG-driven, and unreliable.  Now it's a very clear, useful, and fun part of gameplay. 

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13 minutes ago, Enoch said:

It occurred to me that I do really enjoy one Deadfire improvement that I don't think has made this thread yet:  The interrupt system.  Pillars 1's interrupt/concentration system was very murky, RNG-driven, and unreliable.  Now it's a very clear, useful, and fun part of gameplay. 

agreed... save for a few boss fights (dlc for the most part) which include opponents immune to interrupt. 

late in beta we made a thread which defended the usefulness o' rogue class. at the time, rogues were near consensus considered by community to be a throw-away class... or only worthy o' multiclassing. our shared impressions is relevant to present discussion as, back pre may 2018, we observed how effective and impactful were a rogue, particular as an interrupter o' foes. a rogue with quick weapons could keep an enemy functional stunlocked 'cause o' capacity to interrupt virtual any action. were our opinion rogues were being underrated by a large degree.

interrupt immunity is a lazy approach by the developers. admitted, the obsidians worked selves into a corner by creating abilities which complete remove concentration, so providing bosses with abnormal high or regenerating concentration were not options when considering practical ways to make endgame bosses more difficult to interrupt than earlier and weaker foes. and yeah, is only a handful o' such foes in the game which may complete shrug off effects o' interrupt. nevertheless, given how impactful were interrupts for +95% o' the game, to resort to complete immunity to add challenge to encounters were deserving our criticism.  build a pov character or party member 'round interrupt concept is good strategy for most o' game. most. 

regardless, am in agreement with enoch regarding interrupts. am recalling a few o' the poe beta discussions regarding interrupts. developers attempted to explain what were 'posed to be happening with interrupts, but as often as not, the obsidians were in the dark regarding what were actual happening in the game. lack o' transparency made interrupts a source o' perpetual frustration and undercut developer efforts to improve the feature.  deadfire interrupt scheme is a major improvement.  as far as specific feature improvements, we would rate it right up there with hold-shift function.

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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There are a lot of things I like about Deadfire but if I had to pick one, it would be the general design of the game mechanics, Inspirations vs Afflictions and the buffs/debuffs they provide, how the character stats work, the skills, class design (sub & multiclass), I also really love creating my own AI scripts for my characters. Basically everything associated with building a character.  That counts as one thing, right?

My least favorite was how the final faction choice can result in a companion leaving you.  I spend so much time building my party, developing tactics, AI scripts, upgrading gear and building relationships and then you take one of my team away from me right before the big final battle ?!?!  

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I really liked the multi-classing system and the character reactivity. The setting held together well, with realistic rationales for the faction behaviors. The graphics and effects are gorgeous.

The biggest step back for me was the disconnect between the main plot and the remainder of the setting. In the first game there was at least some connection, with the society suffering from the very issue you were trying to resolve. In the second they seem discordant, creating motivation problems.

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Improvement: A tie between loading times and appearance, in PoE the loading times can get almost as bad as DOS2 near the end of the game and it really stepped up in terms of quality for both backgrounds and models. Multiclassing btfos the cross-class talents and itemization was so good it ended up diminishing soulbound items relative to PoE soulbound.

Step Back: For the most part I don't think Deadfire had any steps back per se, because most of the problems I have with are implementations of things I agree with in principle or already existed in PoE. The only thing I find unequivocally worse than in PoE was how they handled the plot, which feels torn between factional infighting over territory and chasing a giant statue who almost killed you. Frankly I think that Deadfire would have been much better off either doing the former with a new protagonist or the latter with The Watcher, if we are so lucky as to get a PoE3 and beyond I hope that we get a new protagonist every game and avoid having to write in the main character from the last game as a level 1 scrub.

Oh, and I will be eternally butthurt we didn't get sea monsters and I couldn't kill most of the things from Monsters of the Deadfire Archipelago.

Bonus round, missteps (things I agree with in principle but were implemented badly):  Exploration and the ship was cool at the beginning but ultimately became tedious. I'd like to see exploration beyond travelling to defined areas, but after the first quarter of the game I wished there was a fast travel option.

I think Pen/AR is a much better idea than PoE's AR, but the implementation left much to be desired. A big problem was how punishing underpen was and how comparatively difficult overpen could be, I'd prefer something that has longer scaling, like -10 to 15% damage per Pen under AR and +3 to 5% damage per Pen over AR with similar caps as in Deadfire. I also think the base stats of weapons should be revised where +2 Pen counts as special ability so there isn't any base damage difference from standard pen weapons and versatile damage weapons don't have the -1 Pen penalty.

Affliction/Inspiration was a significant improvement over the afflictions in PoE, but I felt Inspirations in particular were poorly distributed like only one class source of Energized and it's self-targeted. In a hypothetical PoE3 I'd like to see more access to tier 2 and 3 inspirations across the classes with tier each 3 inspiration occurring in at least two classes.


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improvement in almost every way except the excessive number of skills and the way teammate bonus are calculated

really should be 8 skill total and use the highest number of the team in skill checks

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6 hours ago, uuuhhii said:

improvement in almost every way except the excessive number of skills and the way teammate bonus are calculated

really should be 8 skill total and use the highest number of the team in skill checks

I feel exactly the opposite: a wider range of skills allows more customization in your character build. The limited number of skills in PoE1 made every character feel like a cardboard cut-out.

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't say its a step back per say but they def dropped the ball with animations (martial especially). Even Tyranny had better "rule of Cool" animations. Monks should have had martial arts looking attacks with melee and quarterstaff for example. The free attack with movement abilities from ranger and rogue could have had ANY kind of animation etc etc. 

 

I also would have liked some small to epic scripted conflicts (book and skill check style dictating the difficulty of the up and coming ambush (combat) randomly happening on rest in scary dungeons so people can't spam rests without repercussions. 

Edited by QuiteGoneJin

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