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46 minutes ago, bugarup said:

I share your theory. You know that "Cat proximity" thing of XKCD? Like, the closer a human gets to a cat the stupider things they say? There has to be this "Baldur's Gate 2 proximity" that works on grogs, where the more the game apes BG2, the bigger the chance of blind day 0 purchase and flowery praises regardless of....

So, are you hugging a cat right now?

Edited by Bleak
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Tyranny had cooldown mechanics (which I find horrible for several reasons) and also did disappoint - at least the publisher. 

I agree about the setting, but I wouldn't change the mechanics at all. They are in a good spot. Maybe improve consumables (make them more unique and not copy existing abilites etc.) and untangle the stacking rules. But then focus on story, quests, nice companions and a charismatic antagonist. Put in more exiting items (not necessarily gamebreakingly good, but exiting - I would also like items like trinkets that alter basic class mechanics - like those special passives on Path of Exile do). So basically give all different kinds of players (role-player, interactive novel reader, powergamer etc.) their pet without reinventing the whole wheel again. Don't put any more ressources into the core mechanics. And no minigames...

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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5 minutes ago, bugarup said:

So, which part of my opinion you do not agree with? Stupid writing? Unfriendly to newbies? Bugs? Unfinishable? :biggrin:

Disagree about the writing and bugs are mostly gone now but that's irrelevant - I don't mind others telling their opinions. The reason I made that comment is the part where you talk about the "bg proximity effect" aka fanboyism being the reason for the game's sales. 

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3 hours ago, Boeroer said:

I still blame it on the setting (mostly) - although I personally like it. But a lot of RPGamers are a bit conservative when it comes to settings.

No idea if that's really the reason though. To me it also felt like Deadfire's marketing was nearly non-existent.

To the extent that I blame it on anything, I blame it on the fact that apparently an awful lot of people were dissatisfied with PoE and gave up on the franchise. This would explain why sales were poor right from the start. But, we don't know.

RPGamers are a conservative bunch indeed, so the setting may have also played a part. But the fact is, we just don't know.

As for what @bugarup says about Tolkien: it's really funny that Tolkien both created and destroyed a genre at the same time. His masterpiece was such a masterpiece that nothing else in the genre is worth reading, it seems to me. (And no, obviously I haven't read it all, which I should have done in order to really make that claim with justification. But I have read enough, and everything has been rubbish, except Tolkien.)

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Don't make this about conservatism. If someone changes an older system, it doesn't mean these changes are always for the better for all people. Doesn't matter if its newer, older, ancient or futuristic - it's about the system itself. You do understand that right guys?

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1 hour ago, Bleak said:

Don't make this about conservatism. If someone changes an older system, it doesn't mean these changes are always for the better for all people. Doesn't matter if its newer, older, ancient or futuristic - it's about the system itself. You do understand that right guys?

to clarify, you do realize that conservative has a non-political meaning other than "conservativism"?

not to put words in people's mouths, but when I or other say "RPGers are a conservative bunch" we mean "it looks like RPGamers like to stick to common tropes and settings"

Edited by thelee
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16 minutes ago, thelee said:

to clarify, you do realize that conservative has a non-political meaning other than "conservativism"?

not to put words in people's mouths, but when I or other say "RPGers are a conservative bunch" we mean "it looks like RPGamers like to stick to common tropes and settings"

Yes lol, don't worry I did not mistake it for a political statement or anything.  Being conservative is a trait which usually has to do with stubborn persistence to tradition.  I am just saying that there are many logical/practical explanations about why someone could prefer one over the other, other than irrational sentimental reasons like fanboyism, nostalgia, conservatism etc.

 

Edited by Bleak
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17 minutes ago, Bleak said:

Yes lol, don't worry I did not mistake it for a political statement or anything.  Being conservative is a trait which usually has to do with stubborn persistence to tradition.  I am just saying that there are many logical/practical explanations about why someone could prefer one over the other, other than irrational sentimental reasons like fanboyism, nostalgia, conservatism etc.

I mean, yes, technically this is true, but we had a lot of people griping about the setting for non-rational reasons, like they just liked their medieval sword-and-board fantasy.

As for game systems, "conservative" can also mean "status quo bias." I have been able to get people on board with how Deadfire might be a better designed system, but they still won't like it because it's not what they're used to or expecting. Even for myself the initial Deadfire backer beta took quite a bit of expectations adjustment.

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

I mean, yes, technically this is true, but we had a lot of people griping about the setting for non-rational reasons, like they just liked their medieval sword-and-board fantasy.

As for game systems, "conservative" can also mean "status quo bias." I have been able to get people on board with how Deadfire might be a better designed system, but they still won't like it because it's not what they're used to or expecting. Even for myself the initial Deadfire backer beta took quite a bit of expectations adjustment.

Unfortunately these cases also exist. Some are slaves of habit, others have an irrational fear for change, many can't exactly pinpoint their gripe with the system. Some express sentiments without backing them up, which have underlying rational reasons they can't or won't bother to describe. Perhaps a few just want to complain for no reason. Happens everywhere. Personally, I get excited when experiencing new systems because they have the potential of being better - according to my specific tastes - than their predecessors.  For example I know the amount of (meaningful) complexity or RNG that I want in my games and pick the one that I like most. In this case, I find DnD 3.5 more agreeable to my tastes. A couple of generalized reasons is how it handles RNG in general, or spells - won't get into it now, it's a huge discussion and a man has to work.  

Discussion is good. But it's only good and productive when people describe their problem in a rational manner and try to back up their gripes without dismissing others as fanboys, nostalgia sufferers etc etc. Even if the discussion doesn't end in agreement probably because of different tastes, it doesn't really matter.

Edited by Bleak
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I didn't play P:K yet, but I can understand why Deadfire wasn't a big success, because I had a very hard time myself getting into it. Overall the story is pretty weak (I was never hooked by it), the hero lacks the epicness of this kind of games (being a watcher isn't a big deal overall/doesn't make you feel very special) and the game system is very obscure and unintuitive (many rules feel completely arbitrary/are hard to understand).

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30 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

I didn't play P:K yet, but I can understand why Deadfire wasn't a big success, because I had a very hard time myself getting into it. Overall the story is pretty weak (I was never hooked by it), the hero lacks the epicness of this kind of games (being a watcher isn't a big deal overall/doesn't make you feel very special) and the game system is very obscure and unintuitive (many rules feel completely arbitrary/are hard to understand).

Those are strong criticisms, but I'm not sure if you argue well for them -- or even if you argue at all. Why is the story weak? Why isn't being a watcher a big deal? Surely it is, within the game world. Can you give some examples of how the game system is obscure or unintuitive? I found it rather easy to grasp -- but some of the documentation is woeful, that is true.

Edited by xzar_monty
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Some mechanics are rather easy to grasp (Inspiration vs. Affliction for example), others are very complicated and only thorough experimentation or code inspection can reveal what's happening (e.g. double inversion with dmg mali). Some just seem redundant (action time/action speed/recovery time). Then some just don't work as expected (modals not stacking with active abilities). I wouldn't say arbitrary though.

The explanation of mechanics is better than in PoE - but still rather bad. 

If you want to see a great way to explain mechanics via tooltips then have a look a Slay the Spire. They did an amazing job with communicating nearly every bit of mechanic on the fly.

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Agreed, that is arbitrary. I'm sure much of it looked logical to the developers.

I was particularly baffled by the fact that some descriptions were contradictory even on the level of language (but this is probably explained by the fact that the text is auto-generated). There is one ability that is said to trigger both "some of the time" and "whenever" you're hit. (This was not an exact description, but the contradiction is like I described.)

Edited by xzar_monty
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13 minutes ago, Kaylon said:

I will give an example of arbitrary - there's no way to predict if a dot will stack with itself without testing. Some stack, some just refresh their duration while others can't be applied until the first expires.

Ok, good example. :)

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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13 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Agreed, that is arbitrary. I'm sure much of it looked logical to the developers.

I was particularly baffled by the fact that some descriptions were contradictory even on the level of language (but this is probably explained by the fact that the text is auto-generated). There is one ability that is said to trigger both "some of the time" and "whenever" you're hit. (This was not an exact description, but the contradiction is like I described.)

Yeah, the downsides of localisation and patching/rebalancing. Also text shouldn't sound too technical ("oh noooo my immersion") while it still should transport all the necessary info ("oh noooo my powergaming"). :)

There are some examples where the text says something like "A significant chance of X" and it's actually 100%. :) See Debonaire crit conversion or Murderous Intent and such. Descriptions get locked at some point while they still tune the numbers. So they try to be a bit vague. I get that, it's ok. Still the generated part could be more informative and accessible. If it breaks immersion just hide it behind a game option. I mean you can hide/show selection circles, dmg numbers above your head and such. So why not show/hide more detailed numbers?

Once again I point out that even designers didn't know how some mechanics worked. Else they wouldn't have given arbalests and guns -25% crit damage (which then had to be patched). Better tooltips and descriptions would have helped even those people. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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By the way, another classic example of poor documentation is that much of the time when you "Press right mouse button for more information" as the screen says, the next screen will have the exact same info as the previous one. If I were a developer, that's the kind of thing that would make me blush in a big way.

You can't argue against 100% being a pretty significant chance! 😉

Edited by xzar_monty
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15 hours ago, thelee said:

Though then again, Tyranny had a wild setting (roman-era tech in a crazy world basically) with per-encounter mechanics and sold better than Deadfire. So I dunno...

This isn't true. Tyranny almost certainly did not sell better than Deadfire before sales & discounts.

Edited by Infinitron
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I think it is pointless to analyze Deadfire in order to explain the poor sales. It sold poorly because of PoE 1. The wide public expected something from PoE 1 and was disappointed, so they didn't buy PoE 2. Then they bought Kingmaker to see if it will be what they were looking for. Now we will have to wait for Kingmaker 2 to see whether Kingmaker 1 was a real success.

What exactly disappointed the gamers in PoE 1 is anyone's guess. Maybe they wanted to relive the days of Baldur's gate, but found out that for some reason PoE1 doesn't make them feel the same way.

Edited by wih
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21 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Over on the Beamdog forum the forum manager posted an excerpt from a post by Josh Sawyer from somewhere called badgame.net for which you need an account there to access it yourself. At the bottom of the excerpt there is a sales comparison with P:K.

https://badgame.net/index.php?topic=54476.msg14375799#msg14375799

"i don't really know how productive this discussion can be because it's hard to pinpoint definitively why people bought or didn't buy something. deadfire was made on the assumption that the sales and reviews of that game indicated both a general desire for games of that type in the market and that the press and consumers thought that we did a good job overall. it made money and it reviewed well in the press and among players, which doesn't mean it's objectively good, but to us it indicated that 1) we should make a sequel and 2) we should identify the things that people didn't enjoy in the first game and address them.

i was involved in the PR and marketing pushes for both games and we had a lot more trouble getting marketing pieces out for deadfire. when we did research into how product awareness was tracking, deadfire was struggling leading up to its launch. it's true that critical role did draw a lot of attention to the game, but it's unclear how far that reached outside of our core market. yes, by now many more people are aware of the game, but the bulk of most games' sales are still made in the first two weeks following its release.

whether the scores and sales are deserved or not, pillars 1 had an 89 metacritic and sold over a million copies within a year of its release. deadfire had an 88 metacritic and sold much worse. i don't think i stuck my head in the sand re: criticism for pillars 1, so if there was a strong undercurrent of indifference or dislike for the first game and i just completely botched the sequel, it's hard for me to identify where i went wrong. the reason why i didn't/don't want to direct another pillars game isn't just general fatigue, but also because i don't think i have the critical insight to understand how to move forward with the series. the quality of the game is my responsibility, so if it's really that bad, it's my fault. still, by the numbers we had, general awareness was low outside of our core leading up to the launch.

D:OS2 sold incredibly well, way better than pillars 1. pathfinder: kingmaker sold better than deadfire. idk if it sold better than pillars 1."

Apologies for quoting this at such length, but I believe it deserves it. This is Josh Sawyer talking about the relatively poor success of Deadfire. I believe this is excellent: there's no blaming, there appears to be some bafflement and sadness, and everything makes sense to me. And the bottom line, once again, is: we just don't know what went wrong. Sawyer's piece also illustrates how (perceived) quality and commercial success don't have to have anything to do with each other.

 

@wih and @Blunderboss: Those are just your opinions. And wih's explanation to Deadfire's poor sales and P:K's success is just a guess. There's nothing wrong with that, but you shouldn't kid yourself into believing that you know the answers.

Edited by xzar_monty
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