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Bloodlines Revisited


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#1
CastleBravo

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I just started playing this game, I waited till the 1.2 patch came out. So far, it is not buggy at all, and note that I *did* see the stutter bug in HL2. Some observations:

-The graphical detail level, on average, is less than that of HL2.
-At equal settings, V:BL runs more slowly than HL2.
-Sounds and artwork seem to be quite good.
-The combat is real-time 1st or 3rd person (you choose), but adjusted by skills, etc., something "normal" RPGers need to be aware of.
-The skill/ability/etc. system is simple and logical, but not so simple that you won't be spending time sorting out the system in your head for a while.

And finally, so far it is very addictive.

#2
Phosphor

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I split this from Volourn's Bloodlines thread, as this new post came two weeks after the last one in the aforementioned thread, and that thread was very long so "resurrecting" it seemed burdensome.

So consider this the newest Bloodlines discussion thread.

#3
Kaftan Barlast

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How may of you would say Bloodlines was the best PCRPG of 2004?

#4
Percival

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How may of you would say Bloodlines was the best PCRPG of 2004?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'd be one. I havent had this much with a game in quite a while.

#5
Volourn

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"How may of you would say Bloodlines was the best PCRPG of 2004?"

Eh. Considering I haven't played KOTOR2 (since it's not on PC yet); I'd have to say yes. Not much competition this year. <>

#6
213374U

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Damn shame that the best RPG of 2004 isn't polished enough to pay for it. I don't want to think about the worst RPG. :ph34r:

#7
Volourn

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To be fair, most years only have 2-3 actual top notch titles. It's not much of a difference, I think.

BL is a good RPG, and worth the money. It could, and should have been a great RPG though. In fact, I'm dissapointed that I can't put it in my top 10.

#8
213374U

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Well, it's a matter of opinion it seems. I don't deny that BL was of an excellent quality and possibly the best of 2004, but I'm just not going to support lousy QA by buying that product. If you don't care about that, it's your call. :)

#9
taks

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was gothic 2 a 2004 release, or was it 2003?

sorry, i'm gushing about gothic 2 these days. i'm having quite a lot of fun with it. :p

mark

#10
NeverwinterKnight

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How may of you would say Bloodlines was the best PCRPG of 2004?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


like other people have commented, id have to say it wins by default since there really wasnt any real competition for it.

the game itself was good, but the technical issues turned what could have been a masterpiece into just a fairly entertaining game.

#11
Volourn

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"but I'm just not going to support lousy QA by buying that product. If you don't care about that, it's your call. "

Eh. It worked welle nough to finish it and I (mostly0 enjoyed the epxerience so yeah it was worth it. :)

Obviously, you enjoyed it enough to finish it so really your hubaloo about its bugginess is just silly.

If it's good enough for you to finish; it should be good enough to buy. Then again, you did rent it ( :p ) so it's not like you didn't put any money towards it.

#12
213374U

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Obviously, you enjoyed it enough to finish it so really your hubaloo about its bugginess is just silly.

Two different issues here. I enjoyed the game very much, but then again, I would have enjoyed it too if it had lacked textures somewhere, sounds or whatever. The game lacked (or suffered from very lousy) QA, and that's a part of the development process. It's not I don't think the game was worth my money. But if I buy it, I might be promoting a model of game development I don't quite like.

#13
taks

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this is the area troika needs to work on a little more. they've run into the same problem three times in a row, with three different publishers. at some point, they need to recognize that maybe more of the burden for quality QA should be on their shoulders as they take the blame regardless of whether they do the QA or the publisher does the QA.

taks

#14
NeverwinterKnight

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this is the area troika needs to work on a little more.  they've run into the same problem three times in a row, with three different publishers.  at some point, they need to recognize that maybe more of the burden for quality QA should be on their shoulders as they take the blame regardless of whether they do the QA or the publisher does the QA.

taks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


its almost as if they actually prefer this "out" they have had. judging from their responses about their "hands being tied" in terms of patching and buggy games, it almost seems like they prefer it so that they have a built in excuse when fans complain.

"its not our fault. we want to patch the game. but its our publishers call".

considering they have 3 titles under their belt now, you would hope that if, in fact, this isnt what they want as a security blanket, then theyre established enough to negotiate in the contract to be able to do their own internal QA and patch releases when they see fit. if their next game is just like toee and vtmb, then i think thats a pretty good indication theyd rather do a sloppy job on their games and then hide behind the fact its "not their choice" on whether a patch is made or not.

or maybe im just cynical towards their product after getting burned twice. :p

#15
Percival

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Heh, besides the graphical glitches and occasional slowdowns, I encountered less bugs then in NWN1. I know the hate Troika bandwagon is quite popular nowadays (and mostly well deserved), but still, the game is quite playable, more so then a lot of the supposedly great games everyone loves.

#16
Phosphor

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I'm really liking Bloodlines, and the only "bugs" I've noticed are engine related. The game engine seems like a massive system hog, and I'm not really sure why. Is it just the graphics? They're nice, but I had expected more in terms of game world interaction with the engine.
While I'm having a good time with the game, I wonder how much of a difference replaying with a different clan character would have? I don't really get the impression that anything in the game has any clan relevence, which leads me to my biggest complaint about the game. The PC's dialogue. It's terrible. NPCs have some great dialogue, but the options for my character are embarrassing and quite limited.
I'm sorry, but my Tremere does not say "Dude, that **** is WACK!" or act like some idiot, dolt or thug. Too often I feel like I'm playing Grand Theft Vampire in terms of dialogue.
I also don't see many combat options for replays. And the combat is horrible. Button mashing at it's best.

In other areas though, the game is utterly captivating. Wonderful atmosphere, the music (which I thought I'd dislike) fits very well, the voice acting is solid, graphics are great and there's very little gothic melodrama and angst. Some of the missions are truly engrossing, and it looks like Troika had a lot of fun with this. There's some great humour and some real edgy stuff.

I'd feel pretty confident in giving it RPG Of The Year overall, though with the caveat that my cRPG experience in 2004 was made up of playing old games, and I don't own a console so I'm looking soley at PC games.

#17
Memengwa

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Try to play as a Toreador, and then try to play as a Nosferatu. You will see the difference. You cannot dream of playing Nosferatu running around the streets, and count on maintaining the Masquarade. ;)


Here are some comments on what annoyed me:
* The first thing that annoys me is the bugs. Yes I did see the bugs. One was where the game crashed when trying to travel by boat. And the other one is when I have to push a thingy that blocks a door, and nothing happens. The door continues to be blocked. Both are fixable with giving console commands, but it shouldn't be that way.
* Second thing is that some bosses can only be defeated by "tactics" - meaning by figuring out the weaknesses of the AI, and using them to your advantage.
* Thirdly, while I like the fact that for a change I could play a roguish character and actually sneak my way through everything. The better I got, the odder it became. For example I could break windows without anyone seeing me.
* Once again, the developers think that you are either plaing male, or female gay... except for one male ghoul, you can only flirt around with females....
* Combining together shootemup action with skills, makes for frustrating combat. Why do I have to aim right with the gun, when the skill of my character makes it miss anyway?? And if I as a player don't aim good enough, then I'll miss, no matter the skill of the character.
* Also, why give you possibility to build a character who sucks at fighting, when the only way to win the game, is by fighting?? and lots of fighting..
* Oh.. and the fact that I can't choose if I want to fight 1st or 3rd person. Every time I unsheath a melee weapon, the game goes to 3rd person view!
* The flamethrower!!! BOOOOOOOOH!!! :angry:


OK, now to all the pluses
* The fact that you don't get xp per kill, but per finished quest is something I really love. You could say that you get xp per encounter, or goal-oriented xp. Sometimes not killing all the opponents (or actually not killing any of them) gives you more xp, then killing.
* the fact that the gameplay differs according to what clan you belong to, and what skills you have. Different quests can be finished in many different ways. YAY!! (pitty, that this is true mostly to sidequests)
* the feeling that you are just a pawn among scheming vampires, not a big hero, is a big thing for me. You don't get acknowledged for your skills, untill pretty much the end of the game. Also, you know that the prince sends you out, not because he acutally thinks that you accomplish his quests, but because he thinks that you'll probably die and cease to be his problem. But if you, for some unkown reason manage to fulfill the quest - that's a gain for him as well.
* the ovarall feeling of the game, that you are taking on things you better should leave alone, that you have been dragged into something you don't really want to be part of, but don't have any choice anymore.
* The severed arm!!! And it's all I have to say about it :lol:

Do you know what I would have loved to have in the game? Don't laugh. But I would have loved romance plot with Nine Rodriguez :wub:

#18
Kaftan Barlast

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Troika released a game with a game stopping bug
Spoiler
. This is a thing that should never, ever be allowed to happen. Its like selling cars who cant be refueled.







..oh, yeah. And the endings all suck.

#19
taks

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i agree, KB. every quest should at least be checked for completeness, too, which is not their forte either. i'm still on the fence whether or not i want to buy this game. i'm enjoying gothic 2 enough (like you haven't heard that from me today) that i might just wait till bargain bin for troika's latest stab at the world of crpgs.

taks

#20
Eurmal

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* Second thing is that some bosses can only be defeated by "tactics" - meaning by figuring out the weaknesses of the AI, and using them to your advantage.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think boss fights were decent and allowed some tactics especially for non-combat characters. Oh…in fact, I remembered a really lame boss which lacks AI, though…that one was helpless…yes. I defeated that one by unconsciously exploiting its AI but redone the fight with more decent tactics. I needed to be kind for it since its AI easily loses the position of my character… The embarrassment was that the non-brainer did a lot of speech before the fight. About the lack of AI issue, I have another boss in mind but I wonder if it can even speak so…nice role-playing here. :)

* Also, why give you possibility to build a character who sucks at fighting, when the only way to win the game, is by fighting?? and lots of fighting.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

* The flamethrower!!! BOOOOOOOOH!!!  :angry:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think these issues are connected together. My character was really a ventrue weakling and flamethrower saved my time. However, as you pointed out, why did the designer throw my character into fighting form the first place?

* the feeling that you are just a pawn among scheming vampires, not a big hero, is a big thing for me. You don't get acknowledged for your skills, untill pretty much the end of the game. Also, you know that the prince sends you out, not because he acutally thinks that you accomplish his quests, but because he thinks that you'll probably die and cease to be his problem. But if you, for some unkown reason manage to fulfill the quest - that's a gain for him as well.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Really? I felt quite opposite…I also like the idea of not being a big hero.
Spoiler
A good for irony but it is too clever for the part of the designers. I even couldn’t choose for my character not to tell certain information.
Spoiler
Probably, I expect too much…there should be some compromises between a decent plot and freedom of role-playing. However, for example, I wanted to play a con game with Lacroix especially for the latter part of the game.
Spoiler


Do you know what I would have loved to have in the game? Don't laugh. But I would have loved romance plot with Nine Rodriguez  :thumbsup:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don’t laugh but lost my word...

i agree, KB.  every quest should at least be checked for completeness, too, which is not their forte either.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It didn’t stop my machine and some others even without a patch…so, you can blame them for not testing on enough ranges of computers but you can’t say that they didn’t test the game at all. I didn’t come across even a single broken quest. In case if it doesn't work well on your machine, giving a time for people test-play for you is not a bad idea, tough.




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