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Bloodlines Revisited

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Huh? Did anyone of you actually play the game? You can *easily* flirt with fellow vamps in the game. :p


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Woohoo! Go taks! Gothic 2 R00LZZ! [/Gothic 2 fanboyism]

 

And yes.. Sadly enough, I think Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was the best RPG I played this year. At least I think so, since I can't remember any others that made an impact on me this year.

 

Oh, if only people allowed me to categorize GTA: San Andreas as a RPG.. >_<


Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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Well, since Vampires do not care about love, and lack the ability to feel atraction, then flirting with them shoulden't really affect them in any way at all.

 

Or am I the only one who sees this?

True. However vampiric flirting isn't about love or sex. It's about manipulation and power, and vampires are usually into both.


- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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

 

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

 

 

I'd be another...

 

 

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

 

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. :thumbsup:

 

 

I really hope that's not the case...but it DOES have a glimmer of truth. :(

 

 

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.

 

 

A. How much have you invested into the 'Charisma' and 'Research' Skilltrees. Both affect persuasion IIRC, and change your dialouge options significantly. All three characters I've played so far I've invested heavily in those trees (Toreador, Malkavian, and Tremere), and it changed the options significantly. The amount of Humanity you have also affects your dialogue options, so I'd advise keeping it as full as you can. With a vamp with full Humanity, and high persuasion, I usually found there's polite responses for schmoozing, and one or two impolite/sarcastic responses to piss people off (because you're a 'badass vampire').

After my first two playthoughs though, I found that it's really stupid NOT to schmooze, as if you piss off LaCroix, you lose your Downtown Haven AND one of the endings (the one where you side with him), if you piss of Gary and you're a Nos, you lose your Sewer/Warren Haven (read this in an FAQ), if you piss of Ming Xiao, you can't side with the Kue Jin, and I imagine if you piss off Strauss, you can't side with the Cammies (non-LaCroix ending) would lose your Chantry Haven (Tremere), and if you piss off Nines, you'd lose the Anarch ending. Basically, no matter how much you DESPISE someone, it pays off in the end to flatter them.

 

 

B. I believe (though I'm not sure as I'm no coder) that a lot of the problems with the speeds were due not only to the memory leaks (sloppy coding) but lack of engine optimization (double sloppy coding). I accessed the console just to see what cvars were in it, and found that the 'physcannon' cvar is in it, even though that's a holdover from the Grav-Gun in HL2. I imagine there's more too...'noclip' is there as well; but I found that was pretty useful anyway for instance in the Chantry, for whatever reason, if you turn 'noclip' on, you'll find the Newsroom that's always on the TV is in the same map, you can jet up there now that you've can't hit any of the game's walls, and for whatever reason, there's a $150 Money Clip sitting in the corner of the newsroom. >_<

 

 

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:

 

 

1.

The door you're talking about would be in the Golden Temple in the 'Ming Must Die' mission correct?

I had that problem too my first playthrough, I imagine you turned on 'noclip'. However, while it may APPEAR the bar won't move, you just have to be at the VERY edge of it to get it to move. All I can figure is one of their cleverly placed 'invisible walls' jutted out a little too far there. :blink:

 

2. Female characters are more useful because there's more mission critical targets to manipulate via seduction. However if you REALLY feel like seducing the chicks in the bars, you can either ramp up your Appearance and Subterfuge skills manually, or use some handy-dandy cvars. I do agree that this was a rather poor choice...but I can see why they made it. :-"

 

3. Some things I liked about the ways you could manipulate the XP:

 

When you were setting up a character at the beginning, since you got a set amount of 'levels you could invest in the skill trees rather than having a set amount of XP to upgrade them with, it was more useful to throw all your levels into the same category, saving on XP later.

 

 

If you save most of your quests until after you've completed the 'Epic of the Ankaran Sarcophagus' you should have the Voce Del Morte book, and thus be able to trade it for the Saulocept if you've already met up with 'Pisha' the Tzimince in the Abandoned Hospital. This will double any XP you gain for the rest the time you have it in your hands. The only side quests I'd really recommend doing before this, are the 'Venus' quests Downtown so you have a steady flow of income, 'The Pain of Being Mercurio' so that he'll give you weapons later, and of course, you MUST make it to the Abandoned Hospital before heading out the the Museum and talk with Pisha, otherwise you'll never get the Odious Chalice OR the Saulocept. Those, and any quests you feel you need for monies and XP to put towards physical stats, and you should get pretty large XP bonuses later.

 

 

 

Troika released a game with a game stopping bug

society of leopold exit crash

. 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.

 

 

Ironically enough, even before I'd heard of that bug I'd never enountered it, and after I had, I've played through it again...still no problems, playing it through a third time now, almost there, I'll be knocking on wood! :ph34r:

 

As for the endings...

I really enjoyed the ones I've got so far. Looking back on it, I suspect that rather than make you believe in all that Gehenna nonsense, he was trying to keep you from getting your young and stupid ass blown up because of your own lust for power. I mean, he already KNEW there was nothing in that damn coffin, and he also knew Caine to boot! (w00t)

 

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Well, since Vampires do not care about love, and lack the ability to feel atraction, then flirting with them shoulden't really affect them in any way at all.

 

Or am I the only one who sees this?

True. However vampiric flirting isn't about love or sex. It's about manipulation and power, and vampires are usually into both.

 

Yes. The core theme was well treated in Bloodlines, which was at lest refreshing to me among other epic fantasy settings. I have nothing against epic fantasy genre but I know many more settings and possibility of RPG.

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Well, since Vampires do not care about love, and lack the ability to feel atraction, then flirting with them shoulden't really affect them in any way at all.

 

Or am I the only one who sees this?

True. However vampiric flirting isn't about love or sex. It's about manipulation and power, and vampires are usually into both.

 

Then I ask again. When the vampire doesn't get attracted to anyone - fliring is useless because the person don't get attracted to you... It's like trying to make a dog do tricks by prising him with wood instead of sausage.

 

I'm so amased that nobody else sees the lack of logic in this.

 

Flirting with humans? Yes, very useful, they get attracted and think you are as well..

 

Flirting with vampires? Should be like trying to flirt with your own wardrobe.

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I would put forth that a vampire flirting with another vampire should be undertaken in for form of using power, ambition and manipulation rather than trying to ply physical or sexual attraction.

Since I'm not playing a character that uses Seduction, I'm not sure what kinds of dialogue one has access to (if any) when using Seduction on another vampire.

 

Do you get Seduction dialogue options when talking with other vampires?


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I would put forth that a vampire flirting with another vampire should be undertaken in for form of using power, ambition and manipulation rather than trying to ply physical or sexual attraction.

Since I'm not playing a character that uses Seduction, I'm not sure what kinds of dialogue one has access to (if any) when using Seduction on another vampire.

 

Do you get Seduction dialogue options when talking with other vampires?

 

yes. specific seduction lines appear in the dialogue choices.

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It could be someting as simple as

 

"I would do everything for you" or "Did you miss me?" kins of stuff..

 

anyway. I'm probably really duft right now, but how can I use flirting for power, as it obviously shouldn't have any effect. You use it with humans, because it manipulates them to do your bidding. They think they'll spend a great night with you or some such. You gain power by manipulating them, and they are manipulated because of the physical attractiont they feel towards you.

 

If I flirt with another vampire, and all they care about is power and blood, shouldn't I really be promising thim power, give him money, or wave blood-packs in front of their noses?

 

How does it really work? :'(

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Lets see what the 3rd ed rulebook says: There is no such skill.

 

 

..but there's a similar thing in guide to the sabbat called "vamp" which mentions nothing on the use on vampires except

 

"many vampires considers its use distasteful or vulgar, as they no longer concern themsleves with such base mortal acts."

 

GttS. pg 88

 

 

But I think its just a case of creative freedom for Troika, the "rule 0" of storytelling- if the storyteller says it is so, then so it is.

 

 

..and since its an adaption of a PnP game, what the PnP says doesnt really matter at all.


DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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That would pretty much explain the lack of logic then...

 

 

Has anyone besides me noticed the only vamps you can seduce are Jeanette and Velvet? That actually makes sense because

 

A. Jeanette was an oddball anyway...and pretty much everyone in the game knew she was a temptress who 'debased herself' with humans.

 

B. Velvet was a Toreador, and by the manual's own admission, it says that that clan is most similar/in tune with humans, and still dabbled in mortal affairs.

 

 

Near the end of the game, there's an Seduction dialogue option in one of your conversations with Becket, and he says something along the lines of "Sometimes I wonder if the Nosferatu aren't correct in their prejudices."

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Playing as Toreador pretty much mean having a boost in social skills and seduction. But being able to seduce doesn't mean to you are seducable yourself.

 

As I see it Toreadors meddle with humans, they are "good hearted" towards them. But you can be nice to a dog or a cow as well. Pet them, play with them, make them adore you. But in the end they are still a dog and a cow. Humans are seen as lower then vampires. Maybe not as low as a cow is to us (but for Sabbath they are even lower).

 

I could honestly see the "flirting" among vampires as a way they are used to behave towards others, and pretty much do so against one another. Like part of a game, when you say one thing, but mean another...

 

And the Nosferaty are prejudice against Toreadors, simple because they are opposits in the way of life.. uh.. death...

 

 

anyway, have anyone played as a Malkavian? You can talk with the TV!! And more. Also with a lamppost :o

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Playing as Toreador pretty much mean having a boost in social skills and seduction. But being able to seduce doesn't mean to you are seducable yourself.

 

As I see it Toreadors meddle with humans, they are "good hearted" towards them. But you can be nice to a dog or a cow as well. Pet them, play with them, make them adore you. But in the end they are still a dog and a cow. Humans are seen as lower then vampires. Maybe not as low as a cow is to us (but for Sabbath they are even lower).

 

I could honestly see the "flirting" among vampires as a way they are used to behave towards others, and pretty much do so against one another. Like part of a game, when you say one thing, but mean another...

 

And the Nosferaty are prejudice against Toreadors, simple because they are opposits in the way of life.. uh.. death...

 

 

anyway, have anyone played as a Malkavian? You can talk with the TV!! And more. Also with a lamppost :)

 

 

Playing as a Malk was AWESOME! I missed talking to the lamppost though, where was that?

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Yes and no, in some (rare) cases there is clan expecific dialogue ... I remenber when playing a toreador I always end up insulting the nossies.

 

Malkavians dialogue options are completly diferent written but they lead pretty much the same lines that the other clans.


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Yes and no, in some (rare) cases there is clan expecific dialogue ... I remenber when playing a toreador I always end up insulting the nossies.

 

Malkavians dialogue options are completly diferent written but they lead pretty much the same lines that the other clans.

 

Every once in a while, I can't tell what the hell a particular Malkavian dialogue option MEANS, but usually it isn't that different from the Usual RPG Dialogue Choices... just written in a wierd (sometimes REALLY wierd and/or funny) way. And sometimes other people can't figure out what your statements mean, either. (Not a spoiler, says so in the manual I think).

 

Also, female Malkavian clothing is really wierd and messed up (not a spoiler, just start a game with a Malkavian and see what I mean).

 

 

As a Malkavian, the TV set had a conversation with me once.

 

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Actually, the way I see it, Jack was the closest thing you had to a sire the whole game.  Sure Nines saved your ass a couple of times, but Jack tentatively threw you hints throughout the entire game, never really doubted you, and tried to help you grow in your new (un)life.  I don't really think you HELPED him at all, because let's face it, you didn't really do any sort of errands for him.  You didn't even really give him any new information because he already had so many contacts of his own.  He had the key, and the sarcophagus before anyone else in the game, that's how he was able to place the stacks of C4 inside it.  The only way I ever saw him even manipulating your PC, was by trying to fool you into thinking there was some lurking evil inside the old coffin...but that was only so you wouldn't open it and get your ass blown up!  :cool:

 

 

 

If Jack really put his trust on the protagonist, then, why didn

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