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Can we truly judge Obsidian based solely on KOTOR2

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I like the game and hate the ending :) . Haven't found any bugs except cut dialogues (and a "dark padawan robe" on one of the dead Peragus miners but I don't know if that counts as a bug :).

 

The only thing that infuriates me is that addicional endings (scripts, voices etc.) are in the game - unused >_<

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I'm wondering how someone could NOT judge Obsidian's ability to make games based on the one game they've made.

 

Maybe NWN2 will be different, if it's true that KOTOR2's problems were mostly the fault of LA's quick deadline, but that's only speculation.

 

KOTOR2 has made me VERY wary of ever spending money on an Obsidian-made game, simply because it's the start of a track record. There is no other way to judge the potential quality of future games except on past games.

 

Look at Bioware. They've made, IMO, 6 really good games, one average game, and one substandard game. And since their first 4 (again, IMO) were really good, and their last 2 were really good, I'll take my chances spending cash on their products (apart from Jade Empire, since I don't own an X-Box, and don't intend to buy one), and expect it to be good, as Bioware almost always makes great games. Dragon Age is most definitely pre-order material.

 

Look at Blizzard. I've enjoyed everything they've made that I've purchased (all Warcraft RTS, both Starcraft RTS, and both Diablo games - I've no plans on purchasing WoW, though it's getting great revies). So if Blizzard makes another RTS or Diablo-type game, or tries to make a more involving single player RPG (or even a Diablo 3), odds are I'll buy it more or less instantly.

 

Bethesda, same story. They made Morrowind and the two expansions (the only Bethesda games I've played), and they're very enjoyable. Oblivion is definitely on my "must have" list.

 

But look at Obsidan. One game, with a (IMO) rather choppy story, and a REALLY choppy ending. Why would I expect their next game to be any different? Have they acknowledged that KOTOR2 is unfinished? Not that I have seen (and I could honestly care less if they agree it's unfinished, but can't comment due to a contract, it doesn't change the fact that money is out of my pocket and into theirs, yet I found the game not so good). All I can do is express my displeasure and HOPE they learn what people want (if, in fact, I'm in the majority - if I'm not, they'll ignore me, but also won't get any cash from me ever again).

 

I can guarrantee I'll NOT buy NWN2 before reading extensive reviews to see if the STORY makes sense and is, for the most part, enjoyable. If it's "bad", I may end up getting it eventually, but not before it's in the discount bin (and I wouldn't have any high expectations of it, either). But I had high expectations for KOTOR2, based on KOTOR1, and was left disappointed.

 

I will not let Obsidian disappoint me again.

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Take it from me. The last thing developers want is to push something out the door before it is finished and up to their standards. The cut out endings and dialogues and plot twists are evidence enough that Obsidian put forth much time, effort and care into this game.

 

I will judge obsidian by this ONE game. Lucky for them it is pretty damn good. I was disappointed like the rest of you that the ending(s) sucked pretty bad and that the character relationship development seemed to be cut a little short.

 

There was lots of foreshadowing of sacrifices to come yet I haven't seen any of them. (Party member sacrificing themselves. It was practically a theme hehe).

 

 

 

What I do know is that despite the few bugs here and there (I solved about 90% of the bugs by reinstalling DX9.0c again over top of the existing one and then reinstalling all of my drivers again. No more crashing, YAY) is that Obsidian probably made the most complex villain in any RPG game to date. They made one of the best stories I have ever played through (until the ending :"> ) with enough plot twists and total "I'll be damned" moments that I was eager to find out what happens next.

 

This game is just great.

 

 

As for the rushing the ending. Many of you may not be familiar with how these projects work so I'll do a little background from my profession (I'm not a game dev but I can assume it is all the same)

 

1.) You make a bid on a contract where you estimate X hours @ Y dollars per hour and a final release date. If you win the contract you are then required to meet your part of the deal.

 

2.) It is IMPOSSIBLE to accurately measure the scope of your project. You give an estimate (usually going a little over what you think it will cost to make in case something happens along the way)

 

3.) If you do not meet your end of the agreement the company who gave you the contract has a few options. a.) Stop production, take what they can and pass it on to another company. b.) Supply more money and time to the company.

 

 

The thing is, Lucas Arts more than likely did NOT want to release the game AFTER the x-mas shopping time. Most shoppers are broke after the new years and will not be buying any more non-essential products and that means Lucas Arts will not make the money they had hoped for and if they didn't make the money they had hoped for, guess what? They would not even consider making KotOR3.

 

 

Do I agree with these practices? As a gamer, I do not. I despise unfinished work. As a business man trying to make his way in this world just like everyone else, I do what my boss tells me to do (to an extent)

 

Obsidian made one hell of a game in such a short amount of time. Had Lucas Arts given them a few more months the game would have been what we all expected it to be.

 

 

Now ask yourself this: What would you rather have? A really good game that will ensure that KotOR3 will be an option or a better game that would put the franchise in jeopardy? I've released work that I thought was NOT ready for final distribution but I had a choice. Release it, or find a new job. Not because I'd get fired but because our contract would go out the window and we'd all get laid off.

 

 

Do not judge Obsidian by this one game if you feel it was not to your liking. The powers that be will always be just that, and the people who truly care about quality (Obsidian in this example) will always have the the last say in what happens when the 'Powers that be' speak.

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To answer the initial question:

 

Yes. Consumers can judge Obsidian based on one game since this is the first game this (new) company has made. That's life. This goes for every thing and every one in every industry. As cliche as it sounds, you only get one shot to make a [good] first impression.

 

I like the darker storyline of KOTOR II, but at the same time it also doesn't feel like a Star Wars story either. I know Empire Strikes Back was "dark" (I really don't think it is as dark as people say) and Episode III is going to be dark... But this was almost a Fan Fiction-style story that presented more of a "What if?" scenario than a cannon-type story. That's just my humble opinion and is of course, subjective.

 

But getting back to whether or not gamers can judge OE based on TSL. Yes, unfortunately.

 

I also realize that they probably didn't have enough time to properly finish and polish the game as they intended due to LA's impossible deadline, but at the same time I am really wondering if another six months truly would have improved the game (both technically and storywise) since I agree that this is more of an expansion pack than a full game (regardless of what and was not cut).

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Yes and No.

 

Most of the anger people feel is justified to a certain extent, however the real question is: Who is to blame.

 

Ive said this in a couple of posts already but it still stands true, if Obsidian are responsible for the "Troubles" surrounding the game then yes, they failed miserably, and it is understandable if someone that is frustrated by all the difficulties surrounding installation/broken quests/ bugs from the original that could have been tracked down easily decides to vent their frustration here, after all only fanboys defend shoddy games, look at troika and the "It wasnt me!" attitude they take to their problems.

 

If however Lucasarts is to blame then, no, it means that Obsidian had greater plans for the game that were cut short by money-loving suits.

 

Personally i intend to do something constructive with my frustration, which is why i have lent my support to the petition, while it will more than likely fail i would rather make it clear that i think that whatever future the IP had, could have been irrevocably damaged by this poor showing, and if lucasarts wish to do right by their customers they should try and fix at least some of the broken quests/endings with a number of patches, or ensure that the sequel will take the time needed to tie up loose ends at the start.

 

(By that i mean have the "Real" ending at the start of Kotor 3, to reveal anymore of how i could see this working might give away too much to those that havent finished the game so ill just say that it could involve the survivors meeting up to discuss all of the events a day or two after the end of TSL, perhaps rescueing party members from slavers, and using multiple choice questions to alter the behavior of the party to match how they were at the end of TSL.)

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Obsidian is the developer. They are to blame. Period.


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Obsidian is the developer. They are to blame. Period.

 

Not necessarily.

 

Publishers are Gods right now in the PC Games industry. They dictate contractual terms, put up money and basically "hire out" devs houses like Obsidian, the defunct Troika and others to realize their visions in a lot of ways. They also control the deadlines for the projects and retain all copyrights to the material used. Especially, as something like Star Wars.

 

It is evident from my perspective that this game was given an impossible deadline (from Christmas '03 to Christmas '04; one year). There is no way anyone could have produced a quality (both technical and artistic) RPG of this scope in less than one year. Period.

 

Unfortunately, impossible deadlines are becoming the norm for developers and this is why a lot of PC Games... Like Vampire: Bloodlines.. Ship in almost post-alpha, pre-beta states to retailers because all the publishers are concerned about is money. Quantity and not Quality. This isn't the 1990s where it was "Games for gamers by gamers".

 

So, I am willing to cut Obsidian some slack in that respect because I know what this industry is currently going through and it only looks to get worse with big publishers like EA Games and UBISoft gobbling up smaller dev houses to monopolize and "dumb down" (to an extent) the PC and Console games market.

 

However, I also question some of the artistic content of TSL as well and that falls squarely on OE because that is their department in terms of the development process which is why I said even if the game was given another six months... Would the reception by fans be any different because I just do not think TSL is as good as the first game because it really does not know what story (stories?) it wants to tell and is possbily trying to tell too many, yet doing none of them particularly well.

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Master Dahvernas,

 

Everything you say may, indeed, be true.

 

It still doesn't change the fact that Obsidian either bid on the contract, and stated they'd have it done by Christmas 2004, or agreed up front to have it done by that date when LucasArts imposed the deadline.

 

Either way they were hugely optimistic about their abilities to produce a quality game in the time they agreed to (the ending is the MOST important, IMO, as it's what you leave the game with - and to me, a poor ending simply ruins an otherwise good game, because I am left with a "what was the point?" feeling upon completion, instead of a "cool, that rocked" feeling - put a good ending on a poor begining, and you have a complete 180, at least from me).

 

Why am I to think that any game they release in the future will be any better? Faith? No one involved seems to be willing to state that they were disappointed with the product, so why should I assume anything other than their next one will be about the same?

 

I can guarrantee that if KOTOR3 is made, I will be HUGELY skeptical of it. I can guarrantee I will not buy it day 1. I will most likely wait until it drops in price. And this is whether Obsidian does it or not (unless Bioware does it, then I'll buy sight unseen), since I don't know if it was mostly LucasArts' or Obsidian's problem with the crap ending.

 

And the same goes with NWN2. No way I buy it day 1.

 

That's two games I likely buy at a discount, or not at all, because the end of KOTOR2, IMO, ruined an otherwise great game.

 

I don't know if there are enough people like me to matter, and I don't care much, but if there are enough people like me to affect the sales of either KOTOR3 or NWN2, then I really hope both Obsidian and LucasArts are paying attention to people like me.

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Brickyard

 

There is definite truth to what you say.

 

In fact, if you read what I said at the end of my previous post... I too question whether or not added development time would have made the game any better regardless of any deadlines as I think the core story The Sith Lords is trying to tell isn't a particularly focused on.

 

It brings up a lot of interesting philosophical, ideological and moral questions... Which is always good in my opinion... But it doesn't really seem to follow through on any of them and just uses it like window dressing to hide the fact that there really is no coherent plot or narrative (compared to KOTOR I) and is merely there to distract the gamer from that fact.

 

You hit the nail on the head when you said the weakest part about the game is in fact the ending and I will add, by proxy, possibly the way the story is told. The strongest parts are the actual gameplay and questing... But that is all secondary in an RPG if the overall, larger story that gives the player purpose of why they are questing and doing all of those cool gameplay things is done well.. Which, in my humble opinion, Obsidian didn't do.

 

So... Of course people like you matter.

 

I think more and more people "like you" -- which includes consumers like me who want quality (subjective opinions about artistic choices like story aside) -- Do matter whether these publishers and developers will never publically admit it or not. Especially as narrow and competitive as the PC Games industry (vs. the overall industry that includes consoles and hand helds) is getting for the reasons we're discussing.

 

However, I am also a realist in that what I said about quantity and not quality is the unfortunate trend that is happening to the PC Games industry and is only going to get worse unless everyone like us bans together in significant numbers and just boycotts companies who put out shoddy work... But that won't happen for reasons too numerous to go into here.

 

So, what is the alternative?

 

I say this not to be an ass, but either stop playing (PC) games and find another hobby and or just stick with the developers and publishers who consistently put out polished products and only play those games (which limits your gaming experience)?

 

I don't mean to be melodramatic... But I think we (consumers) are seeing it unfold before our eyes and unfortunately it will come to this if something isn't done in my humble opinion.

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When it comes down to it, Obsidian deserve praise for K2. There were a number of flaws, but they haven't lost a customer in me by any stretch of the imagination. If this is Obsidian at their worst, their best must be outstanding.

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I won't judge Obsidian based solely on KOTOR2. I also remember Planescape: Torment, possibly the best game I've ever played - and I've been a gamer since the early 80s.

 

And I *love* KOTOR2. I'm very pissed off because it was rushed and some important (and obviously intended to be included) parts were cut, but I'll never deny that Obsidian has some of the best writers in the industry.

 

Although next time I *will* wait for reviews and forums comments before buying, instead of pre-ordering the game like I did for KOTOR2.

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"I also remember Planescape: Torment, possibly the best game I've ever played"

 

And? Obsidian didn't create PST.


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"I also remember Planescape: Torment, possibly the best game I've ever played"

 

And? Obsidian didn't create PST.

 

They did. Not all of the same people, but most of them, including lead designer Chris Avellone. They were just called "Black Isle" then.

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"They did. Not all of the same people, but most of them, including lead designer Chris Avellone. They were just called "Black Isle" then."

 

No, they didn't. Chris Avelleone and other shelped create it at BIS. Heck, last i checked, half of Obsidian didn't even work at BIS. To give the entire company credit for a game made by another company is silly.

 

You remind me of the Troika fanboys who claim Troika created FO.

 

Obsidian is not BIS. Yes, it was formed by former BISers who do deserve credit for working on PST; but Obsidian as a team/company did not create PST.


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"They did. Not all of the same people, but most of them, including lead designer Chris Avellone. They were just called "Black Isle" then."

 

No, they didn't. Chris Avelleone and other shelped create it at BIS. Heck, last i checked, half of Obsidian didn't even work at BIS. To give the entire company credit for a game made by another company is silly.

 

You remind me of the Troika fanboys who claim Troika created FO.

 

Obsidian is not BIS. Yes, it was formed by former BISers who do deserve credit for working on PST; but Obsidian as a team/company did not create PST.

 

Are you arguing for the sake of argument? I don't know, I'm kind of new here, maybe you're known for doing this... ;)

 

To me, "same lead designer" means something. Obsidian "isn't" exactly BI, but it has pretty much the same lead people. And, yes, the first Fallout was created by some people who later founded Troika. Just like the Civilization 1 people later formed Firaxis (though the lead designer of Civ 2, Colonization and Alpha Centauri nowadays leads Big Huge Games).

 

To me, BI mostly changed their name to Obsidian (and were released from Interplay). Sure, some people left, some people joined, but much of the creative people are the same.

 

What's next? You'll tell me Liquid Tension Experiment are NOT Dream Theater with a different bassist and no vocals? :)

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"I don't know, I'm kind of new here, maybe you're known for doing this... "

 

I'm known for many things. I'm known as an idiot, troll, spammer, flamer, evil, scum, pathetic, and any other nice nickname you cna think of. You'd best ignore me.

 

Muahahahaha!

 

 

"To me, BI mostly changed their name to Obsidian (and were released from Interplay). Sure, some people left, some people joined, but much of the creative people are the same."

 

Wrong. BIS was a division of Interplay that was closed down. Obsidian is a brand new company that until KOTOR2 has made zero games. They were founded by former employees of Interplay/BIS.

 

That's a fact. Sure,Mr. Avellone helped create PST. In fact, he played a large role in that game's creation. He should get credit for his previous work. That said, that still doens't change the fact that Obsidian did NOT create PST.


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Yet from the first moment of this game produced by Obsidian Entertainment I was caught in the web of clever dialogues, interesting characters and dark atmosphere. Many say that such atmosphere does not represent the galaxy in a real way, but then again perhaps not many of you have ever experienced war

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"stop being such a sophist"

 

Maybe I would... if you told this moron what the definition of 'sophist' was..

 

R00fles!


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Yet from the first moment of this game produced by Obsidian Entertainment I was caught in the web of clever dialogues, interesting characters and dark atmosphere. Many say that such atmosphere does not represent the galaxy in a real way, but then again perhaps not many of you have ever experienced war

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You are awesome. :cool:

 

P.S. And, no, that's not sarcastic.


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Brickyard

 

There is definite truth to what you say.

 

In fact, if you read what I said at the end of my previous post... I too question whether or not added development time would have made the game any better regardless of any deadlines as I think the core story The Sith Lords is trying to tell isn't a particularly focused on.

 

It brings up a lot of interesting philosophical, ideological and moral questions... Which is always good in my opinion... But it doesn't really seem to follow through on any of them and just uses it like window dressing to hide the fact that there really is no coherent plot or narrative (compared to KOTOR I) and is merely there to distract the gamer from that fact.

 

You hit the nail on the head when you said the weakest part about the game is in fact the ending and I will add, by proxy, possibly the way the story is told. The strongest parts are the actual gameplay and questing... But that is all secondary in an RPG if the overall, larger story that gives the player purpose of why they are questing and doing all of those cool gameplay things is done well.. Which, in my humble opinion, Obsidian didn't do.

 

So... Of course people like you matter.

 

I think more and more people "like you" -- which includes consumers like me who want quality (subjective opinions about artistic choices like story aside) -- Do matter whether these publishers and developers will never publically admit it or not. Especially as narrow and competitive as the PC Games industry (vs. the overall industry that includes consoles and hand helds) is getting for the reasons we're discussing.

 

However, I am also a realist in that what I said about quantity and not quality is the unfortunate trend that is happening to the PC Games industry and is only going to get worse unless everyone like us bans together in significant numbers and just boycotts companies who put out shoddy work... But that won't happen for reasons too numerous to go into here.

 

So, what is the alternative?

 

I say this not to be an ass, but either stop playing (PC) games and find another hobby and or just stick with the developers and publishers who consistently put out polished products and only play those games (which limits your gaming experience)?

 

I don't mean to be melodramatic... But I think we (consumers) are seeing it unfold before our eyes and unfortunately it will come to this if something isn't done in my humble opinion.

 

 

 

 

Ahhh, and here is the best response so far, becuase you mentioned something i , until now, felt was best left unsaid, that is the whole story itself.

 

It is schizophrenic, a mix of "The Force is......", "Light is...." and "Dark is...." , in many ways its a soap opera, rather than an epic.

 

After all what is the story? Is it about a war hero, returning to put the ghosts of the past too rest? A cautionary tale about the dangers of trusting those you know too much? A statement about how the smallest actions can change the fate of the galaxy?, or all of the above?, or perhaps none of them.

 

Personally, i think none, why?

 

Becuase its messed up, unlike KOTOR 1 there is no "Base", no foundation upon which the other storys can anchor themselves too. No "This is what the story is, along your way you will learn other things, other views on the current situation, but despite all this you will always have this thread to hold onto."

 

That is the game's greatest failing, after all, in kotor 1 you were out to stop malak, all of the stuff on the planets was the sidequest gravy to the main story arc meat.

Even when you were solving the murder on dantooine, ending the sand people threat, peacefully or violently, or trying to guide the outcasts of Taris to their promised land, you always had a core upon which you could depend.

 

This game had none, now before others reply with "U R T3H ST00P1D!!11!" , i can assure you that i "got" the game, the problem was when i got it, it turned out to be nothing but smoke, their was no common bond, no background, every time you met one of the jedi masters you had to explain exactly what you were, what motivated you, if you were angry, and on and on, by the time I had them all toghether I thought the games central story was a lesson in how to tell people about yourself in the shortest time possible, all of the, well, boredom of the side quests would have been bearable had the ending wrapped it all toghether.

 

Just imagine, if all of the drudgery, all of the pointless, repetitive conversations had all been tied up in the end, if it turned out that all of what you had done had been for something, ill take it that most of you have finished KOTOR 1, if not ill try and keep the rest as spoiler free as possible, by the time you were finished you felt as if all that you had done during the course of the game, at least if you were good, had been an act of redemption, those little things that you did, those "Fedex" quests had proven to your "Friends" that your past no longer defined you, that you had proven the whole council wrong by showing them that you werent a puppet, that infact you were a new man/woman.

 

By the time the end credits rolled you felt "Ahhh, that was cool, the twist, the ending, yes, the fighter blasting and the dungeon crawl at the end was repetitive, but it was all worth it, it all made a difference."

 

As for the Sith Lords, ermmm, not so much.

 

The ending destroyed, it, but then again, i didnt play the fallout series for its xp system, or the baldurs gate series for its loot, i played them for the story, its why i avoid games like diablo like the plague, its why i would give my left arm for a copy of planescape torment, which is impossible to find.

 

Think about it, whats makes life great, is it the fact you once cut the lawn for a crippled neighbor, that you did well in school, or is it the way your whole life wraps up, the person those experiances shape, all of the storys that make you the man or woman you are today.

 

Ohh, and if you read all of that long winded stuff above, have a cookie, you deserve it! :lol:

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I haven't finsished the game yet, but it's been patchy so far.... some really nice partts and some others that seem to have been cobbled together in a couple of weeks - like Korriban.....a rush job there. That must have been the last planet on the list before release. But at the moment I'm in the middle of Oderan, which is massive and pretty good so far....

 

I still feel like a DS thug though, no behind the scenes manipulation emporer style.....

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