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Thanks for the heads up. Its my first read.

 

I find it suprised that there is the inability to switch weapons in game. That would mean I assume, the player is restricted to only two main weapons in the game which I thought can be very limiting.Hopefully the CQC has alot of variations to keep the tactical action aspect of the gameplay consistently engaging.

 

By reading the last paragraph, its good to know that Obsidian is setting themselves high expectations but at the same time, more grounded and realistic this time in the approach of their work. Apparently they learn alot from their mistakes in forming group projects during NWN2 and agree that MotB is Obsidian's finest work to date.

 

Now, I can only hope SoZ will go higher than A- with AP and Aliens reaching for the distinction bar. :o

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We have four primary weapons that you can switch between at will during a mission, plus your melee attacks and special weapons and gadgets. You upgrade your weapons via the safe-house between missions, though you can receive upgrades during missions as well from loot.

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Hm, when they start talking about the choices in the game, like who might die and live, the appearantly dizzying dialogue trees and the writing it's hard to not get excited.

 

But I have to say that I'm rather skeptical of gameplay choices like the combat system and dialogue system. Bringing action-y combat is always a problem for me, because I feel the balance is nearly always off. Mass Effects combat for example was fun for a minute, but after that you realize you need minimum skills in both shooting and "RPG strategizing". It works well in how it flows, but it's really, really unfulfilling.

Alpha Protocol seems to have the added boon of having more ways to tackle things though, which is welcome. But if the combat/enemy interaction focus is sort of not so deep, action-y and generally light then it I believe it will be yet another game that I will have to enjoy despite the combat. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong though.

 

Dialogue system is also something I'm wary about after having played Mass Effect. Yes, it's all nice and stuff at how cinematic you can get conversations to look, but for me it also serves to seperate me from the actual gameplay. And even moreso, when it turns out that the different dialogue choices tend to flow incredibly weirdly in the context of the conversation. Like having a seemingly calm conversation, and I want to put a little more pressure into it by using the Renegade option, and suddenly Shepard waves his gun in the face of the NPC being very threatening. I really hope stuff like that can be avoided, because it not only does a disservice to me the player (as I had no idea that Shepard would start waving his gun around and I'd like to think that I, as the player, would be the one controlling the action), it also doesn't flow well when keeping in mind the cinematic nature on the conversations.

 

I do welcome the fact that we only get to have a certain conversation once though.

Edited by Starwars

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It seems the lite aspects of action is bringing concern to the players, including me, on the aspects of the game's challenge.

 

So just being curious MCA or any devs willing to indulge us, how is Obsidian going to make the game a challenge?

 

-Unlimited ammo system

As some RPGcodex posters mentioned, it only encourages players to be reckless and focus on more of a run and gun gameplay. This results in putting the stealth gameplay into question on whether it is worth it or not unless there is a significant outcome and a different reward for players who opts stealth, accomplishing the objective without killing anyone.

 

 

-Lack of looting system in enemies

With the elimination of limited ammo gameplay system, I suppose it does indeed remove the need of implementing loots on enemies. This would also mean I assume, the player uses a health regen system(Correct me if I'm wrong) instead of being dependent on healthpacks or painkillers. Its unfortunate that Obsidian decides to remove this system since it is one of the factor that could influence the challenge level of the game by managing resources by means of salvaging and keeping a count on ammo counter. An RPG action game with limited ammo system had been proven to influence some degree of challenge with games such as Deus Ex, System Shock 2 and Thief.

 

But I disgress, since its only a speculation. But any form of counter argument is welcome though and I am willing to keep an open mind until then.

 

 

-Stealth system

Its stated in the article that Obsidian is still considering and yet to implement the moving of downed bodies of the enemy. Yet if the surviving enemies notices the bodies, they will sound the alarm thus eliminating some control in the stealth aspect of the gameplay. Stealth is supposed to influence events and outcomes to a player's advantage as the player being to have a degree of control and manipulation of the environment. That would mean hiding the bodies of downed enemies as well as clearing what trails you left behind that betrays the player's presence to the enemy.

 

Deus Ex demonstrates the usefulness in executing the stealth aspect of gameplay (Moving enemy bodies out of sight, hiding in shadows ect) though the system could still be perfected since the engine is not reliable.

 

In short, I hope the moving and hiding of bodies gets implemented. Unless the enemies in the missions are those capable of respawning, this feature itself will add much to the stealth gameplay.

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An RPG action game with limited ammo system had been proven to influence some degree of challenge with games such as Deus Ex, System Shock 2 and Thief.

 

Actually in Thief 1 & 2, the weapons and tools you had left in a mission didn't carry over into the next one. The reason for this is the developers didn't want you to hoard your items, they wanted you to use the tools they've provided. Better to use them and have fun with them than think "I should probably save these for later" and never end up using them. Of course that doesn't stop you choosing to play without using your weapons, which increases the challenge if that's what you want.

I think unlimited ammo could have the same effect, you'll use the weapons you want to use, rather than saving them for later and using something lesser.

 

Unlimited ammo system As some RPGcodex posters mentioned, it only encourages players to be reckless and focus on more of a run and gun gameplay. This results in putting the stealth gameplay into question on whether it is worth it or not unless there is a significant outcome and a different reward for players who opts stealth, accomplishing the objective without killing anyone.

 

Like I said in the other thread, this simply isn't true. If the game features stealth options that are fun to play, then people will choose those options. Using all the tools you have in Thief makes for a much easier game than playing through without using any tools at all, but that doesn't stop the latter being a very popular play style, even when it doesn't offer any additional rewards over the easier style other than the satisfaction of having done it.

Edited by Hell Kitty
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I apologise. Using Thief as an example is a poor one since its a game lacking of any RPG characteristics and it is a stealth focused gameplay only. I will fall back to simply Deus Ex as the sole example with the only game being comparable to AP.

 

I believe its not a matter of hoarding the item, but rather making the player utilize the resources given at its very best. The 'hoarding' part can be easily limited by utilizing inventory system by upgradable belt and pouch system, both for the purpose of carrying the number of ammo magazines, grenades and gadgets. The player is still capable of swapping weapons from fallen enemies as well as salvaging ammo that is restricted to the enemy's weapon type.

 

In short, I think an inventory system similar to The Witcher's would work well. You cannot carry more than one same weapon at the time, the new armors providing new belt slots. AP could expand and improve the system with a cleaner version.

 

So this opens up the possibility for players to unlock unusual weapons that cannot be purchased from in-game stores by the means of completing the mission with the said weapon in the inventory. A similar comparison to Hitman: Blood Money way of unlocking weapons.

 

Of course that doesn't stop you choosing to play without using your weapons, which increases the challenge if that's what you want.

 

This reasoning echoes to NWN2's rest system: If you think the rest system is too easy, don't use it. But the flawed rest system is part of the gameplay itself that inevitably affects the experience that results in splitting the community with two sides of the argument as we all had witnessed in the official forum. In this case, it is a matter of the system of unlimited ammo and limited ammo. The gameplay of CQC is an entirely different experience that is part of AP that differs itself from shootouts with the character progression skills players can choose to focus on reflects it.

 

 

Like I said in the other thread, this simply isn't true. If the game features stealth options that are fun to play, then people will choose those options. Using all the tools you have in Thief makes for a much easier game than playing through without using any tools at all, but that doesn't stop the latter being a very popular play style, even when it doesn't offer any additional rewards over the easier style other than the satisfaction of having done it.

 

I think Thief is a bad comparison to AP since Thief is a game with a gameplay revolving around stealth only with gadgets that assists the player greatly in their stealth and escape approach, not one meant for all out engagement. AP is a gameplay that gives the option of both stealth and action. Once again, Deus Ex is a better comparison. Perhaps you could make an argument with such similar games in mind like Deus Ex for better comparison?

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I'm not excited about this game.

 

I mean, I'll buy it, and I'll probably enjoy it (maybe even really adore it), but I thought you guys should know that simply based on previews, I'm not getting good vibes (or any vibes really). I think that's a general feeling not unique to me, so perhaps you need to approach marketing from a different angle; you don't have a pre-built fanbase or game world like you do/did with KOTOR, NWN, SoZ or even Aliens, so you can't expect the audience to do the work of getting excited.

 

No doubt this problem is what plagued NOLF1 and Deus Ex 1, as well, and indeed any new IP. Regardless, I think perhaps it'd be a good time to think outside the box.

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I agree Krezack. And despite my own feelings on this game, I just have this nagging feeling that Alpha Protocol will not manage to strike through into the mainstream (like Biowares games do for example) in the way Obsidian would likely want it to. I think Obsidian makes games that are generally a lot more interesting than Biowares, but the mainstream/gaming media opinion of Obsidian is not like that. While KOTOR2 and NWN2 got good reviews if I recall correctly, the mainstream world seems to remember them as games that were buggy and that didn't live up to their predecessors.

 

While Alpha Protocol is a unique IP, I think the many similarities with Mass Effect will end up hurting the reception of game and the companys reputation yet again.

 

I said this on the Codex as well, I just have a gut feeling that it won't be a very popular game. It might still be a great game on its own, but since it also seems to be aiming more for a mainstream audience, it really needs to hit its mark so to speak.

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This reasoning echoes to NWN2's rest system: If you think the rest system is too easy, don't use it.

 

No, it's nothing like that. Thief is like Deus Ex, you have particular goals to complete and you are free to complete them how you see fit, using any or none of the tools available to you. Thief players don't choose to ghost missions because the system is flawed, because it isn't flawed, they choose to play it that way because they enjoy the extra challenge. I tend to play DX using stealth, whether it's harder or easier than a combat style is irrelevant to me, I play the way I enjoy. The same is true of games like Hitman or MGS.

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Reducing resource management doesn't preclude the absence of resource management itself. The thing with unlimited ammo isn't so much about not being given resources to manage but to focus on the importance of said resources. If we assume a game where every downed enemy leaves a suply of ammunition for our weapons, then there's really no difference between limited and unlimited ammo, as both allow the player to continuously replenish their stock, the former at such a rate that ammunition will nearly always be in excess.

 

If we forget genres for a moment or rather, what we assume each must offer, you'll rarely see anyone making the same complaint against shmups. Why? You still manage resources, from power-ups to player lives, and because that part of the design is focused on giving the player a different set of rules and objectives, such as managing to engage the enemy while avoiding his attacks. It doesn't gain anything by limiting the player's resources against hordes of enemies. Conceptually, there's virtually no loss of player choices or resources there. Why should the same happen with AP?

Edited by Diogo Ribeiro
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Is anyone else horrified at the dialog system? You don't even get a summary of what you're going to say, all you can choose is the stance!? That's just a step away from the game randomly choosing responses for you!

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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Is anyone else horrified at the dialog system? You don't even get a summary of what you're going to say, all you can choose is the stance!? That's just a step away from the game randomly choosing responses for you!

 

I'm sure they have summaries or something, you'll just know which stance it is. Relax, Obs might have made some weird decisions but this one just wouldn't seem right.

 

But yes, AP needs to distance itself from Mass Effect or any other game and feel new, otherwise it might just be received as a modern-day ME.

"Alright, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"

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This certainly makes it sound like there's not even a summary:

Central to that answer is the Dialogue Stance System, or DSS. Working a lot like the Mass Effect dialogue wheel, it has a few crucial additions. The first of these is a Fahrenheit-style time limit for each response.

...

The second refinement is that rather than choosing a specific paraphrased response, you choose one of three stances: aggressive, professional, or suave.

If that's not the case, somebody please verify, because this game has just gone from my "most wanted" to "probably won't bother".

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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If there's no summary, I'd have to treat the game as I treated BG&E, Thief or Final Fantasy: good games, fun, but not roleplaying games and I probably won't end up being as committed. After Mass Effect I still think this 'cinematic' approach is wrong (or rather, antithetical to what-I-want, and no, what-I-want isn't a return to 1997), especially since spy-work involves a lot of careful, subtle dealing and negotiations. I don't want to have to trudge around blind, but we'll see what info comes up.

 

As for the 'feel' of the game I think it's starting to be more fleshed out, their 'exaggerated realism' phrase will probably become iconic soon.

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I think Deus Ex did it well - you often choose the first line, and then the conversation went on autopilot from there up till a branch. At least that way you could generally predict dialogue and choose accordingly. What I hear about their tone system seems to indicate that tones don't act consistently/produce consistent results and are thus fairly unpredictable. Which is nice in moderation but not for the entire dialogue system.

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If we assume a game where every downed enemy leaves a suply of ammunition for our weapons, then there's really no difference between limited and unlimited ammo, as both allow the player to continuously replenish their stock, the former at such a rate that ammunition will nearly always be in excess.
Depends strictly on the amount of ammunition dropped. STALKER, for instance, gives you about the exact amount of ammunition so that you won't run out (provided you don't engage in prolonged firefights), assuming the enemy is using guns of the same calibre as yours.

 

At any rate, I think it should be made so that the player isn't given time to "stop and loot" bodies after combat, in most cases. This isn't D&D, and I don't remember many instances of Bond checking the bodies for goodies, unless the plot calls for it. After a shootout, the player shoud be encouraged to get the duck out of fodge, not linger around idly. Fast action, that generates (or increases) plot tension, please.

 

 

If there's no summary, I'd have to treat the game as I treated BG&E, Thief or Final Fantasy: good games, fun, but not roleplaying games and I probably won't end up being as committed. After Mass Effect I still think this 'cinematic' approach is wrong (or rather, antithetical to what-I-want, and no, what-I-want isn't a return to 1997), especially since spy-work involves a lot of careful, subtle dealing and negotiations. I don't want to have to trudge around blind, but we'll see what info comes up.

 

As for the 'feel' of the game I think it's starting to be more fleshed out, their 'exaggerated realism' phrase will probably become iconic soon.

Have you played KGB?

 

That's one spy game where 99 (100?)% of player decisions can ruin the game, forcing you to reload. It sure involves careful thinking and stuff. It's also probably one of the most frustrating games I've played. Despite its flaws, it's pretty good and rewarding, but I don't think that kind of decisiveness in player actions is very marketable, nowadays.

 

I don't think Feargie wants AP to go the way of DX, regardless of its present cult status.

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I don't think Feargie wants AP to go the way of DX, regardless of its present cult status.

 

Yeah, I get that feeling too.

 

But I'd hope that doesn't mean you avoid all the good design decisions made in DX simply because you don't want to be judged against it.

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If there's no summary, I'd have to treat the game as I treated BG&E, Thief or Final Fantasy: good games, fun, but not roleplaying games and I probably won't end up being as committed. After Mass Effect I still think this 'cinematic' approach is wrong (or rather, antithetical to what-I-want, and no, what-I-want isn't a return to 1997), especially since spy-work involves a lot of careful, subtle dealing and negotiations. I don't want to have to trudge around blind, but we'll see what info comes up.
I think it's much worse than that, this apparently has a massive dialog system which you're barely allowed to participate in. Those other games were adventure games, you couldn't make any decisions related to the narrative. DX is also different, in that you only got to choose when there was an actual decision to be made, but you knew exactly what you were going to say. ME I didn't think worked too bad, the only issues were the summaries could've been a lot more precise, and always having exactly 3 choices instead of a range got annoying. Edited by Wrath of Dagon

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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For me, Obisidan's track record hasn't been impressive so far. Kotor 2 was a mess. That game had the most boring levels of gaming history.

 

- Peragus II

- Telos

- Nar Shaddaa

 

Neither the combat nor the plot was interesting in those locations. Side missions were as shallow as they could be. And, map designs were horrible too. Only maps that has decent desings were from the first game.

 

And don't forget half baked NPCs, zero challenge, zero freedom and of course the redicilious ending.

 

Sorry but, lots of cryptic conversations don't make games good for me.

 

And I can't even play properly NWN2. My rig fails to run it in a playable state. I can play Crysis, COD4, Gothic 3, The Witcher and lots of other games but not NWN2. So, it's a huge failure for me also.

 

So I really have no reason to get excited with any other Obsidian game anymore. I'll probably buy them, but just because I like the guys at Obsidian, not because of the games themselves.

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Before I realized (yes I'm slow) that the renegade choices were always on the lower selection of the dialog wheel and the paragon choices the upper I couldn't figure out how my character was going to act from one conversation to the next because the summaries didn't match up to what I thought my character would do or say.

 

I say bring on the lack of summaries :)

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Actually, I wouldn't even mind going back to Kotor's block of text and lack of character voice acting.

"Alright, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"

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