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Just keep the reinforcement coming


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KOTOR, Fallout 2, Mass Effect and Gothic 3 got it down. They either had opportunities for experience points or random goodies in nondescript metal cases around every corner. Each time you played into early morning, you considered ignoring your drooping eyes, because a reward - small or big - always loomed on the horizon. In KOTOR every case had the potential to deliver something useful. In Fallout 2, every town had another quest to discover. In Mass Effect, even the combat in the Mako delivered valuable experience. And in Gothic 3, whenever you got a quest you knew the solution wasn't far away. As long as Alpha Protocol reinforces the player in such manners, we will be playing well into the next morning.

 

Mass Effect got it right in that it rewarded players for simply going through all the options in conversation and learning more about the game world. Also, it was easy to gain levels. Almost every session you would be putting points towards improving your character. Older rpgs would make the higher levels much more arduous to attain. You would have to spend hours just going from level 40 to level 41. At that point, only the most dedicated would take the time to "level up" while the casual gamer might just give up or try to finish the game at that level.

"To be, or not to be a real RPG, that is the question.

Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows

or outrageous action... or by taking up arms against a sea of crap and by opposing: end them."

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You're right that constantly being fed rewards is a major factor in making RPG's addictive. The subconscious brain can not distinguish between real and imaginary success, and releases dopamine regardless. I would dispute that ME got anything right though.

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

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Rewards for kills have the nasty ability to make stealth a non-valid option.

"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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Infrequent levelling-up is fine by me - remember Baldur's Gate? Mass Effect was fun too, though.

 

Stealth is an interesting one. Do we even know if Alpha Protocol has an XP system? Bloodlines rewarded you with character points if you completed a mission without killing anyone - rewarding the stealth route, but in one big lump at the end, not many small rewards as you're describing.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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Pretty sure AP has XP. XP is such an abstract reward though, I much prefer cool loot, the thrill of finding something better than anything you've got so far. AP being set in the real world it may not fit well unfortunately.

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

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Hmm, I agree that it's good to see frequent improvement during gameplay, and I tend to favor innate abilities vs. fancy gear (though no harm in having both to a certain extent). The problem with having a many-tiered equipment progression is that you find yourself buying fancy expensive stuff to counter the effect of tougher enemies, the final result of which is pretty much the same gameplay experience as before. Also, in addition to the spy trapping of having high-tech gadgets, there is also a time-honored tradition of spies making do with whatever is readily available. If gear becomes increasingly important, the "start with nothing but wits and fists" character concept will become increasingly obsolete as the game progresses.

 

The counter-argument is that if equipment differences are too subtle than there's not much point in upgrading, but I don't see this as a huge problem. Particularly in a modern setting, equipment seems to me like something that should be more preference/playstyle and what is best for the situation than switching from a +1 item to a +2 item. Army of two did a good job of not having one weapon be overwhelmingly better than others while maintaining functional differences between them.

 

Regarding the skill progression, what I've read about AP seems to be on the mark. You improve in the various skills as the game goes on, and progressively unlock new abilities as you go.

 

And, as a minor feature, can we restart the game using our old skills/equipment?

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... hopefully the loot you get won't just be for pawning. I like getting loot that at least has something useful right then and there - like a mod for your weapon. The useful items can be small, and not dramatically affecting your outfit.

"To be, or not to be a real RPG, that is the question.

Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows

or outrageous action... or by taking up arms against a sea of crap and by opposing: end them."

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Can we even confirm that you'll be getting loot in AP? Obviously you'll be getting cash as the game progresses, but that we won't be able to pick up fallen enemies' weapons casts some doubt on the question. We can't pick up the guns the enemies have but those enemies just happen to have useful modifications for the custom weapons you possess? It has to make sense.

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Wait, we can't pick up dropped weapons?

Nope. And we have unlimited ammo so we don't have to worry about picking up ammo either. Streamlined!!

 

This is not going to be Deus Ex, but I still have high hopes for it.

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

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Everytime I get excited about this game someone reminds me about the unlimited ammo.

 

And then I start to ponder how I could wrap my head around the concept without thinking "wtf".

"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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Jesus Christ people, can we just get all this complaining/arguing about how infinite ammo is so terrible into one thread somewhere?

Edited by Cycloneman
I don't post if I don't have anything to say, which I guess makes me better than the rest of your so-called "community." 8)
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my thread was locked you know

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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Mass Effect got it right in that it rewarded players for simply going through all the options in conversation and learning more about the game world.

 

Doh. If conversation turns into a stupid metagame like this, why have dialogue options at all?

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I'm not really against inifinte ammo though. There are plenty of reasons why that's a good thing in an RPG, among other reasons.

 

Besides, when pondering about it, I eventually think "Meh, we'll have to reload anyway, right?" and then I believe in humanity again.

"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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Wait, we can't pick up dropped weapons?

Nope. And we have unlimited ammo so we don't have to worry about picking up ammo either. Streamlined!!

 

This is not going to be Deus Ex, but I still have high hopes for it.

 

From reading one of the articles, it makes perfect sense that there IS unlimited ammo. Because of the Choice and Consequence factor, you can approach each mission and just kill every thing in sight (BAD). Or use your RPG Skillz (GOOD).

 

What specifically are you wanting in Alpha Protocol, to be like Deus Ex?

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What specifically are you wanting in Alpha Protocol, to be like Deus Ex?

YES! Is that too much to ask? :x

 

No. I'd say game design is very much still in its infancy, and even the best games are still crude in the way they achieve their goals. There's no design reason for a 7 year old game not to have been improved upon yet, much less equaled.

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What specifically are you wanting in Alpha Protocol, to be like Deus Ex?

YES! Is that too much to ask? ;)

 

I guess you don't understand the word specifically. :lol: Let's list some...

 

The ability to sneak through a mission and not kill anyone? I believe that is in the game.

Will there be consequences for doing that (in that it makes Anna dislike you more for being a pacifict, but you get some better reaction and items from certain people for doing that approach)? Id... assume so.

The ability to hack computers? I'd assume that is in.

The ability to hack turrets & walking computer constructs? Well since this is based on present day, I'd assume no.

The ability to hack video cameras? I'd assume that is in.

Alternate ways of killing people (Say use LAM's to blow up Anna Navaro on the plane... I love doing that!). I'll assume this also is in game.

A way to save certain NPC's if you somehow creativity approach a certain situation (such as Paul/Jock)? I'll assume so.

 

Anything else I am missing?

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Heh, I don't know if creativity described my method of saving Paul :)

 

OK BAD example. Say in the way to save Jock, you have to kill a certain person. I for the life of me could never figure that out, until I read a game FAQ. :lol:

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  • 1 month later...
I'd rather have fewer dialogue options producing more tangible results than the inverse. If it becomes a degenerate meta-game, that is a problem, but I do think that it's good to always produce some in-game effect when the player is asked to make a dialogue choice.

 

I like this approach, and it's one of the things I admire about Obsidian and am hoping Alpha Protocol really focuses on.

 

Personally, I liked approach KotOR2 took to dialogue, with every major character having a different opinion of the Exile based on dialogue and actions. It's unfortunate KotOR2 wasn't really finished, as that had a lot of potential, but I'm truly hoping that Alpha Protocol can do great things with dialogue, something that's lacking from most other RPG's I've played.

 

Mass Effect dialogue seemed overly wordy and I didn't like the extremes of "paragon" and "renegade," simply because what is paragon in the eyes of one may be renegade in the eyes of another. I find any game that has all characters react too similarly to your choices to be a bit watered down, and Mass Effect was no exception. Don't get me wrong, I loved ME, but the dialogue is not where it shined. KotOR2, on the other hand, has the best pieces of dialogue in any game I've played thus far.

"The universe is a yawning chasm, filled with emptiness and the puerile meanderings of sentience..." - Ulyaoth

 

"It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built." - Kreia

 

"I thought this forum was for Speculation & Discussion, not Speculation & Calling People Trolls." - lord of flies

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I didn't like the extremes of "paragon" and "renegade," simply because what is paragon in the eyes of one may be renegade in the eyes of another.

 

Not really.

 

Paragon = follows protocol and directions.

Renegade = whatever needed to get the job done.

 

But, like Jade Empire, it was poorly implemented.

 

Which reminds me, any type of personality meter in the game? Dove vs Hawk, Obedient vs Maverick, Isolated vs Friendly?

"When is this out. I can't wait to play it so I can talk at length about how bad it is." - Gorgon.

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Which reminds me, any type of personality meter in the game? Dove vs Hawk, Obedient vs Maverick, Isolated vs Friendly?

 

I'm hoping for an "Obama vs. McCain" meter. Perhaps based on the number of times Thornton emphatically says "I'm not popular with . . ." or prefaces a statement with "Look, . . ."

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