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I like urban environments. Big, detailed, characterful cities. New Crobuzon and Armada, Camorr, the Londons of Neverwhere and Kraken. Sigil. I like cities with the depth and colour to leave grand impressions, to spark ideas for a hundred other stories that could be told in them. Big trading cities, bringing NPCs in from every culture of the world. The map we've seen, which I believe I read somewhere here is part of a much larger map, suggests a lot of thought has gone into the world-at-large, but I'd rather have a plot - a personal, non world-saving-plot if possible - that revolves around just a handful of fully fleshed out locations, really rich with lore and flavour.

 

Who's with me? Who wants a sprawling metropolis full of guilds and gangs, a place where building a reputation can really mean something?

 

Who wants something else? Maybe you'd rather be wanting to explore the world, vast mountainscapes, abandoned castles and - dare I say it - the odd Dwarven mine. You're the kind of person who wants variety. I can respect that, it's just not for me. If we get that two million, I'd want my house somewhere I'd be excited to call home.

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Didn't Dragon Age 2 *attempt* that? I must confess, I'd like to see it actually done well, with a city that feels alive. Something that, when you're in it, you don't feel like the centre of everything and more like just another cog in the wheel.

 

Oh, I'd love to see it have something resembling the Shades too.

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I'll concede this method does not work every time. Kirkwall did not live up to my hopes for it, but Sigil proves this system can work.

 

Kirkwall was not welcoming enough. Partly because of the plot, the refugee crisis and everything, Kirkwall felt suffocating with everything closed off but the larger cities in other RPGs like Sigil, Athkatla, Baldur's Gate, ME's Citadel all felt open, encouraging exploration. I don't want to barely ever leave the city, DA2 style, but I want it to be the focus.

Edited by novander

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Discrete zones are a good way of implying a much larger city without having to populate it entirely. One thing I hate about Skyrim is that you can find every single building in every city and I'm looking at them thinking "but this is everything. No wonder there are so many bandits on the roads when there's not enough room in the cities for even half of them"

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I'd like a big city, I do love that feeling you get from a sprawling map with god knows how many secrets and quests to find, having said that I wouldn't be heartbroken if there was no major city, it's a hard thing to do right and I'd be just as satisfied with medium sized city if the other locations have been given enough love.

 

*edit*

 

Yeah, both the Dragon Age games failed at cities :(

Edited by WDeranged
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Discrete zones are a good way of implying a much larger city without having to populate it entirely. One thing I hate about Skyrim is that you can find every single building in every city and I'm looking at them thinking "but this is everything. No wonder there are so many bandits on the roads when there's not enough room in the cities for even half of them"

 

That's true, but at the same time there is something satisfying about looking at each and every building and knowing "I can go there!". Fewer arbitrary restrictions make the game feel less "gamey" and more immersive.

Edited by Infinitron
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With doing a city, it's not just the architecture and set-up that creates the atmosphere, it's the people in it. The bigger the city, the more npc's, random background people, factions with their own wants/desires..

 

Heh, I'm trying to imagine if they did a city like Baldur's Gate or Sigil, and threw in factions with reactivity like Alpha Protocol... All the tiny things you might have said/done affecting the plots and plans of different groups of street thugs, merchants, noble factions, city guard, other adventuring groups in the area...

 

It's that kind of thing you can set up for a pen n paper game. Create that sort of setting, make a list of each group and the plans they mean to do.. set up the timetable for each thing.. Then as the players go through it, at every point x on the time frame those factions plans go ahead, but you contrast with what actions the players have done and what consequences will have happened..

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Apart from the aforementioned Planescape:Torment and BG2, I thought NWN2:Mysteries of Westgate had a good city. What little I played of it - I would love to replay it but I've lost the disc (or was it a digital download file?).

 

It's a digital download file. They should have mailed a download link to you, check your inbox if you use Gmail or something.

Edited by Infinitron
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