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I don't care all that much about whether specific elements get included in the story or mechanics. What I do care about is whether the story and mechanics are INTEGRATED.

 

A LOT of RPG's are HORRIBLE about this. You get dramatic plot deaths in games where resurrection is as easy as clicking a button (Neverwinter Nights 2). You get incredibly ordinary tasks like getting a dang note to somebody that could be solved by some means such as WRITING A DANG LETTER yet instead require you to join secret organizations and do 15+ quests. (NwN2 again). You get games where people ask the freakin' Archmage to join the Thieves Guild. (Skyrim) You get games where the lore considers your mage to be evil and dangerous, but NOBODY NOTICES when you go flinging fireballs around the city streets. (Dragon Age 2.) You get "urgent emergencies please hurry!" where you can take your sweet time and nothing changes. (Every RPG ever except maybe Fallout).

 

Please, please, PLEASE integrate the lore, story, dialog and game mechanics. If "blood magic" is dangerous, then HAVE it cause the PC some distress if they choose to use it. Or don't let them use it at all.

 

And this should cover even the little stuff. Remember the beginning of BG2 where you had to collect 10,000 gp and everybody talked as if that was some huge amount of cash? I had like EIGHTY TIMES that much before I was finally ready to go to Spellhold. Don't have informed traits like this. If an amount of gold is "a lot", then it should be A LOT. Or, at least go to the trouble of hanging some kind of dang lampshade over it.

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Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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I agree mostly, but on the last point regarding spellhold I had some issues: my character wanted to get to spellhold as quickly as possible, but wanted to avoid compromising his moral code to do so. Eventually he did, and made some good money, and made his way there. That said, I do think the time constraints should be more urgent. Fallout did this well, as did the Devil Survivor games, in their way. Heck, even Mass Effect 2 made it so toward the end, when your crew was abducted, if you did virtually any task before going to the rescue, there were significant casualities. That said, if the crew were so vital, going anywhere but to rescue them - and even that - should have been difficult to do.

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You get games where the lore considers your mage to be evil and dangerous, but NOBODY NOTICES when you go flinging fireballs around the city streets. (Dragon Age 2.)

This is probably the singular element of your list that is the biggest challenge to implement. Good AI covering all of the potential events and contingencies across a multitude of characters can be a lot of work. The remainder just require some careful game design and clear thinking.

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Are you asking for "integration" or consistent internal logic?

 

This is really what the OP should mean, in my opinion.

 

This is something many games fail at badly. So I posed this very line of question in an AMA for the devs and got a response.

 

My question was akin to:

 

In my campaign and text based mud design, I would always try to create a world in its entirty. From all possible angles. While a player may not see 80% of this, it adds a continuity to a world that makes everything sensical. Is this type of approach something that is used in your development/important?

 

The answer was, yes, as you said most players wont see most of this it makes for a world that is sensical, and gets everyone on the same page.

 

Granted things happen and examples from previous IE games show this, but at the least they have the thought, and hopefully the will to see it met.

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Here's another example from NWN2 - In MotB, in the theater when Thayan wizards are actively chasing someone you need to talk to, it's practically a requirement that you rest before going to the shadow plane after them (having just come out of a hard fight, with more ahead). In MotB, it specifically says that you are resting for 8 hours... it's no wonder why the lady is dead when you get there. What's more incredible is that the Thayan's are still there when you arrive (that's a seriously well locked door, apparently).

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And this should cover even the little stuff. Remember the beginning of BG2 where you had to collect 10,000 gp and everybody talked as if that was some huge amount of cash? I had like EIGHTY TIMES that much before I was finally ready to go to Spellhold. Don't have informed traits like this. If an amount of gold is "a lot", then it should be A LOT. Or, at least go to the trouble of hanging some kind of dang lampshade over it.

 

I loved the Tactics mod for BG2 because you could change that to 20, 40 or even 80k (and I think 100k) as the quest. That made the game integration (as you call it) much better for me. Of course, they could have changed this so people who weren't interested in running around doing quests and wanted to finish the story faster could do so, merely by changing this in a difficulty setting.

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You get "urgent emergencies please hurry!" where you can take your sweet time and nothing changes. (Every RPG ever except maybe Fallout).

 

A time limit on the main quest itself is a bad idea. Even way back when, I remember the first question I asked on the official Fallout forum was, 'where can I find the water chip so I can get rid of the damn time limit and just explore?' Didn't realize at the time there was an additional time limit on top of that. I hate being denied the chance to look around at my own pace.

 

So whatever the main plot is, whatever dramatic events are coming, let it be plausible that they can wait. With New Vegas, for example, you could run around doing quests and not feel any time pressure because you could just say to yourself that the NCR and Caesar's Legion are still building up their forces for Hoover Dam. How long will it take for them to do so? Days, months? As long as you like.

 

But as for smaller quests? Oh yes. If it says URGENT, let it be URGENT, and if you don't get there on time you fail.

 

In addition, Baldur's Gate II did something that bugged me. From an in-game POV, at no point did I ever feel entirely comfortable just running around doing random sidequests. This is because, if you run around doing such sidequests before you go to Spellhold, then you're basically coming off as a heel for completely ignoring that your little sister is being tortured by the Cowled Wizards and/or Irenicus. It's like the game is saying, "Shouldn't you be heading out to save your little sister ASAP, you ****?"

 

Yet, once you come back, your frigging soul is missing and Irenicus is busy laying waste to an Elven city while you mess around. Now the game is saying, "Shouldn't you be trying to get your soul back and save the elves, you ****?"

 

There was no point in the game where the main questline allowed you a bit of guiltless exploration. It didn't mean much, since you could spend two years doing nothing and Irenicus would still be attacking the city when you arrived, but that only made it all the more jarring from an immersion standpoint.

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It always bothered me how in Skyrim you could join any of the guilds at will. I also always hated how you could basically finish the Winterhold College without barely using magic at all.

 

Thats basically all Bethesda games ever.

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It always bothered me how in Skyrim you could join any of the guilds at will. I also always hated how you could basically finish the Winterhold College without barely using magic at all.

 

Thats basically all Bethesda games ever.

 

Clearly, there are just hidden schools of magic, like "muscle magic" and "speaking magic" and maybe "thieving magic"

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It always bothered me how in Skyrim you could join any of the guilds at will. I also always hated how you could basically finish the Winterhold College without barely using magic at all.

 

Thats basically all Bethesda games ever.

 

Clearly, there are just hidden schools of magic, like "muscle magic" and "speaking magic" and maybe "thieving magic"

 

It always bugged me that there is absolutely 0 change in the world when you do become the master of XYZ. Its like playing a series of short stories that kind of sort of are in the same world but share no other ties.

 

Im the Archmage of the Mages Guild.

 

Thats nice, I'm a stupid highway robber, gimme 20 gold or die!

 

...... Seriously?

 

lolwut?

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I think this is one of the biggest challenges in game design, and I'm sure something that all devs strive towards to some extent.

 

It's been done quite effectively in mostly simpler games with mechanics tied very closely to the story or premise, but I think there is a limit to how much these consistencies can be maintained in such a complex and multilayered RPG like Project Eternity.

 

There will always be gameplay considerations pushing back against logic and consistency of the setting, and being a game, it's often the former that wins out at the end of the day.

 

That said, this being a completely new setting, with rules and laws of nature being defined by Obsidian themselves, I would hope that at least the core mechanics are woven into the fabric of the world and story better than the old infinite engine games for example. Let the gameplay serve the story and setting and let that drive the gameplay in turn.

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I agree with everything but don't pull a Fallout timed main quest. That sucked. I play games to relax and having the game constantly tell me "hurry, hurry...you've got no time for this, hurry up !" is not my idea of a fun game.

Edited by BSoda
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I agree with everything but don't pull a Fallout timed main quest. That sucked. I play games to relax and having the game constantly tell me "hurry, hurry...you've got no time for this, hurry up !" is not my idea of a fun game.

 

I think a good compromise is an NPC in-character warning for some quests along the lines of "Once we set out, we won't be back for some time" and "We won't be able to stop to see the sights or backtrack, so take what you need and continue."

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I agree with everything but don't pull a Fallout timed main quest. That sucked. I play games to relax and having the game constantly tell me "hurry, hurry...you've got no time for this, hurry up !" is not my idea of a fun game.

 

I heard that it was due to engine constraints, rather design choice.

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I think hardest thing is to make game to react to your choices like becoming Archmage, or becoming someone else.

Because it is RPG that grants you many many choices of who you want to become and it is starts on character creation. Basicaly - game have 10 classes in the beginning? Make 10 different reactions for many events and an a lot of different dialogs. But when 10 classes can become 10 different important\famous persons it becomes 10x10=100 possible different reactions

So when game is complex and with many choices you must make some simplification to that or your just need 10 times as many writers to develop it in time, or 10 times as many time. And it will never be an ideal which reacts to every choice possible.

But oversensitivity is also bad. So there will always be some degree of balance with major choices with reactions and minor not.

Edited by void_dp
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Skyrim was really bad in that way. I remember playing with my stoic Nord warrior, who really despised magic because, well... thats what the nords do.

 

And still, all the time there was this questmark in my log, having got stuck there after I used dialogue options that had no alternative. "Go to Winterhold, learn magic" it said. So, after long consideration and having played through most of the game ("Listen to Brinjolfs Scheme" joined its friend in my questlog after a while) I went to Winterhold, to tell them once and for all that this quest line was not for me, the warrior. And guess what? They accepted me into their college, before I could complain.

 

After that I restarted with an Argonian Assassin, capable of fighting, stealing and magic. I guess it is the only way you can play that game with internal logic. I still like it though. No hard feelings.

 

But if they could avoid that in PE, I'd be glad!

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I think hardest thing is to make game to react to your choices like becoming Archmage, or becoming someone else.

Because it is RPG that grants you many many choices of who you want to become and it is starts on character creation. Basicaly - game have 10 classes in the beginning? Make 10 different reactions for many events and an a lot of different dialogs. But when 10 classes can become 10 different important\famous persons it becomes 10x10=100 possible different reactions

So when game is complex and with many choices you must make some simplification to that or your just need 10 times as many writers to develop it in time, or 10 times as many time. And it will never be an ideal which reacts to every choice possible.

But oversensitivity is also bad. So there will always be some degree of balance with major choices with reactions and minor not.

 

I'd be okay with a generalisation based upon the kind of weapon you use, or the kind of gear you're wearing. Like if you go around carrying a blade, they could say something regarding being a fighter (as a general term) or something, and if you're wearing flimsy robes talk about how it doesn't look like you'd last long in a fight (despite any magic user probably being potent, and monks not caring.)

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It always bothered me how in Skyrim you could join any of the guilds at will. I also always hated how you could basically finish the Winterhold College without barely using magic at all.

 

Thats basically all Bethesda games ever.

Actually, it's not. Before Oblivion every guild had a set of primary skills and attributes which you had to develop to advance in ranks. Yes, you can join the Mages Guild, but you'll stay a journeyman forever and stop receiving quests if you don't train your magic skills.

Morrowind had three great houses of which you could join only one. Fighters Guild and Thieves Guild conflicted with each other (if you completed an early quest for Eydis Fire-Eye, you couldn't join the thieves anymore).

Not to mention the guilds you didn't discover in your first playthrough (hidden requirements in Daggerfall, vampires in Morrowind).

 

TES had potential for consistency, but it was lost when Todd Howard decided his games were too spread-sheety >_<

 

On topic: I agree with all points but one. Time limits - I don't like them. Yes, if there's a quest which requires my immediate attention, there should be consequences for not doing it right away (rescue mission in ME2, first mission in DX:HR). However, I don't want to constantly be under time pressure. I love exploring and I'd rather most of the game was obligation-free, so I can go wherever I want.

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It always bothered me how in Skyrim you could join any of the guilds at will. I also always hated how you could basically finish the Winterhold College without barely using magic at all.

 

Thats basically all Bethesda games ever.

How about playing at least Morrowind?

 

EDIT: Goddamn, ninja'd by Rosween.

Edited by evdk

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When i think about it, it seems to me that IE games like BG\PST have even less reactions from world to your choices than in TES. All reactions that they have is only main plot based, or from party members. Only in VtMB i can remember cool background oriented reactions, but it had setting based on that background.

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One of the things I disliked most about skyrim was the fact that you could join all the guilds with a single character - it kills replay value, character definition, and just plain common sense. If they restricted it to one or two guilds they could also more easily implement people responding to you based on your position in a guild (reaction by rank, rather than specific title for the general populace - the actual rank would just need to be a fill-in-the-blank and all the reactions could be the same). This brings up the fact that basically nobody acknowledges you as a person of any note, despite all your accomplishments... it breaks immersion due to how unrealistic it is that your reputation wouldn't get around at least to the area around where that guild operates.

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One of the things I disliked most about skyrim was the fact that you could join all the guilds with a single character - it kills replay value, character definition, and just plain common sense. If they restricted it to one or two guilds they could also more easily implement people responding to you based on your position in a guild (reaction by rank, rather than specific title for the general populace - the actual rank would just need to be a fill-in-the-blank and all the reactions could be the same). This brings up the fact that basically nobody acknowledges you as a person of any note, despite all your accomplishments... it breaks immersion due to how unrealistic it is that your reputation wouldn't get around at least to the area around where that guild operates.

 

and the fact that in every single guild the leader ended up dead or something and they decided that you, the newcomer, was the best replacement :facepalm:

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