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The Elder Scrolls actually have an excellent story to them and probably one of the most developed worlds among video games....however....you have to look for it. There is a very rich history in TES but for the most part it's not crammed down your throat via the quest line, you have to seek out further details through books or dialogue to really get the entire experience. I personally love TES and have been faithfully playing (even Oblivion *sigh*) since Daggerfall, but I can certainly see how many people could find them to be a bore.

Do not criticize a fish for being a turtle when it is, in fact, a fish.

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It always seems a little other-worldly to me when somebody goes on about how great PST was; I just didn't find it that interesting. Yes the characters and the setting were novel, but the story didn't grab me as it did others. For some reason I just preferred the more grounded setting and characters of the BG series. They made the unique elements of the plot stand out more.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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If you claim that these things make P:T a failure as a game, I wouldn't really argue with you. If you were to claim these things mean it would have made a better book than game, I would argue with you.

Maybe not, but using Adventure game mechanics would have served the story far better than using D&D 2nd edition did.

 

The only reason I would argue with you here is the amount of joy I got each time I saw a D&D mechanic turned on its head. Non-static aligment that affects the gameplay, great. Ability to change class on a whim, awesome. Death can actually be something I actually want to happen, amusing and brillant. It didn't make for the most fun game experience I've ever had, but I did enjoy questioning the ruleset I'd simply accepted over the years. That couldn't have been done without 'working inside' the ruleset.

 

It might have made a game that I would play again and again for the game mechanics, but it would have weakened the impact of times I did play it.

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The Elder Scrolls actually have an excellent story to them and probably one of the most developed worlds among video games....however....you have to look for it. There is a very rich history in TES but for the most part it's not crammed down your throat via the quest line, you have to seek out further details through books or dialogue to really get the entire experience. I personally love TES and have been faithfully playing (even Oblivion *sigh*) since Daggerfall, but I can certainly see how many people could find them to be a bore.

 

The games had not a good story.The world had an excellent history and it was very well develloped, but as games the main storyline was... poor. I would argue that Skyrim has not even an ending! The game's story and the game world's story are two different things Besides, Bethesda's writing is atrocious.The only thing they do well is exploration. I don't say they are bad games, just that they are bad in things i consider important and their strong points are things i don't care about. I don't care much for exploration,and the games are lacking the motivation for me to explore..Even on the IE games, i didn't like the empty wilderness areas in BG1.Also in TES the world may be huge, but it feels shallow in comparison with BG2 for example.NPC's should not all look the same and should not all repeat the same lines.

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Also, you just woke up as an amnesiac - are you more likely to remember how to swing at people or the details of arcane languages? If anything, this is an interesting look to what happens to the upper class if they are placed in a situation where their status symbols are lost and their services are not in demand, as there is no large industry / need for delicate analysis. They have to survive on a primal level, which they may be **** at, even though generally, they are far "above" these people in society.

If by swing at people you mean flail away like an incompetent oaf then yes you will probably remember how to do that. If you think learning how to properly parry an enemy thrust so you can counter with a riposte that will hit vital organs is something you can do without years of practice and study well... there are lots of real world martial artists and students of medieval swordplay out there who will gladly educate you on how wrong you are. PS: In ye old real world most people who actually practice, study, and specialize in real medieval weaponry and combat also happen to be mostly from the upper class and highly educated. Knight's in Medieval Europe for example pretty much came from the upper classes only and I bet they got a real solid education for back then too. What I am saying is "being a fighter" does not equal "being an uneducated moron who no speak gud".

 

Nor would you want a Wizard representing your "party" in most conversations. I mean after all who is the "common man" going to relate to more? A Wizard who spent his entire life with his nose in a book and has a superiority complex or a mercenary sell sword who spends three nights a week singing songs and drinking ale with commoners down at the local tavern? I sure know everyone loved that Raistlin chap in those Dragonlance books.

 

Lastly the argument of the game being better because it did not follow D&D rules is so dumb I actually had to read it twice to be sure I got it right. Especially since multiple people seem to be making it. If you aren't even going to bother following the ruleset you had to pay a licensing fee to have in your game then maybe you should have saved some money, not been a pretentious moron, and just made the game without that ruleset in the first place. I am sure TSR would have been fine if they had just used the setting (which they weren't faithful to either, no idea why) and just not used the actual "mechanics" of D&D.

 

Also I appreciate all of you constantly making comments about PS:T that are downright false. No, no mage would teach you magic in the hive. But I ran into plenty of Mages in the Hive, some of them even talked about how they knew and or used magic. I mean how did Ignus (a mage living in the hive) wind up in his situation? He pissed off a bunch of other mages (who lived in the hive) by being a pyromaniac. Also the Hive isn't a Ghetto, in the actual campaign setting it is supposed to make ghetto's look like Martha's Vineyard. But again they weren't really faithful to the actual campaign setting.

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No not really. Also I can't help that you have no sense when it comes to game design. Removal of options in an RPG is never a good design move. Forcing the player to play a specific way in an RPG is never a good design move. PS:T does both without even leaving the character creation screen. Unless of course you don't mind being a subpar character who sees less than half the lore/story (only reason to even play it), being forced to get the bad ending since you missed half the story, or being forced to be a mage since it is literally the only viable class choice, too bad you have to be hours into the game before you can actually be a mage.

 

I have to agree at least somewhat here. The no swords and no armor thing especially stank of selfish adolescence. I liken it to a teenager who argues with a parent just for the sake of doing such rather than for any actual logical reason. The no sword anti-trope barely affected me at all but the no armor anti-trope irritated me to no end. I'm surprised no one's made a game with a main character that lacked both arms and legs to move with as I see so much swinging of swords and walking around that it's become rather drab. I vote for a main character that cannot move or equip weapons at all.

 

Why was it a game that took place in a city located at the center of the universe with doors leading literally everywhere had fewer options and more restrictions on where you could go and how you could play than one that started in a backwater keep in the middle of no where?

 

Heh... the amazing lack of portals in the City of Doors (plenty of fetch quests though). Thought I was the only one that noticed that.

 

Torment just has them the other way around

 

Which is equally as bad in the polar opposite direction.

 

If you claim that these things make P:T a failure as a game, I wouldn't really argue with you. If you were to claim these things mean it would have made a better book than game, I would argue with you.

 

Out of curiosity why? I often see many Planescape fans liken the game to a visual novel (to which I often wonder if they've played any of the good ones). If you cut out the atrocious combat, the lame fetch questing and the non-choices wouldn't you have a much, much better game by any stretch of the imagination? If your car's bumper is hanging off of your car as you are driving wouldn't just removing it be a far safer and wiser option then leaving it on to do potential damage to a) the road b) other cars/drivers and c) your own car?

 

Lastly the argument of the game being better because it did not follow D&D rules is so dumb I actually had to read it twice to be sure I got it right. Especially since multiple people seem to be making it. If you aren't even going to bother following the ruleset you had to pay a licensing fee to have in your game then maybe you should have saved some money, not been a pretentious moron, and just made the game without that ruleset in the first place. I am sure TSR would have been fine if they had just used the setting (which they weren't faithful to either, no idea why) and just not used the actual "mechanics" of D&D.

 

Haha wow... well said my friend well said. That really kind of does make Black Isle look really stupid for making such decisions back in the day doesn't it?

 

That just sounds unecessarily convoluted, but I will check out the authors you mentioned.

 

I admit you brought a smile to my face as I was a little worried there for a time. But yes, rereading that giant block of text and envisioning the lack of any real reference points makes that little blurb indeed convoluted but it's largely because i withheld a great deal of them (the reference points). Statements out of context tend to be difficult to make sense of. As for the authors, Frank Herbert's well known for starting Dune which is a big part of Sci-Fi greatness. I'd name him king along with Isaac Asimov. These guys laid the foundation for everything after. They are, in essence, what Tolkien was to fantasy. The second is Joe Ambercrombie who writes perhaps the grittiest "dark fantasy" i've ever seen. To be honest, gritty fantasy is not my cup of tea but I have a healthy respect for him because his characters are second to none. Logan Ninefingers is a work of art... and there really isn't much to say after that. I'd suggest starting with The First Law book 1 if you do decide to check him out.

 

But alas, both of those authors (all three?) are not what you are looking for... or at least what I was referencing. So forum suicide be damned here is what I *was* referring to: http://www.amazon.co...=Pandora Hearts

 

Of course I do hear of ways to perhaps... preview... certain works. A word of caution though this particular Wonderland does *not* let you go assuming you fall too far in.

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No not really. Also I can't help that you have no sense when it comes to game design. Removal of options in an RPG is never a good design move. Forcing the player to play a specific way in an RPG is never a good design move. PS:T does both without even leaving the character creation screen. Unless of course you don't mind being a subpar character who sees less than half the lore/story (only reason to even play it), being forced to get the bad ending since you missed half the story, or being forced to be a mage

 

The game is about investigation of TNO's past. As the gameplay is mostly investigation and dialogue, with rather little combat sprinkled in between, I cannot see how investing in these abilities more central to the gameplay than combat ability is forcing you to play a mage. You are not supposed to play a min-maxed 18-18-18-3-3-3 fighter in PST, and it's perfectly sensible design that such a character would be at a disadvantage in a story that revolves around investigation, unable to solve the central mystery and doomed to die and try again, especially as the game explicitly advises you about this at character creation and in the manual.

 

since it is literally the only viable class choice, too bad you have to be hours into the game before you can actually be a mage.

 

This just isn't true. The game is perfectly manageable on a first playthrough with a high intelligence/wisdom fighter. Perfectly. Very easy to a fault, even.

 

This is a single-player game, again revolving around investigation, not multiplayer centered on beating other players, so whether the combat balance is finally tilted in the mage's favour over the intelligent fighter is irrelevant when both classes can easily make it through the game. I don't even know to what degree there is any inbalance, as the issue simply never became relevant in playing the game.

 

Why was it a game that took place in a city located at the center of the universe with doors leading literally everywhere had fewer options and more restrictions on where you could go and how you could play than one that started in a backwater keep in the middle of no where?

 

Because one game was more about telling a specific story centered around specific past events, the other more about free exploration and adventure without much of story or detail.

 

PS:T is the ultimate expression of "substance" over "quality". It doesn't wash for anything other than effete snobs and fanboys.

 

Oh bull****z.

 

(at the cost of brevity and wit, it seems almost all the critics and most of the gamers that played it loved it. For whatever all that is worth when discussing the game itself, but it's a hedge against QUESTION BEGGING AND INSULTS. THIS IS A FORUM FOR CONSTRUCTIVE oh whatever.)

 

If by swing at people you mean flail away like an incompetent oaf then yes you will probably remember how to do that. If you think learning how to properly parry an enemy thrust so you can counter with a riposte that will hit vital organs is something you can do without years of practice and study well... there are lots of real world martial artists and students of medieval swordplay out there who will gladly educate you on how wrong you are.

 

Does muscle memory go with amnesia? It's a pretty common trope that the amnesiac discovers physical skills from his past, and this one had been a high level fighter in past lives. I don't know how it works in the real world, but that's irrelevant anyway as the game is about a *magical curse* that removes memories. Clearly this curse leaves you with some muscle memory, or it comes back easier than highly theoretical knowledge.

 

There is nothing wrong with a forced stealth situation, or a forced diplomacy/investigation section, or even forced combat. But when 50% + of your game is forced diplomacy/investigation you had best be making an adventure game or you are doing it wrong.

 

Or maybe games aren't, and shouldn't be, separated on such essentialist terms. PST certainly has an adventure game influence.

 

Lastly the argument of the game being better because it did not follow D&D rules is so dumb I actually had to read it twice to be sure I got it right. Especially since multiple people seem to be making it. If you aren't even going to bother following the ruleset you had to pay a licensing fee to have in your game then maybe you should have saved some money, not been a pretentious moron, and just made the game without that ruleset in the first place. I am sure TSR would have been fine if they had just used the setting (which they weren't faithful to either, no idea why) and just not used the actual "mechanics" of D&D.

 

It's merely irrelevant to the quality of the game itself. Although Avellone delights in investigating strange setting conventions (as in KOTOR 2), and Planescape as it presents itself in the game certainly suits the story.

 

Also I appreciate all of you constantly making comments about PS:T that are downright false. No, no mage would teach you magic in the hive. But I ran into plenty of Mages in the Hive, some of them even talked about how they knew and or used magic. I mean how did Ignus (a mage living in the hive) wind up in his situation? He pissed off a bunch of other mages (who lived in the hive) by being a pyromaniac. Also the Hive isn't a Ghetto, in the actual campaign setting it is supposed to make ghetto's look like Martha's Vineyard. But again they weren't really faithful to the actual campaign setting.

 

I can't remember whether you meet many mages in the Hive, but Reekwind tells you in the same breath that the "mages" in the Hive who stopped Ignus were midwives, witch doctors etc. Not really people who could teach you arcane magic, only extremely dangerous in their combined strength.

Edited by centurionofprix
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If you claim that these things make P:T a failure as a game, I wouldn't really argue with you. If you were to claim these things mean it would have made a better book than game, I would argue with you.

 

Out of curiosity why? I often see many Planescape fans liken the game to a visual novel (to which I often wonder if they've played any of the good ones). If you cut out the atrocious combat, the lame fetch questing and the non-choices wouldn't you have a much, much better game by any stretch of the imagination? If your car's bumper is hanging off of your car as you are driving wouldn't just removing it be a far safer and wiser option then leaving it on to do potential damage to a) the road b) other cars/drivers and c) your own car?

 

The reason I said that had to do with somewhat with spoilers and such, but here we go.

 

Some of the things I really liked in P:T did involve taking an accepted rule, subverting it and then showing you what the game would be like if the rule were that way. So first you have a basic D&D game. When you start playing, everything is familiar, or at least you expect it to be. Then you die. You consider restarting because it's what you normally would have done. Only nothing bad happened. In fact, it might have been for the best as you're healed and in a familiar place again. This suddenly changes the way you look at death.

 

I have go, but I'll give you more examples later if you would like.

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Also I appreciate all of you constantly making comments about PS:T that are downright false. No, no mage would teach you magic in the hive. But I ran into plenty of Mages in the Hive, some of them even talked about how they knew and or used magic. I mean how did Ignus (a mage living in the hive) wind up in his situation? He pissed off a bunch of other mages (who lived in the hive) by being a pyromaniac. Also the Hive isn't a Ghetto, in the actual campaign setting it is supposed to make ghetto's look like Martha's Vineyard. But again they weren't really faithful to the actual campaign setting.

 

This is false. The old woman in Ragpicker's Square can teach you. She's in a hut in the bottom-middle of the screen. After that you can switch betwen fighter/mage anytime you want by talking to Dakkon. It seems to me you didn't even play the game carefully.

Edited by Malekith
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I'm with you man. Planescape far out shined the others, with BG2 coming in second (Far behind, however). Unlike most here, i don't have the hamper of nostalgia and rose-tinted glasses to colour my view, as i just played the IE games this year.

 

The story is absolutely masterful. Never have i experienced such fantastic character growth in an RPG. Due to Planescape not allowing you to start off as some random joe-blow, certain character aspects can be referenced within the story with much more reactivity. The companions are fantastic, far, far better written than those i encountered in BG2. The combat is equally as crap as BG imo, so i'm thankful that Obsidian will be creating a brand new combat system.

 

Everything about the game, other than the combat, is really terrific. A very pleasant surprise indeed, especially after being somewhat underwhelmed by the BG games.

Edited by Gibbscape_Torment
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I'm with you man. Planescape far out shined the others, with BG2 coming in second (Far behind, however). Unlike most here, i don't have the hamper of nostalgia and rose-tinted glasses to colour my view, as i just played the IE games this year.

 

The story is absolutely masterful. Never have i experienced such fantastic character growth in an RPG. Due to Planescape not allowing you to start off as some random joe-blow, certain character aspects can be referenced within the story with much more reactivity. The companions are fantastic, far, far better written than those i encountered in BG2. The combat is equally as crap as BG imo, so i'm thankful that Obsidian will be creating a brand new combat system.

 

Everything about the game, other than the combat, is really terrific. A very pleasant surprise indeed, especially after being somewhat underwhelmed by the BG games.

 

I did play the BG2 game this year. Just finished Arcanum again too. I'm finally starting to play Planescape and I have no doubt that it was a good game. I think a big aspect of RPGs is the fact that you can create your character though, so while it helped PS:T, it makes games less RPG-oriented.

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http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

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http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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It's merely irrelevant to the quality of the game itself. Although Avellone delights in investigating strange setting conventions (as in KOTOR 2), and Planescape as it presents itself in the game certainly suits the story.

 

I like how you don't address his point at all. If Chris wanted just the setting maybe he could of licensed you know... just the setting? Instead for whatever reason they also decided to license all the AD&D rules to do what? Subvert them? Why? To "be different"? "Make you think about them?" To that i would simply say "Grow up." Just because something is "different" does not inherently make it better. I don't know what's so hard to grasp concerning this logic. As well, those decisions to subvert the rules very much had an effect on the quality of the game itself. Entirely instant cast spells meant that there was basically no balance to speak of regarding them. Combat is so atrociously basic that I catch myself nodding off if I happen to be playing Planescape late at night. You think that happened to me at four in the morning when i was playing Baldur's Gate I? Hell no!

 

Some of the things I really liked in P:T did involve taking an accepted rule, subverting it and then showing you what the game would be like if the rule were that way. So first you have a basic D&D game. When you start playing, everything is familiar, or at least you expect it to be. Then you die. You consider restarting because it's what you normally would have done. Only nothing bad happened. In fact, it might have been for the best as you're healed and in a familiar place again. This suddenly changes the way you look at death.

 

To be honest I considered the immortality thing to be a detraction from the game rather then something new and awesome. The few times i've encountered where it's progress to die (like your tomb or the Githyanki killing you) could either be replaced or made little sense (if you are dead how do you hear the Gith conversing after?). Combat wise it's one of the driving wedges between you and enjoyment of the actual gameplay. Without any real way to fail at any particular combat it instead heightens the feeling of combat being a grind or detracting from the actual "game" itself. I remember one of the interviewers who spoke to Chris brought up that there was too much combat in Planescape. That, of course, isn't actually true but there's a reason he thinks that. Outside of combat it also makes little internal sense. Supposedly, when you The Nameless One died you either became a different incarnation or you just lost your memory. Neither of those things is even remotely displayed when you die in game thus there is no "conflict" or option for failure. I remember back when I was sucked into WoW during The Burning Crusade expansion my raiding guild had spent a *considerable* amount of time trying to kill Kael. So for that very first kill when we had finally killed the bastard after many, many deaths everyone quite literally cheered on Vent. I'll never forget that feeling of accomplishment. Never. But, if WoW had "held our hand" as it were and never had allowed us to actually die and fail I guarantee there would've been no enjoyment to speak of for "finally" killing him. Even visual novels allow for failure.

 

I have go, but I'll give you more examples later if you would like.

 

Post as many as you want (it's always interesting to find another view of things). But I might disagree on some or even all of them for my own reasons.

 

The combat is equally as crap as BG imo

 

This is hyperbole at best. I'm not the biggest fan of RTwP combat myself so I do kind of understand where you are coming from but you can't completely ignore all the things the BG series does involving combat that Planescape simply does not have. Peristant AoEs? Offensive and Defensive dispels? Suppressing fire from archers? Layered mage buffs? Contingencies? Time Stop? The list goes on...

 

In regards to combat... they aren't even on the same plane.

 

Edit: As a sidenote, I've played and beaten BG 1 - BG 2: ToB at least 4+ times. I probably have 1000+ hours into that series and now i'm seriously considering 2 more goes at it. I'd say one of my most fun runs was with an Assassin. Everything would explode when I landed a backstab when I hit the end game.

Edited by Razsius
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Some of the things I really liked in P:T did involve taking an accepted rule, subverting it and then showing you what the game would be like if the rule were that way. So first you have a basic D&D game. When you start playing, everything is familiar, or at least you expect it to be. Then you die. You consider restarting because it's what you normally would have done. Only nothing bad happened. In fact, it might have been for the best as you're healed and in a familiar place again. This suddenly changes the way you look at death.

 

To be honest I considered the immortality thing to be a detraction from the game rather then something new and awesome. The few times i've encountered where it's progress to die (like your tomb or the Githyanki killing you) could either be replaced or made little sense (if you are dead how do you hear the Gith conversing after?). Combat wise it's one of the driving wedges between you and enjoyment of the actual gameplay. Without any real way to fail at any particular combat it instead heightens the feeling of combat being a grind or detracting from the actual "game" itself. I remember one of the interviewers who spoke to Chris brought up that there was too much combat in Planescape. That, of course, isn't actually true but there's a reason he thinks that. Outside of combat it also makes little internal sense. Supposedly, when you The Nameless One died you either became a different incarnation or you just lost your memory. Neither of those things is even remotely displayed when you die in game thus there is no "conflict" or option for failure. I remember back when I was sucked into WoW during The Burning Crusade expansion my raiding guild had spent a *considerable* amount of time trying to kill Kael. So for that very first kill when we had finally killed the bastard after many, many deaths everyone quite literally cheered on Vent. I'll never forget that feeling of accomplishment. Never. But, if WoW had "held our hand" as it were and never had allowed us to actually die and fail I guarantee there would've been no enjoyment to speak of for "finally" killing him. Even visual novels allow for failure.

 

I actually disagree that the immortality quirk totally prevents failure. Using your WoW example, when Kael defeated you, you died. This meant that you had to deal with some punishing mechanic and the loss of any supplies used during the battle. When TNO dies, he is transported to the beginning of the area and is not returned any supplies used during the battle. Also if TNO failed to defeat an opponent, that opponent would not have left nor would have TNO bypassed the opponent. TNO was equally able to continuously bang his head against a difficult battle as your WoW character was.

 

In retrospect, I kind of like the fact that it felt like there was too much combat in P:T. Like I've mentioned before, this didn't make the game more fun, but it did feed the game's impact. The fact of the matter is combat was simply an impediment to TNO's goal. You could play it differently, but the driving force of the game's story is finding out who TNO was and how get back his immortality. Anytime you have to fight you have been held back from your goal and maybe even lost answers those people could have given you. In this way, poor combat (along with the massive amount of experience you can gain just from conversations and memories) could be another way that P:T twists traditional D&D rules (in videogames) to prove a point. Conversations and memories are more important to your goal and so those two are more important than combat. For this reason and in this game, if combat can be avoided, it should be. I appreciate that the mechanics support this.

 

I'll post more examples of twisted mechanics and such when I have more time.

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If by swing at people you mean flail away like an incompetent oaf then yes you will probably remember how to do that. If you think learning how to properly parry an enemy thrust so you can counter with a riposte that will hit vital organs is something you can do without years of practice and study well... there are lots of real world martial artists and students of medieval swordplay out there who will gladly educate you on how wrong you are.

 

Wrong. Muscle memory and CNS adaptation become embedded essentially forever. CNS adaptation does not go away, even in complete amnesiacs. Whereas magic, in these games is not a purely mechanical procedure. Also, ligament and muscle strength remains, even if all memory is lost. Finally, if you lumber around like an idiot, that's still better than rambling random **** (spell attempts) that have absolutely no effect. Boom shaka-laka.

 

PS: In ye old real world most people who actually practice, study, and specialize in real medieval weaponry and combat also happen to be mostly from the upper class and highly educated. Knight's in Medieval Europe for example pretty much came from the upper classes only and I bet they got a real solid education for back then too.
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Granted, BUT! In the real world, physical training is still far more accessible than "arcane" training. First, let me defend your point somewhat for the sake of clarity and truth - most people underestimate the **** out of physical training - the value of good teachers, proper conditioning, the time required (i.e. not being a peasant working a **** job), the proper nutrition, the equipment, etc. However, it is still at least somewhat available to the uneducated. Whereas spells, to me, are something like the equivalent of advanced missile ballistics, with radar tracking, anti-radiation capabilities, etc. That is, fighting is readily effective at every level. Science (or magic) is not effective until a very high level.

 

What I am saying is "being a fighter" does not equal "being an uneducated moron who no speak gud".

 

So, what you are saying is that the D&D system is **** in this regard, and PS:T should have taken MORE liberties? Agreed!

 

Lastly the argument of the game being better because it did not follow D&D rules is so dumb I actually had to read it twice to be sure I got it right. Especially since multiple people seem to be making it. If you aren't even going to bother following the ruleset you had to pay a licensing fee to have in your game then maybe you should have saved some money, not been a pretentious moron, and just made the game without that ruleset in the first place. I am sure TSR would have been fine if they had just used the setting (which they weren't faithful to either, no idea why) and just not used the actual "mechanics" of D&D.

 

1. They sue for everything and anything, if you pay attention.

2. People like you love their D&D, so it's good for marketing, even though some of get a bit upset (i.e. you).

3. Fixed alignment? Fixed class. That's pretty stupid, if you ask me. ESPECIALLY since PST gave the option, but made it pretty painful to switch classes. Pretty realistic imo.

 

But I ran into plenty of Mages in the Hive, some of them even talked about how they knew and or used magic.

 

Most of them were noobs / there to do cultist **** away from society. You know, kind of like upper class men (used to) buy weed and harlots in the ghetto.

 

Also the Hive isn't a Ghetto, in the actual campaign setting it is supposed to make ghetto's look like Martha's Vineyard. But again they weren't really faithful to the actual campaign setting.

 

It's a ghetto in the game, and I don't know **** about the original setting, so it doesn't bother me one bit.

 

You also said something about "why was combat there," or maybe it was someone else. Because it made the game complete and wasn't as bad as you claim. Your arguments are getting weak. I am not even trolling, but once you really think about them, you really do stretch certain things far too much.

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Tried to just edit my last post and the time ran out while I was typing.

 

I have go, but I'll give you more examples later if you would like.

 

Post as many as you want (it's always interesting to find another view of things). But I might disagree on some or even all of them for my own reasons.

 

The other examples of P:T subverting the traditional D&D ruleset that come to mind are the alignments that shift with your actions, the classes that cannot be chosen when you start the game but can be changed basically at any time, and characters that actually resist being used like secondary main characters. All of these things asked to you reexamine the way you were likely familiar with playing a game and did so in a way that served the story. The shifting alignment is a more logical and realistic way to approach alignments. Whether a person is good or evil is really an appraisal of their actions, not something that's decided at birth. This was emphasized by having items that were only usable by certain alignments and by a certain story shift involving Carceri. This served to back up the story element that revolved around question "What can change the nature of a man".

 

The way classes work is also somewhat more logical. It is easier and more natural to be a middling fighter than mage or thief, so you start there. Again, people can change their profession more or less at whim, even if that makes them a poor example of said profession. This served to point out TNO's huge amount of knowledge gained over many lifetimes, even if that knowledge may be locked up or just subconscious.

 

The fact that there were may items that companions refused to allow you to remove made them seem more like their own person instead of another character you could have created that happen to have dialogue. This mechanic further interacts with the story in the cause of Dak'kon when you learn more of his backstory.

 

All of these mechanics are defensible choices because they serve to help the player 'play' the story. These mechanics make P:T a story that is better played than read and thus make it a better game than book. I was choices like those about that made me feel that P:T was brillant even if they didn't add to the fun I had while playing it.

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Why is the fact that Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma actually had purposes beyond spellcasting a point against PS:T? Having the stats actually affect gameplay beyond combat was genius. And I agree with the others that combat was supposed to be awkward and feel like a punishment in PS:T. Unless you were in the maze or fighting Ravel or Trias, you were probably doing something wrong.

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OK so i will put in my two cents. Just to be clear, I stop reading after second page or so, because its starting to be only battle of personal preferences.

 

Fallout 1,2 - great atmosphere, items have actualy value even when are not ultra magical, some good lines and quests, and oh god how I loved that depresing music of wasteland (got CD in car for long journeys), good character creation/growth, great combat mechanics for its time. Drugs, prostitutes, raiders, faschist, slavers ... And best part was that small box on left down corner where all the best things where displayed - information pannel describing what you see, combat taunts after shot to groin etc...

 

PS:T - again great atmosphere and setting, unique approach for fantasy. Best conversation lines in all games. Awesome companions. Nice spell effects for its time. Moral views on many things. Fetch quests which I like to do and want more. Weak combat parts without much tactics

 

BG1 - I cant comment much on this one as it was my first ADnD game and I still like it even when I know that there are better games in most aspects, but hey it was first one and I still remember most parts of it so its not bad game in any way. Just want to point out that people refer on this that it was game about por boy getting famous bhallspawn when actualy it was about find out who killed your mentor and why are these assasins hunting you. Just that other IS games are better in some aspects - dialogues PST, combat IWD (or fallout but its different combat system)

 

BG2 - Much bigger BG1 with less exploration (sadly) good quests, good story, good characters, a lot of items. Not much to not like for its time, just polished game.

 

IWD - quite same as BG series, not much to mention about it (mayne I like more these snowy enviroments)

 

IWD2 - Much less focus on story and dialogues and much more funny combat - still playing it some times

 

Arcanum - Great settings tech vs arcane, AWESOME music, awfull combat and companions. sheep

 

ToEE - like it because its ADnD game but itself it was nothing special - except quite nice combat and HORRIFIC invetory

 

I know its not too much mentioned here but what I loved was Fallout Tactics real time combat system. it was quite epicly good, sadly rest of game was just meh

 

Also enjoyed Vampire> Masquerade - great dialogues and nice setting as well with its own unique atmosphere

 

To sum it up what I would like in PE

 

Atmosphere - Fallout + PS:T

Dialogue - PS:T + BG2

Combat - not sure there I mostly enjoyed Fallout and IWD2 but its time to get something new

NPCs (companions) - PS:T

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I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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Wrong. Muscle memory and CNS adaptation become embedded essentially forever. CNS adaptation does not go away, even in complete amnesiacs. Whereas magic, in these games is not a purely mechanical procedure. Also, ligament and muscle strength remains, even if all memory is lost. Finally, if you lumber around like an idiot, that's still better than rambling random **** (spell attempts) that have absolutely no effect. Boom shaka-laka.

Okay sure. So why did my character who you claim used to be a bad ass fighter suck as a fighter when the game started? I thought I kept all muscle memory regardless of amnesia? Meanwhile in D&D 2nd edition did you know a level 1 mage is no worse at swinging at an enemy than a level 1 fighter is, the difference was all in stats and gear options. Since you can't have decent strength at character creation anyway if you want a good ending this is sort of moot though.

 

"boom shaka laka?"

 

Granted, BUT! In the real world, physical training is still far more accessible than "arcane" training. First, let me defend your point somewhat for the sake of clarity and truth - most people underestimate the **** out of physical training - the value of good teachers, proper conditioning, the time required (i.e. not being a peasant working a **** job), the proper nutrition, the equipment, etc. However, it is still at least somewhat available to the uneducated. Whereas spells, to me, are something like the equivalent of advanced missile ballistics, with radar tracking, anti-radiation capabilities, etc. That is, fighting is readily effective at every level. Science (or magic) is not effective until a very high level.

Right, because magic missile doesn't work until you are level 10. Also magic is considered a skill in D&D, not something you go get at the local library. The fact that tons of mages in multiple campaign settings were also poor, lived alone in the woods, had little formal training, etc, sort of invalidates your point. That and the fact that there is no such thing as "arcane training" in the real world. If "arcane training" is learning how to use a ballistic missile system and or maintain one then you probably had to join the military, and the military doesn't care what social class you came from.

 

So, what you are saying is that the D&D system is **** in this regard, and PS:T should have taken MORE liberties? Agreed!

No not really, actually my point is you are just plain wrong and make a lot of assumptions about the class, and apparently also have no idea what the actual rules of D&D are. Nowhere in D&D was there ever any kind of rule or even insinuation that only educated people became mages and only idiots became fighters. That is your own misconceptions at work. In first edition D&D you could even be a Cavalier (IE a highly trained fighter belonging to or serving a noble house) and the class actually had a higher int requirement than a mage. Go figure.

 

1. They sue for everything and anything, if you pay attention.

2. People like you love their D&D, so it's good for marketing, even though some of get a bit upset (i.e. you).

3. Fixed alignment? Fixed class. That's pretty stupid, if you ask me. ESPECIALLY since PST gave the option, but made it pretty painful to switch classes. Pretty realistic imo.

1: I don't remember Black Isle getting sued of PS:T's lack of faith to the campaign setting. In fact I don't think TSR is really in any shape to sue anyone since they no longer exist.

2: People like you also assume they know things about others. I haven't played D&D in almost a decade and am quite happy to hear they are not using D&D rules for this game. It isn't my problem that PS:T's mechanics were a step in the wrong direction.

3: Fixed Alignment, not a feature of D&D. Sorry if you were lawful good and stabbed a fruit vendor to death for no reason in real D&D the DM made you change your alignment. Hell strict DM's would give lawful good characters alignment warnings for simply not telling the whole truth, or even a "white" lie. But then you never played real D&D so you wouldn't know that. D&D also had multi classing, later on prestige classes, and all that that entails. You could definitely "switch" classes if you wanted to. You just didn't get to magically turn the time you spent as a fighter into mage levels. Whether your character had amnesia or not.

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I finally beat the game. It is somewhat fitting that I end the game at a giant Fortress of Regrets as I definitely had a few of them (regrets) about the game. The story ended up coming together quite nicely but the road getting there was quite rocky. But at the end, sitting atop a floating castle filled with shadows and failings, I couldn't help but wonder how great a game it could've been had resources in certain areas been tweaked. Alas... all I see are shadows.

 

I do have a few questions for the Planescape fans. Most especially for the ones that don't seem to enjoy BG 2. I see people often mention things like they wish the companions would be "at the level" of Planescape but for me it'd be something along the lines of "at the level" of the developed companions of BG 2 and Planescape. Ignus and Vhailor were left largely unexplored while Dak' kon and Morte were some of the best companions i've seen. But here's the thing, i'd equally rate ones like Sarevok, Imoen, Jaheira and Keldorn as being very close, at or even above the level of those previous two. I wouldn't want to see another Ignus for example as Edwin's very first meeting beats him hands down. Ignus' entire story is basically done before you get him in your party.

 

So question... why are the Torment companions better? Some examples would be nice.

 

Am I the only one that considered Deionarra the unofficial "eighth companion" (Ah regrets...)?

 

Why wasn't a real reason to search for your mortality actually given? The only real reference to it I could remember was Deionarra making a prophesy on it and then Ravel elaborating on it. As a counter example I knew the exact reason why Geralt was doing what he was doing in The Witcher. On the other hand, we have TNO going "man I sure wish I could remember who the hell I was... let's go search for my mortality". Little jarring till you hit the Fortress.

 

I actually disagree that the immortality quirk totally prevents failure. Using your WoW example, when Kael defeated you, you died. This meant that you had to deal with some punishing mechanic and the loss of any supplies used during the battle. When TNO dies, he is transported to the beginning of the area and is not returned any supplies used during the battle. Also if TNO failed to defeat an opponent, that opponent would not have left nor would have TNO bypassed the opponent. TNO was equally able to continuously bang his head against a difficult battle as your WoW character was.

 

After finishing the game I find my position on the immortality thing strengthened significantly as it's heavily implied that you will always be a different incarnation after every death. Basically, you wouldn't be "you" anymore after every death. This isn't reflected at all in the gameplay. Also, because Planescape combat = large groups of monsters you could kill 1 or 2 monsters in the group and make progress in that regard. You could basically zerg combat despite the resource loss per attempt. You can't zerg Kael and each attempt required your full strength in order to have a chance to beat him.

 

In retrospect, I kind of like the fact that it felt like there was too much combat in P:T. Like I've mentioned before, this didn't make the game more fun, but it did feed the game's impact. The fact of the matter is combat was simply an impediment to TNO's goal. You could play it differently, but the driving force of the game's story is finding out who TNO was and how get back his immortality. Anytime you have to fight you have been held back from your goal and maybe even lost answers those people could have given you. In this way, poor combat (along with the massive amount of experience you can gain just from conversations and memories) could be another way that P:T twists traditional D&D rules (in videogames) to prove a point. Conversations and memories are more important to your goal and so those two are more important than combat. For this reason and in this game, if combat can be avoided, it should be. I appreciate that the mechanics support this.

 

I really don't understand this. If the combat's detracting from enjoyment of the game or adds nothing to it why would it be good to have combat feeling like it's "blocking" the player character from it's goals? I do kind of understand when you hit say Baator and just basically want to ask the Pillar the things you need and not try to empty the entire plane of demons but BG 2 had the respawning mechanic with combat that added to the game rather then detracted.

 

You also said something about "why was combat there," or maybe it was someone else. Because it made the game complete and wasn't as bad as you claim. Your arguments are getting weak. I am not even trolling, but once you really think about them, you really do stretch certain things far too much.

 

I think that was me and I only said as much because any reasonable person is going to judge a game as a whole. They should also be developed as a whole. The combat mechanics at the very best didn't add anything to the game. The fact that you could get in combat did but how it often played out did not. Here's how I beat every boss in Planescape on max difficulty. Step 1) click TNO Step 2) click boss Step 3) win.

 

The other examples of P:T subverting the traditional D&D ruleset that come to mind are the alignments that shift with your actions, the classes that cannot be chosen when you start the game but can be changed basically at any time, and characters that actually resist being used like secondary main characters. All of these things asked to you reexamine the way you were likely familiar with playing a game and did so in a way that served the story. The shifting alignment is a more logical and realistic way to approach alignments. Whether a person is good or evil is really an appraisal of their actions, not something that's decided at birth. This was emphasized by having items that were only usable by certain alignments and by a certain story shift involving Carceri. This served to back up the story element that revolved around question "What can change the nature of a man".

 

The way classes work is also somewhat more logical. It is easier and more natural to be a middling fighter than mage or thief, so you start there. Again, people can change their profession more or less at whim, even if that makes them a poor example of said profession. This served to point out TNO's huge amount of knowledge gained over many lifetimes, even if that knowledge may be locked up or just subconscious.

 

The fact that there were may items that companions refused to allow you to remove made them seem more like their own person instead of another character you could have created that happen to have dialogue. This mechanic further interacts with the story in the cause of Dak'kon when you learn more of his backstory.

 

All of these mechanics are defensible choices because they serve to help the player 'play' the story. These mechanics make P:T a story that is better played than read and thus make it a better game than book. I was choices like those about that made me feel that P:T was brillant even if they didn't add to the fun I had while playing it.

 

I'll actually agree to these but as Karkarov above me stated D&D actually allowed for things like alignment shifts and class changes. If your Lawful Good Paladin decided he wanted to go on a murderous rampage for some inexplicable reason then your alignment very much did shift and you became a Fallen Paladin. Humans could dual class in AD&D second edition and of course non-humans could multi class. While it's true you couldn't shift classes per say it was fairly loose on how you could progress your character (well at least as a Human).

 

As far as unremovable items goes I tend to agree as well with the exception of when it starts taking choices away from me the player. The one subverted "unremovable item" was anything but fun. TNO not wearing any armor because he's TNO was pretty dumb. It didn't add anything to the story or gameplay.

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Congrats, Razsius, on finishing the game! Let's see what I can do about adding perspective and answering some of those questions. I'm going to try to keep the amount of quoting down to avoid exponential post growth. So if my post confuses you, read post #69.

 

I'm with you as far as Deionarra's companion status. If you ignored her, you really missed something. I hope you took the ring from the legacy with you to the Fortress, which is as much as I can say without getting too spoilery. As far as the quality of the other companions, I'm not quite as rabid as some I've seen, but I did think they were great so let me try to explain why. I think the first bit of great character aspect had to do with how well developed the backstories were. Because most of your companions had lived long eventful lives before the game takes place, there was a lot to shape a character around. There is also an aspect of most of these backstories that was very important and extremely spoilery. All I can say is talk to your companions. Another bit of this, for me, did have to do with the ways you were restricted with what you could 'command' your companions to do. Annah for example, wore these type of clothes and used these type of weapons. It was annoying for sure, but it made me feel like Annah was Annah, not a character I created that the game forced a story onto. Dak'kon was very good for this as well. He had clothing that meant something to him, a weapon that was interesting in its own right that also meant something to him, and an item that meant something to him. Speaking of the Unbroken Circle, if you didn't have a long conversation with him about it, you missed something worth doing. I've probably got more to say on the topic, but this paragraph is big enough already. Moving on.

 

After finishing the game I find my position on the immortality thing strengthened significantly as it's heavily implied that you will always be a different incarnation after every death. Basically, you wouldn't be "you" anymore after every death. This isn't reflected at all in the gameplay. Also, because Planescape combat = large groups of monsters you could kill 1 or 2 monsters in the group and make progress in that regard. You could basically zerg combat despite the resource loss per attempt. You can't zerg Kael and each attempt required your full strength in order to have a chance to beat him.

 

I admit a bit of stretching with my Kael comparison. I don't think I'd go as far as zerg style combat, but you could bum rush and whittle a little too much. I see where the mechanic was trying to go and focused too much on that. I personally wouldn't attack the same way twice, if I was beaten I would come back with a new tactic, but I can see people exploiting this. That is a weakeness in the immortality mechanic.

As far as TNO becoming a different incarnation each time he died, I didn't see/notice that being implied. What I took from the incarnation symposium was that the only time TNO got a memory wipe is when he got to the Fortress and died. I supported that with the fact that this is only section of the game (that I know of) that you can get a game over.

 

As far as my opinions on crappy combat being an asset here, what I'm trying to get across is that TNO with his goal might have the same opinion on combat as many people that played the game did, it's relatively unproductive and not terribly enjoyable. Now if the gameplay reflects the views of the main character back onto the player successfully, the game has made you feel what the main character is feeling. Now this a point against P:T as an RPG because you are no longer telling the main character/avatar what feel, he is also telling you what to feel. I realize that's a bit of jumbled mess, but I hope my point is surviving my articulation. If not, and you want me to, I'll keep trying.

 

I should also go on the record here and state that I have never been exposed to true Pen and Paper D&D. I realized this in my last post and added the distinction of 'in videogames' to attempt to recongize that. I actually didn't know that D&D allowed for a change in alignments, I just know that I never managed to change alignment in BG. For the same reason, I don't know the extent to which D&D allows class change. Though I wouldn't compare dual-classing (as I know it from BG) or multiclassing to the class shuffling in P:T. P:T's class system seemed more like a wandering attention that focused on whatever way of approaching the world was working best at the moment and shifting when the situation changed.

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Haha thanks. I'll try to cut down on some of my quoting as well so I don't become "Giant Blocks of Text Guy".

 

In regards to companions and Deionarra just assume that i've fully unlocked all except the last 2 Unbroken Circle teachings. I believe that was a high int option. But in regards to Morte's backstory, Vhailor's backstory, Ignus' backstory and Annah's backstory. I'm almost positive I pumped them for everything they were worth. I unlocked Dak' kon's past in regards to him and the Practical Incarnation as well I pumped the Practical Incarnation for everything he had as well. Grace was a little harder to figure out and there was much left unsaid despite her giving you her history. Ravel and that Alu-fiend shopkeeper allude to there being more to her then meets the eye but I never found anyone who gave you the "real" 411 on Grace the "fallen succubus" who doesn't seem to struggle. I did indeed bring that wedding ring to Deionarra and I even got to apologize to her. Problem is Deionarra's character consists of crazy lovestruck seer and that's about it. I still believe that could've been expanded greatly but at least I felt something for her at the end.

 

While I do agree that you can ask your Planescape companions much more about things. The real solid companions you get in BG 2 have backstories that are implied instead of asked about. When you first find Keldorn he's on a quest, a very specific one and he's got specific gear with him. He's old and the VAed lines he does have reflect his character immensely. Later, you get to do his one and only personal quest that gives you a view of Keldorn from 5 different angles his wife's view, his kids view, the lover's view, Keldorn's view of the situation and your (the player's) view. Keldorn is pretty much intricately tied to the Baldur's Gate 2 world almost immediately. You know his faction, how he's viewed within the faction (the quest he was on), how his family views him and even how an npc (the lover) outside the circle views him. He radiates reputation and class before you even get to his banter dialogues. Concerning his banters he's got a ton of them between Viconia (man he hates her) and Jan. He also has a few with Yoshimo and some real personal ones with Anomen. If you never played with both Keldorn and Anomen in your party you really and I mean really missed out on one of the most sombering dialogue banters i've ever seen. Mind you i'm probably forgetting a few banters he has with others. Not to mention his response to you before you go after Irenicus is like a paragraph long rather than the few words I got from my companions in Planescape. Also i'm pretty sure you can try to tell him to bail on you. That's just Keldorn. There's still Sarevok (all that development across 2 games as an antagonist), Imoen (I can never say "no" to her), Jaheira (romancable), Aerie (romancable), Viconia (romancable and she's pretty lippy), Jan (he's kinda like Morte), Edwin, Haer' Dalis, and even Yoshimo are all presented excellently. That's a good chunk of the BG 2 cast and i'm probably forgetting someone(s).

 

I admit a bit of stretching with my Kael comparison. I don't think I'd go as far as zerg style combat, but you could bum rush and whittle a little too much. I see where the mechanic was trying to go and focused too much on that. I personally wouldn't attack the same way twice, if I was beaten I would come back with a new tactic, but I can see people exploiting this. That is a weakeness in the immortality mechanic.

As far as TNO becoming a different incarnation each time he died, I didn't see/notice that being implied. What I took from the incarnation symposium was that the only time TNO got a memory wipe is when he got to the Fortress and died. I supported that with the fact that this is only section of the game (that I know of) that you can get a game over.

 

Lothar actually can kill you (as in you get a game over).

 

For those that didn't play Planescape I wouldn't read this next paragraph.

 

 

It has to do with the shadows in the Fortress. Each time TNO died it would kill someone else in the multiverse off and place their vengeful shadow in the Fortress. There was a substitution for each life that TNO lived. The implied part was that you were a different incarnation each time *because* of this. My theory is that you either stole the person's soul or a part of their soul to make a new "you" each time. There was evidence backing this fact because when you ask Morte why he wasn't entirely truthful with you regarding what was written on your back his answer was because he didn't know how "you" would react. "You" could be anyone from crazed madman to a thief afraid of his own shadow and everything in between. The second piece of evidence is TTO implying that you don't know yourself. You spend the entire game gathering memories of you past incarnations but you know little about *yourself*. Lastly, when you talk to the Incarnations they freely admit they had some control over your memory. Which again kind of implies you are a "Many-as-One." As for the Fortress being the only area that has perma-death, it is because the Negative Material Plane is cut off from the rest of the multiverse and there are no *living* things to "substitute" for you. It's also why the Blade of the Immortal will work on you.

 

 

In regards to the combat, yeah I do understand what you are getting at. Thing is I can't fully agree with an idea that purposely makes a part of a game pretty lame to fuel an "experience."

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