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Concerning Conversations, Cutscenes, & Buffs

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17 replies to this topic

#1
Tsuga C

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While playing NWN2 I noticed that:
  • the clock was running on buffs during cutscenes and long conversations
  • there was no option to have anyone other than the player character do the talking for the party
I'm hopeful that these issues might be addressed in P:E. It would be very helpful for the timer to stop during conversations and cutscenes so that our preparations don't go to waste. Also, being able to designate someone other than the PC as the party mouthpiece would an excellent option.

Fragile wizards and sneaky rogues have no business taking the lead when dealing with hostile parties unless we can maintain our party formations during cutscenes and conversations. Protecting the P:E equivalent of D&D d4 and d6 characters behind a line of high-hitpoint melee types just makes sense as they're not able to shrug off a beat-down very readily, especially the d4 types. So, Obsidian, please enable us to designate a mouthpiece or maintain our combat formation unless there's a uniquely coreographed encounter taking place that mandates otherwise.
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#2
Few

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I also really hope that other characters can act the party mouth piece if you so wish it; so as the most appropriate person can do the speaking. For example if you have a wizard in your party, whilst your own character may well be the best class (chanter or cipher) :p, and you need to deal with some sort of wizardish organisation, then your own wizard should be able to converse with them on a much better level as they would have a greater mutual understanding &c.

Also I do hope buff times get frozen during cutscenes. You will probably understand why if you played The Witcher 2 (and were also not so great at the combat). :D
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#3
Dream

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The way I see it when it comes to conversations you're playing your character, not the NPCs. It would be a bit weird to have conversations as your companions one instant and then have conversations with your companions the next.

Unless you mean asking your companions to do the talking while at the same time having no control over what they say. That I can get behind.
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#4
xSigma

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Hmmm...opens up possibilities like Few stated. Certain characters get bonuses or penalties when interacting with others. Wizards get bonus when speaking with wizards...etc.

#5
Ieo

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I never played NWN2.

But in the BG series, unless I'm mistaken, all forced cut-scenes with the dialogue box auto-paused your party so timers wouldn't run down.

As for party spokesperson, previous discussion: http://forums.obsidi...y-spokesperson/

#6
ogrezilla

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I like the idea of other characters being able to do the talking, but I think the NPC characters should have limits on their choices based on what fits their character. We should only have full control over the PC. The NPC characters should have dialogue options that reflect their personality and morality.
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#7
Inertia

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I'd rather have the your character be the "mouth piece" and have the option for your companions to interject where it makes sense.
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#8
moridin84

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Stopping the timers on buffs is good idea. On the other hand I prefer to have two different types of buffs, long term and short term. Long term buffs last until you rest, short term will run out before or shortly after a fight ends. Actually... has there been a thread on this yet? I might make one otherwise. 

 

Anyway.

 

I think that the player should be the 'mouthpiece' all the time, the player is you after all and the other characters are optional extras. Having them interject like in Dragon Age 2 would be cool though. That said, formations being broken and player being pushed into the front is a bad thing and Obsidian should definitely avoid doing that. 


Edited by moridin84, 03 February 2013 - 06:36 AM.

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#9
smithereen

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Why should buffs not run down in cutscenes? That doesn't make any sense...



#10
Tsuga C

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Why should buffs not run down in cutscenes? That doesn't make any sense...

Your party is more focused on stealth and social interaction than in dishing out raw, physical damage. You know the Foozle Lord is in the cave. You buff your party in anticipation of combat and enter the cave. SURPRISE--you're treated to a long monologue or interogavtive session by/with the Foozle Lord during which half of your buffs expire. You now have a hell of a long fight ahead of you and you're probably looking at having to re-load 4 or 5 times as the Foozle Lord is one tough hombre.

Crap like this is not fun; rather, it is aggravating and pointless. You made the right call in buffing before you entered the cave, but the forced chit-chat nullified your tactical decision to go in fully prepared for a fight. This is poor game design, plain and simple.
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#11
JFSOCC

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So no expiration for cutscenes or dialogue which You did not initiate.

#12
Tsuga C

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So no expiration for cutscenes or dialogue which You did not initiate.

That's the general idea. I can't imagine myself standing around bantering with the enemy while my limited-duration defensive and offensive enhancements are running down.  It's foolish, plain and simple.  Chat all you want when he's down to six hitpoints and is begging for mercy; otherwise, ATTACK!



#13
smithereen

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Why should buffs not run down in cutscenes? That doesn't make any sense...

Your party is more focused on stealth and social interaction than in dishing out raw, physical damage. You know the Foozle Lord is in the cave. You buff your party in anticipation of combat and enter the cave. SURPRISE--you're treated to a long monologue or interogavtive session by/with the Foozle Lord during which half of your buffs expire. You now have a hell of a long fight ahead of you and you're probably looking at having to re-load 4 or 5 times as the Foozle Lord is one tough hombre.

Crap like this is not fun; rather, it is aggravating and pointless. You made the right call in buffing before you entered the cave, but the forced chit-chat nullified your tactical decision to go in fully prepared for a fight. This is poor game design, plain and simple.

 

...so... wouldn't it make more sense to write in an "*attack him*" option into the dialogue tree when he spots you, instead of pretending the universe is fair and making the duration on all of your buffs pause when it's convenient?


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#14
Remmirath

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I would prefer an "attack" option myself, but I agree that it's rather annoying when you get drawn into a long and inescapable conversation and have to watch the buffs slowly go away. Having an "attack" option is more realistic, and also would give you some consequence for being maximally prepared. Being able to both interrogate the enemy indefinitely and be as prepared as possible sometimes strikes me as a bit much, but so does being forced to interrogate the enemy (or listen to their grandstanding) rather than attacking.

I'm fine with the old pause-on-conversation method as well, though. It's worked just fine in the past; it just sometimes comes off as a little odd.

I also like the option for any character in the party to talk. Sometimes it makes more sense to choose someone other than the party leader. Having the combat formation broken up and transported can be particularly annoying.

#15
Tsuga C

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...so... wouldn't it make more sense to write in an "*attack him*" option into the dialogue tree when he spots you, instead of pretending the universe is fair and making the duration on all of your buffs pause when it's convenient?

Writers value their writing and want us to enjoy it regardless of whether or not it makes tactical sense from the character's point of view, so that option is frequently missing and I anticipate that this will continue to be the case.

#16
OldRPG'sAreGood

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While I myself dislike the idea of buffs wearing off during dialogue, it could actually prove to be an interesting add, provided that your enemies suffer the same disadvantage. So entering the hall, seeing this big bad boss having half the shielding spell arsenal casted on him could be made weaker by having a good long stalling conversation while your enemies buffs wear off. Would add to highly charismatic/speech centered character possibilites IMO.

 

And that'd probably mean that an *attack* option would be included in the dialogue, so maybe if you tire in the middle of the long dialogue, lulling the big boss in the sense that you're actually wanting to have a talk, to hear the evil plans or so, and have then a brief advantage in the form of hitting chance and wounding chance when you suddenly stop talking and decide to attack.



#17
AGX-17

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Cutscenes are non-applicable. The fundamental concept of a cutscene in gaming is a non-interactive cinematic or cinema-style sequence.

Anyway, the idea of buffs wearing off is realistic, but not fun. Last I heard they were leaning more toward sustained buffs similar to Dragon Age's than toward a time-limited buff that has to be recast constantly, because they're using a Dark Souls style system of a certain set number of casts between rests.

While I myself dislike the idea of buffs wearing off during dialogue, it could actually prove to be an interesting add, provided that your enemies suffer the same disadvantage. So entering the hall, seeing this big bad boss having half the shielding spell arsenal casted on him could be made weaker by having a good long stalling conversation while your enemies buffs wear off. Would add to highly charismatic/speech centered character possibilites IMO.
 
And that'd probably mean that an *attack* option would be included in the dialogue, so maybe if you tire in the middle of the long dialogue, lulling the big boss in the sense that you're actually wanting to have a talk, to hear the evil plans or so, and have then a brief advantage in the form of hitting chance and wounding chance when you suddenly stop talking and decide to attack.

NPCs don't spam buffs while not in combat so far as I'm aware, especially if they have a limited number of casts and can't ever rest to recover the use of said buffs, so it wouldn't be a likely scenario.

Edited by AGX-17, 07 February 2013 - 02:18 PM.


#18
OldRPG'sAreGood

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While I myself dislike the idea of buffs wearing off during dialogue, it could actually prove to be an interesting add, provided that your enemies suffer the same disadvantage. So entering the hall, seeing this big bad boss having half the shielding spell arsenal casted on him could be made weaker by having a good long stalling conversation while your enemies buffs wear off. Would add to highly charismatic/speech centered character possibilites IMO.
 
And that'd probably mean that an *attack* option would be included in the dialogue, so maybe if you tire in the middle of the long dialogue, lulling the big boss in the sense that you're actually wanting to have a talk, to hear the evil plans or so, and have then a brief advantage in the form of hitting chance and wounding chance when you suddenly stop talking and decide to attack.

NPCs don't spam buffs while not in combat so far as I'm aware, especially if they have a limited number of casts and can't ever rest to recover the use of said buffs, so it wouldn't be a likely scenario.

Well, I was mostly basing that to a memory of mine of BG(which seems to be a bit shifty, hah). You know in the Naskhel mines, Davaernon, didn't he have some protective spells active when the player met him? And IIRC in the end battle as well Sarevoks mage companion had some protection. Though I'm not sure 'bout that in any quantity.

 

And well, whose to say that such a feature couldn't be implemented in PE? Though I guess it'd be foolish if only to balance buff wear off during dialogue...







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: conversation, cutscene, buff, duration, lead character, PC, player character, spokesman, spokesperson, spokeswoman

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