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I was reading over the replayability thread and realized I hadn't seen anyone mention a New Game Plus mode yet. Seeing as how I have believed for years that some type of New Game Plus mode should be in pretty much every game you can theoretically "finish," I thought it would be a good suggestion for PE.

 

I don't know how it would be done. I hope to sort that out with you lovely forumites. ;)

 

I'm anticipating some pushback on this, and I can imagine some of the arguments against it already. I'd like to keep this post short, so I won't preemptively respond to any of them except the one which I believe will have the most supporters: "If we want to start from scratch as another class, why wouldn't we take the NG+ bonus every time?"

 

While I personally don't care if another player would want to replay the game with a significant starting advantage (one of the things I was hoping to discuss was exactly what advantage might be conferred on repeat playthroughs, BTW), I understand the complaint. My solution - in addition to making the NG+ bonus optional - would be to limit said bonus to the classes with which you've already completed the game.

 

You know, now that I'm thinking about it, I will preemptively address one other possible point of contention before it festers. I know Sawyer has said they want to keep levels nice and low so characters can be carried over to the expansion and even a sequel. I'm on board with that, and would thus support without reservation any reasonable suggestion on how to facilitate that while allowing for an NG+ system. Starting over at Level 1 with substantial advantages in other ways would be the obvious choice, but I'm open to suggestions.

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Well, a simple one is "roll-over equipment." Or, maybe you get to keep just one item from your main character's equipment?

 

Or, you could keep an ability that you had. Or, in the event of a different class being chosen for NG+, you get to pick a higher-level ability to start with.

 

Another option: Start with bonus skill points.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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- Double or triple (or 10 times) the starting gold.
- Wizards begin with a scroll case with all level one spells.
- Rogues begin with multiple sets of masterwork lockpicks.

 

I'd go along these lines, of providing useful class-related items, rather than bonus skills or feats etc.  They're effectively still level one PCs. Just in a better starting position.

And Lephys beat me to it! :)
 

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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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And Lephys beat me to it! :)

I don't always post the fastest... but when I do, it's because I typed fewer than 900 sentences for once.

 

:)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Normally I wouldn't say that should be in an IE-type game, but given the fact that there's no combat/action-based experience gain, players could potentially go for long stretches without ever leveling up, so there is some appeal to some generalized advantage for additional laps. Something like starting with extra points to invest in attributes or skills, extra money, etc.

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*Waves to Lephys and TRX850* Hey guys.

 

I kind of formerly posted an idea on this about a month ago only it was a little more complex and less "New Game Plus" like.

 

It went over alrightish but i'm not really sure most people like this kind of idea.

 

Might want to check it out and tell me what you think if you missed it: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/63136-design-challenge-new-game-or-true-route/

Edited by Razsius
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*Waves to Lephys and TRX850* Hey guys.

 

I kind of formerly posted an idea on this about a month ago only it was a little more complex and less "New Game Plus" like.

 

It went over alrightish but i'm not really sure most people like this kind of idea.

 

Might want to check it out and tell me what you think if you missed it: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/63136-design-challenge-new-game-or-true-route/

 

Hey Raz, (*waves back*)

 

My curiosity is piqued by the extra story possibilities, and if handled properly could provide that extra gaming experience for the persevering player.  Reading your thread gave me another idea though, which is simply to "unlock" a limited supply of new and/or magic items available from merchants.  Instead of just powerful weapons, maybe additional components, scrolls, potions, maps(?), books and so on.

 

Maybe the NewGame+ always nets you a +10% deal on buying and selling items?

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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^ I had actually missed that.

 

I think it's a very interesting idea, and it'd be pretty great. My only concern with it is that it's SO spectacularly complex, I'm not sure the Kickstarter budget is gonna do it for something like that to be in without sacrificing the quality of the initial game (without forcing it, basically).

 

I know it was talked about in that thread, and I know people have different ideas when different words are used, but I really think it would make a very good expansion. For lack of a better example, think of Blue Shift (I think that's what it's called), the Halflife Expansion, where you play as Barney, the security guard in the same facility as Gordon Freeman in the original game. Basically same story, but different perspective. The difference with P:E is that it would be MUCH broader in scope, rather than 2 parallel/criss-crossing linear perspectives.

 

But, yeah, I would like for New Game + to possibly somehow work its way into some changes in the world/story of the 2nd playthrough. Again, for lack of a better example (My example-thinking-of-ing skills suck right now, apparently), maybe something happens along the lines of your character's soul (from the end of the game) winding up being a part of the witnessed, supernatural event from the beginning of the game. "Time travel" cliche, I know. But, I DID say "along the lines of." The point is that the end of the game could interact with a New Game +, not that we need soul time traveling, heh.

 

Also, I second your belief that the "supernatural event" they've described will involve some sort of multi-soul situation, for what it's worth.

 

LEELOO DALLAS, MULTI-SOUL!

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Maybe your end-game lead character is auto-exported and used as a boss villain or deputy in the NewGame+ final encounter?

 

History repeating, in which you yourself played a huge part.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Interesting concept, but I really dislike it for two main reasons. First, it makes me feel obligated to speed run through the game once and then play it slow the second time ( For each class if class specific) to experience the complete game. And second, I think this is the wrong place to get replay value. Replay value should come from making different choices than the last play through, not content that was locked arbitrarily. Same reason I disliked the DA unlock-able trees: I felt compelled to delay my mage play through until I unlocked the Mage prestige classes ( or whatever they were called). It was replay value, but fake, just like adding more health to enemies creates fake difficulty. Does this make sense?

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^ I had actually missed that.

 

I think it's a very interesting idea, and it'd be pretty great. My only concern with it is that it's SO spectacularly complex, I'm not sure the Kickstarter budget is gonna do it for something like that to be in without sacrificing the quality of the initial game (without forcing it, basically).

 

I know it was talked about in that thread, and I know people have different ideas when different words are used, but I really think it would make a very good expansion. For lack of a better example, think of Blue Shift (I think that's what it's called), the Halflife Expansion, where you play as Barney, the security guard in the same facility as Gordon Freeman in the original game. Basically same story, but different perspective. The difference with P:E is that it would be MUCH broader in scope, rather than 2 parallel/criss-crossing linear perspectives.

 

But, yeah, I would like for New Game + to possibly somehow work its way into some changes in the world/story of the 2nd playthrough. Again, for lack of a better example (My example-thinking-of-ing skills suck right now, apparently), maybe something happens along the lines of your character's soul (from the end of the game) winding up being a part of the witnessed, supernatural event from the beginning of the game. "Time travel" cliche, I know. But, I DID say "along the lines of." The point is that the end of the game could interact with a New Game +, not that we need soul time traveling, heh.

 

Also, I second your belief that the "supernatural event" they've described will involve some sort of multi-soul situation, for what it's worth.

 

You've certainly got a point here Lephys.  Money, time and manpower all need to be spent efficiently because they don't have unlimited amounts of it.  I'd say that's the biggest and most viable concern.  But, it certainly makes you wonder doesn't it?  After all, it wasn't I that decided to do a game based on souls (which obviously opened the door to viable amounts of time travel story telling, multiple "perspectives" and the like).  Thanks for actually stating what the Half Life expansion was btw... nothing more frustrating then seeing a reference to a game I haven't the foggiest clue about.  As for the expansion thing, it might actually be worth a shot but the general idea I had in mind for the "first playthrough" was that you couldn't quite stop the main villain.  I'm not sure how the player base would take such a loss.  Though it would probably be a very good incentive to buy the expansion so what do I know.

 

 

LEELOO DALLAS, MULTI-SOUL!

 

Is that a Fifth Element reference I see?  Went up quite a few notches on the awesome-o-meter with that one Lephys.

 

 

Interesting concept, but I really dislike it for two main reasons. First, it makes me feel obligated to speed run through the game once and then play it slow the second time ( For each class if class specific) to experience the complete game. And second, I think this is the wrong place to get replay value. Replay value should come from making different choices than the last play through, not content that was locked arbitrarily. Same reason I disliked the DA unlock-able trees: I felt compelled to delay my mage play through until I unlocked the Mage prestige classes ( or whatever they were called). It was replay value, but fake, just like adding more health to enemies creates fake difficulty. Does this make sense?

 

Kind of.

 

I think the bolded part is where people often get hung up and i'm not entirely sure why that is.  I always find it so damn "funny" whenever our average adventuring group boldly and proudly goes up to the king/mayor/whatever and says that they will cure all the ruling parties' woes.  I always have one question in mind whenever this comes up "Where the hell are the royal guards?".  I've seen one and only one instance where this would actually be plausible in real life and that was in an indie game.  Should this area be "content locked"?  You bet it should.  Kings didn't exactly grant audience to every Tom, **** and Harry that strolled into their courtroom.  But I have digressed as even this really doesn't matter because players are actually okay with content locking.

 

I'd say Arcanum was the game that would be the most obvious example of the former statement.  If you've never played it then you just have to know that all of your starting statistics would *greatly* influence how your particular game would play out.  I ended up making a low charisma character that I later regretted playing.  I could only ever have 1 companion or I could spend extremely valuable character points on boosting it up at the cost of needed combat viability.  There was a choice I had made at the beginning of the game and it had a (noticeable) consequence to it.  I do not fault Arcanum for this.  If anything, I applaud the actual consequences of the real choices I have to make even at character creation.  You cannot do everything with one character in Arcanum thus there is replay value (and a hell of a lot of it).  In order to do this, they have to lock you out of specific paths you *could* have taken with a different character.  This would be locking you out of content though whether you'd consider this "arbitrary" or not is up to you.

 

You see content that's locked would really only be considered arbitrarily locked if you could actually reach it in the first place.  Maybe your second playthrough of the game is actually the prequel to the events that happen at the beginning of it.  Your character has "memory loss" at the beginning of it yet the main villain keeps subtly implying that their is familiarity between the two of you.  So the first playthrough you piece together events that should be in your memories but are not for some reason.  Maybe *you* are the reason for the rise of the villain.  Maybe you need to stop this from happening, maybe you don't.  Maybe you need to kill "yourself" to save the world or maybe *you* are the shadowy figure that gets introduced halfway through the game that axes the main villain before you ever reach him.  Maybe you end up crushing your "former self" resulting in the bad end you get at the end of the game.  Maybe you finally get to play a LEGITIMATE anti-hero (Raz's favorite archetype).  The possibilities, of course, are near endless. 

 

You know now that I think about it Golden Sun for the Gameboy actually did something along these lines.  It was a two part JRPG for the Gameboy that followed a boy named Isaac who due to various events was attempting to stop the "villains" from relighting some lighthouses scattered across the game world.  Thing is, when you hit the end of the first cartridge your perspective on whether it's actually a bad idea to relight the lighthouses may actually change.  You see, in the second part your main character instead becomes Felix who's goal is to actually light them.  This makes absolutely no sense unless one thing has changed (your perspective).  You basically play the second game attempting to do something you were trying to stop in the first.  This would be an example of good world building.

 

Man, sometimes it feels like the Japanese always beat us to the punch...

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New Game + is one of those things where we really need to see how the game storyline is supposed to play out first instead of just asking the devs to slap it in and call it a day.

 

For example, if you lose all your gear early into the game or are supposed to start with barebones/nothing, the only purpose New Game + would serve is importing in a high level character...which makes it redundant if that option was already available.

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^ I had actually missed that.

 

I think it's a very interesting idea, and it'd be pretty great. My only concern with it is that it's SO spectacularly complex, I'm not sure the Kickstarter budget is gonna do it for something like that to be in without sacrificing the quality of the initial game (without forcing it, basically).

 

I know it was talked about in that thread, and I know people have different ideas when different words are used, but I really think it would make a very good expansion. For lack of a better example, think of Blue Shift (I think that's what it's called), the Halflife Expansion, where you play as Barney, the security guard in the same facility as Gordon Freeman in the original game. Basically same story, but different perspective. The difference with P:E is that it would be MUCH broader in scope, rather than 2 parallel/criss-crossing linear perspectives.

 

But, yeah, I would like for New Game + to possibly somehow work its way into some changes in the world/story of the 2nd playthrough. Again, for lack of a better example (My example-thinking-of-ing skills suck right now, apparently), maybe something happens along the lines of your character's soul (from the end of the game) winding up being a part of the witnessed, supernatural event from the beginning of the game. "Time travel" cliche, I know. But, I DID say "along the lines of." The point is that the end of the game could interact with a New Game +, not that we need soul time traveling, heh.

 

Also, I second your belief that the "supernatural event" they've described will involve some sort of multi-soul situation, for what it's worth.

 

You've certainly got a point here Lephys.  Money, time and manpower all need to be spent efficiently because they don't have unlimited amounts of it.  I'd say that's the biggest and most viable concern.  But, it certainly makes you wonder doesn't it?  After all, it wasn't I that decided to do a game based on souls (which obviously opened the door to viable amounts of time travel story telling, multiple "perspectives" and the like).  Thanks for actually stating what the Half Life expansion was btw... nothing more frustrating then seeing a reference to a game I haven't the foggiest clue about.  As for the expansion thing, it might actually be worth a shot but the general idea I had in mind for the "first playthrough" was that you couldn't quite stop the main villain.  I'm not sure how the player base would take such a loss.  Though it would probably be a very good incentive to buy the expansion so what do I know.

 

 

>LEELOO DALLAS, MULTI-SOUL!

 

Is that a Fifth Element reference I see?  Went up quite a few notches on the awesome-o-meter with that one Lephys.

 

 

Interesting concept, but I really dislike it for two main reasons. First, it makes me feel obligated to speed run through the game once and then play it slow the second time ( For each class if class specific) to experience the complete game. And second, I think this is the wrong place to get replay value. Replay value should come from making different choices than the last play through, not content that was locked arbitrarily. Same reason I disliked the DA unlock-able trees: I felt compelled to delay my mage play through until I unlocked the Mage prestige classes ( or whatever they were called). It was replay value, but fake, just like adding more health to enemies creates fake difficulty. Does this make sense?

 

Kind of.

 

I think the bolded part is where people often get hung up and i'm not entirely sure why that is.  I always find it so damn "funny" whenever our average adventuring group boldly and proudly goes up to the king/mayor/whatever and says that they will cure all the ruling parties' woes.  I always have one question in mind whenever this comes up "Where the hell are the royal guards?".  I've seen one and only one instance where this would actually be plausible in real life and that was in an indie game.  Should this area be "content locked"?  You bet it should.  Kings didn't exactly grant audience to every Tom, **** and Harry that strolled into their courtroom.  But I have digressed as even this really doesn't matter because players are actually okay with content locking.

 

I'd say Arcanum was the game that would be the most obvious example of the former statement.  If you've never played it then you just have to know that all of your starting statistics would *greatly* influence how your particular game would play out.  I ended up making a low charisma character that I later regretted playing.  I could only ever have 1 companion or I could spend extremely valuable character points on boosting it up at the cost of needed combat viability.  There was a choice I had made at the beginning of the game and it had a (noticeable) consequence to it.  I do not fault Arcanum for this.  If anything, I applaud the actual consequences of the real choices I have to make even at character creation.  You cannot do everything with one character in Arcanum thus there is replay value (and a hell of a lot of it).  In order to do this, they have to lock you out of specific paths you *could* have taken with a different character.  This would be locking you out of content though whether you'd consider this "arbitrary" or not is up to you.

 

You see content that's locked would really only be considered arbitrarily locked if you could actually reach it in the first place.  Maybe your second playthrough of the game is actually the prequel to the events that happen at the beginning of it.  Your character has "memory loss" at the beginning of it yet the main villain keeps subtly implying that their is familiarity between the two of you.  So the first playthrough you piece together events that should be in your memories but are not for some reason.  Maybe *you* are the reason for the rise of the villain.  Maybe you need to stop this from happening, maybe you don't.  Maybe you need to kill "yourself" to save the world or maybe *you* are the shadowy figure that gets introduced halfway through the game that axes the main villain before you ever reach him.  Maybe you end up crushing your "former self" resulting in the bad end you get at the end of the game.  Maybe you finally get to play a LEGITIMATE anti-hero (Raz's favorite archetype).  The possibilities, of course, are near endless. 

 

You know now that I think about it Golden Sun for the Gameboy actually did something along these lines.  It was a two part JRPG for the Gameboy that followed a boy named Isaac who due to various events was attempting to stop the "villains" from relighting some lighthouses scattered across the game world.  Thing is, when you hit the end of the first cartridge your perspective on whether it's actually a bad idea to relight the lighthouses may actually change.  You see, in the second part your main character instead becomes Felix who's goal is to actually light them.  This makes absolutely no sense unless one thing has changed (your perspective).  You basically play the second game attempting to do something you were trying to stop in the first.  This would be an example of good world building.

 

Man, sometimes it feels like the Japanese always beat us to the punch...

 

I think defining "arbitrary" would help differentiate between what I do and do not support. Arbitrary means, in this context, "Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system". 

 

Using this definition, I actually approve of the way Arcanum accomplished replay value: Who your protagonist was, what they were good at, their position on the technology-magic spectrum, and the choices that they made determined what content they experienced, and the content that they were locked from had a logical rationale behind it, based on the systems of the game, and your choices from character creation onward. There was no piece of content that was barred to you on your first playthrough, provided you made the right choices, solely by virtue of it being your first playthrough. Let me contrast this example with one I find to be more arbitrary: Mass Effect 2.

 

In ME2, if you imported a character from a previous playthrough, you would start at a higher level and have bonus resources and paragon/renegade points. But from a story perspective, this made absolutely no sense. If you imported, you were commander Shepard, sent on a mission to fight the geth after destroying the big bad from ME1. If you created a "new" character, you were commander Shepard, sent on a mission to fight the geth after destroying the big bad from ME1. Storywise, NOTHING WAS DIFFERENT. However, as a gameplay mechanic, they chose to reward importing a previous character over creating a new one in this manner anyway. So, as far as the story was concerned, you were at a disadvantage, with no reason or system to explain it, and the paragon/renegade bonus in particular was almost required to get the best outcomes at the end of the game. In short, an arbitrary metagame mechanic ("new" character vs import) led to different outcomes, with absolutely no in game justification.

 

I am not against content locking, I am against arbitrary content locking/advantages. Let the replay value come from different choices, not having to beat the game to unlock certain features arbitrarily in the next playthrough.

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I'm anticipating some pushback on this, and I can imagine some of the arguments against it already. I'd like to keep this post short, so I won't preemptively respond to any of them except the one which I believe will have the most supporters: "If we want to start from scratch as another class, why wouldn't we take the NG+ bonus every time?"

 

Isn't restarting a finished game already an advantage? I'd think you'd want to restart with more of a handicap in order to make it more challenging. Providing benefits from a previous play-through is going in the opposite direction. Mmm, perhaps they could provide some type of NG+ but limit it to replays at a higher difficulty mode; say Expert or Ironman.

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

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@Pandamaniac:

 

I get what you're saying. I don't agree, for a number of reasons I don't feel like listing right now, but I do totally understand your concern.

 

@rjshae:

 

Well, it can cut both ways. Sometimes you want to replay the game simply to see how different decisions might have played out, in which case a substantial starting advantage eases the pain of having to go through all the non-story stuff again to get to the story bits. I replayed Alpha Protocol on Easy for exactly that reason.

 

(BTW, it is WAY more enjoyable on Easy, 'cause you can cheese your way through the crap parts and focus on the good parts.)

 

But I do think having a more substantial challenge the second time around could also work, and is just as valid a form of NG+ as any other. It really depends on what you're looking for out of the game.

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