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The Pain Yak

The End Game: don't forget about it

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A lot of games, not only RPGs, tend to start coming apart at the seams towards the end. After all, reviewers probably never bother to play that far before they hand out their reviews. And while most everyone will see the beginning and the middle of a given game, a smaller percentage will actually play the game to its conclusion. As such, in terms of budgets and the like, its unsurprising the end game gets the short end of the stick. The company is primarily interested in getting people to buy their product, and therefore the selling point is all the cool stuff they can see from the start. 

 

I just really hope Obsidian takes the opportunity provided by this Kickstarter to avoid falling into that trap this time around. It would be extremely nice to see a genuinely satisfying end game for once, to not watch as the carefully crafted story derails completely because of a rushed release ala KOTOR2 or you end up going from an interesting quest hub filled with cool characters and detailed quest lines to...well, something like Curst in Planescape: Torment, which felt very much like a rushed and forgettable area next to the glory that was Sigil.

 

When a game ends on a weak note, it always makes me walk away feeling a bit deflated by the whole experience...and as Mass Effect 3 recently proved, done really poorly it can be like a match on a tinderbox for the fandom.

 

The end game is important. Please don't neglect it. 

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Agreed. The endgame should reflect your efforts up to that point and pose a challenge appropriate to your class and party.

 

The original Fallout, along with Planescape - Torment, are probably the best examples of this. Researching the Super Mutants' sterility, or getting Coaxmetal to forge you the Blade of the Immortal, allowed you to defeat the Big Baddie through conversation alone. But it would also be cool if characters you helped along the way came to your aid, like Drizzt did in Baldur's Gate II when you fought Bodhi and her vampires.

 

But I have faith in the team; I'm sure they've already thought these things through and will not disappoint. :)

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@The Pain Yak:

 

I thought you were talking about the "endgame" in an MMO sense, and I was like, "NOOOOOOOOOSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!" :lol:

 

I will offer a plea to Obsidian right now that is almost certainly unnecessary, but I feel it needs saying anyway: guys, I want Project Eternity to be a complete piece of entertainment with a beginning, middle, and end. No sequel teases, no obvious "LOL THIS LOOSE END WILL BE TIED UP IN PAID DLC" moments, no cliffhangers. I want to be able to finish PE and feel like I finished it.

 

I'm fine with wondering how much stuff I missed on a given playthrough, but I don't want to feel like there are parts of the game deliberately cut out of it, you know? When I go to a fancy restaurant and order a big meal, they don't kick me out and tell me to come back in a week for the dessert.

 

Also, what the OP said. Parcel out content in bunches of consistent size, don't pad said content out just to hit an "acceptable" number of hours, and end strong. We have enough games that peter out two thirds of the way through. Try your damndest to leave us wanting more, and not in the Halo 2 "Where's the rest of the game?" way.

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Give us something to spend our loot on. I hate how in most games about 2/3 through the game there is nothing else worth buying, but you get ever increasing amounts of treasure. Even if its stuff like helping a peasant start a business that we most likely wont see come to fruition, but you get some reputation points or something.

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The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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I'm sure Obsidian will make a fitting end game... but  what comes after that? Just the credits?
I just want a long epilogue... most games end after killing the "final boss" with a short clip about what happened next...  but if my characters survive, I want them to be able to take a well earned rest... maybe they get together for a grill-party before parting ways, joking around how they kicked ass... in a quest-like manner, get the ingredients, don't let the meat get burned etc xD And people will pay more attention to the credits if it's displayed while you still can do something cool, like these kinds of "epilogue quests"... would be interesting listening to your teammates during hours of desperation along the campaign as they make plans (bucket list), about what to do in the case they survive the situation and ultimately watch them live up to their plans in the epilogue... would make the game so much more closer to being alive (in my opinion)
the "what to do after all this s**t was done" thing... an "endstory"


"The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves: You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." - George Carlin (RIP!)

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Indeed, I personally very much prefer an ending in which it seems like the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and there's not just a quick hashed out "This is dead and now this happens, the end!" but something with some substance.  An endgame ought to hit you from all sides with the decisions that you've made and come at you from unexpected angles, and likely more dialogue and decision heavy than it might be action oriented.  What I would especially like to see is an epilogue that is not only extensive in it's depth, but playable as well, to a reasonable extent.  Let the player reap the rewards of his efforts rather than a "You win!" screen once the final boss's health hits zero (or whatever might serve as the game's climax) like a couple others.  And after that, set us up for the next chapter in the story, maybe!  A man can dream, eh?  (Damn, pretty high hopes for a game which is still in the pre-alpha phase under a working title)

Edited by Dwarfare
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I actually do hope that "the end game" (although when you'll be coming closer to the ending quest I do hope you would still be eager to finish that quest and not lose interest like with a lot of games now days.) will not necessarily mean that after you beat the game you can stop playing it! I hope designers are taking lessons from Skyrim in regards to the user and developer made content that you can add into the game world including textures items and quests as well as other misc. things.

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Perhaps they could borrow a concept from literature: insert an epilogue following the end of the main plot. An interactive scene that wraps up the story and brings closure, but doesn't necessarily require a big boss battle. An example is the medal award ceremony from Star Wars IV.


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

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I actually do hope that "the end game" (although when you'll be coming closer to the ending quest I do hope you would still be eager to finish that quest and not lose interest like with a lot of games now days.) will not necessarily mean that after you beat the game you can stop playing it! I hope designers are taking lessons from Skyrim in regards to the user and developer made content that you can add into the game world including textures items and quests as well as other misc. things.

No. Srsly. NO. A construction kit would be fine to add modules to the game like in case of Neverwinter Nights... but a fully open world like Skyrim... I think that would damage the story and would limit the developers, concerning how the player's choices influence the world... for example the deforestation theme, you should not be able to go back into a forest that has been already cut to do the quests you missed... that's part of making those heavy decisions. For Skyrim it's okay to have a fully open, unchanging world, because there's no epic story, just a bunch of sidequests with one of them said to be the main one, but you do not have choices, and honestly: It does not matter to the game world whether it was saved or not, the dragons do not kill anyone, do not burn down any village, they just randomly pop up saying "here I am, kill me", than everything returns to normal...

In a story driven game, this would look ridiculous. That is why you should not have too much user added content to the main game, you don't know exactly how to fit together a user added house and a developer made earthquake... would the house be floating over a giant hole or in a river of magma?


"The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves: You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." - George Carlin (RIP!)

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Personally, I hope more tha the endgame won't be yet another example of "here, have a grand ol' battle with a million enemies to kill". Or if there has to be a battle, keep the many skill applications so there are some... dynamics to it. I can't tell you how bored I get when there's hours of fighting because hey... EPIC!

 

Fallout was brought up above and I think that's a great example of a good endgame in my book. I always liked that there are two "endgame areas" that you can tackle in any order, that just lessens the feel of being funneled, the feeling of "well, now the majority of the game is over... time for the final endgame corridor". And they weren't just combat slogs, or even very long in themselves.

 

I'm completely fine if the game ends afterwards though (with epilogues and all that good stuff of course), just time to roll up a new character.


Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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Yeah, what's been said regarding the endgame is very important. Also, epilogues. They give you a great sense of the more long-reaching implications of your actions. 

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You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. (even though it doesn't have a settled dictionary entry ^^ )

 

Though I agree that the final stages of the game should be just as good as the beginning, or even better. On the other hand, I fully trust Obsidian in this, they have proven they can handle it rather well (at least in my opinion).

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Agreed. The endgame should reflect your efforts up to that point and pose a challenge appropriate to your class and party.

 

The original Fallout, along with Planescape - Torment, are probably the best examples of this. Researching the Super Mutants' sterility, or getting Coaxmetal to forge you the Blade of the Immortal, allowed you to defeat the Big Baddie through conversation alone. But it would also be cool if characters you helped along the way came to your aid, like Drizzt did in Baldur's Gate II when you fought Bodhi and her vampires.

 

But I have faith in the team; I'm sure they've already thought these things through and will not disappoint. :)

 

Torment actually provides, for me, good examples of both how to do the end game (MMOs and their vile usurpation of such a basic term can suck it, btw) and how not to do it.

 

How to do it:

The Fortress of Regrets and your companions facing the TTO and dying one by one. Finally getting to meet each of the incarnations that have had such a drastic impact on your journey to date, with appropriately satisfying conclusions to your dealings with each of them. Getting to face Deionarra and tell her the truth, even if she already knew. And, of course, getting to fight or not fight the TTO based upon a whole variety of possibilities. The final meeting with your companions after you raise them is also well done.

 

 

How NOT to do it: Ditch the interesting quests and entertaining characters and send the PC into a bunch of unavoidable combat encounters in half-baked areas that were very obviously not polished or even completed at the time of release. The quests in Curst were disjointed and seemed largely pointless and for much of your time there the emphasis was placed far more on combat than on meaningful plot encounters. That didn't matter as much in Torment, given the whole 'can't die permanently' thing, but for games where you actually have to reload, turning the final areas into a meat grinder designed to punish diplomatic or stealth characters is a far too common thing. 

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Give us something to spend our loot on. I hate how in most games about 2/3 through the game there is nothing else worth buying, but you get ever increasing amounts of treasure. Even if its stuff like helping a peasant start a business that we most likely wont see come to fruition, but you get some reputation points or something.

OR, things cost 10,000 gold, and you keep finding chests and "treasures" that contain like 150 gold, like in Fable. Or things of worth, throughout the entire game, cost 15 gold, and everything you loot or sell gives you about 3 copper, like in Dragon Age.

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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OR, things cost 10,000 gold, and you keep finding chests and "treasures" that contain like 150 gold, like in Fable. Or things of worth, throughout the entire game, cost 15 gold, and everything you loot or sell gives you about 3 copper, like in Dragon Age.

 

In the case of the original Fable there was a reactive economy which could easily be broken by simply finding a merchant with a large number of expensive gems at reduced cost (because there were so many in stock) buying them all and then selling them back immediately for the increased price (because there were none in stock). You could do this forever, earning limitless gold. So in essence the treasure chests were not worth opening for anything less than a quest item/unique weapon/clothing, they were a waste of time that could be better spent elsewhere. If there is an economy included make sure it cannot be easily manipulated (unless part of a plot/underhanded activity).

I also agree that the Dragon Age price scaling was ridiculously unbalanced. Surely even half-price is too low for an item. 70% or thereabouts is reasonable; you have to expect the merchant is trying to make a profit, but gouging the seller down to less than twenty is implausible. They would be out of business, no one would sell at that price ... even in the middle of a war for Middle Ear... er ... I mean Ferelden.  Especially when they are being sold weapons and armour, a scarce resource before a major battle. However at the end of a war in a crumbling nation that is a different story. Another example is a distinctive stolen item sold to a fence. It would usually fetch a low price because of the risk. Now if you had arranged a deal and buyer beforehand for a precious item; the price would be fair. 

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Well I'd hope to not see the very same bloody endgame that has plagued every single damn CRPG since the dawn of time.

 

Meaning you have a:

 

1. Endgame starts here, finish everything before starting the endgame.

2. A wave of standard enemies.

3. A new wave of standard enemies.

4. 7 more waves of standard enemies.

5. A wave of strong enemies.

6. A wave of real strong enemies.

7. A humongongoliously strong and/or skilled endboss!

 

Planescape Torment was maybe the worst example in the history of humankind.

Basically a talking/exploring game with occasional combat, ending with massive carnage.

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