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Now on to something that might be sort of controversial: what's your opinion on a shortcut (or some other way) to highlight interactible objects in the world (the way it was introduced for BG2 with Throne of Bhaal is imo a good example). I'm going to assume at least some people would be against it as they argue it would make things too obvious, an argument I can't say is without merit.

 

So aside from the obvious convenience factor allow me to illustrate where I'm coming from:

Divinity_1.png

 

What do you see in the room I'm in? I'll tell you what I see: a pedestal with a book, three candles, a (friendly) zombie and floating blue orbs. After reading that book I went all over that dungeon floor multiple times looking for the pentagrams mentioned in the book (note that this screenshot was taken after I solved the puzzle, there's no blue orbs there beforehand).

 

I spent *hours* on that "riddle" until I gave up and went to my good friend Google for help. My good friend Google told me them blasted pentagrams were right in the room with the book. Well, fml. Yes, I'm one of them in case you're wondering wtf is wrong with my eyes. There's quite a few of us too (~10% of male population does count as "quite a few", right?).

 

Now the example is sort of badly chosen as it's not something you could make stand out in the way I proposed earlier without ruining the puzzle, it would require a different design entirely. But it serves to illustrate the general issue, I hope.

 

But I have the same problem in The Witcher 2 with finding loot in grass for example a problem I commonly have in a load of other games as well (Skyrim is one that comes to mind) to varying degrees depending on the environment. And often companies are nice enough to make life difficult for us seemingly on purpose (a boss in SWTOR requires matching of blue/purple and red/orange two nicely problematic combinations, Sartharion in World of Warcraft used to spawn red void zones on a reddish/brown background etc etc, well at least Blizzard was nice enough to eventually fix the boss).

 

I'm sure there's other, maybe better, ways to deal with this, personally I like this feature as it just makes life easier and gets rid of something that can be a really big pain in the neck in one fell swoop. It also doesn't discriminate, it will work for someone with perfect colour vision, no colour vision as well as limited colour vision (in varying degrees) equally well.

 

Anyway, discuss I guess. I just wanted to bring it up now :)

Edited by marelooke
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Don't think it's been confirmed, but I can't see it not happening. It annoys some of the groggier types, so maybe it'll be disabled on Ironman or something like that.

 

EDIT: Also, I'm pretty sure Sawyer is colour blind, too.

Edited by Tamerlane
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I think that if your character knows where it is, then you shouldn't have any trouble finding it (highlight away!). What I mean is, if it's a hidden something that your character has used "Search" to uncover or something, or it's the corpse of a thing you slew, your character should know where it is (even if grass and other such graphical objects obscure it from player view). However, if it's a trap switch in the floor, and your character isn't skilled enough to detect it, then no amount of mouse-overing the screen, pixel-by-pixel, should highlight ANYthing.

 

Just my two cents.

 

In the case if your example, if the pentagrams were clearly spottable (had you been one of your characters, standing in that room) and only required the effort of looking about, and you, the player, simply had trouble finding them from your perspective, then I don't see why they shouldn't have been highlighted.

 

Now, as to the best way to highlight (a big yellow outline, a faint glow, sparkles, gamma wash, etc.), that's a whole 'nother (and more technical) issue. :)

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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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Though i'm no fan of pixel hunting (they ruined many enjoyable point and clickers,) do we need the loot glitter for such obvious devices as doors, chests, boxes, bags and such. Seems a little Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where they expect us to not know that you can use a ladder to ascend or descend in a level, touch too much handholding there. Also if we're going to have a loot glitter or something implemented could we have some in-game reasoning for it, the spectacles of a miserly Scrooge-like banker for instance, which haunted by his soul still look for every coin they can steal. The Madoff Monocle?

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Cool, I hadn't seen that, thanks! Never considered it an "important feature of the IE games" as it was only added in Throne of Bhaal as far as I'm aware.

Nope it was in BG2 as a default feature. It was also in IWD1 vanilla IIRC albeit bound to a different key. I think BG2 was TAB and IWD was ALT Edited by Sensuki
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Though i'm no fan of pixel hunting (they ruined many enjoyable point and clickers,) do we need the loot glitter for such obvious devices as doors, chests, boxes, bags and such. Seems a little Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where they expect us to not know that you can use a ladder to ascend or descend in a level, touch too much handholding there. Also if we're going to have a loot glitter or something implemented could we have some in-game reasoning for it, the spectacles of a miserly Scrooge-like banker for instance, which haunted by his soul still look for every coin they can steal. The Madoff Monocle?

I'm only talking about making it a shortcut, glittering chests and big arrows pointing you where you gotta go really ruin immersion and I'll take searching hours for pentagrams and missing out on loot because I can't @#$#@$%#@ find it over that anytime (I think...). Then again spending hours looking for something I'm standing on top of isn't exactly fun either. Edited by marelooke
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Possibly make it a part of the thiefs search mode? Reduced movement rate, but the rogues trained eye picks up traps, secret doors and loot etcetera.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Possibly make it a part of the thiefs search mode? Reduced movement rate, but the rogues trained eye picks up traps, secret doors and loot etcetera.

For secret loot and hidden stuff I agree you need skills to be able to see them, but regular things (slain enemies, normal doors and chests) imo you should be able to highlight by pressing a button. Once you've found secrets I wouldn't mind if they'd be added to the regular highlight, but I'm not too bothered about that. Witcher 2 had that medallion with a cooldown for highlighting things, it was annoying.
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...Seems a little Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where they expect us to not know that you can use a ladder to ascend or descend in a level, touch too much handholding there.

Well, with the ladder example, I don't really see a downside to it at least highlighting (in some fashion) when you mouse-over. I mean, if your character can't detect it, then it wouldn't do so (and no amount of player squinting would result in finding it). And, if your character CAN readily detect it (especially something like a ladder), then all it's going to do is compensate for any cause for the player to lose track of or visually miss that ladder or object.

 

As for highlighting things before you even mouse-over (loot glitter, etc.), I'm not so sure about that (unless, maybe only when it's obstructed by a foreground object, and your character has already detected it?). I think saying "Well, I didn't find that chest in the middle of the room, easily visible, because it wasn't already sparkling, and I was too lazy to actually look about for a few seconds and think 'maybe I can open this chest that's here?'" is bordering on sheer laziness. I mean, you're controlling your characters, so you just click-running them through a room unless they automatically sparkle-mark interactable objects is just one step away from "They should just auto-loot things and skip the 'Notify The Player' step."

 

You know, like the first Mass Effect, in which you finished combat, then were presented with a "Here's all the stuff you automatically found on the bodies in an instant!" window. Is it faster and easier? Yes. Does it kinda feel like the loot is actually just magically being rewarded to you from the heavens and is in no way connected specifically to the creatures you've just slain? Kind of...

 

I think that, so long as the player controls the characters, exploration has to fall partially on the player's shoulders (err... fingers?).

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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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I agree Lephys, i'd prefer that there be no loot glitter or reveal all button so that exploration is encouraged and rewarded, personally I wouldn't even want a ladder highlighting as I fail to see how anyone could misconstrue its use. However Marelooke raises a good point in his Catacomb under Aleroth example, though it's one I think that the developers could make sure never happens to a studious explorer through good design. Perhaps a toggle-able reveal all button or one linked to difficulty?

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I agree Lephys, i'd prefer that there be no loot glitter or reveal all button so that exploration is encouraged and rewarded, personally I wouldn't even want a ladder highlighting as I fail to see how anyone could misconstrue its use. However Marelooke raises a good point in his Catacomb under Aleroth example, though it's one I think that the developers could make sure never happens to a studious explorer through good design. Perhaps a toggle-able reveal all button or one linked to difficulty?

I was just thinking about a "reveal interactable objects" button. But, even then, I'd honestly like it to be done on a character sight-radius basis. What I mean is, if you walk into a big, dark warehouse, and your characters can only see about 10 feet around them, then pressing a key should not highlight/reveal objects 40 feet away, on the edge of the screen. There's no reason for anyone to simultaneously want to "explore" everything AND need to not set foot in any corner of a room that they don't absolutely need to.

 

Another example is the "I can see through the small bars of this door into about 25% of this room, and now I instantly know where all small interactable containers are in every square inch of the room" phenomenon. 8P. Your characters don't need to be within hugging distance of a chest or ladder to spot it, but they also shouldn't be able to say "Hey, there's a small lever in the wall 100 feet down that corridor."

Edited by Lephys
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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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I agree Lephys, i'd prefer that there be no loot glitter or reveal all button so that exploration is encouraged and rewarded, personally I wouldn't even want a ladder highlighting as I fail to see how anyone could misconstrue its use. However Marelooke raises a good point in his Catacomb under Aleroth example, though it's one I think that the developers could make sure never happens to a studious explorer through good design. Perhaps a toggle-able reveal all button or one linked to difficulty?

Hmm, I might be miscommunicating, let me try to clarify more:

I don't want stuff to be pre-highlighted (not opposed if it's an option if it's off by default, as long as I can have my shortcut ;)), that's just annoying and ruins the environments (and as a result: immersion).

 

The way it was done in BG2 was nice imo, it showed you the stuff that would be obvious for you if you were actually in the party's place. No more, no less. The things that were highlighted were (iirc): non-hidden doors, chests and loot and that was imho sufficient for that game (switches and the likes usually stood out due to being attached to weird machinery).

 

This option shouldn't become a crutch though, when you are running around pressing that button all the time there's something terribly wrong with the level/game design (or with the gamer, heh).

 

EDIT: seems Lephys beat me by a few minutes, basically: what he said ;)

Edited by marelooke
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Well as I said personally I wouldn't want any form of button, as I think that clear graphics and a cursor that changes when hovered over a manipulatable object would be good enough for myself. However I can see where many folk would and thus wouldn't argue against it.

 

The interactable being limited to your light radius is an idea I very much like Lephys, puts a nice constraint on the player and encourages scouting and maybe even fear of the unknown dangers waiting in the darkness.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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As a keyboard shortcut, sure.

Cramming an extra button in the interface would not be needed though, it would just distract from more important stuff.

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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  • 3 weeks later...

I read Josh Sawyer's response as being: 'The highlight shortcut remains, but it won't show the hidden chests/doors/traps we'll be putting in'

 

Which sounds great. I'm happy with that.

 

Otherwise, OP has my sympathies and I think that the developer who made that red on green puzzle probably holds some sort of vendetta upon the colourblind.

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^I suppose that refers to chests/doors/traps that require "detect traps" or high enough perception in order to discover? Very similar to how IE games did it.

 

I would hate to see loot glitter, or shine, or any such crap, but I'm all for BG2-press-tab-style highlighting/outlining.

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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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Hopefully there's still the good old easter egg stuff like ankheg plate armor etc, but perhaps more context sensible within the world (better example might be Helm of Balduran behind the painting etc)

Edited by Sensuki
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  • 3 weeks later...

@Sensuki

 

The first question in that link you provided,the one that mentions Lionheart,gave me an idea. Remember how that game dealt with highlights and secrets? There were no highlights - instead,the changing cursor icon was the indicator that something is interactive. It was not pixelhunt nor hand-drag,I feel that this system somehow even inspired the player to pay attention at what might be interactive in the awesomely drawn background,and it gave much to the immersion.

This is very interesting to consider as an implementation in P:E,I think. As for secrets,you had to have a skill,naturally.  

 

For others that are not familiar with the game here's a video 

.

Lawful evil banite  The Morality troll from the god of Prejudice

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I've often wondered if the "Highlight" function couldn't be tied into player stats.  Give every item/door/table/what have you a "visibility rating" or something similar.  Items with a higher rating are easier to "see" with your party, and this would be tied into some kind of stat/feat (Perception, Intelligence, Detect Traps, etc).  In this way, you can highlight stuff and not worry about pixel hunting, while giving the player a reason to explore off the beaten path.  And with a high enough skill, they could "find" everything.

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i say the highlight button is necessary. think a bit about BG2. pressing tab, revealed containers (often from the 13 chests and 25 barrels you could see in the room, only 3 and 8 were usable, so why pixel hunt them all to see what you can use?), doors, loot and i think that's about it... so stuff that your party could obviously see were highlighted so you could see them even if something was blocking the view. but i dont remember puzzle elements, traps, secret doors and such to be highlighted, unless your party had found them. the only objection for the system, would be for containers that were supposed to be hidden but nobody is perfect

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The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

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What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

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One of the first things I did in dragon age 2 was to set object highlights permanently on. I absolutely despise pixel hunting. The justification for this feature is that it is your character that is noticing these things, not you.

 

I like the idea of secret containers; they could do something functionally similar to how BG2 did secret doors, where the container would be invisible and un-clickable unless a search check of some kind was passed, then it would be highlighted like any other container. Also I request a 'permanent highlights' feature a-la dragon age 2.

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Seems a little Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where they expect us to not know that you can use a ladder to ascend or descend in a level, touch too much handholding there. 

 

I've played BG2 twice, and both times had to use a walkthrough to get past the skinned people quest.

Because I found the right house all right, but didn't find the stairs down when in the house.

 

The first time I didn't know there'd be stairs and just didn't see them despite walking past many times.

The second time I vaguely remembered I was looking for a way down, but still mistook the stairs for a pile of crates or something.

 

PE will have a bit sharper graphics, but sometimes a little hand holding is still a good thing.

Because I wouldn't think that's the intended kind of challenge. (Buahahaa, bet the adventurers will mistake the stairs for a piano).

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In my opinion, already proposed (by Decado) tiding of "highlight feature" with a skill, trait or stat of given character is the best solution possible as long as it's optional, and can be turned off by purists and pixel hunters (not one of them).

 

I also have encountered more than few situations, when I - not a character I played - didn't notice some kind of lever, chest, or other "obvious" interactive object and was forced to seek solution outside the game (internet, and in long forgotten time: video game magazines).

Most probably because I use only one eye (it's not that I'm partially blind, it's my brain that learned to ignore signals from my right eye, because it's was much weaker than left since I was 3 Y.O.). To make things even worse, I hate to maximize gamma settings, because in my opinion it takes away all the atmosphere from environments, where things should be hidden in shadows and harder to spot (but again, not harder for me, but for the character I play). Besides when I want to test my own perceptiveness I play Puzzle Quest or Thief not a cRPG :p

I also think there should be a connection between PC/party field of view and the fog of war. I'm not aiming here for view cones*, because that would mean additional funds and time spending, plus could easily turn this whole idea to a nuisance. What I propose is simple 360 degree area around every character (it's easy to imagine they are turning their heads right?), with varying range and success rates based upon character class and their perception (or whatsoever), because having eyes open is the least thing I would expect from most of my party members (definitely rouges and rangers, but maybe not those rainbow chasing priests and short sighted wizards). All this, because highlighting a jewel case, that's on the other end of map is IMO kinda lame...

 

Quite obviously searching for traps and secrets is a completely different case, because it demands focus. Therefore it should be separated from that passive "hey guys! there's a hollow tree over there!" success rate check, even if it's based on the same perceptiveness and character class mechanism. Also it should have additional active skill, that would be paused in some cases, because I can't imagine a thorough inspection of given place at the time of skirmish or even a simple run. BUT I would like it to be go back automatically on, once that skirmish is over, if I was examining that area before things happened.

I really don't appreciate busy work, and that was the case in BG, when every time my PC or a follower  opened door, killed a kobold, started conversation with NPC etc I had to make him vigilant again, because whatever happened, it distracted him so much, he somehow forgot that we are in trap riddled dungeon and only seconds ago he was busy checking that suspicious floor plate for some nasty surprise!

God damn it, if I'll want him to stop, I'll tell him right? (in this case I'll deactivate it). Shouldn't that be obvious?

 

I understand that this kind of solution somehow forces player, to either create highly perceptive character, or to have at least one rouge-like class follower in his party asap. Still if world construction will allow backtracking to starting areas, that shouldn't be much of a problem, especially if those areas would provide additional low to high level quest(s) that could not have been solved at the beginning of game (giving the reason to come back and find things that we didn't noticed before).

 

One more thing came to my mind while I was typing all this, and I feel that somehow relevant to the "objects highlighting" issue: mathematical or logical puzzles. Sometimes even riddles.

I'll be honest - I hate math, and it always irritates me, when I get stuck on one of those "minigames" while I'm playing this genius I've created to compensate for my dumbness.

Why? Seriously why? What is the point, to remind me, that I'm not a great scholar, brilliant hacker or a witty rouge I've spent hours to create and polish, but a simpleton who can't figure out some trivial arithmetic progression. Sure, I always try to solve them myself, but it never gives me any sens of "accomplishment", feels like a busy work, or time-filler, and in case I'll get stuck it forces me to (again) call uncle google for help. Screw my ego - searching answer all over internet breaks the flow of the game.

If I remember correctly, games like Fallout and Arcanum didn't have those - they were basing thoroughly on my PC stats and skills (sometimes inventory), so every time I've encountered an obstacle of some sort it was more a test for my characters build than my impaired IQ. Sure, you need at least some brain, to apply even basic tactics but that's not the case here.

That's why I beg you Obsidian - if you wish to put puzzles or some kind of math-based minigames in PE, then let there be at least an option, where I'll be able to choose something like "let's see how our well-red wizard handle this". Seriously.

 

I'm sorry for sidetracking here and there, but it was something I liked to talk about from some time already, and I couldn't find appropriate thread until now  :p

 

* - even if there would be something similar implemented in PE, it would be overkill to utilize it for triviality like interactive objects highlighting

Edited by milczyciel
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