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IndiraLightfoot

Are we getting the PE we were led to believe was on the horizon during the KS?

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Chrononaut:

"It's disappointing on a matter of general principle too. Obsidian (and L.Designer Sawyer) essentially appealed to Kickstarter based entirely on Infinity Engine AD&D, and then when they got the money wasted no time at all (well, mostly Sawyer) making nothing but incessant criticisms of the Infinity Engine games and how they played. Resting is bad, daily spells are bad, cooldowns aren't bad, class-based restrictions are bad, round-based combat is bad, dice-roll randomness is bad in combat, wizards being powerful is bad, everything must be super balanced.

 

So Infinity Engine games were awesome on Kickstarter, but now they suck, apparently, and OE want to make a completely different game. Seems to me like this game will play more like an RTS and less like an AD&D IE game, even though fans were led to believe it would be an IE-like game. I don't think prerendered isometric graphics make it IE-like except from a completely cosmetic angle, the gameplay is shaping up to be nothing like IE gameplay."

 

Indira Lightfoot:

"You would be hard-pressed to find a bigger D&D fan than me, and needless to say, I loved the IE games back in the day. However, I'm also mature enough to admit that playing them now, as I have done for the past six months, is a different experience. Games and game design have evolved. The UI is severely lacking, the pacing is pretty bad and many encounters turn out to be ill-conceived slugfests. Having said that, I still enjoy them immensely. Why? Because the character generation systems and the fantasy stories are so bloody good (for the most part). 

 

I'm sorry if you are truly disappointed in this regard (hopefully, you aren't just trolling us), but let's backtrack and quote some stuff from Obsidian's KS, straight off the pages there:

"Project Eternity is an isometric, party-based computer RPG set in a new fantasy world developed by Obsidian Entertainment."

 

"Project Eternity (working title) pays homage to the great Infinity Engine games of years past: Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

Project Eternity aims to recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPG's that we enjoyed making - and playing."

 

Alright, so they are making a new fantasy world that pays homage to the great IE games of the past, but nowhere does it say, they'll reuse the mechanics of those games, and especially not down to every little detail.

 

"Combat uses a tactical real-time with pause system - positioning your party and coordinating attacks and abilities is one of the keys to success."

Funny that you mention RTS. I'm playing COH2 right now, I am loving it (while being new to the genre), and this above quote tells me that they are actually going to make combat less swish-swoosh, and more about positions, coordination and timing - well, let's call this tactics and strategy - and I am all for this kind of change. It sounds fresh and exciting, to say the least.  Obsidian also seems to share my excitement in this:

"We are excited at this chance to create something new, yet reminiscent of those great games and we want you to be a part of it as well."

 

It will be different, no doubt, but it will hopefully be darn good too. :) "

 

Chrononaut:

"That's semantics, really. And quoting that stuff given much BG/IWD/PST were namedropped when they needed fans' help... is very disingenuous. It's like saying "Oh wait you didn't read the fine-print".

 

But on the topic of RTS-like tactics, I'll agree on ideas such as positioning. But I think when dealing with an RPG, RTS-like gameplay would be quite boring, tight ranges for damage and saving throws + very little randomness would boil down most fights to puzzles which are determined before the fight even begins. Indeed whether you liked it or not, one of the more memorable things about IE combat were seeing goblins get a lucky attack roll and take out one of your characters, or an enemy missing an attack when you had 1 hitpoint left, allowing you to win the fight.

 

Those kind of situations probably will not exist in this game... simply because missing attacks, even ranged attacks, will not occur (afaik).

 

Again what exactly is "reminiscent" of IE-games? Prerendered overhead graphics? Being able to control a party with classes? That's it? Nothing about AD&D at all?

 

As for the UI, I loved the IE UI systems, how they were molded into the game's lore and looked great. Even worse seeing so many people on this very board wanting minimalist UI's which are more reminiscent of modern action-orientated games."

 

Indira Lightfoot:

"I was there through most of the KS campaign, and it was great fun! :)

 

However, I don't recall any "We are making a new entry in the glorious IE series"-promises on Obsidian's behalf. Still, this is perhaps my bad, because you are certainly not alone on these forums thinking the way you do on this issue. For some reason, there are a great number of people disappointed already and the reasons are precisely as you have described them.

 

I fear that those quotes were not fine-print. It's the very description of the KS - the portal paragraphs.

 

As for that goblin getting a lucky hit, or that enemy rolling a miss when you pc is on death's door, well, I agree with you there. I even had a little debate going on this forum with Josh about misses and the lack of them. I argued just like you - that it's fun in a RPG sense to have it. And a few days passed, IIRC, and Josh had reworked the system, so there will indeed be a few misses, but not nearly as frequent as in IE games. Believe me, Obsidian do listen at times, and they do read these forums, so please contribute by whatever means possible here. Still, I also respect Obsidian for sticking to their guns and doing their thing when they are happy with a design, and not always listening to fans can be a wise strategy as far as making CRPGs is concerned."

 

Chrononaut:

"Again I think it's a matter of the type of cRPG players they appealed to, who are very much against any new types of mechanics perceived to be inspired to "new" genres. They ran a KS campaign based very much on pure nostalgia, but when it was over didn't take long to start moving away from that, which I find dishonest.

 

For example Bard's Tale (1985) itself was not an AD&D game, but it's ruleset was designed to emulate D&D-like mechanics so that the players would feel familiar with the gameplay from the tabletop game. I don't see how it's an unreasonable request for the gameplay of PE to be reminiscent of D&D IE-games. I don't really care about graphics even if they do look like those games it's still a cosmetic part, I'm just concerned that this PE will end up unrecognizable as the IE games we know and love.

 

Everything I read about the game's mechanics is very disillusioning."

 

Indira Lightfoot:

To be sure, nostalgia played a big part in people pledging, but to say that they were dishonest seems harsh. Also, all of us that have followed OEI over the years know that they have been longing to make a new CRPG of their own accord for years. Getting a new IP was something often reiterated during the KS campaign.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Some people will like PE more, some less and some not at all. There is nothing wrong with it really and it applies to everything man-made or not.

 

Different people have often different expectations and needs. It's impossible to satisfy everyone in this regard.

 

I must agree that Infinity Engine games were amazing...back in their day. Everything evolves. There are now better solutions to User Interface, computing, programming, combat systems and so on.

 

You must take what was bad and throw it out the window and leave only the good things. Obsidian certainly keeps in mind that we live at present and needs to adjust the game to current solutions. UI must be easy to use, sleek, intuitive but also simple so it doesn't pull your attention away from the game.

 

Combat needs to be interesting and engaging. Providing interesting engagements that can be completed in many ways without being similar to each other.

Melee, ranged and magic has to be useful and fun for players to use it and similarly powerful so there is incentive to do so. 

 

All in all I think they are going in the right direction with the game based on what we have been shown and told.

 

I don't want BG1 v2.0 or BG2.0 or PST2.0. I want new game that takes all the ebst things from those and improves upon them.

 

 

EDIT: I must say that I most definitely do not want the return of D&D mechanics. While sorcerers and clerics were okay, melee fighters only amounted to point-attack-forget. 

Edited by Killyox
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As someone who backed the Kickstarter on the first day and has been aware of what the developers have and haven't said from that point on, I feel that the level of faithfulness to the Infinity Engine games has been both consistent and satisfying. They revealed many of the changes while the campaign was still in progress, so it's not like they pulled a switcheroo the minute they had our money.

 

If we look at the larger context of this particular game, and this type of game in general, in 2013, the sub-genre is basically extinct. I mean, the only game that has been even remotely similar to the IE games recently is Dragon Age: Origins, and that game diverged much further than PE will. A top-down isometric view, a sizable party to control, a wide variety of dungeons with a diverse bestiary, a bunch of distinct classes and races to choose from, a real time with pause combat system, a robust implementation of choice and consequence, and a wide range of spells and abilities with both tactical and strategic considerations are an excellent start. If the game does well, maybe we'll see the sub-genre re-established, and then other people can make games that are even more faithful to AD&D. Although IMO, AD&D leaves plenty room for improvement as a basis for a turn-based, real-life campaign, let alone a RTwP computer game.

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Killyox & Gumbercules: Great posts, both of you! They sum up a lot of the things I didn't get to say in that starting discussion. I think that the spirit of the IE games is what Gumbercules delineate, and not the D&D mechanics. Also, D&D evolved, and along with them IE games (IWD2). Personally, D&D to me is: 3.5>3.0>AD&D>D&D>4.0.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Let's get personal!

 

a) Do I feel that I'm getting the game I thought I would get during kickstarter?

 

No, because I had my own assumptions and desires and placed unequal importance upon various elements of the spiel. In short, and I despite my head knowing the truth my heart still feels this way, I was looking forward to Baldur's Gate III.

 

I'm obviously trying to accept that this game takes influence from three seperate game series, and even then is inspired by them and is learning not just their lessons but other lessons too.

 

b) Do I feel that P:E will be similar enough to the Infinity Engine games to warrant the style of marketing at Kickstarter?

 

Yes. I think that P:E will be the closest thing we have had to an IE game with anything like professional presentation. The isometric angle, in my opinion, has a great deal of impact upon the gameplay within. BG and IWD are both bordering upon RTS in their gameplay.

 

It's worth bearing in mind the comparisons of Dark Alliance, Brotherhood of Steel, and, to a lesser extent, Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout Tactics. Those were games that rode on the promises of their previous rpgs and did not meet that expectation. I believe PE will be much closer to the games that inspired it.

 

c) Do I have any concerns regarding the kickstarter?

 

I have two, they both concern money, and to be honest they're quite opposing.

 

Firstly, I can't deny that I am slightly troubled by the positive references to several more modern RPGs. With some ideas, mostly anything pertaining to difficulty or restrictions, if PE is trying to straddle both the generation (IE fans) who funded it and the people who play modern RPGs. Like many others here, I was delighted by the IE-inspired spiel because I haven't got on with modern RPGs for some time. Honestly, and I appreciate this is rather extremely conservative, I would in many ways have preferred if PE could have gone completely in opposition to the trends of modern RPGs, rather than adopting any of their ways.

 

Then comes part two. I am concerned about kickstarter projects such as P:E more generally because they listen to the fans. Games inevitably end up as more than the sum of their parts, and it concerns me that Obsidian might listen more to shouting voices than their own game design instincts.

 

I also, in this regard, find the whole process of 'Pay $1000' and design an NPC (not exclusive to P:E) to be very distasteful on numerous levels. I accept however, that from my thread on the wasteland 2 forums I may be in the minority with that.

 

...

 

Tldnr: Whatever and ever, amen.

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Look at it like this, if they fail miserably because they went in a whole other direction they will lose their customers trust and it will hurt them for years to come. What KS essentially was is, "do you trust obsidian to make a good game that will remind you of BG/IWD/PS:T". Trust has been given and it's up to them not to disappoint.

Edited by Sarex
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So far the updates have pretty much shown exactly the kind of game I was expecting, yes. Only in small, minor areas of individual mechanics or such have I raised an eyebrow. Overall this was exactly what I expected. If Obsidian hadn't incorporated the impact of a decade's further evolution of the genre into the fundamental heart of the old IE genre, then that would have been what threw me.

 

I feel like there is a lot of very, very hardcore nostalgia on here, and a lot of heavily entrenched resistance to any deviation from an old formula - a formula that was far from perfect. Project: Eternity is, I am sure, going to feel vastly more in the spirit of the IE games than anything else since them. But it's not just going to BE an IE game, exactly as it had been developed ten years ago. And the reason is, that would simply not be the best such a game could be. Things have moved on, and mostly, for the better.

 

Obsidian never said they were going to make a direct facsimile of the old IE games. What they said is they were going to capture the spirit, the feel, and the intent of those games. They're making the game now that they would have made back then, if they had today's experience. That's the point. If the IE games were being developed today, this is how they would be being made.

Edited by Eiphel
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So far the updates have pretty much shown exactly the kind of game I was expecting, yes. Only in small, minor areas of individual mechanics or such have I raised an eyebrow. Overall this was exactly what I expected. If Obsidian hadn't incorporated the impact of a decade's further evolution of the genre into the fundamental heart of the old IE genre, then THAT would have been what threw me. I feel like there is a lot of very, very hardcore nostalgia on here, and a lot of heavily entrenched resistance to any deviation from an old formula - a formula that was far from perfect. Project: Eternity is, I am sure, going to feel vastly more in the spirit of the IE games than anything else since them. But it's not just going to BE an IE game, exactly as it had been developed ten years ago. And the reason is, that would simply not be the best such a game could be. Things have moved on, and mostly, for the better. Obsidian never said they were going to make a direct facsimile of the old IE games. What they said is they were going to capture the spirit, the feel, and the intent of those games. They're making the game now that they WOULD HAVE MADE back then, if they had today's experience. That's the point. If the IE games were being developed today, this is how they would be being made.

 

Indeed! And may I add "freedom"? Now, Obsidian finally get to do what they have dreamt about doing - making a new fantasy world, their own, instead of piggybacking on some other legacy.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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The problem with dropping some legacy is that there is always going to be someone who loved that particular piece.

 

However, the examples discussed were all things which can be improved upon.

Someone who is an expert at DND (2, 3.5) would have had no problem playing IE games, but anyone without that background would have been baffled by some of the things which were or weren't possible.

When I first played baldurs gate aged 13, I didn't know anything about DnD, other than "geeks dress up in weird costumes and play it"

 

This time, Obsidian chooses to create a system which sets us all on equal footing, which we all have to learn from scratch, and to be honest, that pleases me greatly. Not only did I take issue with some of the fundamentals of DnD (alignment, for one) but no standalone game should ask you to have pre-requisite knowledge from outside what is given to you by the game.

 

All the things pointed out by Obsidian as in need of improvement, ARE in need of improvement, HAVE led to degenerate gameplay.

More often than not this was because they were tied to another Intellectual Property, and had to deal with legacy issues from that ruleset.

 

I am grateful that they're no longer bound by this.

 

And I don't think it's the specific ruleset which made the Infinity Engine games memorable. I think the nostalgia pertained to the narratively rich setting, the reactivity, and the strong dialogue. The artwork and the freedom to play at your own pace should be included in that list as well.

 

I don't think Obsidian is betraying their fundamentals because they're not making a copy of previous games.

In fact if I had thought they wanted to make a copy of games past, I wouldn't have backed the project.

All things evolve over time, today we know more, got better tools, have more experience, and are free from constraints with publishers.

That, IMO is going to be the recipe for a good game.

 

And the thing which will elevate a good game to a great game is passion. Obsidian sold their Kickstarter as "the game they always wanted to make but couldn't"

To me that says that this is their passion project. The Project they're willing to sweat over, work late for, tinker with till it's right. The project they can put themselves in.

 

If I'm right, and this is how the developers feel, then I don't even think it can go wrong.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Note that the Kickstarter was pretty general in the descriptions of what they said they would deliver. Thus far I haven't seen them stray from that broad vision. People who are disappointed need to go back to the original presentation and see what it actually says before they start making accusations about what Obsidian is delivering.

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

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I wanted a game inspired by the IE games, not a carbon copy.

 

I don't mind D&D combat, but I can happily live without it. Obsidian will have to live without it because they simply have no permission to use it.

 

I think some people are reading Sawyer's comments and blowing them out of proportion. Even if there are some things he doesn't like on a personal level, it doesn't mean the Developer Sawyer will not include it in PE.

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Someone who is an expert at DND (2, 3.5) would have had no problem playing IE games, but anyone without that background would have been baffled by some of the things which were or weren't possible.

When I first played baldurs gate aged 13, I didn't know anything about DnD, other than "geeks dress up in weird costumes and play it".

 

You're absolutely right about D&D was excluding potential newcomers in that respect. Those aren't some rules you read up on one afternoon.

On a personal note, having played PnP D&D a lot. We were slightly geekish at times, but we never dressed up. We left that to the larpers.

 

Rest assured, Obsidian has oodles of experience and the best possible background for making a new party-based western CRPG.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I think some people are reading Sawyer's comments and blowing them out of proportion. Even if there are some things he doesn't like on a personal level, it doesn't mean the Developer Sawyer will not include it in PE.

Else we wouldn't be getting Elves!

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This is just pre-game complaining, in my view.  It happens with every game, Kickstarted or not.  Following this will be the post-game complaining, followed by post-post-game complaining.  Then the nostalgia phase.

Edited by decado
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You cannot expect everything to taylor made to your taste. Some people were expecting exactly the same game with the better graphics, some others, though (like me), were expecting many of the systems to be modified and improved (I particularly hated how useless intelligence was as a stat and how easy it was to overcome  its limitations).

 

 my general reaction to the way production of the game has started has been very positive. Personally, I think they look like the most professional of all the kickstarter games given how frequent and interesting all their updates are and how transparent development has been.

 

 I am very happy with it.

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PE seems to be exactly what Obsidian promised it would be, a tactical party-based cRPG with isometric camera. I'm sorry of some are disappointed with the direction, but OE seems to want to make a game that doesn't have archaic mechanics(try explaing THAC0 to someone) and flows more smoothly than the IE games, because it is designed for RTwP instead of translating to RTwP from TB. If you can't get past "Josh Sawyer doesn't think BG2 and the rest of the IE games are perfect and in no need of tweaking" and enjoy the game, don't support PE and OE in the future.

 

Also, the according to the wiki, chances to hit change depending on the differences between accuracy and defense(or deflection, can't recall exact name) so someone with higher defense should have more than a 5% chance of avoiding getting hit.

 

Killyox & Gumbercules: Great posts, both of you! They sum up a lot of the things I didn't get to say in that starting discussion. I think that the spirit of the IE games is what Gumbercules delineate, and not the D&D mechanics. Also, D&D evolved, and along with them IE games (IWD2). Personally, D&D to me is: 3.5>3.0>AD&D>D&D>4.0.

PathFinder>3.5. I would highly recommend trying it to anyone who enjoys the 3.5 rulesets, as it is essentially 3.75.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

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"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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KaineParker: Obviously, I followed PathFinder with great interest, but as I rarely play PnP nowadays. I sorta spent my time trying to make 4th ed work, but I didn't. So, I revert to good old 3.5. However, I realize, I'll prolly can get PF real cheap now, so thanks for the kindly tip! :)


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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KaineParker: Obviously, I followed PathFinder with great interest, but as I rarely play PnP nowadays. I sorta spent my time trying to make 4th ed work, but I didn't. So, I revert to good old 3.5. However, I realize, I'll prolly can get PF real cheap now, so thanks for the kindly tip! :)

I ran a pathfinder campaign quite easily with just the OGC, which is available for free online.

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Dropping famous names even as "inspiration" is always dangerous business, because there are passionate people who lose all their comprehensive skills after hearing the name of their all time favorite. When they finally discover the truth - even though it was right under their nose from the beginning - there is going to be lots of complaining, but after all I don't think they have anyone else to blame than themselves. We had whole month for all the information to sink in and Obsidian's direction became more than clear, but some just listened to that ghost of IE whisper "Baldur's Gate three, Baldurs Gate threeeeeeeee..." softly in their ear.

Edited by Haerski
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I've actually been thinking about this since the Kickstarting craze began, but I wonder how developers balance the demands and expectations of the gamer who has paid up front with the reality of actually making the game and needing to make decisions about what to keep, what to cut, and every other damn thing you have to worry about.  I'm sure some backers feel they are "owed" a certain game.

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I've actually been thinking about this since the Kickstarting craze began, but I wonder how developers balance the demands and expectations of the gamer who has paid up front with the reality of actually making the game and needing to make decisions about what to keep, what to cut, and every other damn thing you have to worry about.  I'm sure some backers feel they are "owed" a certain game.

 

They have too big of an audience to make "the game we want". I'm pretty sure there are lots of disagreements even within the team and suddenly POOOF! you have 74 thousand more opinions to be taken in account. Any head would explode if it tried to make some sense out of that mess, but developers have been very very brave to stick theirs up here from time to time and take part in conversations. Sadly that's about the best they can do: Listen for feedback as much as humanly possible and leave it or take it based on their own instinct. I have heard this is not the first time they are making this kind of game...

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Yes?

 

I mean, I distinctly remember people being very vocal about Obsidian being too vague with their pitch, so I'm not sure on what basis people are arguing that Josh's design philosophy applied to the ruleset means they're getting duped out of their money.

 

I mean, it's perfectly fine to disagree with the macro and micro details of PE's ruleset, lore, UI, etc. but it's clear that the team is striving to give an experience that is really close to the broad strokes of the Infinity Engine games and trying to provide the tactical combat, locations, memorable characters, etc. that they promised during the KS pitch. Plus, quite frankly, almost every Infinity Engine games was its own beast (they really are a spectrum from Icewind Dale to Planescape: Torment, and each also comes with its own unique tweaks) and almost every backer has a different perspective on what made those games great or, in other words, IE-y.

 

To give a very personal perspective, I'd have been perfectly happy if Obsidian ditched real-time-with-pause combat to go with turn-based combat along the lines of ToEE, which also would have had the side-effects of making the encounter design lean on the less massive and frantic. Clearly, though, both Obsidian and a large chunk (the majority, I'd guess?) of the backers feel that would stray from the spirit of the Infinity Engine titles, and didn't even consider that option.

 

I mean, come on, there are decision I find highly questionable (no-miss still puzzles me to this day) and others that I'm iffy about but I'm waiting to see the implementation, but this is the same team that is aiming for battles of the same size of the Infinity Engine titles because putting too many enemies on screen would stray from that legacy. You can disagree with the choices, but I don't really think there's any reason to assume bad faith.

 

EDIT: I'm kind of tired and haven't really re-read my message so expect typos. Apologies.

Edited by WorstUsernameEver
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KaineParker: Obviously, I followed PathFinder with great interest, but as I rarely play PnP nowadays. I sorta spent my time trying to make 4th ed work, but I didn't. So, I revert to good old 3.5. However, I realize, I'll prolly can get PF real cheap now, so thanks for the kindly tip! :)

Oh Indira, there isn't a way to make 4E work. In all seriousness, it is almost at the FATAL level of crap. They took a horrible approach to balance, foes turned into just creatures to slaughter rather than actual characters, and made the alignment system even worse.

 

The relevant information(everything published by Paizo actually) needed to run a Pathfinder game is avliable for free with PRD, but I'd at least buy the digital core rule book for $10.00 just to support them. I prefer to do homebrew settings, but the Pathfinder setting is OK and you could always run (insert D&D setting here) if you want, just don't let a certain group of wizards living by the sea know about it.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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I don't know about you but I've always viewed Project: Eternity as Project: Eternity.

No one has led me to believe anything else. I imagine that those who do take all that "spiritual successor" too much to heart and overblowing it into larger-than-is proportions lead themselves into believing these things.

It's like conspiracy. Our minds tends to put things into patterns making us see what we want to see, regardless if it is true or false. There was a good article about this about a recent Half-Life 3 conspiracy~ something to do with a release of a Surgeon game and some sort of Korean patch. Some guy went into it deeeep and appearantly came to some sort of conclusion that Half-Life 3 was going to be unveiled September this year, but it was debunked by Valve.

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