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Update #82: Creatures

Creatures Xaurip Vithrack Blight Backer Beta Updates Documentary

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#121
Valmy

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I am not really into it for the nostalgia.  The IE games were a great RPG experience.  Most modern RPGs have had less RPG stuff.  Smaller parties, fewer spells, fewer enemies, fewer things to do, etc...

 

So I like games with more stuff.  I think that is what this is about.  The newer games since the IE games have been regressive in a lot of ways.  Time to turn that around.  I know that some people do have the nostalgia thing going and that is alright but to me this is about the failure of the IE games' successors in genre than just a desire for a return to the good old days.



#122
Sensuki

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I'm assuming with the Xaurips you can change the color (or maybe even pattern) of their tattoos / cloth.

#123
Jarmo

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Guess I'll add to the noise as well.

 

Yeah, I'm disappointed in the decision to go digital with the documentary.

Especially as it appears I did chip at a physical tier entitling me to the disc.

It's not the end of the world, I didn't even remember what tier I was in before taking a look.

 

I wonder how many of those thinking it's no big deal or a non issue were those selecting a digital download anyway?

If it turns out the cloth map production runs late, is it also ok to swap that to a digital cloth map?

 

For myself, I wouldn't mind waiting a couple of months more for the box.

I'm not sure, but I think the tier included a digital version anyway. Maybe add one to compensate for the delay?

You see, my take is, if it looks you fail to deliver, it's better to over- than undercompensate.

Better business in the long run even.

 

 

To the talk of extra postal costs.

 

It's incredibly narrow to now start viewing the backers giving in at about $200 apiece as an unnecessary cost,

as if they're some needy parasites about to ruin obsidian with their needy demands. When the backers have

specifically selected a physical reward tier and paid for the delivery (tier +$20).

 

Ok, so maybe a lot of backers want the thing early, maybe some can't download.

You just can't please everybody, but you can try a bit!

 

And yeah, maybe the extra thing is totally sweet.

And maybe it's a case of not delivering what someone wants, instead giving something he doesn't and calling it a day.



#124
JFSOCC

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@JFSOCC:

I guess I just feel like "utterly" uninspiring is a bit overshooting?

Well, let me ask instead of assuming: Are you suggesting that the presented enemies shouldn't even exist beause they're so "uninspiring," OR are you simply saying "yeah yeah, those are fine, but I'm really pissed that you showed only these to us and not the super-crazy unique creatures"?

Because, the what-they-showed part I get, but any kind of "there absolutely should not be populations of humanoid creatures at all resembling tribal, kobold/goblin-like things in the world at all" notion would be beyond me. I think the "uninspiring" creatures like that help anchor the fantasy world into some semblance of a believable reality, to be honest.

When everything's different from anything I've ever seen before, humans and society seem a bit out of place at that point.

Overshooting? Not really. There are many things I've already compromised on because I think the general direction PoE is going is a good one, but this is one of those things that is just really underwhelming. What I am saying is not either of your two options, those creatures would be fine, in a large bestiary, but they are certainly NOT showpieces. If you're going to show your backers something, I am going to assume they are not going to be your worst or most average creatures. If this is the best Obsidian has to show us, then we have a problem.(IMO)

The argument that uninspiring creatures help anchor the setting is absurd, (again IMO) because a clone will never be as memorable as an unique original piece. Players will unconsciously integrate new and unique creatures as belonging to the world (after all, they are present)
 

please, check out the monster thread in my sig. If a bunch of us forumites can come up with a diverse range of original monsters, so could obsidian. There were some really cool ideas in that thread, which at the very least could serve as inspiration. Yes, most backers backed because they wanted to have their classic RPG feels back. I don't think new and interesting enemies would stand in the way of that.

 
I guess my thinking is there will be a wide variety of enemies, like a classic RPG.  They have some stock monsters that are being done in interesting ways here and to me that bodes well.  Now if they do NOT have a wide variety of interesting enemies with interesting abilities I will be pretty annoyed no matter how innovative they may or may not be.  Man in so many RPGs today no only are the enemies sort of samey but they often literally ARE the same thing over and over again.  Like the Darkspawn in DA:O.

 
Maybe, Obsidian is of course free to inform us about the variety of enemies in this thread...
I hope you're right.
 

I hope you guys have more to show us than elementals, kobolds and mindflayers. I mean, visually they look great, especially the elementals, but I was hoping for more originality than variations on a theme. Please tell me there are more creatures in the world than just bipedal humanoids. It's one of those areas where you could have stunned me with your creativity but didn't. I was just hoping for some more originality.

Now, sure, you've not shown me your whole bestiary, but you did select these specific three for your presentation. Well I'm unimpressed.

 
Honestly, I feel as though a lot of the things they could've done very different, where they could have chosen to do some weird and very non-standard stuff, but didn't, they did because of their initial campaign and their backers. Many of these conservative decisions were probably made because many backers wanted a more standard fantasy game. A game with these elementals, kobolds, and mindflayers. But can you imagine the **** Obsidian would get if they went full on weird? I mean, they've been getting **** for as small things as including guns in the game and not having a super-macho, bulky, beefy male warrior companion.

 
Yes, the reasoning goes something like this:
  • We want to fund you to create a game that's just like the old school IE series.
  • We want to fund you to create a game that is completely unlike anything else.
Why can't you be original, creative, derivative, and grant us our total nostalgia fix, Obsidian? :huh:


I don't know whose reasoning that is, but it isn't mine. There is a difference between spiritual successor and trope ridden clone. You can innovate without losing the fantasy RPG feel, you can take risks without leaving the genre. I do believe Obsidian is capable of tremendous creativity, maybe I've set my expectations too high.
Personally I've never clung too much to the old tropes of the fantasy RPG settings, I for one like that there are guns. I think there are many more risks Obsidian could have taken but I understand most of the compromises.

But you shouldn't compromise everywhere, if you want to stand out.

So this is me, voicing my concerns in the one place meant for precisely that.
And that's the last I'll say about this (barring dev response) because I don't want to start a downwards spiralling dialogue taking over the thread. no-one reads those quote upon quote response threads. (but feel free to respond.)
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#125
Amentep

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If you're going to show your backers something, I am going to assume they are not going to be your worst or most average creatures. If this is the best Obsidian has to show us, then we have a problem.(IMO)


IIRC we've already seen (from the top of my head) Trolls, Wichts, Skuldr, Ogres, Cean Gulas, Animats, two of the development stages of Dragons, the Adra Beetle, Stealgar and a variety of other undead. Most of them feel to me like the type of monsters you'd expect in a fantasy RPG as seen through the lens of how magic works in the setting.

Seeing more creatures that still fit the kind of niche's you'd expect in a fantasy setting doesn't seem surprising to me (or unwelcome in a game that is trying to be a tribute to an older style fantasy game).
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#126
anameforobsidian

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I would expect a game that's pitched as heavily on nostalgia as this one was to show mainly nostalgic creatures.  There's precedent too, the New Vegas ad I constantly saw on TV didn't even show Cazadores and they were one of the most memorable enemies in the game for me.

 

Also, of the bestiary Obsidian has released, I think they have at least three neat and relatively new enemies:

Ardra Beetles (yes, NWN II had giant beetles, but most games do not),

Vithrak (we'll see how they're implemented, but I like them a lot so far),

Wichts,

Skulldr.

 

Four out of twenty-four shown or mentioned thus far is not that bad, plus or minus herve caen gula and staelgar brings it to about 20% of total creatures shown.


Edited by anameforobsidian, 11 July 2014 - 11:11 AM.

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#127
Osvir

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These updates always tend to make me a bit speechless for a bit. Getting more hype :)

In conjunction with the updates Josh usually gets a couple of questions, and I feel those are a little bit part of the update experience as well, from time to time. I can see them as individual bonus updates as well~

Will PoE have a ready stance?

 

Sexism in PoE?

 

It is always intruiging to see tidbits of progression at a time. Forming my sort of own general idea of how many % the game has gone through towards completion.

Looking forward to August 18 :) I am also curious if this is a closed Backer Beta deal or if it will be a public Steam Early Access.

Both has their merits, and I am also curious if there is some way to combine the two (Release public Steam Early Access+Closed Backer Beta Feedback Forum?). The latter could function as a "focus area" where Obsidian can convey the best way for us to give feedback, set up templates and perhaps even rules for posting feedback. Basically giving Obsidian quality QA on Backer Beta forums~


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#128
ashtonw

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Remember when they revealed the trolls and everyone was upset that the trolls don't look enough like everybody else's trolls...

 

I think the blights are cool. :) I don't have to be in love with every creature to enjoy the game.

 

 

 

Sexism in PoE?

 

Josh answered my question on tumblr but didn't mention the Vailian Republics which was what I was really interested in, darn it.


Edited by ashtonw, 11 July 2014 - 01:41 PM.

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#129
Lephys

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With all due respect, JFSOCC, you didn't really answer my question. It seems like your main issue is with the fact that the "Creatures" update (which should directly represent the entirety of the creature design in the game) didn't really show off the utmost of the team's creativity (either the "wow!" creatures are still kept a secret, unfinished, or non-existent). That, as I said, I fully understand, and I'll totally give you that much. I like sandwiches, but if a restaurant was trying to show off their menu to get a 5-star review, and they showed me a bologna and cheese sandwich, I'd be unimpressed.

However, if you're trying to say that anything that resembles anything that's already been done is inherently lame and crappy, then I don't really understand that. As I said, that set of criteria is flawed, as it leads to "basically everything sucks unless it's all so strange I don't even know what's going on anymore."

Tell me a creature design, and I bet I can point out something it's very similar to from another work of fiction. I don't think that factor, in-and-of-itself, determines the quality of a creature design.

Should there not be wolves and bears, too? No canine creatures? No horses? No rodent-like creatures? No insects? We've seen all that a billion times, AND they're not even fantasy creatures. They're real and "mundane."

I guess I just don't see how we can toss out "Tribal humanoids" as some kind of forbidden, inherently lame formula, just because it's not completely novel.

Again, not saying we shouldn't see some pretty crazy awesome creature designs that are truly intriguing, or that it wouldn't have been really nice to have seen different stuff in the Creatures update. But, people seem to be equating not-100%-novel with "bad," which is a bit arbitrary.
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#130
StrangeCat

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It should be damn scarry to face a blight in a dungeon.

  Your in a darkened hallway only lit by your tourch and you see one those things.   Bodies pushing against an unseen force trying to get out, screaming and clawing at the air.  Ever so often a face in agony appears and tries to break free, limbs twist in odd angles among the wind that screams out at you.  You look in *Horror* as it comes closer, right at you from the darkness.  You didn't even realize that you had brought your sword out.  All you can hear is the screams and see the bodies and tortured forms.   The rest of your companions are frozen in fear!   

 

yea Horror! 


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#131
Osvir

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<truncated>

Looking forward to August 18 :) I am also curious if this is a closed Backer Beta deal or if it will be a public Steam Early Access.

Both has their merits, and I am also curious if there is some way to combine the two (Release public Steam Early Access+Closed Backer Beta Feedback Forum?). The latter could function as a "focus area" where Obsidian can convey the best way for us to give feedback, set up templates and perhaps even rules for posting feedback. Basically giving Obsidian quality QA on Backer Beta forums~

Probably on Obsidians radar, but still a good read: http://www.gamasutra...ars_to_make.php



#132
LordCrash

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Nice update and good decision to not limit the length of the documentary to physical disc size restrictions. Those who want their documentary on disc can just burn it to DVD/Blu-Ray themselves imo. ;)



#133
Eyeshield1625

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I understand the reasoning for not doing the blu-ray/dvd. I would rather get the digital version with all the production than to get 9-10ths of it  on dvd. I wonder what their going to swap it with. The collectors art book would be awesome even if it was just a soft cover, though it might be cheaper to make more hard cover than to make soft cover. It's probably not gonna be that though so I hope they come up with something good.



#134
Petrikov

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At first, I felt the Vithracks were just mindflayer expies. It certainly didn't help that when they were first introduced it was because someone at Obsidian really liked mindflayers. But, thinking about it, even if they do have basically the same lore as mindflayers only modified to fit PoE's setting, they are an improvement to some extent. Mindflayers, at least to me, never seem very threatening, because the mystery around them just doesn't work. Plus, they have that "We like H.P. Lovecraft so all our eldritch things have tentacles," nonsense going on. Vithrack, on the other hand, seem much more alien to me, if only because imaging trying to non-telepathically communicate with one is far more unsettling. Also, spiders don't live in the ocean, so the threat seems more grounded.


Edited by Petrikov, 11 July 2014 - 07:56 PM.

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#135
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I'd just like to point that, at this point in time, it's rather difficult to design something that doesn't bear resemblance to something else that already exists.

Not to mention, you have to design an actual working body system. You can't just say "this looks cool".

 

It has to work.


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#136
anameforobsidian

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<truncated>

Looking forward to August 18 :) I am also curious if this is a closed Backer Beta deal or if it will be a public Steam Early Access.

Both has their merits, and I am also curious if there is some way to combine the two (Release public Steam Early Access+Closed Backer Beta Feedback Forum?). The latter could function as a "focus area" where Obsidian can convey the best way for us to give feedback, set up templates and perhaps even rules for posting feedback. Basically giving Obsidian quality QA on Backer Beta forums~

Probably on Obsidians radar, but still a good read: http://www.gamasutra...ars_to_make.php

 

 

At the same time, Original Sin has sold itself on its systems.  The reviews I've read give only cursory notice to the writing, and then gush over the systems.  I'm not so certain if that's the best way to go with a game that's selling itself on story.  Also, Obsidian faces a tough choice, where allowing reviewers early access to the game might increase their already harmful reputation for bugs, but might reduce the number of bugs in the long run.



#137
Osvir

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I haven't read a single review of Divinity per say, just interviews... well... I saw a Reviewsical (wordplay~ Review+Musical = Reviewsical) of a guy singing about Divinity: Original Sin and what you can do in the game. The guy who did the review obviously thought it was so good that it made him sing out loud :p

 

Any reviewer who reviews an Early Access game as a final product is living under a rock. Early Access has been out long enough now for people to know what it is and will correct any "this game is buggy" behavior (during Early Access). Divinity had loads of bugs during its Early Access, but I haven't seen any interviews talking about "bugs" as a problem. In the interviews with Swen he has only said how good the bugtesting process has been thanks to Early Access. It has sounds more or less like Early Access is a great, swift, and effective bugtesting solution.

Larian thanks Early Access and states it is something very good because they get instant feedback from their fans. So if Pillars of Eternity is buggy during Early Access, it's probably going to be less buggy after it.

Divinity: OS had a global chat during Early Access that they have removed now due to profanity that escalated, but that too was a great tool during their Early Access to weed out bugs and communicate directly to their fans and players.



#138
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<truncated>

Looking forward to August 18 :) I am also curious if this is a closed Backer Beta deal or if it will be a public Steam Early Access.

Both has their merits, and I am also curious if there is some way to combine the two (Release public Steam Early Access+Closed Backer Beta Feedback Forum?). The latter could function as a "focus area" where Obsidian can convey the best way for us to give feedback, set up templates and perhaps even rules for posting feedback. Basically giving Obsidian quality QA on Backer Beta forums~

Probably on Obsidians radar, but still a good read: http://www.gamasutra...ars_to_make.php

 

 

At the same time, Original Sin has sold itself on its systems.  The reviews I've read give only cursory notice to the writing, and then gush over the systems.  I'm not so certain if that's the best way to go with a game that's selling itself on story.  Also, Obsidian faces a tough choice, where allowing reviewers early access to the game might increase their already harmful reputation for bugs, but might reduce the number of bugs in the long run.

 

 

I thought Pillars is going to sell on both story and gameplay/combat... ;)



#139
Vampero

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They look great ! Nice job !



#140
mudd1

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Isn't the all fire,water, earth, air thing done with? I'd like to see more originality than that at least <.<

No, what's done with is using the five Chinese elements for the sole purpose of not using the occidental four elements. 

 

I mean, seriously, the concept of the four classical elements arose at least about 4000 years ago. When did it get old, last year? "Oh man, 'earth, water, fire and air' ... that's soooo 2000 BC!"


Edited by mudd1, 14 July 2014 - 07:34 AM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Creatures, Xaurip, Vithrack, Blight, Backer Beta, Updates, Documentary

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